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How to Write Fantasy Books: Christopher Doyle Part I ep35

Christopher Doyle is a Management Consultant and the author of Two Bestselling Fantasy Books. The Mahabharat Secret was his debut novel, which was followed by The Mahabharat Quest: Alexander’s Quest. In part I of our discussion, Christopher talks about how he became an author. He also talks about books that have inspired him, the importance of research in his writing process, and facing rejection from multiple publishers and literary agents.

Christopher is an alumnus of St. Stephen’s College, Delhi and Indian Institute of Management Calcutta. He has written articles on management and business for Indian and international publications and is also a regular invited speaker for international conventions and conferences. He is a certified Executive Coach and now works with senior executives to help them achieve success and better results in their organisations. Christopher lives in New Delhi with his wife, daughter and his dog and enjoys writing, reading, swimming and tennis as well as travelling and meeting people. He is also a musician and lives his passion for music through his band called Mid Life Crisis which plays classic rock.

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If you want to achieve something, you must aim high. You must set a high benchmark for yourself.

Discussion Points

  • His debut novel The Mahabharat Secret sold over 100,000 copies, mostly in print, and was nominated for the Crossword Book Awards in 2014.
  • Christopher wanted to be an author since his childhood and he considers himself as an author who transfers the readers in the world of secrets. he believes that this is the purpose of his writing.
  • He was an avid reader in his childhood days, and was greatly influenced by authors such as JRR Tolkein, Jules Verne, Issac Asimov and books like the Sherlock Holmes series. These books influenced him greatly, and got him fascinated in science.
  • He shares his name with author Christopher Doyle, author of Buenos Aires among other books.
  • Christopher considers himself an introvert and a recluse when he is writing, but his profession demands
  • The author in him came into being when he wanted to write a book for his daughter in the late 1990s. A book called The Hindu History by Akshay C Majumdar influenced him greatly. The author of this book researched several texts including the Ramayan, the Mahabharat, The Upanishads, etc. to narrate the history of ancient India. Majumdar talks about Lord Shiva and Goddess Durga being the generals of the Devas who led them to victory against the Asuras. His book deals with the period 600 BC to 3,000 BC. The Aryan invasion theory was essentially debunked by Majumdar over 100 years ago, today this theory has been rebuked.
  • Another book that influenced Christopher was the Fingerprints of Gods by Graham Hancock. Hancock was a correspondent with the Economist. He came up with the theory of an ancient civilization that got destroyed by floods. His book also questions the age of The Sphinx as is conventionally considered.
  • Uriel’s Machine was another book that left a great influence on Christoipher’s writing. Other writings include The Book of Enoch.
  • Christopher believes that his research in science, history and mythology helped him in writing stories that feel credible.
  • Christopher read all 100,000 shloks from Mahabharat twice. The shloks in Mahabharat contain scientific formulae. First from the book by Kishori Mohan Ganguly, and the 9 volume translation of the Mahabharat.
  • Inspite of writing a book on Mythology, and Christopher being an alumnus of IIM Calcutta and St. Stephen’s College, getting the book published was no cakewalk.
  • Christopher wrote The Mahabharat Secret between 2006 and 2008. He wanted to get his book published in international markets. Christopher approached 15 Literary Agents in the US and UK, in 2008 and 2009. Those agents who replied with a rejection gave an explanation for the rejection. They wanted the protagonist to be an American or British.
  • Christopher participated in a competition organized by amazon and he also considered self publishing. He also approached Indian publishers, every one of them rejected his manuscript except from Om Books.
  • It took Christopher 5 years to get his book into the bookstores.

Links and References

Ways to contact Christopher

You can buy Christopher’s Books from Flipkart: The Mahabharata Quest : The Alexander Secret (English)

The Mahabharata Secret (English)