22 October, 2019

#SpecialFeature :: #Interview with Jatin Kuberkar, #Author of The Treasure Syndicate

*** Special Feature - October 2019 ***

About the Book:
It happened at the dawn of Kaliyug when demon Kali resolved to enter Aryavarta and encountered the last Pandav king. A curse, followed by a blissful enlightenment gave the world its first ‘Nidhi-Palak’ or The Guardian of Treasure Troves in the form of Lord Kuber’s mortal son, Suta. In time, the Guardian blood line is scattered all over the world.
The Treasure Syndicate is always a team of five;
Acharya Neelkanth Agnihotri is a committed Guardian. In the garb of an astrologer, he searches for hidden treasures. Dr. Mahesh secretly finances missions for Acharya, Kumar is favored by unfathomable luck, Jabbar is a legendary digger, and Srikanth is just a common man.
Bound by the elaborate framework of coincidence, destiny and fate, the Mission of the Syndicate is not a cake walk. The dangers are real, and the conditions are never favorable.
A haunting past awaits, as the mission turns upside down, mysteriously.

Get the book from Amazon!

An Interview with the Author

When did you first realize that you wanted to be a writer/ a storyteller?
It was at a family party. It happened when I was entrusted the duty of looking after some pesky kids while their mothers were busy in arrangements. To engage them, I tried cooking up a story about a ‘magical pot’ which, to my surprise, became a hit with the lot. In fact, I was surprised with my own ability of cooking up a story so fast. After that, I started to write short stories for kids. I really don’t remember when it transformed into a passion and here I am…

What was one of the most surprising things you learned while creating your books?
Oh! I realized that I am not the person I see in the mirror. With each book I have written so far, I’ve realized, or rather discovered that there is still so much to explore about myself. Writing has been a reason of self-discovery to me.

How has your experience been different this time around from Cabbing All the Way?
The Treasure Syndicate is completely a different genre. It is a tale that offers a very curious mix of mythology, history, reality and fiction.
Cabbing all the way was easy to write because of its lightweight content and casual tone narration. But, Treasure Syndicate is a well thought, meticulously planned, and carefully executed work of reality-fiction. From the first draft until the book got published, it has undergone about 8 rewrites. It took me 4 long years to complete it.
Well, to be honest, ‘The Treasure Syndicate’ also is a gift from the Cab because, it was conceptualized over a 20-minute conversation with the cab driver.

Please share three interesting facts about the characters in your book.
The first draft of The Treasure Syndicate was 20 pages long, and believe me when I say it, 15 pages of it was just the character outline.

Acharya is like the central character in the book. This was a character I didn’t have any reference to. Moreover, I did not want to depict a stereotype astrologer…while I was waiting for an inspiration, a scene from one of the Amitabh bacchan’s movie rolled on the TV. That is when I got a reference for describing the character of Acharya Neelkanth Agnihotri!

Kumar is an adaption of the Cab driver who narrated me the story. The only thing that changes there is, the original guy cursed his ‘luck’ for being trapped in this treasure tale, whereas, the one in the book is actually an angel of Luck, without whom the Syndicate is not complete.

What kind of research goes into your book?
As I stated already, the story has its roots in a conversation with a cab driver. During our talk, he went through a lot of keywords that needed research.
Some of the keywords he had for me were, ‘Snakes’ and their connection to treasures, particularly the Red Sand Boa!
‘Unyielding treasures’ – he spoke about them and said that a cursed treasure could spell doom. When I research about this topic, I found many stories that connect treasures and curses.
‘Black magic and Vashikaran’ was another topic that I didn’t know about. One can always disregard them as blind faith but is that the final answer we’ve got? Well, that is where I see an intriguing tangle!

Treasure hunting in itself is a vast topic, but I am proud to say that it has not been explored or experienced with the perspective that I have presented/projected in my book.

Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?
Yes! there are secrets and there are undercurrents. The beauty of open-ended story telling is it is open for and (un)limited to readers imagination. It gives room for the reader to create a side story, or assume a background about some place or somebody, or the best one, keeps him wondering till the end!
In fact, I am going to announce a contest with regards to this. I want the readers to find 3 hidden secrets… the lucky one will get an Amazon Gift card worth 500! 😊

What did you do with your first check from your books?
I clicked a photo and posted it on social media! - This is not a joke…I did it. That is when many of my friends/relatives/coworkers and even some of my family members took me as a serious writer! And on that note – I am so here to stay…

Have you ever been on a literary pilgrimage? Do you plan to?
No. But one day I want to. I want to spend a month in Auroville (Pondicherry) writing a novella about self-discovery. I want to write a non-fiction on this topic and I don’t see any other place more inviting than Auroville…

If you were to turn into a literary character for 1 day, who would it be and why?
HARRY POTTER…I get to do whatever I want with the Wand and I can go where ever I want on the Broom!

What is the best piece of advice you would give to someone that wants to get into writing?
Trust yourself… don’t be in a hurry to get published.
Creative stuff needs time! Give your inspiration a good amount of time to mature and keep working on it until your inner god tell you that you are done!

What are you currently working on?
I am working on a collection of short stories and a non-fiction. Both of these are still in very early stages.
Apart from this, I am also working on a story that seems to be a potential candidate for the next Treasure Syndicate’s mission!

About the Author:

Jatin Kuberkar is a software Architect and a hard-core Hyderabadi. When not tangled in software codes, Jatin lives his dream as an author, a musician, a toy maker, a philosopher and the list goes on. “The Treasure Syndicate” is Jatin’s latest book. It is an intriguing tale of a real-time treasure hunt.
He has authored two other books. “While I Was Waiting”, a collection of short stories, and “Cabbing all the Way”, a novel based on his real-life experience of travelling to work in a shared cab.
Jatin lives in Hyderabad with his mother, wife and son.

Social Links:
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3 paperback copies of ‘The Treasure Syndicate’ for Indian residents

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