IndieView with Mony de Panja, author of The illusion

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The novel has a bit of paranormal, some earthly stuff, some life-philosophy, some play with words. So, it should satisfy those not hooked to a particular type of fantasy but looking for something different within the fantasy genre. 

Mony de Panja – 23 May 2021

The Back Flap

Two college-goers and two teens plan a trek along a sanctuary. On way to the trek, the leader witnesses goons snatching a money bag from an old man. He challenges the goons and is abducted. He runs away from the captivity. Goons learn about their trekking plan, separate them and chase them individually into the forest.

While the actions happen on earth, all are sucked into a new world in which they can fly but feel no hunger, thirst or sleep. This world’s inhabitants join the two groups, and it leads to a fight to the finish.

In yet another realm, the goings-on appear as videos, and solutions are offered through rhymes and riddles.

The teens feel, it is an illusion that has occurred due to mix-up of a video game with magic. A mix-up it is, and the cause is revealed at the end. But that leads to more questions.

About the book

What is the book about?

The illusion is a fantasy novel.

When did you start writing the book? How long did it take you to write it?

I started writing the book a year back. I wrote the first draft within a month, but then I kept it aside. When I opened the manuscript for a thorough edit, a good deal of it got changed.

Where did you get the idea from?

I write articles on scientific topics and am deeply interested in consciousness and paranormal reality (as against fiction). On the fiction side, I have written a literary novel (which I am finishing right now). While developing the story of the literary novel, I got the idea that there could be an interplay of energies that we don’t know of yet, which tracks the outcomes of our actions (karma you can call it).

As I said before, the idea developed further as I edited the manuscript in detail.

Were there any parts of the book where you struggled?

It was very smooth as far as my understanding of the story is concerned. However, since the story does not run in a straight line, I had to reconcile events happening in three different ‘layers’ and being seen from different people’s point of view. I had also to ensure that the subtle clues given in riddles played out the right way.

What came easily?

The main story idea.

Are your characters entirely fictitious or have you borrowed from real world people you know?

The main characters are real: college students and school-goers, and city goons. But when they enter another ‘layer’, they meet fictitious characters.

We all know how important it is for writers to read. Are there any particular authors that have influenced how you write and, if so, how have they influenced you?

I read a lot, but pick up authors randomly. I cannot name an author who might have deeply influenced my writing. Perhaps authors that I read during my college days, e.g. Ernst Hemingway, Isaac Asimov, Aldous Huxley and George Orwell.

Do you have a target reader?

The illusion is not mainstream fantasy, e.g. witches and ghosts, sci-fi, other worlds, dragons and paranormal romance.

The novel has a bit of paranormal, some earthly stuff, some life-philosophy, some play with words. So, it should satisfy those not hooked to a particular type of fantasy but looking for something different within the fantasy genre. Maybe, young adults would become its primary target audience.

About Writing

Do you have a writing process? If so can you please describe it?

I have written many non-fiction books. For those, I wire-framed the structure in advance.

For the two full-length fiction books that I have written so far, I started with a small idea that kept on developing on its own as I started typing out the story. In my case, the final edit not only syncs the storyline and fixes gaps, but it also leads to modification of the original storyline and plot in an organic way.

Do you outline? If so, do you do so extensively or just chapter headings and a couple of sentences?

As mentioned above, I do not do outlining for fiction.

Do you edit as you go or wait until you’ve finished?

I do both. The final edit takes months and revises the story thoroughly.

Did you hire a professional editor?


Do you listen to music while you write? If yes, what gets the fingers tapping?


About Publishing

Did you submit your work to Agents?

I sent the literary piece to more than a dozen agents. Some rejected it outright, some suggested revision, two asked for details, one asked for manuscript – but finally all rejected it. After that, I decided to revise it further and self-publish. I think of publishing myself until I am in a position to set my own terms, at least in part, in traditional publishing.

What made you decide to go Indie, whether self-publishing or with an indie publisher? Was it a particular event or a gradual process?

I have answered that above.

I am a good editor and proof reader (that’s what I think), I can compose book cover and I can format the book professionally. That gives me the confidence to self-publish. That also has made the journey of book publishing enjoyable.

Did you get your book cover professionally done or did you do it yourself?

I did it myself. In fact, through my blog I offer help to budding authors with cover designing (for free).

Do you have a marketing plan for the book or are you just winging it?

I am experimenting yet. I am slightly active on Twitter right now, but I find that I can’t give much time to social media promotion.

I am thinking of doing a bit of paid promotion on the web and also sending the book to some reviewers, but that will happen once I publish my next book, perhaps by April end.

Any advice that you would like to give to other newbies considering becoming Indie authors?

I think, newbie authors must give their best to their creation. Sale should be the last thing in their mind while they are writing.

If one’s aim is to produce pulp like a machine, my advice should be turned upside-down!

About You

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in a village setting. Then I moved to a metropolis where I did a variety of jobs, including proof-reading and reviewing manuscripts before publication.

Where do you live now?

In the wonderland!

What would you like readers to know about you?

That Mony is an author whose stories leave a soothing aftertaste after they are finished.

What are you working on now?

I am working on a literary book, Revenge. It is the story of a boy who is wronged by the society and when he becomes rich and powerful, plots to take revenge for what he now considers wrong. The plot turns extremely violent but takes an unexpected turn as his childhood memories come haunting.

End of Interview:

For more about Mony visit his blog and follow him on Twitter.

Get your copy of the illusion from Amazon US or Amazon UK.

The post IndieView with Mony de Panja, author of The illusion first appeared on The IndieView.

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