The hardest part is finding the motivation to write. I could be writing right now, but a hundred other things seem more important than telling the story I want to tell. That doesn't mean they are more important; our brains are just wired to seek more immediate rewards than the delayed reward that hundreds of hours of writing and editing will produce. Having a finished novel in your hands that you made purely through willpower and creativity is the best feeling in the world.
Can you give us a short synopsis of Song of a Dead Star?
A man is told by a mysterious being that his missing wife is still alive. But he will only be reunited with her if he agrees to kill certain powerful mages, who also happen to be the only hope the realm has against an invading armada.
What inspired you to write this book?
When I was younger I would spend hours dreaming up fantastical tales inspired by fantasy/sci-fi videogames, books, movies, and TV shows. I grew up in the Middle East so I would also try to reimagine some of these stories in a Middle Eastern-inspired fantasy or sci-fi setting. Song of a Dead Star is all that inspiration from my childhood and teenage years combined into one epic, magical story. In my heart I always wanted and still want to tell stories that move people emotionally and bring them into an incredible world. That's what inspires me to continue writing.
How many hours per day do you spend on writing?
Not enough. I'm not at the point in my life where I can devote a significant time to writing. I hope to get there soon by building up my other income-generating businesses. Hopefully if I'm successful, I will be able to devote most of my time and energy to writing in a few years.
Name your top five favourite books.
All these books really made me feel something and enraptured me with their worlds. In no particular order:
Socrates in LoveShahnameh (The Persian Book of Kings)
The God of Small Things
Title: Song of a Dead Star
Author: Zamil Akhtar
Genre: Science-Fiction / Fantasy
When Kav sleeps, a firefly whispers in his ear that his wife is not dead. But to find her he has to kill the three Magi that protect the land of Eden.
The same Magi destroyed Kav’s hometown four years ago to crush a rebellion, and he hasn’t seen his wife since.
As Kav plots to kill the Magi, a flying armada bent on conquest and destruction invades Eden. Only the Magi and their ability to turn sunshine into magical energy can stop them.
Granted the same power by the firefly, Kav must either kill the Magi to reunite with his wife, or let go of his longing for the sake of Eden and its people.
Zamil Akhtar is an indie science fantasy author and blogger living a location-free lifestyle. He can be found in Boston, Dubai, or Manila depending on the time of year. Of Pakistani-heritage, he grew up in the Middle East and moved to Western Massachusetts when he was thirteen, and his varied upbringing colors his fiction. He has a BBA in Marketing from the University of Massachusetts and an MA in International Relations from Johns Hopkins University. His loves are videogames, science-fiction and fantasy novels, HBO dramas, and Southeast Asia.
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