Posted by Literary Titan
The Dance Towards Death follows a private investigator traveling the world trying to complete his mission. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?
The Dance Towards Death is the third book of The Brotherhood Chronicle trilogy–although each book can be read independently, reading each successively can help one understand the evolution of the main character Niral Solanke and many of the other characters in the trilogy.
In the first book, The Brotherhood, Niral has lived a life of dissipation but he believes he can redeem himself through religion and spirituality. He struggles with this quest throughout as he experiences more of the world including its deep corruption. Considering he is indebted to several organizations, he loses his faith and also reconsiders what a true “dharmic” path is.
So by The Dance Towards Death, he realizes he must bend the rules to get out of his entanglements and do the right thing. Not everything goes as planned, of course.
Much of the setup is based on my personal experiences and lots of research I did over many years. I’m first-generation Indian-American, born in New York City to Indian immigrants and raised in Queens, NY, so while there are many differences between Niral and me, I could base him on a real background. I was raised Hindu although I am agnostic, and I grew up in a highly multicultural environment, so I’m knowledgeable about many cultures and backgrounds. I’ve taken many trips to Thailand, India, Australia, and the American south, so that’s helped with the setting details and bringing them alive.
Finally, New York City was a very dangerous place when I was growing up (seems to be reverting back now), so I’ve had a natural connection to its criminal elements and the working class, but also to the wealthy elite, from financiers to lawyers and politicians. While the book is fiction, just being in that environment helped me with details and bringing it alive, although there was plenty of research done and the majority is based on that, but elevated by the imagination into fiction. And Hindu philosophy, a multifarious tradition which looks at life as a whole, with its elements of kama (pleasure), artha (wealth), dharma (duty) and moksha (enlightenment), provided me the ingredients that I could play and build with regarding the book’s drama, both internally within characters and externally in terms of the plot.
I felt that there were a lot of great twists and turns throughout the story. Did you plan this before writing, or did the twists develop organically while writing?
I usually have a two-tier process: I plan everything out, and then I just write and develop things as I wish, rarely staying true to the original plan. Sometimes it takes a few rewrites of the book to get to what I want. The Brotherhood was rewritten from scratch over 20 times, whereas The Run and Hide and The Dance Towards Death were written in one continuous draft, though I did rewrite the whole draft once more, to tighten up the action, and then did another run through to clean up the language. Then copyediting, proofreading, etc. So it depends on the work, but for the most part, I’m best when I do some light planning and then let things roll as they will.
Were you able to achieve everything you wanted with the characters in the novel?
That’s a tough question. I think The Dance Towards Death is satisfying, and most characters achieve their arcs, but not necessarily in expected ways. The book leaves a lot open too, just like in life. There will likely be a fourth book, but probably not anytime soon.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
Bad Americans, the second book of my anthology short story series The Human Tragedy, will hopefully be available sometime in 2023 or 2024. I achieved my New Years Resolution in January 2022 by finishing the first draft–a whopping 300,000 words (the length of three full-length novels). It’s a very ambitious book–a 12 story collection within an extravagant frame narrative set during the Covid pandemic–parts Boccaccio, The Bachelor, Big Brother and Upstairs Downstairs. I’m getting great feedback from beta readers and the rewrite is going very well, but such a large book will take a while to perfect, and then there’s the publishing process…
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Posted by Literary Titan
The Dance Towards Death, by Tejas Desai, is the third volume of The Brotherhood Chronicle. It narrates the story of some of the survivors in a criminal world. Among them, there’s the former private investigator Niral that is involved in drug affairs, and policeman Nat who’s looking for his son after having abandoned him and trying to understand what’s behind his parents’ death. Even being the third book in the series, it stands alone, and readers are given enough background in the opening chapters to not feel lost in this action-packed conclusion to the series.
Desai writes in a descriptive manner, taking readers to Thailand, India, Chiang Mai, and Queens, New York. Readers will experience the dramatically different cultures and ways of life from the images that Desai creates with his words. While experiencing the diverse cultures of the world, readers are given plot twists and suspense as the characters go through their thrilling adventures seeking to solve their own mysteries that have caused their lives to intertwine.
I really appreciated the insight into different cultures and religions, primarily focusing on different characters and their backgrounds from chapter to chapter. There are different stories that take place in different parts of the world, but they’re all interconnected. The respectful nature that Desai treated the different cultures and religions that he writes about is commendable.
The character’s backgrounds, such as Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islamism, are integrated into the storyline rather than just thrown out as information that may otherwise feel out of place. This is important to show a clash of cultures. We also get to see significant social problems such as racism and homophobia. In addition to that, many Indian, Thai, Australian and American terms are frequently used, making it feel more authentic. Still, readers won’t be lost in translation as at the end of the book, there’s a glossary with all the necessary terms.
This action-filled novel will take some time to experience all the characters’ journeys and follow them on their search for freedom or for relatives. However, in my opinion, the most meaningful point of this novel is the focus on what the characters find along their path, not necessarily what they’re looking for.
The Dance Towards Death is a riveting novel that will have readers in suspense as the characters navigate the thrilling adventures around the world. Readers looking for an authentic experience with different religions and cultures will find this crime thriller the perfect escape.
Pages: 417 | ASIN : B08BBGKHJX
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