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Beyond The Lines

Friday, September 04, 2015

New Book: Warrior

You may remember Olivier Lafont as the materialistic Suhas from the film, 3 Idiots, but the French actor also has some serious writing chops! He talks to Purva Indulkar about his first book — Warrior

Warrior is an action-adventure epic set in India, with mythological elements added in. What inspired you to write it?
I’ve always been fascinated with reading, watching and creating stories, and I’ve  been drawn towards fantasy and mythology in particular. One of the inspirations for Warrior was the Mahabharata. I wanted to have a similar dramatic set-up in order to create something that would be completely new but still familiar. So, starting from the basic juxtaposition of a family at war and a world on the brink of catastrophe, I created the premise of the book — with my demigod hero Saam, in conflict with his father Shiva, juxtaposed with the imminent end of the universe.

How has your experience in acting helped you create and flesh out the characters for your book?
I have always used my acting and writing skills to support and enrich each other; it’s something that happened very organically. So, yes, my experience and training as an actor was extremely useful, because it helped me to imagine the story from a specific character’s point of view, in order to create their understanding of the world and their plausible reaction to it. It also helped me to express the pertinent thoughts and feelings that carry the entire story forward.

You are fluent in French, Spanish, English and Hindi. Which language are you most comfortable writing in and why?
Since my formal and writing education was in English, I’m most comfortable writing in English. I can write in French as well, but English is easier for me. Moreover, the English language fantasy market is much larger than the French, so it works out better anyway.

Who are your favourite authors in the action-adventure or mythology and fantasy genre?
My favourite authors at the moment are George R. R. Martin, who wrote the A Song of Ice and Fire series, popularly known as Game of Thrones, and Mark Lawrence, who wrote The Broken Empire series. I also like books such as Lloyd Alexander’s The Chronicles of Prydain and Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time. I would also recommend reading work by Michael Moorcock and Ursula K Le Guin.

Now that you’ve acted, written screenplays and published a book — what else do you have in store for us?
All and more of the same. I’ve started writing film screenplays for myself as an actor. One film in particular is a fun comedy with an Indian angle, so I’m looking for an international or NRI producer.

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