1. What is the genesis of your novel American Maharajah?
I've been to India 3 times and about to start my forth trip there. The story is a culmination of these trips. But specifically in 2011 when I was in India to promote my first book, 'Overland', I visited and was guest speaker at a small university in Ranchi, India in the south. My host, a professor took me on a taxi ride to a nearby village and along the way he pointed out to me an old dilapidated Maharajah palace and said it is sad because the Maharajah was quite old and had no heirs to pass the palace and title on to. I thought, 'aha, that's a story'. I kept this idea in my head for five years until I had the proper story line to go with it.
2. Did you do any research on American Maharajah? If so, how long did you spend researching before starting the novel?
I did spend time on line and libraries researching all about Maharajahs but the bulk of the idea was answer in question one and an imagination that went viral in my head.
3. What is your purpose in writing American Maharajah?
As this was an idea (question 1) my purpose was to get this story out of my head and on to paper. It was a joy to write and to share this magical story with the world.
4. What type of stories influenced you as a writer?
I always liked "Lord of the Flies' or any story that was in the adventure genre.
5. If you could have been the author of any book ever written, which book would you choose?
A novel titled "A Razor's Edge"by M.Sommerset Maugham. In that book, he wrote the greatest line I have ever read: "The line between sanity and madness is as thin as a razor's edge...powerful line!
6. What is your advice to indie authors? On writing? Marketing?
Write your heart out, keep what you like, delete what you don't and keep the story moving forward. I deleted about 50 pages of American Maharajah that prevented the story from moving forward.
7. What was the most surprising thing about writing American Maharajah?
How the story turned out. They say write the books you would like to read. I hardly ever read books, surprisingly, and this one I would read.
8. Which author/s inspired you to be a writer yourself?
I liked JRR Tolkien, Robert Heinland and George Orwell
9. Which one is more challenging for you: writing the American Maharajah novel or writing the screenplay to American Maharajah?
Creating the ARC of the book, with a beginning, middle and end, which is crucial to any novel. There is a lot of dialog in the book, and trade secret, there was a lot of copy and pasting for the screenplay.
10. If (or when) American Maharajah does become a movie, would you like to make a cameo?
Not really- the beauty of a writer is that your are mostly anonymous, except for say, JK Rowling, and I like that no matter how popular and viral the book goes.
11. What is your writing habit? Do you write in the daytime or night?
Early in the morning when my mind is fresh, like 4 or 5 am for a few hours, then my mind goes numb
12. Beside your characters (and if this was possible), which fictional character would you like to sit down and chat with?
Bilbo Baggins from 'The Hobbit'. He seemed like an adventurous and amiable fellow.
13. Have you ever had a dream that influenced your writing?
Yes, my first book Overland. It started with The Magic Bus (not The Who song), but it was a real bus that took you from Europe to Asia, overland, before the Iran revolution and Afghanistan Soviet invasion, hence the story behind Overland. Back in the 60's and 70's, the hippie trail was this and multitudes of people would cross into Afghanistan and Nepal, their end of the rainbow!
14. What do you like to read in your free time?
Heh, the newspaper and Time magazine and news and baseball on line.
15. Last question, if you could be a “fly on the wall” anywhere at any time, where would you like to be?
When the Beatles recorded 'Sgt.Peppers' in Abbey Road studios and Pink Floyd recording "Meddle", also at Abbey Road, at the same. The Beatles said these guys are going to be big. They were right!
As you can tell by this interview, this book is not to be missed. I really hope it does become a film some day. I bet it would be as successful as The Martian, if not more successful. I would like to thank Mr. Levy for taking the time to answer those questions and I really hope you all would check American Maharajah when you can.All the best to him on his international book tour as well.
To know more about the author and his work go to his website: www.americanmaharajah.com/index.html .Take care and thanks again for stopping by my blog. Ciao:)