I was very excited when Poulomi Sanyal, author of Colour Me Confounded, agreed to let me interview her about her latest book, Thought Warriors, The Coming of Kalki, which has just been released. Poulomi and I share a few things in common – we both live in Canada after immigrating here, we have both written science fiction novels and we both love the game of cricket! I thought she was a great candidate for an interview and with her new book fresh on shelves this month, the timing couldn’t be better to find out more about this lovely author.
Q1: Tell us a bit about your book’s journey from concept to launch, and what readers can look forward to.
The idea for this book came to me almost fifteen years ago when I was finishing my Masters in Electrical Engineering with a specialization in optics and simultaneously searching for a suitable PhD program to continue my academic journey. I had an inclination towards the medical sciences and was particularly interested in understanding the functionalities of the human brain, especially from the point of view of its electrical properties. It was a very interesting time for me personally as well. I had had some bizarre day to day experiences that seemed telepathic in nature such as picking up premonitions from loved ones or turning on the car radio hoping to hear my favorite song, only to find it playing at that exact moment etc. These incidents triggered an urgency in me to pursue some research in this field. So, I started my search for a suitable program where I could conduct such research. That’s when I came across some scientists working on the electromagnetic theory of consciousness. I had an ‘aha’ moment, because that was exactly what I was looking to learn more about. Unfortunately, it wasn’t possible to actually work in that particular laboratory. However, I did start a PhD program in Biomedical Engineering at McGill University that was interdisciplinary with the Montreal Neurological Institute. This is where my interest in how the human brain interacts or might possibly interact with one another or other electromagnetic fields became further pronounced.
That is basically how it all started. Over the course of the book’s journey, I also became increasingly interested in ancient history. I was intrigued by the idea that unlike what we’ve been led to believe, there might be a possibility that ancient civilizations had access to advanced scientific concepts and theories and perhaps an elevated consciousness that we have yet to tap into. Some of these ideas seemed to have backing either in science or in mythology or both. Hence, I married all of these together to create a series where a mutant race tries to decipher some this coded ancient wisdom in order to herald a new age of wisdom and matriarchy.
Q2: What inspired you to write Thought Warriors, The Coming of Kalki?
I think I kind of covered some this already in the first question so I’m not going to bore the readers by repeating any of that.
However, I’d like to add that my biggest inspiration for this book was to create an experience that would make my readers believe that there is hope in this world and light at the end of the tunnel. Hopefully, it’d leave them with something to look forward to knowing that a brighter time for mankind might actually be in the horizon. If the world can come together in love and peace to make towards that goal then only good things lie ahead for humanity.
Q3: Tell us a bit about yourself: Have you always wanted to be a writer?
Yes, I have actually. I started writing poetry at a very tender age and also making up stories to regale my classmates in school. But I grew up in an Indian family where the idea of becoming a writer when you grew up was inconceivable. India is a highly populated country and the environment there is extremely competitive. So, if you have any aspirations of ever making a living with your education you better pursue a degree in a field that has guaranteed, paid jobs and even then, there are no real guarantees. Accordingly, I became an engineer. Nevertheless, I continued to write in my spare time as and when I could, without ever giving any serious thought to having my work published until about a couple of years ago.
Incidentally, when I was around twelve years old, I published my very own children’s magazine called, “Hello Kids”, featuring essays, poetry, puzzles, etc. from my fellow classmates and seniors. I like to talk about this often because the effort had a lot of sentimental value for me and I still have my personal copy of the first and last edition of this “periodical”.
Q4: This is book one. How many books will be in the series and when can readers expect to see the follow up?
To be honest, as of yet, I am not sure how many books there will be. It will have to depend on the popularity (or lack thereof) of the first book and also where the story takes me. I’m thinking at least three, though. I plan on releasing book 2 by the end of this year but I know that this would be a stretch goal. Let’s see how it plays out. But if all goes well, we’ll have book 2 by early next year, at the latest.
You can follow Poulomi on Twitter at: @sanyal_poulomi.
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Find Thought Warriors, The Coming of Kalki on Amazon
Also by Poulomi Sanyal: Colour Me Confounded, A Tale of Two Tales.