A couple of weeks ago one of the editors from New Asian Writing, an online Asian Literary Community blog, contacted me about my books and possibly doing an interview with them. After I got over my initial shock of being approached by a stranger to do an interview – every interview I’ve done up until this point was somehow initiated by me – just another one of the joys of being an Independently Published author – I said hell yeah.
It’s been a second since I’ve chatted about The Sanctum trilogy and Dev, so that was nice, but I also got to wax poetic about my writer loves, badass girls, the Indie Author life, and the never-ending need for more diversity in the industry.
Oh! And apparently I’ve convinced some folks that I’m quite the Hindu mythology scholar…snort. I rather love that comment from NAW.
Anyway, here’s a snippet:
NAW Interview with Madhuri Blaylock
NAW- Tell us about yourself and your writings?
I wrote and published my first book, Crossing Paths, way way back in 2000. It’s a middle reader series I developed called The Coco Butta Kids for children of color because there was such a dearth of books out there for them, depicting them as the main characters and not relegated to stereotyped sidekicks. I published two books in the series and then started working on my paranormal trilogy, The Sanctum.
I published the first book in the trilogy, The Girl, in 2013, the second book in 2014 and the finale was just published this past February.
I’m currently working on two projects, one that works off The Sanctum Trilogy called The Warriors, and another totally different project, but in the similar urban fantasy genre.
NAW- Tell us about the sanctum trilogy series. How did you get the idea for it?
I was reading a lot of fantasy and paranormal fiction full of these total badass girls, but quite often they knew nothing of their powers until a boy clued them into how amazing they are – it was driving me nuts. I was also quite dismayed by the lack of diverse characters in what I was reading – the industry is just so far behind reality when it comes to representing diversity.
Anyway, so I set about to create a kickass, badass, smart, uber-powerful woman that knew she was all those things and didn’t need a boy to tell her about herself and from that grew my main character, Dev. I’m a very character-oriented writer, so once I had Dev and her back story, I then created Wyatt, her counterpart, and Ryker, his best friend, and from there the story came together. But the initial idea, the seed that planted and took root was all about the girl – I created the girl I wanted to read. And she is the business.
NAW-The Sanctum in particular can also be perceived as a political organisation with all the corruption. Were you inspired by any country in particular when you formulated the idea or did it just develop as you wrote the book?
That’s true and I think it plays into my belief that with great power always comes the capacity for also great misuse and abuse. I wasn’t thinking of any particular country, but I do think it’s human nature and there need to be checks and balances on power and yet, even when those exist, there is still room for evil, as evidence in the power plays and lines drawn within The Sanctum itself.Also, corruption within any powerful organization always makes for a good plot point.
NAW- Tell us about the research you did for the book. It comes across that you also seem to be heavily inspired by Hindu mythology. Correct?
Yea! My parents will be so proud to hear that – evidently I listened to some of the stories they told me over the years. I researched places – in tremendous detail. I have pages of handwritten notes on the backwaters of Kerala or the streets of London and of course, NYC which is just so deep in my blood. But the rest is all in my head. I’m telling you, I have some crazy stuff bouncing around between my ears. My husband is currently finishing reading the trilogy and sometimes he’ll look up at me from his tablet and I know he’s saying to himself “I am married to a crazy person”
The battle sites from book III are also heavily researched, but yeah, the rest is all my imagination. Maybe I shouldn’t have admitted that…
Thanks NAW for showing me some Indie Author love – I totally appreciate it and had fun chatting with y’all.
You can read the entire interview by clicking –> HERE