Thursday, 10 May 2012

Hell Girl’s been busy crafting The Destiny of Shaitan

Meet my first INSPIRE guest: Laxmi Hariharan, the author of Kindle best-selling fantasy novel
The Destiny of Shaitan

As promised a few posts ago, it’s time to get inspired. The INSPIRE campaign I have launched should do exactly what it says: inspire people. And what better way to do that than hearing from those who have been there - in the same place you are standing right now, not sure which way to go and how to go about it -  and took their chance, made a bet on their dream, closed their eyes and let the wheel spin. Because, as Laxmi says, ‘Else I couldn’t live with myself’.

Laxmi Hariharan is the author of Kindle best-selling fantasy novel The Destiny of Shaitan. A technophile who is fascinated with sword play, she also likes smoking cigars, swigging chai and keeping secrets. Having lived in Bombay, Hong Kong and London, she has a fifteen year career in international media marketing with blue chip brands such as MTV Networks. She believes that she is Hell Girl reborn.

I met Laxmi about 5 years ago. She was a senior marketer in a company I had just joined and I can vividly remember how her presence used to fill the space around the office: she was all life, and joy and laughter. I admired her deeply both as a professional and as a person and tried to keep in touch as much as London City life allows it. Recently, I found out she has written a book and I immediately told myself she would be the ideal person to interview for INSPIRE. Perhaps you all know by now I am also an ‘aspiring’ writer (I hate the word ‘aspiring’ but can’t think of another term to say it better) and it felt only natural to contact Laxmi and ask her kindly to be my INSPIRE person. She open heartedly accepted and here is what she told me about her journey.

We all grow up thinking we'll become famous or amazing people. When you were a little girl, what was your dream? Sounds like a cliché but I have a vivid recollection of being awestruck by the mango tree outside my window which inspired me to write my first poem when I was five years old. And at the end of it the simple truth was that I was a writer. I knew I would write books. My first born The Destiny of Shaitan just took longer from conception to delivery. Almost nine years.
What is your dream today? Does this still match up with the dream from childhood? On a flight from New York to London, a few years on the 11th of September (I always seem to fly in or out of NY on September 11) I wrote down ten things I wanted to do before I died. Top of that was getting my first novel out while I was young enough to enjoy it. And I am just relieved I did it. Else I couldn’t live with myself.

Tell us your story. What is your secret to being able to do what you want to do? I still balance the creative with the commercial. The commercial pays the bills and frees up mind space to be creative. Balance is the key I think to doing everything you want in life. It may be boring but it’s true.
Tell us how being a writer makes you feel?
We are one. As in I am the writer is the story. Does that make sense?
Do you think that our happiness can be influenced in any way by external factors or is it all 'an inside job'? Can we blame the world for our failures? I do believe in destiny. Hence as a teenager I was obsessed with changing the lines on my palm to make it into the type of life I wanted. I am still trying :)
What advice would you give people who are thinking about becoming writers? Just do it!
Who/what inspired you? I grew up in Bombay hearing ancient Indian legends and stories from my grandmother. And then I arrived in Hong Kong - which became my metier, my love, my trust. My heart raced from the time I landed there to the time I left. Filled with the most bizarre of people who must have stepped right off the next few planets I thought, it forced me to really put pen to paper. I started writing about what would happen if someone landed in such a futuristic city and had strange encounters with life forms there. And that character became to be Tiina in The Destiny of Shaitan. The rest followed.

Some of the films which inspired Laxmi when she created The Destiny of Shaitan universe
What is your next dream? To get my next novel The Seven Islands out next year. Tall order. But I am stubborn.
Wish you best of luck, Laxmi, with your ‘second born’ and thank you for being such an inspiration. May your journey continue to be amazing!
You can find Laxmi’s novel The Destiny Of Shaitan on Amazon. Please click through the link below and buy your own Kindle copy: you’ll be transported to a universe which you won’t want to leave!  
Hope you enjoyed reading about Laxmi and if you want to ask any questions, don’t be afraid. You can reach Laxmi here:
Next time we’ll be talking to someone who gave up a promising career in marketing in favour of making a difference for the less fortunate. Until then, stay inspired!


  1. Great interview! Mr. Whittaker would be another good candidate;)

  2. I know, I'm trying to get him in as well. The pressure's on :)