+

‘Research is an important part of the writing process, but for me to truly immerse myself in a topic’

Aaditya Sengupta Dhar loves creating fantastic worlds and using his writing to make a difference in causes he’s passionate about. His novel, Legend of the Broken Blade (2022), was among the ‘Top 15 must-read books of 2023’ (The Morning Standard). The Teen’s Guide to Saving the World (2023) won Silver at the Non-Fiction Book Awards […]

Aaditya Sengupta Dhar loves creating fantastic worlds and using his writing to make a difference in causes he’s passionate about. His novel, Legend of the Broken Blade (2022), was among the ‘Top 15 must-read books of 2023’ (The Morning Standard). The Teen’s Guide to Saving the World (2023) won Silver at the Non-Fiction Book Awards and was the #1 Bestseller in its genre on Amazon India. His novel, Kaalchakra (2024), an Amazon bestseller, aims to make young readers appreciate our cultural heritage and roots. A short story on this theme won Gold Finalist at the Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition. When not writing, Aaditya’s busy with schoolwork, following Cricket with a passion, and practicing Karate, in which he holds a black belt. Aaditya is fifteen years old, lives in Mumbai, and has six published books to his name.

Where do you get your ideas?
My inspiration comes from issues I am curious or passionate about. For example, my passion for animal conservation led to Back from the Brink; my work as an intern with UNICEF, and my drive to understand how we teens can make a positive difference led to The Teen’s Guide to Saving the World, while my desire to learn more about my heritage and build appreciation among fellow teens for our cultural roots led to my latest book, Kaalchakra.

What is your writing process like?
I’m in Class 10, so with schoolwork and other priorities, I need to be disciplined. I try to write a little bit every day and get a lot more writing done on holidays and weekends. Throw some light on your literary journey. I’ve always loved reading, and that led to a love for writing. My first ‘book’ was a
handwritten encyclopedia of ancient civilizations when I was eight years old. The encouragement I got from my teachers and parents made me want to write more. Since then, my journey has been shaped by my desire to use my passion for writing to impact issues I feel strongly about.

Tell us about your latest book.
Kaalchakra is a fantasy novel about two modern teens who find themselves at the center of an ancient Hindu prophecy and discover their destiny through an action-filled adventure,
involving many stories, characters, and myths from our ancient past. While it’s meant to entertain, I hope it makes teen readers appreciate, and connect with our rich cultural heritage and roots.

What advice do you have for budding writers?
I’m young and still have much to learn, so I’m not sure I can offer advice, but what works for me is reading a lot across diverse genres to appreciate how other writers express their ideas. Also, I always write about issues I’m passionate about so that it remains something I love doing and does not become a chore. Finally, I have the discipline to fit it into my everyday routine.

Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
I feel we are always more fulfilled when we are authentic to who we are, and that ultimately is what gets readers to appreciate a writer. I would love to be the best version of myself I can be instead of trying to copy someone else who readers love.

Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?
So far, my books have been standalone, though I am intrigued by the concept of world-building and creating a series. Perhaps, I’ll get to it someday!

What does literary success look like to you?
Connecting with people through my writing. I find it so fulfilling when someone writes in or posts saying they appreciated my work, or that my work made them think about an issue in a different way.

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
Research is an important part of the writing process, but for me to truly immerse myself in a topic. For Kaalchakra, I read the Mahabharata, Ramayana, Bhagavad Gita, Shiva Purana, and
other works for several months, which not only equipped me to write the book but left me with a much stronger appreciation for our cultural roots. That’s the beauty of books - they can help shape us and make us better people.

Tags: