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Interview with Rajan Khanna

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Interview with Rajan Khanna

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Interview with Rajan Khanna


Please welcome Rajan Khanna to The Qwillery. Rising Tide was published on October 6 by Pyr.


Interview with Rajan Khanna




TQWelcome back to The Qwillery. Your new novel, Rising Tide (Falling Sky 2), was published on October 6th. Has your writing process changed (or not) from when you wrote Falling Sky (2014) to Rising Tide?

Rajan:  It definitely changed for this book. I wrote Falling Sky without much of a road map, essentially figuring out everything as I went. With Rising Tide, I knew the world and the characters so that was a big help. That gave me the freedom to focus on the plot and so for the first time, I outlined the novel first so that I would have an idea of what I was writing toward. That outline changed a bit as I wrote it, of course, but the process proved invaluable.



TQIn our previous interview I asked what is the most challenging thing about writing for you? You stated in part "Aside from never seeming to have enough time, I'd say it's sometimes seeing the ending to a work." Has this changed?

Rajan:  Somewhat. As I mentioned, because I outlined this novel, I knew what I was headed for. I knew what the climax of the book was going to be (mostly), so that proved to be a big help. But even with that outline, writing the ending still was a challenge. I think endings are important. I wanted it to be something that was big and climactic and still paid off what had come before. That being said, I'm sure the ending to this one will be divisive.



TQWhat do you wish that you knew about book publishing when Falling Sky came out that you know now?

Rajan:  Everything, really. I was so new to the process, every step of it, that a lot of my time was spent in a state of generalized anxiety. I suppose in a small way it's like having a kid. For the first one, you don't know anything and you're looking at books and websites and asking your friends and really just scared about everything. But for a second one, you've been through it before and come out the other side. So you're not only better equipped, but you have less of that anxiety. Hopefully.



TQTell us something about Rising Tide that is not found in the book description.

Rajan:  While all of the books in the series are associated with the element of Air, each of the three planned books has a secondary element association. Rising Tide's is water. This shows up in the form of a ship, an island, a naval base, and a particularly nasty scene with Ben, the main character. For those interested, the secondary element of Falling Sky was Earth and the third book will have a theme of Fire.



TQWhich character in the Falling Sky series (so far) surprised you the most? Who has been the hardest character to write and why?

Rajan:  That's a great (and difficult) question. I think that at some point each of the characters has surprised me. Which is one of the things I love about writing, that feeling that these characters that you create can sometimes seem to have a life of their own. In this novel, though, I think Miranda surprised me the most. There's one moment in this novel that really hit that home. I won't spoil it but I'm hoping that the moment will surprise readers as well.



TQWhat appeals to you about writing novels in a post-apocalyptic setting?

Rajan:  There's a lot I like about writing in this kind of setting. There's this mix of the old and the new -- you can create your own original elements but also pick pieces of our current society (and previous ones) that excite or make the most sense. It's also (and I've said this before) nice to be able to write about people trying to fix things, trying to pull something alive and meaningful out of the bones of the world. Miranda is trying to cure the virus that created the apocalypse. Others are trying to rebuild civilization. Even the cynical Ben has come around to the importance of these efforts.



TQPlease tell us about the cover for Rising Tide.

Rajan:  I've been extremely fortunate with the covers to the first two books. Early on in the process for Rising Tide my then editor, Lou Anders, suggested Chris McGrath and the cover he turned in is amazing. For Rising Tide, my current editor, Rene Sears, wanted to keep things the same but this time suggested having Miranda on the cover. She was very interested in making sure the portrayal was accurate and so we talked about Miranda's look and I searched for some photoreference. She was always meant to be of mixed heritage and I think Chris came up with something that works really well. It's Miranda in the post-apocalypse, essentially. And it's especially appropriate since she takes on a bigger role in this book.



TQPlease give us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery lines from Rising Tide.

Rajan

“Don’t get too comfortable in your new world just yet,” I say. “You’re not the first to think you’ve emerged from the Sick. Not the first to think you’ve evolved. I’m all for civilization, but it’s not made of bricks, it’s made of paper.”

“I like paper.”

“So does fire.”



TQWhat's next?

Rajan:  I've begun working on some other projects, but there will be one more volume in the series (at least for the time being). A trilogy is hardly original, but I envisioned having three novels to tell the stories of Ben and his friends and companions and finish that overall arc. So I will being working on that soon. Otherwise I have my usual slate of projects -- a YA book, a weird western, and a screenplay that I'm working on with my screenplay partner Devin Poore.



TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Rajan:  Thank you for having me back.





Rising Tide
Falling Sky 2
Pyr, October 6, 2015
Trade Paperback and eBook, 260 pages
Cover Artist: Chris McGrath

Interview with Rajan Khanna
Ben Gold lives in dangerous times. Two generations ago, a virulent disease turned the population of most of North America into little more than beasts called Ferals. Some of those who survived took to the air, scratching out a living on airships and dirigibles soaring over the dangerous ground.

Ben has his own airship, a family heirloom, and has signed up to help a group of scientists looking for a cure. But that's not as easy as it sounds, especially with a power-hungry air city looking to raid any nearby settlements. To make matters worse, his airship, the only home he's ever known, is stolen. Ben must try to survive on the ground while trying to get his ship back.

This brings him to Gastown, a city in the air recently conquered by belligerent and expansionist pirates. When events turn deadly, Ben must decide what really matters-whether to risk it all on a desperate chance for a better future or to truly remain on his own.




Previously

Falling Sky
Pyr, October 7, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook, 260 pages
Cover Artist: Chris McGrath

Interview with Rajan Khanna
Ben Gold lives in dangerous times. Two generations ago, a virulent disease turned the population of most of North America into little more than beasts called Ferals. Some of those who survived took to the air, scratching out a living on airships and dirigibles soaring over the dangerous ground.

Ben has his own airship, a family heirloom, and has signed up to help a group of scientists looking for a cure. But that's not as easy as it sounds, especially with a power-hungry air city looking to raid any nearby settlements. To make matters worse, his airship, the only home he's ever known, is stolen. Ben must try to survive on the ground while trying to get his ship back.

This brings him to Gastown, a city in the air recently conquered by belligerent and expansionist pirates. When events turn deadly, Ben must decide what really matters-whether to risk it all on a desperate chance for a better future or to truly remain on his own.





About Rajan

Interview with Rajan Khanna
Photo by Ellen B. Wright
Rajan Khanna is a graduate of the 2008 Clarion West Writers Workshop and a member of a New York-based writing group called Altered Fluid. His fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Shimmer magazine, GUD, and several anthologies, and has received Honorable Mention in the Year's Best Fantasy & Horror and the Year's Best Science Fiction. He writes for Tor.com and LitReactor.com and his podcast narrations have appeared on sites such as Wired.com, Lightspeed magazine, Escape Pod, Podcastle, and Beneath Ceaseless Skies. Rajan also writes about wine, beer, and spirits at FermentedAdventures.com. He currently lives in New York.



Website  ~  Twitter @rajanyk



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