Taksh Gupta and Akhil Ahuja have a new novel out, and we're pleased to have Taksh with us at the BookPound today. Find their new book, Hiraeth: First Love First Contact, at Amazon (you'll find a blurb at the end of his interview. Many thanks to Taksh for joining us at the BookPound.

What do you like about writing science fiction?
Hiraeth: First Love First Contact is actually my first science fiction. My previous novel, Love @ 365 Kmph was a romantic comedy. While writing Hiraeth, I loved the fact that even I was in suspense for most part of the 3 years that it took me to write the novel. With romantic comedy, it is basically always the same story told in a different way but with science fiction, you have the responsibility of creating a whole new world. This challenge is what made me fall in love with writing science fiction.

Who are some of your favorite science fiction books and authors?
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
I have a soft corner for Dan Brown and his work like Angels and Demons.

What is the most difficult part of writing and publishing for you? How do you overcome that challenge?
I have a co-author, with whom I have written this book. The most difficult part for us would have been coordinating with each other as both of us had extremely busy schedules. We somehow made it work through voice messages. He would send me one as soon as he got an idea and I would respond as I soon as I got time and vice-versa. As for publishing, finding a suitable publisher is always the biggest challenge. I don't think anybody can overcome that challenge. In the end it is a game of hope and patience.

What do you like most about being an author?
I adore the fact that my words bring happiness to people. Sometime back, I met a young girl on a train. She was barely 13. She came up to me and said, 'I know you. You are the author of Love @ 365 Kmph.' She told me that she always laughed uncontrollably whenever she read the book and that she always kept a copy with herself. It cheered her up. She proceeded to open her bag to take out the novel and asked me for my autograph. I still remember her smiling face and the feeling of content in my heart that I was the reason for that smile.

What projects do you have coming up in the future?
I have a third book in mind which would be a story of redemption, maybe revolving around the life of a criminal but nothing is concrete at this stage. The only next project I am sure that I am writing is the love letter my young cousin has asked me to write to cajole his love interest. Hahaha
Is there anything else you'd like to tell BookPound readers?

Yes, always venture to something new. Much like many of you, I too am an avid reader and am aware that all of us readers develop a taste of certain genre over time. Don't only stick to your taste. Remember, reading novels is like exploring worlds. You would be surprised to know that your to-be favorite novel could be of a genre you would have never even dreamed of reading.

Hope you enjoy reading Hiraeth: First Love First Contact. Keep reading BookPound!

Taksh Gupta & Akhil Ahuja

What supposedly troubles man the most is the fear of the unknown. However, what transcends that is a nightmare, where things are so incredibly frightening that you hope that it was just that – a nightmare – but there’s a part of you which knows that it is a part of your existence. Nikhil, a young guy loaded with responsibilities, and his girlfriend, Saesha, are trapped in this unenviable situation. Eerily, their worst nightmare is essentially the same: A cold-blooded, red-eyed freak chasing them, with a resolute obsession to slay their souls. The two try to pass this as coincidence, until the day things start falling apart. In a bizzare turn of events, Saesha gets abducted and returns with no memory of Nikhil.

Weighing the odds of Saesha teaming up with the aliens, Nikhil has to make a choice between his beliefs and the world’s, which is under siege. Biological weapons are unleashed, as a 623-year-old intergalactic rivalry is revived. Governments brainstorm together, there are UN meets and nuclear weapons are agregated. Eventually, war breaks.

The novel depicts Nikhil’s journey as he sets out to save his love, which may also be the key to saving the world.


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