Hello Dear Reader, let me tell you a little bit about my world-building process in Soul Warrior, my new urban fantasy series based in South Asian mythology. Now, to use mythology in a novel in itself is a fantastic proposition. Most myths from anywhere in the world are pregnant with magic, supernatural beings or elements, alien and ancient settings and high concept inbuilt plots like epic moral struggles between good and evil, life and death etc.
India’s mythology is old and vast and seemingly limitless—all excellent sources for my novel’s premise. But, I didn’t want to simply retell the old tales. I had this image in my head of a Hindu God wearing jeans and talking on a cell phone, and this question in my head: if Gods exist even now…what are they doing every day? And what in hell do Heaven and Hell look like?
The next factor in my world-building was personal. I try and incorporate a civic message or two in my novels. I feel rather strongly about saving our environment and going green and better education for everyone, especially children. So, in my imagined world those elements will play a part. And that’s how my hero, Karna’s two abodes were manufactured.
In the first half of Soul Warrior, Karna lives in a bungalow on a hidden island off the shores of North Mumbai. Mixing fact and fiction, I made up this extra island that should have been part of Mumbai city—Mumbai is (in fact) an amalgamation of seven islands connected together over a period of a thousand years—but isn’t because of its supernatural squatters. The island is covered in a lush, environmentally-protected, mangrove forest.
Sad reality: Too many mangroves have been destroyed by humans and the world’s coastlines and marine life are bearing the brunt of our stupidity.
Click HERE for a YouTube video on why Mangroves are important.
In the second half of the book, Karna and his entourage move to the Valley of the Gods. It’s what this valley in the Lower Himalayas is known as by the local highlanders. It is high up in the clouds with a natural protection wall of jutting mountains. It’s verdant with flowers, and forests and waterfalls. It seemed like the perfect setting to house a demi-god. The area has a rich history and an almost mystical connection to the mythology that I’m reimagining in my books. As I said, a perfect setting that inexplicably fell into my lap as I was researching ancient forts and mythological cities.
To add to my little green crusade, I have both these abodes completely running on green energy: wind and solar.
So, Dear Reader, that’s how I built my fictional world taking the three things that I love—mythology, this world and our environment—and mixing them together.
What fantastical fantasy settings do you love?
The Age of Kali
Genre: Mythic fantasy or urban fantasy
Publisher: Falguni Kothari
Date of Publication: November 5th, 2015.
ISBN: ebook 9781944048006
ISBN: print 9781944048013
Number of pages: 404
Word Count: 120,000 words
Cover Artist: Hang Le
Fight fate, or succumb to destiny?
In the dark Age of Kali, the Soul Warrior alone stands guard over the Human Realm, protecting its denizens from evil-willed asuras or demons. When a trick of fate appoints him guru to a motley crew of godlings, he agrees to train them as demon hunters against his better judgment. Suddenly, Lord Karna is not only battling the usual asuras with sinister agendas, but also rebellious students and a fault-ridden past.
Spanning the cosmic realms of mythic India, here is a tale of a band of supernatural warriors who come together over a singular purpose: the salvation of Karna’s secret child.
About the Author:
Falguni Kothari is a New York-based South Asian author and an amateur Latin and Ballroom dance silver medalist with a semi-professional background in Indian Classical dance.
She’s published in India in contemporary romance with global e-book availability; Bootie and the Beast (Harlequin Mills and Boon) and It’s Your Move, Wordfreak! (Rupa and Co.), and launches a mythic fantasy series with Soul Warrior – Book 1, the Age of Kali.