New Delhi, July 29 (IANS) At a time when occult practices are hardly believed and those which were earlier considered sort of mandatory are now understood to be superstitions, can a book themed around black magic attract readers?
Well, author Shweta Taneja who has penned “The Matsya Curse” thinks that dark magic is something that every Indian can relate to and therefore they tend to adore reading stories associated with it.
“I often used to hear people living in the urban space talking about occult practices, tantriks. It is not something artificial, rather still exists very much in towns and villages. Accept it or not, but there are many people living even in cities who have approached tantriks,” Taneja told IANS in an interview ahead of the launch of her book on Friday.
Published by Harper Collins India, the book, which is the sequel to “Cult of Chaos”, was launched at an event organised at Oxford Book Store here.
The book revolves around the protagonist, tantrik detective Anantya Tantrist and how she battles against the villain Bhairava, a black tantrik.
“I have given some twists to the usual perception of occult practices. Drifting away from the notion that those are performed by men, in my book, it’s a woman who performs black magic, is a detective, does adventurous activities and action as well,” the author added.
“People are usually not accustomed reading this kind of a book and I want to sneak in there. It’s a pop-culture thriller book but it is equally funny, hilarious, adventure junkie sort of and young crowd is liking it,” she maintained.
Elaborating, Taneja quipped that she is fascinated by how a reader often tries to find reality in her fictional writing.
“Even for this book, I remember readers asking me whether I had met any tantrik or not, can I suggest anyone, so these make me realise that my writing may be fictional but is closely associated to reality,” she pointed out.
It was not easy for Taneja to convince a publisher. Before HarperCollins approved her book, she had approached few other publishing houses which rejected her manuscript.
“It took some real effort to convince my editors. Because there are hardly any books on black magic as a theme, I had to explain them in detail what my writing is all about. Even the publishers made it clear that if the first book doesn’t work out then they wouldn’t publish the second one. But, I received lot of appreciation. And therefore here comes the second one,” the author commented.
When asked whether she herself believes in black magic, Taneja said she is rather a curious researcher who gets extremely fascinated by magic and miracles but also a “cynic” who is constantly in quest of answers behind any logic.