Saturday, 28 January 2012

Author Interview - Arshad Ahsanuddin

Arshad Ahsanuddin, author of the Pact Arcanum series, took time out of his incredibly busy schedule to answer a few questions for us.

You can find more information on Arshad and his books on Goodreads, and you can purchase his books from from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.

Arshad, thank you for taking time out for us today!  When and why did you begin writing? What inspired you to write?
October 2009. I always intended to write a novel, and I had it all planned out beforehand, but I decided I needed to write something simple first to get used to the idea. For practice, you understand. So I wrote down the vampire story that I had been playing with in the back of my mind for fun. Then things got out of control.

When did you first consider yourself an author?
When I called my editor for an update, and he didn’t recognize my name immediately. Then, it clicked and he said, “Oh, Arshad Ahsanuddin, the novelist?” That’s when it hit me.

How has your environment/upbringing colored your writing?
My parents were fairly liberal about religious and social issues, and let us make up our own minds about our beliefs. That allowed me the mental flexibility to posit shifts in society’s attitudes that might be acceptable in the future.

How do you come up with the titles for your books?
My books are about vampires and vampire slayers, so there is a tension between who rules the night and the daylight. Sunset and sunrise are moments of duality, caught between light and darkness, like many of my characters.

What tools do you feel are must-haves for writers?
A good ear for spoken language, a competent grasp of grammar, and at least some education in narrative structure.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Sunset has been through over one hundred minor drafts, comprising 5 major revisions. Even now, when I look at it, I kept seeing things I wanted to change, which was the reason I had it re-edited and released a second edition.

Which character did you have the most fun writing? Do you like one more than the others?
The character Lorcan was fun to write. He started out as an amalgam of four minor characters from the original draft, but then he seemed intriguing enough that I beefed up his role considerably into a major character.

Do you ever suffer from writer's block? If so, what do you do to get over it?
Writer’s block is an illusion, created by a lack of direction and planning. If you know the overall structure of your story, then you won’t find yourself floundering in the middle.

You have written multiple books. Do you have a favorite?
People tell me that Moonlight is some of my best work so far, but I don’t have a personal favorite.

What are you reading right now?
Reamde, by Neal Stephenson.

What were your feelings when you first saw the finished product of your first book?
I was tired, but elated. It was a long time coming, and a tremendous amount of work. The learning curve was VERY steep, and I'm still picking up new skills as I go.

Thank you Arshad! We wish you all the best of luck with your current and future novels.

To find out more about author Arshad Ahsanuddin, check out his author profile on Goodreads, visit his website, or follow him on Twitter.

Bloodlust, desire, supernatural gifts, and conflicting passions ignite on every page of Sunset, the groundbreaking vampire drama by Arshad Ahsanuddin. With millennia-old magic, emerging romance, and ever-shifting allegiances, this inventive new series unveils a scintillating, homoerotic world of Nightwalkers, Daywalkers, Sentinels, and Humans, who battle for world dominance in the not-too-distant future.

In Sunset, the first book in the Pact Arcanum series, the action starts in Los Angeles in the year 2040. The terrorist Medusa and her followers lay siege to a star-studded celebrity awards ceremony, complete with a nuclear bomb. One individual, the vampire Nicholas Jameson, must come forth in all his supernatural might to thwart the imminent mass destruction.

Nick, a Daywalker, serves in a supernatural society that exists in the shadows of human existence. When he takes on the terrorists, he exposes his powers and advanced technology that had been heretofore unknown to humanity. In the wake of the confrontation, the fragile peace between the races hangs perilously in the balance.

For tens of thousands of years, the vampires, called Nightwalkers, had been entrenched in a bitter feud with their enemies, the Sentinels, those born to destroy the Nightwalkers with magic and steel. The battle drew to a close once the Redeemer offered the two sides a new path, allowing the Nightwalkers to step back into the sunlight as Daywalkers, in return for giving up the sword.

It is incumbent on Nick to uphold the Armistice that exists among these tenuous factions. As conflict escalates for the imperiled Armistice, Nick must undertake whatever means necessary to secure peace for his family, friends, and the world as he knows it.

Can Nick overtake the dark forces and guide the humans and metahumans into coexistence? As clashes rage and desires smolder, Sunset offers a gripping tale of other-worldly intrigue certain to pique the passions of vampire fans and hot-blooded romance devotees alike.

Sunrise, the action-packed second book in the groundbreaking vampire saga by Arshad Ahsanuddin, once again amps up the bloodlust, desire, supernatural powers, and conflicting passions that converge—and violently clash—in this world torn asunder by warring factions.

The scintillating prequel to Sunset charts the rise of the Armistice. Takeshi, Rory, and Anaba assume their supernatural statures as the Winds of Earth, Air, and Fire, and fall prey to vampire predators.

San Francisco, 2015. The three musicians of the band Nightfall are out celebrating the long-awaited triumph of their debut album. Their destinies are forever changed when a sudden attack in a deserted alley propels them into a millennia-old battle that tries their allegiances and changes the very nature of their beings.

When their festivities are cut short by the approach of two strange young men, what begins as an ordinary mugging quickly spirals out of control as the frightened trio attempt to defend themselves against the assault and discover that their attackers are not human at all. Death looms for all three, until they are rescued by a man watching from the shadows, who leaves behind only a mysterious and prophetic message to guide them.
After the attack, the three are thrust unwillingly into a nightmarish society of vampires and vampire hunters, each chosen to play a pivotal role in this supernatural underworld. Takeshi is born to be the Wind of Earth, leader of the Sentinels, mystical soldiers in an endless war of extermination against the Nightwalkers who prey upon humanity. Anaba is transformed into the Wind of Fire, the strongest spellcaster of her generation. Rory becomes the Wind of Air, a psychic of unparalleled power, but is taken by their enemies and forged into a weapon to bring them down.

Can the three put aside their differences to defeat the bloodthirsty evil they face, or will their fledgling alliance be destroyed by the dark forces that have aligned against them? With bloodlust, passion, and fantastical intrigue, this gripping tale of vampire romance is certain to get your own blood pumping and heart racing.

"Magic requires sacrifice."

Alexandria, Egypt, 2008. The Sentinel assault on the vampire citadel was broken by a spell that consumed the caster and destroyed everything around him. Three of the four Sentinel leaders and all of their strongest allies perished in the conflagration. Only two of the vampire hunters walked away: Antonio Martinez, last of the Winds, and Edgar Jameson, his trusted lieutenant.

Afterward, the two parted company. Antonio set out to rebuild the Sentinel forces that had been decimated in the failed attack. Edgar renounced his Sentinel heritage and retired to raise his family. Circumstances drew them together again, eventually. Will the Sentinel curse bring them down just as it has all who came before them, or can the choices they make trump destiny?

The sequel to Sunset picks up the tale through the eyes of Tobias Jameson, who must match wits with both the enemy he knows, and a new menace arising from the virtual world.

Washington, DC, 2042. Nick discovers that Andrea Daniels, daughter of the President of the United States, has a dangerous supernatural destiny as a future leader of the Sentinel race. Forced into the unenviable position of restricting her freedom, her father accepts Nick’s brother Toby as her protector. Toby has other things on his mind than babysitting duty, but everything changes when the Court of Shadows learns of the latent Wind in his charge and moves to eliminate her.


 “Mortals die. It’s what they do.”

Rory understands. The death of his lover Takeshi is a devastating blow from which he can’t bear to recover. Lorcan takes it upon himself to coax his friend and ally back to life. Then an innocent gesture of affection places them both in the center of an explosive scandal, forcing them to make choices they might otherwise never have considered. Magic requires sacrifice. Will their friendship survive the pressure of Nightwalker politics, or will their relationship be just another casualty of war?

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