Friday, October 16, 2020

Krishna Sudhir Interview - Prince of Typgar : Nujran and the Corpse in the Quadrangle


Photo Content from Krishna Sudhir 

Krishna (Krishnankutty) Sudhir is a the author of The Prince of Typgar series, including the latest release, The Corpse in the Quadrangle (Aug. 2020). Krishna is also a physician, cardiologist and educator. Born in Chennai, India, he has lived and worked in three countries, including India, Australia, and the United States. He is currently based in California’s Bay Area, where he is a senior executive in the medical device industry.

In his academic career, he has taught undergraduate and postgraduate students at major Australian and American universities. He is passionate about educating the general public on health and medicine, and has authored several TED-Ed videos on health care and heart disease. Sudhir has traveled extensively across Asia, Australia, Europe and North America, and is deeply interested in cultures, languages, and cuisines across the globe. He enjoys watching movies, listening to music, reading detective novels, and cooking Indian food. While well-published in the medical field as the author of over 180 publications, The Prince of Typgar series is his first foray into the world of fiction. 

    
  


What was the greatest thing you learned at school?
The value of friendship. There’s a strong bond between classmates. Many of us have stayed in touch over the years, and that’s made easier by social media these days. It’s wonderful to be connected with people who have known you your entire life.

Tell us your latest news.
Just published my second novel, Nujran and the Corpse in the Quadrangle. The initial reception has been quite good. I’ve had a few interviews, and quite a bit of interest on social media, which is nice.

Who or what has influenced your writing, and in what way?
I’ve been influenced by several writers. Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s novels introduced me to the concept of magical realism. I liked the way Salman Rushdie drew inspiration from his Indian heritage. I enjoyed the Harry Potter series, as they were great novels to read with my sons. I enjoyed English translations of classic Russian works by Dostoevsky, Pasternak and Bulgakov, and was fortunate to read great French writers, in particular Camus, Voltaire and Moliere in their native language. Additionally, my mother is a well-known translator, as was my grandmother, and both influenced my interest in writing.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
Just seeing the books published was exciting. Since then, each post on social media, every review, every text or email from a reader who enjoyed the books has been rewarding. I see them as validation of the effort that went into writing the novels.

What do you hope for readers to be thinking when they read your novel?
I’d hope that the readers are transported on a voyage of fantasy, entering an alternate universe that has many similarities to ours. By relating to Nujran’s various adventures and challenges, I hope they come to a better understanding of the young adult experience in their own lives. But mainly, I hope they really enjoy reading the novels!

In your newest book, PRINCE OF TYPGAR: NUJRAN AND THE CORPSE IN THE QUADRANGLE; can you tell my Book Nerd community a little about the novel?
This is the second in the Prince of Typgar series, a sequel to Nujran and the Monks of Meirar. At the end of the first book, we leave Nujran as a teenager who has traveled with his teacher, Amsibh, experiencing romance, conflict, friendship, betrayal, and loss. We begin the second book, Nujran and the Corpse in the Quadrangle on the campus of the University of Western Foalinaarc, where a body has just been discovered. Who is this girl, and why is she dead? Could it be linked to the mysterious illness that sweeps the campus, affecting most of the teaching community? Why does Amsibh come to the school, and what does he need to protect Nujran from? Through what twist of fate is Nujran reunited with his old friends, the Monks of Meirar? And why does Nujran end up being a captive again? There’s drama in plenty with fugitives on the run, turbulence on the university campus, fresh intrigue, a new romance, a strange kidnapping, an escape from prison, and a rescue mission where things don’t quite go as planned. In short, this sequel is another fast-paced adventure that will hopefully hold the young reader spellbound.

What was the single worst distraction that kept you from writing this book?
The COVID-19 pandemic has been a huge distraction. Before COVID, I traveled often for my job. The entire first novel in the Prince of Typgar series was written on United Airlines airplanes. The cabin of an airplane is an unusual, but perfect place to lose yourself in a new universe through writing! Most of Nujran and the Corpse in the Quadrangle was also written at 35,000 feet, before shelter-in-place guidelines kept me home for the tail end of the process. So all the final editing was done on terra firma, in a year that has been strange, to say the least!

Aside from Nujran, which of your characters do you feel has grown the most since book one and in what way have they changed?
One of the monks, Tyora, whom we meet in book one, shows up again in book two. She is now the mother of a talented two year old, and we see how motherhood has made here a more interesting character. She’s discovered special talents of her own, and is more integral to the story in book two.

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
I would love to introduce Amsibh, a wise and respected teacher in the Prince of Typgar novels, to Dumbledore from the Harry Potter series. I’m sure they would get along famously, and have lots of wonderful discussions on students, technology, magic and the universe.

TEN FACTS ABOUT PRINCE OF TYPGAR: NUJRAN AND THE CORPSE IN THE QUADRANGLE 
  • 1. The novel is set on the planet Syzegis, in a distant galaxy. It’s an earth-like planet, an alternative universe, with lots of similarities to ours. It’s a technologically advanced world, and there are characters with unusual capabilities that make them interesting.
  • 2. It’s the second novel in the Prince of Typgar series, and follows on from Nujran and the Monks of Meirar, where we first meet many of the characters. The first novel tracks Nujran’s arc from a baby to a teenager; in the second, he’s a college student.
  • 3. Corpse in the Quadrangle is set on a university campus. Book nerds familiar with the splendid campuses at Stanford, Berkeley and USC may recognize parts of them in my descriptions; I’ve spent a lot of time at these schools, as a teacher and/or parent.
  • 4. Amsibh has a machine called a cephalovideograph, a cephavid for short, that can read people’s thoughts. There are reflections in both books on the ethics of mind-reading, on whether informed consent is required, and whether wartime circumstances justify such approaches.
  • 5. Dean Leongatti has a device called tempusmachina, a time machine. It allows people to travel back in time, by winding back the hands of a clock. Time travel is a subject that fascinates me a great deal.
  • 6. Detective Sarnoff is a cousin of another detective Pholtorimes whom we met in the first book. Nujran notices they have something in common: both have eyes in front and at the back of their heads, which they seem to use to their advantage in their profession.
  • 7. In Corpse in the Quadrangle, Nujran has a strange out of body experience, where he’s floating in the air, gazing down on his body on the bed. The description of this episode is based on my listening to accounts of patients who have had a cardiac arrest and recovered.
  • 8. As an Indian-American writer, I try and bring a unique perspective to storytelling, drawing from my love of Indian mythology, the Arabian Nights and other epic literature in the diversity space.
  • 9. The names of many of my characters are anagrams or derivations of names in mythology and literature. For instance, Nujran is an anagram (plus an extra letter) of Arjun, one of the main characters in the Indian epic, the Mahabharata. Pholtorimes is a fused anagram of the names of my two favorite detectives, Holmes and Poirot. 
  • 10. The names of many places in the books are also anagrams, designed to remind you of locations on planet Earth. For example, Foalinaarc is an anagram (with a vowel switch) of California! Nadii is an anagram of India. I’ll let you guess the others!
What’s the most ridiculous fact you know?
There is a technical name for the "fear of long words." Oddly, it's a very long word, "hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia."!

Best date you’ve ever had?
A sunset cruise on the Indian Ocean, off the coast of Mauritius, watching rollicking dolphins and sipping champagne, as the sun descended slowly past the horizon. It was truly magical!

What according to you is your most treasured possession?
I think it’s life itself. I’m a physician and cardiologist, and have treated many patients during my career with life threatening illnesses. Life is fragile, and as we get older, we realize this even more. So it’s without doubt, our greatest treasure.

If you could go back in time to one point in your life, where would you go?

Probably to age 20 when I was a young, wide-eyed medical student. It was a wonderful time of learning, fun, and exploration. Perhaps this is why I placed Nujran on a college campus in my latest book.

Which incident in your life that totally changed the way you think today?
The death of one of my brothers when I was 12, he was 14. It was my first close encounter with mortality. To me death is the ultimate mystery, and in both books, the reader will encounter discussions that deal with this topic. It happens to everyone, yet we know so little about it.

What is one unique thing are you afraid of?
I believe I’m mature enough not to be afraid of much. That said, the thing that bothers me most is uncertainty. What will the future be like? How will things pan out? I guess careful planning can mitigate risk, but there is always an element of uncertainty in our lives.

What was the best memory you ever had as a writer?
I launched my first novel at a book store in Chennai, India. My mother, and many of my childhood friends were in the audience. It was a wonderful morning, and we had a lot of fun.


This is the second in the Prince of Typgar series, the much-anticipated sequel to Nujran and the Monks of Meirar. At the end of the first book, we left Nujran as a teenager who has learned much through his journeys alongside his teacher Amsibh. He experienced romance, conflict, friendship, betrayal, and loss. He grew up along the way.

We begin the second book on the sprawling campus of the prestigious University of Western Foalinaarc, where a body has just been discovered. Who is this girl, and why is she dead? Could it be linked to the mysterious illness sweeping the campus and plaguing the teaching community? Why does Amsibh come to the school, and what does he need to protect Nujran from? Through what twist of fate is Nujran reunited with his old friends, the Monks of Meirar? And why does Nujran end up being a captive again?

The stakes are higher than ever before, with fugitives on the run, turbulence on the university campus, a new romance, a bizarre kidnapping, a perilous escape from prison, and a rescue mission where things don’t quite go as planned. Corpse in the Quadrangle is another fast-paced adventure that will hold young readers spellbound!

You can purchase Prince of Typgar: Nujran and the Corpse in the Quadrangle at the following Retailers:
        

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you KRISHNA SUDHIR for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of Prince of Typgar : Nujran and 
the Corpse in the Quadrangle by Krishna Sudhir.

*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*
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1 comment:

  1. What do I think about most? How I am going to manage to get all of the bills paid each month. Pretty sad, huh?

    ReplyDelete