1. Tell me a little bit about yourself.
I’m a hematopathologist, which is a physician who uses microscopic and laboratory data to diagnose diseases of blood, bone marrow and lymph nodes, such as leukemia and lymphoma. I was born in Canada, but lived in the United States for most of my life. I only recently moved back to Canada for work. I started writing seriously in October 2009, and have realized how steep the learning curve really is in my drive to be independently published and find a readership.
2. Do you have a preferred genre that you read? Is it the same as what you write?
I tend to read science fiction and fantasy for pleasure, and romance novels to unwind after a long session of writing. My own writing is a synthesis of the two.
3. Are there any aspects of writing you struggle with?
I’m better at plot and dialogue than setting and characterization, so I tend to blow through the first draft concentrating on plot and character interactions, and then go back and integrate the more descriptive elements.
4. What’s the title of your book? Tell me a little about it.
The title of my first book is Sunset, which is a moment of duality between light and darkness. My novel is set in a world where vampires and vampire slayers battle by night in secret, but are about to be exposed to humanity. The plot of the book deals with the aftermath of that exposure, after a vampire intervenes in 2040 to block a terrorist attack that is being broadcast on national television.
5. Tell me something about the story that isn’t in the blurb.
It’s mentioned in the blurb, but most of my main characters are gay, and involved in relationships, though I don’t describe any explicit sexual activity.
6. Where did the inspiration for your story come from?
Vampires have always intrigued me as a concept, but in counterpoint, those that hunt the vampires are equally interesting. So I used both in my writing as the backdrop for my character’s supernatural society.
7. What is the location of your story setting and why did you choose that place/time?
The story is set in North America of 2040. Since my story incorporates science fiction elements, I wanted to place it far enough in the future that we could expect some of those elements, but close enough that the society of that time would remain accessible to our era.
8. Who is your favorite character and why?
Nick, my main character, is probably my favorite. He is a flawed character, dealing with a history of violence and is emotionally withdrawn. Part of the so-called “Hero’s Journey” that defines the character development arc of the book, is his ability to overcome his past and seek new opportunities that are offered to him.
9. Did the story come out the way you envisioned it?
The finished product is vastly different from what I originally envisioned. The original manuscript, which I finished in Dec 2009 was over 180,000 words and had twice as many characters. After I showed it to an editor, he suggested I merge a bunch of characters, and start the book with action, at the beginning of what was originally Act 2. The material that I deleted from Act 1, I eventually fleshed out and made into a prequel, which is Sunrise, the second book of the series.
Thanks so much Arshad for stopping by my blog! It was great to talk with you. And now for the goods:
Arshad Ahsanuddin is a practicing hematopathologist, a physician who specializes in using microscopic and laboratory data to diagnose diseases of blood, bone marrow, and lymph nodes, such as leukemia and lymphoma. Yes, a blood doctor writing about vampires. The irony is not lost on him. It certainly amuses his colleagues.
For more information about Arshad, or for more information about the series, check out his website at www.pactarcanum.com and leave him some feedback.
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/pactarcanum
Goodreads Profile: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4759071.Arshad_Ahsanuddin
Twitter Handle: @pactarcanum
Kindle version: http://www.amazon.com/Sunset-Pact-Arcanum-ebook/dp/B005SIXXB2
Smashwords edition (multiple formats): http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/61128
Video Trailer: http://youtu.be/zdvchNFqSu4
Los Angeles, 2040. The terrorist Medusa and her followers threaten to destroy the metropolis with a nuclear bomb. One individual, the vampire Nicholas Jameson, comes forward to oppose them. As Nick takes on the terrorists, the fragile peace between the races hangs perilously in the balance as the supernatural peoples are exposed. Can Nick lead the four races into peaceful coexistence, or will the final war destroy them all?
With millennia-old magic, emerging romance, and ever-shifting allegiances, this inventive new series unveils a scintillating, homoerotic world of Nightwalkers, Daywalkers, Sentinels, and Humans, who battle for world dominance in the not-too-distant future.