Thursday, July 23, 2015

Interview with novelist Dhesan Neil Pillay

Today’s special guest is novelist Dhesan Neil Pillay to chat with us about his debut fantasy novel The Anmorian Legends: Wrath of the Exiled
Welcome Dhesan. Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Dhesan Neil Pillay and I was born 3rd September 1989 in Durban, South Africa. The son of two teachers, I was introduced to the magic of words and stories at a young age. Initially my writing found its way onto walls around the house. To curb the defacement of our home, my parents (who had started a small printing company at the time) began giving me small booklets made from offcut paper. These books became my personal treasures and would contain lengthy stories accompanied by sketches of adventures of insects in the garden, the shenanigans of favorite action figurines and sometimes my own takes on favorite movies.

However, my real interest in writing whispered to life in grade 7 when we were offered the opportunity to enter a writing competition by my teacher at the time. I reveled in being able to create an entire world to populate with crazy aliens and bizarre happenings. The bug had found me. Over the next few years I began to toy with different ways to introduce magical beings into the world I had created, and in Grade 10 I conceptualized the story that would become The Anmorian Legends: Wrath of the Exiled.

Over the next few years I continued to grow my world and the characters, slotting writing between homework, exams and sporting activities.

In 2008, I left home to study medicine at the University of Cape Town. Here I continued to develop on the adventures of Rezaaran Valhara as he traversed the realms of Anmor in his quest. During the journey of studying medicine, there were several life experiences that shaped thoughts and characters throughout the story.

My passion lies predominantly in medicine, and I have viewed my writing as a creative outlet to help keep me balanced as I journey through this richly rewarding but oft demanding path. Over the years I have enjoyed the fantastic escapes offered by the likes of J. K. Rowling, Douglas Adams, J. R. R. Tolkien and Terry Goodkind, cringed at the suspense of Stephen King and enjoyed the rich story telling of the intriguing Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle. I wrote the Anmorian Legends initially as a means to create a fantasy world of my own to explore and serve as a personal holiday destination from the reality in the wards and hope that it offers my readers the same mystic intrigue.

Please tell us about your current release.
The Anmorian Legends: Wrath of the Exiled, is the debut in a planned series. It follows the adventures of a young Zenorian boy who’s spurned by fate to the manacles of despair in an ongoing civil war. However, he soon learns that his destiny lies beyond slavery, for he is the last great War Mage of the Vokarii Order. His journey is one of a boy trying to find his role in the scheme of greater events unfolding around him, learning to shoulder the burden of great power and the attached responsibility, to let go of the past and embrace love in the present. With his command over the mystical power of the Vaux he is the only being able to contest the might of the Archlords, magical creatures who serve as war machines for the Obsidian Dominion, and ultimately the leader of the Dominion, Lord Silvermire. The trials he faces ultimately takes a toll on him that he could not prepare for and his greatest battle will lie within.  

What inspired you to write this book?
I think part of this lay in my fascination with the elemental pantheon of Greek and Roman gods during my high school years. In time experiences with different patients and moments at work inspired some events in the story and shaping of the characters.

Excerpt from The Anmorian Legends: Wrath of the Exiled:
The shuttle landed within the palace grounds, settling near the dried out basin of a great lake. Once it had brimmed with sparkling waters. Now it was desolate, like the fallen great kingdoms of Zenor. Torn banners and skewered skeletons lined the floor of this dusty chasm, a reminder of the war that was lost here a century ago. Yet one Zenorian had returned with the hopes to reclaim his home.
Rezaaran looked into the horizon, surveying the distant landscape he had left almost a century ago. An angry sun glowered upon the land, serving Zenor with a wave of heat from its throne in the bloodstained sky. Smoke and ash billowed from the crest of the distant mountains, choking the once pure air.
The mage stilled his mind, hoping to feel the echoes of any who still inhabited this scorched world. He had expected only the large beacon of the Archlord’s presence, which lay deep within the planet’s heart. Yet, to his surprise, there were numerous smaller echoes resounding from within the palace. All he had for company was Harkenathor with Kashari’s spirit and the hordes of enemies between him and the Archlord. Folklore spoke of a day when Zenor would awaken to bloodshed so great that it would wash the skies and force the planet to mourn the loss of her children. It was a day that had lasted a century too long.

What exciting story are you working on next?
The Anmorian Legends: Legacy of the Sentinels, a sequel to Wrath of the Exiled. Rezaaran will return to battle the Exiled and protect Anmor from the encroaching shadow of the Obsidious. But this time he will be fighting alongside Lord Salvidawn’s secret and most powerful band of champions.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I considered myself a writer after I sold the first copy of Wrath of the Exiled.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I work full time as a medical doctor, currently serving my internship time. I either write in the early hours of the morning before work or a few hours in the evening when I’m free and not recovering from a night on call.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I like listening to instrumental music while gazing at the lava lamp my girlfriend Melisha gave me as a gift. I usually visualize a scene in these moments and mull over the details while drinking coffee or snacking on chocolate. I have also recently developed a liking for Oolong tea during these brainstorming sessions.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I always wanted to be involved in a science discipline. I sometimes considered being an astronaut (but which kid doesn’t?) but marine biology was a strong favorite for a long time.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Thanks for taking the time to read my interview with Lisa. Feel free to check out the social media sites and I hope we get to stay in touch friends.


Thank you, Dhesan!

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