Interview with Sagar Kamath

Today we have Sagar Kamath whose musings are available on stores as Chronux.

As good as the title seems, Sagar Kamath is a man of talents. Let’s get to his answers without any further delay.
Hello thank you for the time you will be spending on this interview. Tell us a bit about your hectic job schedule, teaching, surely isn’t an easy job. 
Yes, I have an extremely hectic schedule. I teach History and International Affairs at Symbiosis Centre for Media and Communication and Middle Eastern Affairs at Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts, as well as teach English and Verbal reasoning at IMS Learning Resources over the weekend. In fact there was a time not so long ago that I used to often end up working an average of 10 hours a day, for all 7 days of the week. Thankfully, I have slowed down so what! But I feel that I can do it as I am truly found my passion.

If you were to describe your book to someone who has yet to read it, then how would you do it?

Chronux as a book is unusual and unique, since it uses an immersive form of storytelling, where the reader isn’t just a passive observer of events, but an active part of the story. (As to how something like this is possible, I can give no spoilers…ha ha!). The story deals with humanity’s eternal, undying struggle to control the forces beyond…and the shocking moment when the scales begin to tip in favor of the cosmos! 

Are the characters in your book real? I had come across an author once who had said “If you hate someone, write a book and make them the villain” , so any relation to any person in real?

Ha ha ha…no no, not quite in that way. But a large part of the book does focus on the period between 1920 and 1940, when the Nazis were coming to power in Germany. So there are quite a few historical characters portrayed in it, including people like Hitler and Himmler. 

We all had some master goals set for us when we were kids. So what was your goal as a kid?

As a kid, I was a bit of dreamer. Often during classes in school, I would feel myself drift away into a contemplative trance that was far more pleasing to me than the practical realities of day to day existence. Of course, this did not always please my teachers as they felt I was wasting a lot of potential that I had. But I was never a very ambitious child. The one thing that always fascinated me was storytelling…whether it was reading them or listening to them. So, even though I did not quite know it at that time, the roots of my interest in writing were being set. I was also very idealistic as a kid and had a very clear sense of right and wrong…I still am!

Can you say something about your journey from being a person with a manuscript to an author of a published book ? How was the struggle ?

Well, being a first time author is certainly a struggle. But then that is true with every field. Fortunately for me, I wasn’t banking on this being a full time career, but rather something that would stimulate my passion for storytelling. The fact that I have long been associated with the teaching sector also helped in meeting the right people at the right time. I have the most amazing set of colleagues and friends, a lot of whom live this journey with me. So I have a lot to be grateful for!

Can you share with the readers, the names of some books and writers who inspired you? Some of us could surely use some inspiration.

I remember, as a child, I came across a bruised and battered copy of Sir H. Rider. Haggard’s King Solomon’s Mines an all-time classic that blew away my young mind. I was enthralled by the story and the descriptions of how an intrepid group of explorers embark on an audacious quest to unearth one of the lost treasures from the ancient world. At that time of course I had no idea who Solomon was, or whether there was even such a place like that described in the book. But none of it seemed to matter…the late Victorian description of Africa as an unknown continent, full of adventure and mystery, and the prospect of finding something completely unknown to the rest of humanity, left me spellbound. (It was probably also the dilapidated state of the book, with its musty, crumbling pages that had something to do with it.) I remember, enacting parts of the book in school, much to the amusement of my friends. 

This was surely one of my earliest inspirations. Since then of course I have read all the noted suspects like Dan Brown, Robert Ludlum, Steve Berry. I have also been greatly inspired by a lot of non-fiction works, through my research into International affairs.

Apart from the writers , who are the people and what are the things in your life that inspired you to write the book ? When did the idea strike ?

I first began thinking of Chronux as a workable idea in around 2013. The name of course is a play on the word – ‘Chronos’ or ‘Kronos’, who is the Greek Titan that we know a Saturn. Chronos has also represented Time and I was greatly fascinated with the idea of telling a story from the perspective of sentient time…one that would respond to us and not just remain a passive observer. The more I thought about it, the more it became clear that if I planned to use time as the protagonist, I would need to create a plausible scientific explanation for what it was and how it worked. The last thing I wanted was for a reader to go through the book and not have a proper closure. I discussed this idea for a year or so, with a close friend of mine, without actually writing any of it. Only once I was sure, I had a workable idea, did I actually begin the process of constructing the plot.

We all know that a book requires time. What was your family’s reaction to find you engrossed in writing ? Any incidents you would like to share with us ? 

True…specifically a story like this, took a lot of sleepless nights and really early mornings, but I was very fortunate to have an extremely understanding family and friends who stood by me, no matter what. I cannot even begin to mention how many anniversaries, birthdays and festivals I must have missed and gotten away with it! 

Any words for the young readers and the aspiring authors ? 

We seem to be entering an era where information is so readily available and so easily accessible, that there is a genuine threat that the magical lure of stories might fade away. This would be a terrible loss. I see that in the youth today that some of the motivation to be curious is missing. We somehow need to rekindle it. A future without the magic of stories would be a terrible place to live in. 

Time for a fun question. You must have read fictions. Given a chance, which fictional character would you like to go on a date with? 

Hmmm…that’s a tough one, and I am going to play a little dirty here and go with a character whose “fictionality” can be debated – the Queen of Sheba. Smart, beautiful and rich…and she loved stories!

Why did you choose “time” why not something mainstream that the readers will prefer?

I don’t think we are giving our readers enough credit. Yes it’s true that Sci Fi as a genre hasn’t been explored much by Indian Authors, but I think the audience is ready for something like this. Just look at the success, similar themes have in the audio visual medium. So I don’t think that should be a problem. You could argue that its “Time” has come!   

Now for the final question, when do we get another book from you?

I would love to say very soon! I was in fact working on another novel before Chronux, so technically that should have been my first. It has a very different theme and focusses on Oriental martial arts and re-incarnation! So hopefully, I should be able to get it out in a year or so!  

Interviewed by Banaja Prakashini

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