Saturday, August 20, 2011

IWU! Blog Tour welcomes Arshad Ahsanuddin!

 This week, it is my pleasure to welcome Arshad Ahsanuddin, the talented indie author of the epic fantasy/paranormal romance novel, Sunset (Pact Arcanum). Arshad is here to tell us about himself, his novel, and his other projects. So let's say hi to Arshad. Welcome!


1 Tell us about your book. Beautiful cover, by the way.

Sunset is a paranormal romance/urban fantasy set in the near future, based on a simple premise:  Suppose vampires and vampire slayers had been killing each other in the shadows of the world for millennia, without anyone being the wiser.  What would happen if they were suddenly exposed on national television?  How would the world change, especially if they were operating from a position of strength?  Would we be able to coexist with them, or would war become inevitable?

2 How did you come up with the title of your book?

Sunset is a moment of duality, when the vampires are strongest as they become free to hunt, but the vampire slayers are at their highest danger, when they are at a disadvantage.

3 What is Sunset about?

Sunset begins with the exposure of the supernatural peoples before the world, and takes off from there.  As a subplot, it explores the main character’s complicated love life.

4 Did anything special inspire you to write this particular  story? Why?

I originally came up with the story about ten years ago, back in the Buffy/Angel heyday.  Then the pendulum swung back and vampires became popular again, and it made me think of the story.  I had always planned to write a novel, so I thought writing out my hobby story might be good practice.  Since then, it took on a life of its own.

5 Tell us a little about any current works in progress.

Currently, I am working on Starlight, the fourth and final book in the series.  I haven’t decided yet on whether I will write any more in this universe once Starlight is complete.

6 What do you as an author find as the most challenging aspect of writing? How do you deal with this?

I basically started from scratch on October 2009, so my writing skills are continuously evolving.  When I finished the story, I thought I was done, but then I discovered the extensive editing process that is required for a manuscript to be publishable in any form.  So I started to look around to find editors who could help me whip my manuscript into shape.  Some were helpful but slow.  Some were fast but unhelpful.  Some were enthusiastic but sloppy.  It was just a question of finding the right balance to do the best work for my particular story.  I’m still working on it.

7 What are you currently reading?

Currently, I’m reading Ghost Story by Jim Butcher, and Story: Style, Structure, Substance, and the Principles of Screenwriting by Robert McKee.

8 If you could coauthor a story with any writer out there—deceased or alive—who would it be? Or would you even consider collaboration?

My idols are Neil Gaiman and Guy Gavriel Kay, but I think I’d totally be a millstone around their necks in any collaboration, given their awesomeness.

9 Writing can be very challenging—what do you do to just “get away” for a break every so often?

I read gay romance novels.  They’re often steamy and relaxingly uncomplicated: everything my own writing isn’t.

10 What do you like LEAST about writing?

Editing out the bits that need to go for the story to fly.  It’s a necessary but painful process.

11 Any advice for beginning authors?

You never know if you’re any good until you try and put yourself out there.  Still, it’s better to educate yourself about writing before you start, so that you have some knowledge and structure to work with to tell a good story.  I recommend Writing Fiction for Dummies by Ingermanson and Economy, as well as Story Engineering by Larry Brooks.  Once your manuscript is complete, go in search of a substantive/developmental editor to help you define the fundamental strengths and weaknesses of your story, so you can approach the second draft with confidence and direction.

12 Tell us about your other published works.

Sunrise, the second book, is a prequel to Sunset, and tells the story of how the major characters got to the point where Sunset begins.  The third book, Moonlight, is the sequel to Sunset, and continues the story through the eyes of another character.

13 How can readers contact you?

I can be reached directly at pact.arcanum@gmail.com, or through the contact page at my website http://pactarcanum.com.


Author Bio:
Arshad Ahsanuddin is Canadian-born, but lived in the United States for most of his life. He is currently a practicing hematopathologist, a physician who specializes in using biopsies and laboratory data to diagnose diseases of blood, bone marrow, and lymph nodes, such as leukemia and lymphoma. Yeah, a blood doctor writing about vampires. The irony is not lost on him.  It certainly amuses his colleagues.

Social Media:

Book links:    
Smashwords edition (multiple formats):  http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/61128
Video Trailer:  http://youtu.be/zdvchNFqSu4

Thank you Arshad for stopping in and we all wish you much luck and many sales!

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