Interview with Utkarsh, The author of Rankshetram
About Author: Hello, this is Utkarsh Srivastava, author of the Rankshetram series. Graduated from Marine Engineering and Research Institute, Kolkata Campus.
Ravi: What’s your favorite short story?
Ravi: The Best piece of writing advice?
Utkarsh: Just let yourself free while writing and go with the flow. Don’t bother about how worst you write, you’ll rectify your own mistake one day.
Ravi: Where do you write?
Utkarsh: There’s no fixed place for that. Currently during lockdown, I am writing at home.
Ravi: Where do you get your ideas?
Utkarsh: Kind of everywhere, from books, movies of different genres, like mythology, fiction, history as well as a thriller.
Ravi: Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Utkarsh: Depends on the thing I am writing. Sometimes, while translating the work of movies and series, there are some boring episodes or scenes which I have to write which exhausts me. But while writing war and thriller scenes of my book, it excites me.
Ravi: How long on average does it take you to write a book?
Utkarsh: Till now I’ve completed all five books of the Rankshetram series, so on average it takes 4-5 months for one book if I write without any interruption.
Ravi: If you had to do something differently as a child or teenager to become a better writer as an adult, what would you do?
Utkarsh: I wish I had read more books before writing Part 1 of Rankshetram series, so I wouldn’t have to write it all over again for saving the quality of the series.
Ravi: What is your favorite childhood book?
Utkarsh: Mrityunjay by Shivaji Sawant
Ravi: What are your favorite literary journals?
Utkarsh: Mythology, history, thriller.
Ravi: What one thing would you give up to become a better writer?
Utkarsh: Well, I don’t think I have to give up anything to become a better writer. Being a better writer is just a perception. It’s how you see yourself, and fact is you have to improve each and every day.
Ravi: What was your hardest scene to write?
Utkarsh: Rankshetram Part 5 Dandkaranya Sangram, 4th day of battle.
Ravi: Do you Google yourself?
Ravi: Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?
Utkarsh: It’s not about the secret but the message which has been delivered in the climax of the final part of the series. Not everyone could relate it with current scenario.
Ravi: Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
Utkarsh: Of course, I do. Reviews are the reason which motivated me to write Part 1 of the series all over again. So, I prefer the positive outcome of those reviews, either good or bad.
Ravi: Have you read anything that made you think differently about fiction?
Utkarsh: Yeah, few books like Arthla, Malhar, Secret of Nagas narrates entirely different thoughts of ancient technologies which may be existed at that time period or it’s just their brilliant imagination.
Ravi: What did you edit out of this book?
Utkarsh: Some awful things which I write in the first draft.
Ravi: How many hours a day do you write?
Utkarsh: That’s not fixed. I write until the conclusion of my everyday mission i.e. basically five pages.
Ravi: How long were you a part-time writer before you became a full-time one?
Utkarsh: Until my college was over, I was a part-time writer. After graduating in 2018, I am quite a full-time novelist as well translator of Hollywood movies and series.
Ravi: What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
Utkarsh: I just read the text, mainly mythological. Also, watch different war movies for creating unique war strategies. There’s no fixed time for that. For example, for writing Rankshetram 4 ‘Bharatvansh Ka Uday’, I had to go through the history of all the scions of Suryavansh and Chandravansh, because there was the folklore of Vishwamitra and King Dushyant portraying King Harishchandra in their story. And many writers have used that folklore to write their book. But through my research, I have proved that theory wrong. The Suryavanshi King Harishchandra existed centuries before King Dushyant.
Ravi: What’s the best way to market your books?
Utkarsh: You either spend so much money on promotion, otherwise create controversy. I don’t think there are any other ways to reach a mass audience.
Ravi: How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
Utkarsh: Final two parts of Rankshetram ‘भरतवंश का उदय’ and ‘दंडकारण्य संग्राम’ Concluded. It Will be published by the end of the year, I hope.
Ravi: How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
Utkarsh: Of course, after publishing the first book received lots of criticism. So I think that’s what improved my writing.
Ravi: If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Utkarsh: Well, honestly I don’t regret the mistakes I made in the past. Yeah, but there’s one thing I would like to say to my younger self, ‘Have patience man, you shouldn’t be hurrying for doing things just to be a known person.’
Ravi: What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
Utkarsh: Honestly, I don’t really have any author friend. Of course, a lot on Facebook, but why would they waste their time to read an unrecognized author just to give inputs, I am not paying them.
Ravi: Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
Utkarsh: Of course you have to consider the audience’s taste. But I can say one thing confidently, the originality of my content cannot be questioned. Whether it is good or bad, you can never find any fiction story even slightly similar to Rankshetram.
Ravi: What are the most important magazines for writers to subscribe to?
Utkarsh: Sorry, but I don’t follow magazines
Ravi: Tell me about your recent book to our Blog Readers?
Utkarsh: My books are in hindi. So this synopsis of whole series will be in hindi.
रणक्षेत्रम कथा सार :
आर्यावर्त की भूमि को एकता के सूत्र में बाँधकर चक्रवर्ती सम्राट भरत के अखण्ड भारतवर्ष की स्थापना की ये कथा पूर्ण रूप से मेरी कल्पना पर आधारित है |
देवगुरु बृहस्पति ने छल करके शुक्राचार्य से उन्हीं के शिष्य असुरों को ये श्राप दिलवा दिया कि वो देवों से सदैव पराजित रहेंगे | इस छल के प्रतिशोध के लिए शुक्राचार्य ने अपने प्रिय शिष्य भैरव को माध्यम बनाया, जिसने रक्षगुरु भैरवनाथ बनकर असुरों के मार्गदर्शन का कार्यभार संभाला और असुर संस्कृति को समग्र आर्यावर्त में स्थापित करने की सौगंध ली | रक्षगुरु के प्रथम षड्यंत्र के फलस्वरूप रक्षराज दुशल और विदर्भ कुमार तेजस्वी के हृदय में प्रतिशोध की अग्नि प्रज्वलित हुई जिसने विदर्भ राज्य में ही एक भीषण गृह युद्ध की नींव रखी | दुशल की पराजय और मृत्यु के उपरांत भी रक्षगुरु ने पराजय नहीं मानी और असुरों की उस महाशक्ति को जागृत किया जो दशकों से सोयी हुयी थी |
अर्धअसुर के रूप में जन्में राजकुमार सुर्जन के असुरेश्वर दुर्भीक्ष बनते ही भैरवनाथ ने असुरजाति की विजय को सुनिश्चित मान लिया | किन्तु एक वैरागी महाऋषि ओमेश्वर के अंश से जन्में दुर्भीक्ष के मन में संसार को जीतने की कोई लालसा न थी | वो बस एक गंधर्व कुमारी दुर्धरा के प्रेम में पड़कर अपना समग्र जीवन बिताना चाहता था | किन्तु रक्षगुरु ने षड्यंत्र रचकर दुर्भीक्ष और दुर्धरा के संबंध में विष घोल दिया | तत्पश्चात उसने दुर्भीक्ष के प्रिय भतीजे शत्रुंजय को माध्यम बनाया और नाना प्रकार के षड्यंत्र करके आर्यवर्त के अनेकों राज्यों के प्रजाजनों को आपस में ही लड़वाकर मानव संस्कृति को दुर्भीक्ष की दृष्टि में तुच्छ और पाप का केंद्र सिद्ध करने का प्रयास किया | साथ ही साथ उसे समग्र आर्यावर्त में असुर संस्कृति को फैलाने को प्रेरित भी किया |
तब हस्तिनापुर के चंद्रवंशी महाराज महामना भरत और एक वनवासी योद्धा मेघवर्ण ने मानव संस्कृति के रक्षण का भार उठाया और ब्रह्मऋषि विश्वामित्र की आज्ञा से असुरों के दमन के साथ साथ आर्यावर्त को एक ध्वज के आधीन करने की सौगंध ली | भरत ने सिंहासन पर आरूढ़ होते ही असुर संस्कृति को चुनौती दी, जिसने आर्यावर्त की भूमि पर एक प्रलयंकारी महासंग्राम की नींव रखी |
Thanks to Utkarsh for agreeing to this interview! If you know of an author who’d like to be featured in an interview (or you are an author who would like to be featured), feel free to email me at the address on my contact page.