Website → http://iguanabooks.ca/
Thanks for letting us interrogate you! Can you give us a go-for-the-gut answer as to why you wanted to be an author?
I don’t know if I wanted to be an author, really. I just think by disposition I have a lot of things to say, and I use writing as the medium to which I do it. I suppose all of us as artists want to take a medium and use it to make someone who isn’t us fully understand us, to the pulse of our muscles to the cracks of our ribs. I just chose writing because that’s the one I am best at, I suppose.
Tell us (we won’t tell promise!) is it all it’s cracked up to be? I mean what are the perks and what are the demands?
Honestly, it’s hard for me to assess that now. I like being a public speaker, and going on tour, and having people show a genuine interest in my book. At the same time, my life hasn’t changed so much yet. The only thing is that I’m just much busier, and that is not something I like, at all.
Which route did you take – traditional or self-published – and can you give us the nitty gritty low down on what’s that like?
A mix! Yes, a mix. I am hybrid published, in that I paid for my publishing, but was vetted by an editor. It was the best option for me at the moment, so I don’t think I have much to say for it. I hope that I keep doing better and building my portfolio out.
What’s the snarkiest thing you can say about the publishing industry?
It’s extremely close-minded for an industry purporting to want to discover newcomers. People who innovate or have things to say don’t have much space to be published anymore, and so much of that which gets published is too clinical and banal.
Tell us for real what your family feels about you spending so much time getting your book written, polished, edited, formatted, published, what have you?
It was very difficult for my parents. They are very traditional minded, and really wished that I took the traditional path, too. At the same time, now that more people are learning about my writing, and I am doing so many events, they are proud of me. I only hope I keep proving myself write.
What was the craziest or insane thing that happened to you in the book publishing process?
Nothing crazy has happened yet; will let you know later if anything does.
How about the social networks? Which ones do you believe help and which ones do you wish you could avoid?
I really like facebook, but that is because I’m a traveler, and I use it to keep in touch with all the people I know. I really like the idea of twitter on paper, but I find it hard to use. I suppose it is because the communicative capabilities of it are endless, and when I see so many tweets not getting a like from anyone else, I feel like I’m cutting my skin into peels and throwing it into the garbage dump
What is one thing you’d like to jump on the rooftop and scream about?
The fires in Australia, the upcoming war with Iran, the CAB amendment in India... God, just too much!
Okay, too much sugar for you today! Here’s a nice cup of Chamomile tea and come on over and sit under the cabana and watch the waves roll in. Now…can you tell us what you love about being a published author and how all those things above doesn’t matter because it’s all part of the whole scheme of things and you wouldn’t have it any other way?
I guess I just love believing that I am finally getting a book out, and hoping that people will equally be ready to hear what I have to say!
About the Book
In, we of the forsaken world, Bhat follows the fortunes of 16 people who live in four distinct places on the planet. The gripping stories include those of a man’s journey to the birthplace of his mother, a tourist town destroyed by an industrial spill; a chief’s second son born in a nameless remote tribe, creating a scramble for succession as their jungles are destroyed by loggers; a homeless, one-armed woman living in a sprawling metropolis who sets out to take revenge on the men who trafficked her; and a milkmaid in a small village of shanty shacks connected only by a mud and concrete road who watches the girls she calls friends destroy her reputation.
Like modern communication networks, the stories in , we of the forsaken world connect along subtle lines, dispersing at the moments where another story is about to take place. Each story is a parable unto itself, but the tales also expand to engulf the lives of everyone who lives on planet Earth, at every second, everywhere.
As Bhat notes, his characters “largely live their own lives, deal with their own problems, and exist independently of the fact that they inhabit the same space. This becomes a parable of globalization, but in a literary text.”
Bhat continues: “I wanted to imagine a globalism, but one that was bottom-to-top, and using globalism to imagine new terrains, for the sake of fiction, for the sake of humanity’s intellectual growth.”
“These are stories that could be directly ripped from our headlines. I think each of these stories is very much its own vignette, and each of these vignettes gives a lot of insight into human nature, as a whole.”
we of the forsaken world takes pride of place next to such notable literary works as David Mitchell’s CLOUD ATLAS, a finalist for the prestigious Man Booker Prize for 2004, and Mohsin Hamid’s EXIT WEST, which was listed by the New York Times as one of its Best Books of 2017.
Bhat’s epic also stands comfortably with the works of contemporary visionaries such as Umberto Eco, Haruki Murakami, and Philip K. Dick.