Archana Sarat has been an Author and Poet for the last ten years. She shuttles between Chennai and Mumbai and loves both cities passionately.
Birds of Prey, her debut novel, a psychological crime thriller, has been gathering acclaim for being a pacy and gripping read. Her works are published in various popular newspapers, magazines and anthologies like The Times of India, The Economic Times, the Free Press Journal, The SEBI and Corporate Laws Journal, The CA Newsletter, Me Magazine, the Science Reporter, the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, the WRIMO India Anthology and many Literary Journals. She is popular in the online world for her flash fiction that appears every Saturday, called Saturday Shots. Though she is a Chartered Accountant by qualification, she took up her childhood love for writing as her vocation. She has a Diploma in Creative Writing from The Writers Bureau, UK.
Tell us about yourself, your background and what you do currently
My father is a Chartered Accountant and we have a CA firm in Chennai. So, even before I could pronounce the word ‘Chartered Accountant’, I told everybody I was going to be one. However, after completing the course and clearing all the exams at 22 years of age, I realised that working as a CA was not my cup of tea. It is then that I took up writing as my vocation.
Tell us about any current projects or initiatives you wish to promote.
In my opinion, the cruelest bane in society is child abuse. A child can neither understand what is happening to him/her nor fight against it with maturity or confidence. I am passionate about this cause and my debut novel is focused on highlighting this issue and creating awareness in society about child abuse.
What has been your biggest challenge in achieving your success?
Initially, my biggest challenge was trying to mask the message in the book in the form of an entertaining crime thriller. After the book has been published, the challenge now is to encourage people to read the book. Most people do not want to accept that child abuse exists in society. They are happy living in ignorance.
What has been your greatest achievement personally?
As a voracious reader, I like my books to keep moving constantly. Readers should be glued to the page. When I wrote my debut novel, I worked hard on making my book fast-paced. I cut out around sixty percent of what I had written initially. I rewrote the book many times to make it pacy and gripping. Now, there are nearly fifty reviews on Amazon. All of them state that they couldn’t put the book down. Most of them have read the book in a single sitting. Many claim that they didn’t sleep till they completed it. This is my biggest achievement.
If you weren’t doing what you do now, what would you be doing?
I would be a teacher. Till last year, I was teaching part-time.
Who has been your biggest inspiration?
Among leaders, Gandhiji is my biggest inspiration. Just recalling his messages fills me with confidence and simplicity.
Among authors, I admire Enid Blyton, Stephen King and Isaac Asimov for the devotion and discipline with which they approached writing.
Among the people I know personally, my parents are my biggest inspiration. My father taught me the important of patience and perseverance. My mother taught me that literature can, and does, move mountains.
What does the future hold for you?
Writing, writing and more writing! (hopefully!)
You wake up from deep slumber, parched and famished, and find yourself in a bottomless pit—dark and dingy with the foul smell of excreta and rotting scars and no seeming way to escape—what do you do?
This is the predicament that ex-ACP Anton Pinto faces when he reluctantly joins the investigation of mysterious disappearances of men from affluent family from the suburbs of Mumbai. There is an inexplicable pattern behind the abductions and all suspicions point towards an old, physically-challenged, mysterious lady. Soon, Anton discovers that the seemingly unrelated men have one common link—the most popular and expensive international school in Mumbai and an undisclosed crime.
Following clues that span from schools and old-age homes to illegal dingy hospitals, Anton is led through a labyrinth of incest, abuse, torture and suffering, spanning decades.
What secret does the school hide behind its gates? What was the undisclosed crime that is thirsty for justice? Will Anton be able to save the men? Will justice be served?