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Dreams Just Became Powerful and Weaponizable

Avinash Naduvath Author Interview

Mindbender follows six people that are existing in a strange and mostly deserted town where they must figure out what has happened to them and why they are being drawn together. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

My wife and brother-in-law are strong lucid dreamers. When the topic came up for the first time I was surprised at the concept and marvelled at how someone could really control dreams. My thought was how could I do this myself. When I realized it takes years of practice to really perfect and implement, I thought how a larger force like the military could use virtuosos of lucid dreaming to manipulate and extract information from unknowing civilians. Dreams just became powerful and weaponizable.

The characters are unique and interesting in this novel. Did you create an outline for the characters in the story before you started writing or did the characters’ personalities grow organically as you were writing?

I had considered one big plot and wrote all the characters simultaneously. I wanted to bring out the impact that childhood trauma has on kids and how it begins to fracture the personality. As someone (even a psychiatrist) who is treating or trying to understand more about the depth of a person’s mind, it is almost impossible to understand the true nature of damage and each action might have caused. That was how the characters came by. The different characters reflect different types of people and how they need to be handled differently to really understand and relate to them. Some parts of their personalities were plot requirements but mostly they were living the plot and building their personality.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

Some complex themes I had to really research and look into were lucid dreaming and life with a tough childhood. I didn’t really have a tough childhood so the basis of Pogo’s dad has been my visualization of other characters and people and I had to read some really sad stories of survivors who had overcome a tough childhood. Building an evil person from some gruesome survivor stories was hard. Similarly, while both my wife and her brother were good lucid dreamers they did not know how or why they could do it or even how it could be possible so I had to understand what lucid dreaming really was and how the entire premise of a controllable dream brings limitations on world building.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

At this point I have a brief idea on the topics I want the next book to be based on but apart from that I am building a plot now so probably in a year or so it should be done. My interests are always on topics which are least understood and have more space for imaginative inception.

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It all begins with a scream.

Pogo, a young lovable kid, wakes up to the scream and is scared that his mom has left him. Joshua a smart, meticulous boy, is disturbed by the scream and begins observing strange incidents in the world he just woke up in. Sarah, a simple senescent lady, wakes up to the scream and realizes her daughter and husband are missing.

Concurrently, a girl has been murdered at the only visible hotel in this world, and its hotel manager, Kobi, is not sure how the situation needs to be handled. There are no police around, and he teams up with Tonks, the owner of a diner, and Klaus, the owner of a supermarket, to figure out who killed the girl.

Six seemingly unrelated people embark on a journey through this vibrant, mostly deserted world, but nothing is what it seems, and this anomalous world will stop at nothing to assure the convergence of their paths.

Mindbender

What is reality? That is the question that pervades the mind of young Pogo from the outset of this twisting story. The reader is introduced to the concept of lucid dreaming, a loving mother, and an abusive father within the first few pages – before everything seems to shatter without Pogo retaining a memory of virtually anything. Where is his mother? His father? Why can he not remember his school or his best friend?

Most importantly, who is the stranger standing in his kitchen making his favorite breakfast, and what does Joshua have to do with him when he doesn’t remember much, either? Even worse, who is their neighbor, Sarah, who also has no memory of anything, including her husband, Marko, and their daughter, Julia?

Something isn’t right in this little town, but the more the inconsistencies pile up, the crazier the mystery seems to get! On the other side are the three mysterious antagonists, Tonks, Klaus, and Kobi, who have their own reasons for being in this world but may wind up collateral damage while searching for the truth.

Written from the first-person points of view of each central character in the tale, Mindbender, by Avinash Naduvath, follows several characters in a strange, vaguely unsettling world the reader quickly realizes, long before the protagonists, is actually a mental construct.

Naduvath’s writing style is intriguing and thought-provoking, and the plot itself is interesting enough to keep the reader turning pages simply to find out what could possibly be happening next. Discovering the truth about the novel’s name only comes toward the end, almost in passing, but suits the storyline perfectly. Finding out the culprit and how the said culprit is found out is a surprising and pleasantly unexpected twist.

Mindbender is a complex metaphysical hard science fiction novel that captivates readers from the opening pages. Following along as the story leads all the characters to a convergence point will have readers on edge trying to decipher the mystery of what has happened to them and their world.

Pages: 335 | ASIN : B09Y9675FX

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