Sunday, 4 May 2014


Title: Human 
Author: Milan Bakrania

BLURB from Goodreads
Zenith has been 'dead' ever since his Uncle Ryan mysteriously disappeared when he was a child. 

Present day - Zenith is now 42 years old. The world is at the mercy of a relentless virus. His friend, Joy Irani, is missing. No one has seen him. It's all too familiar! But Zenith will stop at nothing to find him.

A series of anonymous text messages leads him to a deserted village. Moments later, he finds himself on a boat heading into the open ocean...

HUMAN is a week long account of an irritable cleaner from India as he sets out on a journey of a lifetime. From a bustling city to a place where the stars descend from the sky, it's going to be a week like no other!


I was always curious as a child, developing contrasting interests ranging from folklore, music, philosophy to science, history and art. Broad interests led to broad aspirations. Where to focus my attention?! Should I become a doctor, a physicist, singer or philosopher? After stints in various fields, I began to write! It was always there inside, waiting to be discovered. A vocation, a calling?!...I don't know. All I know is that writing encompasses my love for life, and through this medium I'm able to share a piece of my soul with the world.

What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?
Milan Bakrania, born in the UK (Crystal Palace).  I now live in Croydon.

Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
I wanted to be a doctor, astrophysicist, archaeologist, singer and a business man, but ended up in the IT field.  Writing and art was always a hobby, perfect to bring together my eclectic interests.

When did you first consider yourself as a "writer"?
I guess it was sometime back in 2010, when I got my first review for my book, The Emissary.

Did it take a long time to get your first book published?
About six months.  It felt long, but it was a satisfying experience.

Do you work another job as well as your writing work?
My wife and I are artists.  We create and sell our oil and acrylic work online and in galleries.

What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarise it in less than 20 words what would you say?
My book is called Human.  It is the story of a cleaner from India who sets out to find his friend, only to stumble upon the origins of the human race.

Who is your publisher? or do you self publish?
Matador/Troubador (Leicester, UK)

Do you have a "lucky charm" or "lucky routine" you follow when waiting for your book to be accepted by a publisher?
No, I don’t.

How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?
Human took me a year to write.  It starts with a few months of rigorous planning and research, a month of story and outline, and then continuous writing and re-writing.

Which of your books were easier/harder to write than the others?
They all have their challenges.  Human was quite easy to write because of it is written as a series of diary entries from the protagonist’s POV.

What can we expect from you in the future?  ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
More books in the pipeline.  A self-help book titled Discover How Great You Are in 30 Minutes releases as an ebook on 7th April.  I’ve just finished a paranormal story which will be sent for proofreading soon, and should be ready for Halloween.  I’m also working on two other novels in the fantasy genre.

Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
Answered above.  No, Human is not part of a series.

What genre would you place your books into?

What made you decide to write that genre of book?
I’m turned on by the unknown!

Do you have a favourite out of the books you have written? If so why is it your favourite?
My favourite of my published works is definitely Human.  It contains more layers of intrigue and unpredictability.

Do you have a favourite character from your books? and why are they your favourite?
Uncle Ryan from Human is my favourite character.  He’s wise, thoughtful and very mysterious.

If you had to choose to be one of your characters in your book/books which would you be? and why?
Good question.  I’d be Uncle Ryan from Human because I’m itching to know what he knows.

How long have you been writing?, and who or what inspired you to write?
I’ve been writing all my life.  As a child, I used to note down ideas for books and was fond of making up stories.  I’ve been writing professionally since 2010.

Where do you get your book plot ideas from? What/Who is your inspiration?
Any writer will tell you that inspiration comes from everywhere.  It’s the same for me.  I’m inspired by life.  Although my work is fantasy, the roots are very real.  For example, Human is inspired by my excursions in India in 2013.  I was out there for other reasons but ended up absorbing the atmosphere, just enough to make me pick up a pen.

Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? ie You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?
Nope!  I’m not disciplined like that.  I write instinctively, as it enters my head.  Sometimes I listen to music as I vent on the laptop, otherwise it’s a random affair.

Do you have anybody read your books and give you reviews before you officially release them? ie. Your partner, children, friends, reviewers you know?
Yes, my wife reads them as does a proof reader/editor.

Do you gift books to readers to do reviews?
Yes, on occasion.

Do you read all the reviews of your book/books?
Yes, I love to know the reader’s thoughts.

What was the toughest/best review you have ever had?
Touch wood, I’ve only had good reviews so far!

Would you ever ask a reviewer to change their review if it was not all positive about your book/books?
Not at all.  I’m open to criticism, it helps me to grow as a writer.

How do you come up with the Title and Cover Designs for your book/books?Who designed the Cover of your books?
I come up with the title once I’m half way through the book.  It sort of comes to me like a premonition.  I rarely change it once I’ve got it!  The cover for Human was painted by my wife. 

Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title?
Write, then the title comes.

How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books?
Research and background reading. 

Are character names and place names decided after there creation? or do you pick a character/place name and then invent them?
First comes the setting, then the character, then the name and traits.

Do you decide on character traits (ie shy, quiet, tomboy girl) before writing the whole book or as you go along?
The traits come with the basic outline and name.  So all this comes before writing begins.  But I have been known to make up a character or two!

Do you basic plot/plan for your book, before you actually begin writing it out? Or do you let the writing flow and see where it takes the story?
Both work for me, though I generally like to have an outline before I write so I know where the story is heading.

How do you market/promote your books?
Through social media, word of mouth, publisher’s marketing activities and through external marketing companies such as Standoutbooks.

What do you think makes a book a really good/bestseller ?
There’s no formula.  But, I guess the plot should be freshly written, original, unpredictable and captivating, holding the reader captive like a vice.

Have you ever suffered from a "writer's block"? What did you do to get past the "block"?
Yes I have.  I just stop writing, relax and come back to it.  For me “writer’s block” is my minds way of telling me to go eat, listen to music, or take my behind to Tesco’s.

What do you do to unwind and relax?Do you have a hobby?
I listen to music or go to the gym.

Have you ever based characters on people you know or based events on things that have happened to you?
At times I have, the best inspiration for a character is real life.

Are there any hidden messages or morals contained in your books? (Morals as in like Aesops Fables type of "The moral of this story is..")
Yes, all the time.  Sometimes, my entire plot is a metaphor, but I leave that to the reader to decipher.

Is there a certain Author that influenced you in writing?
I’m always being influenced, but I like the works of Chinua Achebe, Alice Walker, Paulo Coelho, Deepak Chopra and Wendy Alec.

Which format of book do you prefer, ebook,hardback, or paperback?
I prefer a good paperback, nothing like it!

What is your favourite book and Why?  Have you read it more than once?
There are so many.  But I’ve read Bram Stoker’s Dracula four times and Deepak Chopra’s Buddha three times.

Do you think books transfer to movies well? Which is you favourite/worst  book to movie transfer?
Yes.  I love the movie adaptation of Alice Walker’s The Colour Purple.

What are you currently reading? Are you enjoying it? What format is it?(ebook, hardback or paperback)
The Shack by WM Young in paperback; I’m nearing the end and I loving it.

Do you think ebooks will ever totally replace printed books?
Ebooks are great but nothing beats a good paperback.  It’s tangible and timeless.

Do you think children at schools these days are encouraged enough to read? and/or do Imaginative writing?
Not enough from what I can gather.  There needs to be more work done on encouraging children to use their imagination and creative skills.

Did you read a lot at school and write lots of stories or is being a writer something newer in your life?
I always read and was constantly writing.

Did you have a favourite author as a child?
Terry Pratchett.

Do you have a treasured book from your childhood? If yes, what is it?
The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett.

Do you have a favourite genre of book?
Not really.  I’ll read anything that tickles my interest.

Is there a book you know you will never read? Or one you tried to read but just couldn't finish?
It hasn’t happened yet.

Are there any New Authors you are interested in for us to watch out for? and Why should we watch out for them?
There are so many new voices appearing on a daily basis.  Look out for all of them.

Is there anything in your book/books you would change now if you could and what would it be?
I’m always critical of my work, but I’m also aware of quality.  I never send out a manuscript for print until I am 100% satisfied.  Perhaps I’d change a word here or there, but nothing major.

What do you think about book trailers?
They are a great way to whet the appetite of the reader.  I create them all the time.

What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?
If you wake up tomorrow morning thinking about nothing but writing, then write with all your heart.  Don’t think about the outcome, or fame and fortune.  Don’t listen to those who say that the market is already saturated.  If you’ve got something new to write, get it down on paper, perfect it and get it out there.

Do you or would you ever use a pen name?
I’ve never used one.  I’m quite happy using my own name for the foreseeable future.

If you could invite three favourite writers to dinner, who would you invite and enjoy chatting with?
Bram Stoker, Deepak Chopra and Whoopi Goldberg (she, in fact, wrote an insightful witty book called Book).

Where can readers follow you?
Your Blog Details?
Your Website ?
Your Facebook Page?
Your Goodreads Author Page?
Your Twitter Details?

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