Ash Mistry and The Savage Fortress

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Sarwat Chaddas Blog

Wot I do

Okay, I write books. Now some of you may be wondering how you do such a thing beyond just bash the words down onto paper. I have no idea what will work for you but this is how I did it.

Lets start way, way, waaay back. Say, 1981, B.I (before Internet). That is when I really started writing stories. Me and my mates used to play Dungeons and Dragons (my persoanl fav was Nemesis Hawk, my paladin, died horribly in a fireball). Now I'm not going to explain what it is because if you know anything about geek culture, you know about roleplaying games and, hey, jocks at the back, we geeks OWN the world. Just ask Bill Gates or anyone working at Pixar.

Well, roleplaying games such as D&D need a story, one that's open-ended to a degree and mixes up fighting monsters and interacting with NPC (non-player characters) who give advice or cause trouble. 

Now these adventures could be bought, ready made scenarios. But, two things here. They were expensive, could only be used once and were pretty boring to read and remember everything. This was the role of the Gamesmaster. To create worlds and the stories within them for their players.

So I wrote my own. And that was how my career as a write began. I wrote fantasy adventures, epic vampire adventures (Vampire the Masqeuerade has a lot to answer for), westerns, Grimm fair tales, spy, sci-fi. Various franchises got in on it. We had Star Wars, Bond, Warhammer, Doctor Who, Judge Dredd and Conan and many more. Played them all. Run them all.

What's great is you're feeding the story direct to your audience. You need to keep them entertained, and you need to keep one step ahead. Much like being a writer.

Then, many years later, 2004 to be exact, a friend suggested I have a go at writing a proper, normal book. So I did. That turned out to be a 100,000 word epic which was teh first draft of my first book, Devil's Kiss. I've still got it soemwhere. It was undisciplined, random but great, great fun to write. So when it got roundly rejected, I just wrote another book. and another and so on until, in late 2007 I won a writing compettion and signed with one of the judges, Sarah Davies of the extraordinary Greenhouse Literary Agency.

Now it's 2012. I've been a full-time writer since 2008. It's all gone very quickly but very terrifically. I've a new series out and there's more to come.

The Savage Fortress (as it is in the US) is my take on what might happen if an average boy and geek, Ash, born and brought up in the safe comforts of London, went on holiday and discovered he was the only one who could stop the demon king, Ravana, returning and turning the world into a new realm of Hell. Which would be bad.

I've had the most insane time writing it. It's fast, furious and exotic, set out in the ancient city of Varanasi and teh vast deserts of Rajasthan. You've monsters, immortal sorcerors and gods and demons and the rise of a very different type of hero. 

What's not to like?

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