Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Author Interview & Giveaway: Laxmi Hariharan

  Today I am hosting Laxmi Hariharan in celebration of her new release The Destiny of Shaitan. Check out the guest post below and make sure to enter the giveaway at the end of this post for a chance to win either a $15 Amazon Gift Card or Autographed Paperback of The Destiny of Shaitan!

   I am a writer, technophile & dare I say, a futurist, with a penchant for chai and growing eye-catching flowers. Wanderlust drove me out of my home country India to travel across Asia, and I lived in Singapore and Hong Kong before coming home to London. I am inspired by Indian mythology; I draw from the stories my grandmother narrated to me as a child. It is in acknowledging my roots that I found my voice. When not writing I love walking in the woods with my soulmate, and indulging my inner geek. My debut novel The Destiny of Shaitan is available on Amazon

Favorite reads?
  • Night Watch, by Sergei Lukyanenko, a well-known Russian science fiction writer. Did you know that Russia is the only country in the world to celebrate Cosmonautics Day, on April 12, in memory of the first manned space flight made by the 27-year-old Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin. It is a national holiday in Russia. How cool is that?
   • My other all time inspiration is the Fire & Ice series by G. R.R Martin, especially his Dance with Dragons. G.R.R weaves his words into a tapestry full of surprises. And he does not hesitate to kill off his characters and produce new ones. He is a bold brave writer, and I hope to be him when I grow up :)
   • The Hunger Games trilogy also has a special place in my heart for like its author Suzanne Collins I also write in the present tense and I love my female characters to be strong & feisty.

Inspirations for the book?
   I am inspired by Indian mythology. My grandmother narrated me these amazing stories of Indian Gods and Goddesses and their fantastic adventures, when I was growing up in Bombay. So I think the seeds of this book were sown when I was a five year old. I hope The Destiny of Shaitan will introduce an entire new generation around the world to Indian mythology – in a very cool, easy to understand fashion.

Did you know you wanted to be an author when you were little?
   It’s probably a cliché, but I wrote my first poem when I was five, and since then knew that I was born to be a writer. It took another nine years, three countries, four homes, many jobs and crucially a near death experience in which I lost my first born which pushed me over the edge. It was almost as if I had to resolve my own issues before solving my characters’ conflicts; and then suddenly I was there. It was time to release Shaitan to the swells of Amazon, to be read by humans and kindred half lives. It had to be now, for there is no tomorrow.

Any Pet Peeves?
   I hate it when someone is not honest. My sense of right and wrong are so well developed that my ‘spider senses tingle’ when someone is not being straight with me or anyone else.

Chocolate or Peanut Butter?
   Love dark bitter chocolate, but yum! Like peanut butter too. A combo is great! So dark bitter chocolate studded with peanuts ? :)

The weirdest thing you've ever done?
   I moon walked (like Michael Jackson) all the way to school one day. Weird right?

Is there a soundtrack to the book/Favorite music?
   The Destiny of Shaitan’s theme song is Sting’s Desert Rose featuring Cheb Mami. Haunting lyrics, sweeping vision, Sting’s drive across the desert in search of himself to the accompaniment of Cheb Mami’s unforgettable chanting will forever in many ways define my unending quest for myself and I think has influenced Tiina’s character too. You can find The Destiny of Shaitan playlist here.

Do you need anything to write?
   This probably sounds insane, but I do my best writing very early in the morning. A perfect day is for me is to be up at dawn or earlier: 4 am in the morning seems to work best, and then write till noon, breaking for many, many cups of sweetened Indian chai flavoured with Indian spices.

How long do you write on any average day?
   I write in short bursts. I wrote the second draft of The Destiny of Shaitan, in a very intense routine built around my day job. So most days I was up at 4 a.m.—writing till 10 a.m.— I would write all day on weekends. I churned out 150 pages in three weeks, and that’s the fastest I have written. Now that I am in the plotting stage of my second novel, I tend to do more of the work in my head. Normally while walking in the woods near my home, I use the music from my ipod to give the characters a life-soundtrack on which I can build their next move.

Give us the number one reason to read your book.
   Pick up The Destiny of Shaitan, when you are ready to take a journey inwards to find out more about yourself and your own motivations. It will hold up a mirror to the real you.

Author Info:
Website-Laxmi Hariharan
Pinterest- Laxmi Hariharan
If you like my writing and would like to be profiled in my Reader Avatar Series then please email me at

   Partially set in a dystopian Bombay of the future, The Destiny of Shaitan is a coming of age story,
painted against the backdrop of a post-apocalyptic world.
   Yudi, Tiina & Rai embark on a mission to save the universe. Sent to retrieve the Isthmus from the
ruthless Shaitan, Tiina seeks more than the end of the tyrant; she seeks herself. Shaitan is determined to stop them at any cost. The three friends must learn to trust each other and overcome their fears as they fight towards the ultimate showdown. The universe is at stake and the combatants determined. Will Shaitan's ultimate destiny be fulfilled?

"The Destiny of Shaitan is mind blowing, dark, humorous, and clever.
It took me on a powerful journey inwards, which was a surprise as I'm not generally drawn to scifi or fantasy." - Sonia Ducie Dip.CSN.AIN, Numerologist, Author 11 Numerology books.

"The low-key humour that runs like an under-current through this delightful, gripping adventure had
me chuckling from page one" - Pippa Merivale, Author, Rescued by Angels

“A truly refreshing approach because it is inspired by Indian mythology, direct references to which
are few in the sci-fi/fantasy genre.
That aside, Shaitan is a ripping yarn and a gripping read and a must have for every fan of the genre. Besides, it's bound to win more fans from across genres too.
  The character of Rai in particular is the most fascinating, but that's not to take away from the other players in the narrative especially Yudi and Tiina and of course the titular evil Shaitan himself, who makes Darth Vader look like a kindergarten wimp.” - Amazon Review by Moviescriptwriter


  1. This is awesome, thank you so much for being part of the tour - you rock!

    Marie, Novel Publicity

  2. Hi Valette, thank you for hosting me! Pleased to have this chance to speak with your readers. I hope they will enjoy my novel too:)