Friday, May 31, 2013

Author Interview: Manjiri Subhash - Author of King Ire's Last War : An E-Fable for Peace

Sorry the Author Interview came out a bit late... My fault entirely. Had been lazying a bit :)

As I have already said in the previous post that this is an unique book and I really wanted to know the thought behind the beautiful story. At present, when violence is at a rampage, such a thought calms one's mind and would help us to teach our children to love and spread

Presenting Manjiri Subhash...

1. How did you come up with this project?

The character of King Ire came to my mind long ago whenever I witnessed anger and aggression. I saw the aggressor as a monster preying on gentle and feeble victims. Later, the events of 9/11, subsequent wars, and the increasing anger and terrorism in the world reinforced my perception of King Ire. At the same time, I experienced the transformative power of peace through my yoga practice. The combination of those two thought processes prompted me to write the story. 

I believe that we waste tremendous amount of physical and spiritual resources on wars and conflicts. What if we shift those resources towards mutual support? What if we shift our energies towards creation instead of destruction? These are some broad ideas I wanted to present in the book. 

Human history is replete with stories of aggression and hostility winning over compassion and nobility. We pay far too much lip service to peace and do little in the way of protecting and promoting it. In most stories, the protagonist suffers at the hand of the antagonist, and when the good guy/gal wins, the story is over. I wanted to give a different message by letting the antagonist suffer in my story. Because the story has a central moral theme, I chose a fable format for the book. 

2. Who designed the covers? 

I came up with a general concept and composition. However, something didn’t look right so I asked another artist to “fix” it. He worked on the light direction which made it better.

3. What was the hardest part of writing your book? 

As a creator, one is never finished. Nothing is ever perfect because there is always room for refinement. To me, art is work in progress.

Creating the e-book was 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration for me. This is my first book, and in hindsight, I wish I had taken on something on a much smaller scale. The illustrations took over two years, and I worked with two remote artists which created plenty of communication challenges. Then there were non-stop technical hurdles because this is an e-book in fixed-layout format (unlike other e-books where text and images flow). Different standards by different publishers certainly added to the complications. All in all, I had to keep up a steep learning curve because I was dealing with constantly evolving technology. 

4. "What are your expectations for the book?" 

I would like parents and teachers to use King Ire’s Last War to discuss the issues of peace and conflict with the young ones. We all have King Ire lurking at the back of our heads, and it takes self-awareness to keep the reptilian brain in check and shift our consciousness to the frontal lobe -- the thinking part of our brain. My hope is that the book would help generate that shift in the consciousness for the younger generation.  

5. Did your illustrators manage to capture your visualisation

There isn’t a yes or no answer to this! As I said earlier, art is work in progress. There is always room for revisions, but had I kept doing it, the book would never have come out. 

6. What are your upcoming projects?

I am thinking of another book for children. It’s based on a real story, and it’s very funny.

A Personal Message from the me to my dear reader......

I would love it if this books finds its way to your children's book shelf. Such calming stories might cure the future generations of mass killing and spreading violence. Have lots of love and peace !!!!