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He was your average regular guy with carefully crafted corporate dreams that would fetch him a nine-to-five job that would more than pay the bills while he pursued a B.Com degree from Heramba Chandra College, Kolkata. The twist was provided by the fact that he was an avid follower of JRR Tolkein, JK Rowling and George RR Martin and he little realised then that he carried the seeds of a fantasy fiction writer. But when understanding dawned, he put pen to paper and before he was aware of it, The Secrets of the Dark was done and found a publisher for release in 2013.
As quickly, he wrapped up the sequel — Rise of the Grey Prince in 2015 – and both books belong to a four-book series called The Saga of Agni. Off the cuff, Arka Chakrabarti is a tax consultant by profession and comes from a family of financial experts and civil servants and writing for him, like for many others, has been an escape route to kill the monotony of the daily grind. “The thought of attempting the first book came much earlier and I penned it down by 2013. Thankfully, I got a publisher when I was 25, which certainly was a momentous thing for me,” he said.
He would have it known that there are no appropriate fantasy fiction books written by authors based out of India, except the Gameworld Trilogy. “Books like Guardians of Karma and Aryavarta Chronicles have the backdrop and pattern of Mother Earth and seem fairly inspired by India’s mythological essence like the Shiva Trilogy, Asura, et al. Keeping in view my novel, I have created a separate world called The Land of Gaya and tried introducing factors that haven’t been touched upon by most Indian authors,” he said.
Chakrabarti’s concept was quite appreciated by his publisher, Srishti, and they got back to him in seven days saying they had decided to publish Secrets of the Dark right away.
Response matters and dividends cropped up when the book won a Crossword Book Award nomination, serving as a morale booster for an author “wet behind the ears”.
So what gave shape to his knack for producing fantasy fiction? “My early childhood days were filled with stories of Indian mythology narrated by my mother and grandmother, which gave shape to those impressionable years and evoked a love for fantasy later in life.”
The success of The Secrets of the Dark can be measured by the fact it is now part of the top 100 listings on Amazon.in. Given his age, Chakrabarti has covered enough ground in the writing sphere. Apart from being someone who wished to write for himself, he’s featured as a guest speaker at the IIT, Mumbai, literary fest “Melon Splash”. Many authors in India have seen their books being converted into motion pictures, what with adaptations having become a trend in Bollywood, and Chakrabarti said, “I’m also open to the idea of my books being converted into a movie series as I personally believe India lacks films that belong to this genre. A nicely woven fantasy saga can be a treat for children and adults alike, a lesson I learnt when I saw that the series has gained equal popularity amongst readers above and below 18.”