Secret of the Scribe follows a year after the release of Haunted. Has it been in the works for a while now?
No, surprisingly it hasn’t. I finished the first draft of Secret of the Scribe while Haunted was in production. Allowing for a trip to Egypt in between (which heavily influenced the story) it took me six months.
This doesn’t sound like a sequel. What can you tell us about Secret of the Scribe, or SoS as you call it?
No, it isn’t a sequel. It’s an adventure thriller that deals with the ability of the human race to communicate – the aspect that makes us “civilized”. Strange right? Communication and adventure? What? Well, what if I told you that our ability to communicate was dictated by certain “gifts” bestowed upon us by extraterrestrials? The book still has the action sequences but I’ve focused on the whole ‘adventure’ experience rather than raw blood-and-gore action.
How did you come up with the idea?
This is interesting. I happened upon my Applied Mathematics professor from engineering on Facebook and we began talking about how the current generation is so acquainted with computers and touch keyboards. Within a few years would anyone even need an exercise book to learn how to write? Would text messaging obliterate the need to talk? Seeing the levels of addiction increasing and starting from younger ages, it wasn’t hard to plot: “what if an unscrupulous organization got people addicted and then controlled them?”
In fact, NatGeo ran a story on dying languages in the July 2012 issue and in a stunning validation of the concept of Secret of the Scribe, the Times of India ran an article on the 24th of June 2012 predicting handwriting may soon be a thing of the past!
Interestingly, somewhere during the writing process I chanced upon the myth of the Book of Thoth and as fate would have it, I visited Egypt in-between writing two sections of the book. You can actually tell because the latter part is heavily influenced by my experience in Egypt.
Was the writing process different since Haunted?
Yes, yes. I feel the difference. It was more coherent, more peaceful and more researched. I also learned how to conduct brutal edits and reduce words rather than increase words but yet convey the story. I’ve accepted that it’s the story that matters, not length. If it’s long, well (shrugs) the thrills continue for longer. In fact, I’ve got some deleted scenes on this website…
How does Secret compare with Haunted?
Haunted is bare bones, raw and gritty. Secret of the Scribe is just-toned-fleshy, cooked-just-right and exotic.