‘Won’t sell my books for controversy’s sake:’ Indian author sheds light on his works

Amish Tripathi speaks to Manju Latha Kalanidhi about War of Lanka, what it takes to be a bestselling author, and how he caters to his young readers.

Published: 11th December 2022 05:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th December 2022 02:25 PM   |  A+A-

author Amish Tripathi (Photo | Martin Louis, EPS)

Author Amish Tripathi with a copy of 'War of Lanka' (File photo | Martin Louis, EPS)

Express News Service

You cracked the code to becoming a bestselling writer with your first book The Immortals of Meluha (2010) and have managed to hold on to the title since. How?
Unlike movies, blockbuster books sell over many years consistently to garner those kinds of numbers. Fast and steady is how it should sell to reach out to the masses. That is the style I adopt to make sure my books stay on top of the bestselling lists.  

Good books should translate to good business. What is the one thing you will never resort to, to sell your books? 
Books sell well on controversies. It’s cost-effective too, but I would never sell my books riding on the wave of a controversy. I also want to impact how people feel and think through my creative works and that gets defeated when we create a controversy. 

How does War of Lanka take the Ram Chandra series forward?
The book contains answers to clues and secrets that were part of the first three books. War of Lanka is about greed, rage, grief, and love for dharma, the greatest goddess of all. While the first three books in the Ram Chandra series explored the individual journeys of Ram, Sita, and Raavan, in this book, the narratives clash and explode into a war.

What kind of research went into the War of Lanka?
Today’s youth demands a scientific rationale in everything they watch or read. I cater to these demands. Authenticity with the right dose of creativity is the key to any book’s success. War of Lanka is a result of several hundreds of hours of backbreaking research. It has its roots in multiple interpretations of the Ramayana such as Valmiki Ramayana, Ramcharitmanas, Manohara Anand Ramayana, Kamba Ramayana, Adbhuth Ramayan, and more.

I travelled a lot to garner local versions of mythology and folklore. The groundwork for my show, Legends of the Ramayana with Amish also helped me deconstruct the war and write the book. I traversed 5,000 km across India and abroad to get my facts right for the two-
hour show. I engaged with scientists, geologists, and archaeologists to gain unseen footage of Ram Setu, the legendary mythological bridge between Rameshwaram and Sri Lanka built by the vanaras, among other things.  

We hear that your books are being adapted for OTT. Tell us more. 
Suhel Dev is in the final stages of scripting for an OTT network. I am also in the process of finalizing the Ram Chandra series for an OTT series next year.

What can your readers expect from you in 2023? 
Non-fiction story ideas exploring various aspects of dharma, including the beauty of idol worship, and more fiction books on Rajendra Chola, although not all in 2023.

India Matters


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