Kevin Missal is a national bestseller writer and author of Kalki Series. His upcoming series is on Narashima avatar.
Q. Your depiction of Kalki was completely different from the popular notion. Kalki was not a born superhero but was chiseled to become one. Is it true in case of Narashima as well? How different is your approach with the portrayal of Narsingh?
A. Narasimha is an aged warrior and he’s not naive like Kalki. That’s the most I can give you since if I add more, it’ll come in spoiler territory.
Q. Tell us about that one challenge you faced while reimagining the character of Narashima? Did the character of Narsingh filled you with awe and fear as he is considered to be an angry god?
A. It did. But there is a softer side to him that people don’t know. Did you know he had a wife? He was considered a devoted husband. I realised Narasimha was more than just an angry god.
Q. What is the ratio of mythology and imagination in your storyline?
A. 70% imagination, 30% mythology.
Q. How is your retelling of the story of Lord Narashima avatar of Vishnu is different from the popular original story where the focus has always been Bhakt Prahlad? Do they both share the same relation as in the original story. How important is the role of Prahlad in your story?
A. They do share the relation. Prahlad plays an important role but all of it is humanised for it to be relatable.
Q. How did you develop interest in mythology and especially in Lord Vishnu avatars? Will you continue to explore other avatars of Lord Vishnu including the most popular Rama and Krishna avatar?
A. Of course. Lord Vishnu Avatars for be symbolise hope in the time of darkness. And I’m a big fan of hope.
Q. What is the main purpose behind the retelling of the stories of Vishnu avatars.
A. I’m no one to give my take on it. In fact no one is. Our history is mysterious and I don’t plan to dissect it. I just carry the stories that have been left behind.
Q. Please tell us something about yourself and your journey of becoming the national bestseller. Kalki series has been extremely loved by the readers. Did you expected such a success?
A. I did, yes. But not to this extent. It’s still overwhelming when I get mails. My journey has been tough- to getting it self published, to getting an agent and finally getting a publisher who will take this series forward.
Q. Is it important to write an accessible book or to write keeping in mind the literary beauty of the story?
A. Accessible book for me.
Q. These days more and more authors are revisiting myths and history and reimagining and retelling them with different points to views. Do you think it is a good way to connect our history and mythology with millennial readers?
A. Sure. As long as they make it interesting.
Q. Lastly tell us about your literary influences?
A. Brandon Sanderson, Rick Riordan, Cassandra Clare are the few.