Friday, August 3, 2018

Author Interview - Ricardo Alexander - Author of Bollywood Invasion

Ricardo Alexander is a descendant of the Great Yyu, a.k.a. the first king of China. He lives in Massachusetts and enjoys experiencing all kinds of cultures around the world. After obtaining his doctorate in science, he became fascinated with time-travel. As an aspiring writer, he loves to write time-travel fictions that blend fantasy, science, and real history together. 

In 2017, he published his debut time-travel novel Dragon Tomb, the first book of his TLR (The Last Resistance) pentalogy. This history science fiction series starts from World War II, during which a young archaeologist discovers the true origin of Chinese civilization and saves the world from Armageddon.

Bollywood Invasion 
A fantasy novel about a modern-day American boy who wakes up in 1958 India as the reincarnation of John Lennon. Bollywood Invasion opens when the protagonist, a sixteen-years-old boy from Brooklyn, finds himself with riches and power beyond his wildest fantasies in India, thirty-five years before he was born. Brooklyn is readily forgotten. Life becomes a constant stream of debauchery, coming to a stand-still only when he meets “the one.” However, love doesn’t come easy. He must become a better man, a pursuit ignited by his memories of Beatles songs on his iPod. Will these legendary songs change his life? Can he escape Lennon’s eventual tragic fate? Will he ever find his way back to Brooklyn? His fate will unfold in Bollywood Invasion.  
 Who are your influences?
I believe that my writings are heavily influenced by my favorite author, George R.R. Martin. His A Song of Ice and Fire would certainly keep me up all night reading. The most valuable lesson I learned from him is that the most beloved characters should die once in a while.

 When did you begin writing?
As a scientist, I was always fascinated with time-travel fantasies. However, I have not felt the compulsion to write till I am in my early forties, which was about five years ago.  

 How do you come up with your stories, characters, character names, POV, etc?
My dreams. All my stories are based on the dreams I have had at some point of my life. I don’t know how I can explain this. Many of my dreams are bizarre. Sometimes, I even woke up with sweat on my back and felt like I just experienced a life time in my dream. Bollywood Invasion was a perfect example.
In 2013, I, a Beatles fan, stumbled into a YouTube video. In that video, a tribute band played Let It Be, my favourite Beatles song of all time, with traditional Indian instruments. That very night, I had a strange dream. In my dream, I woke up as a singer in 1958 India, which I was always fascinated by. What are the odds?
The next morning, I scribbled down my lingering memory of the dream. Then, a question came to me. If John Lennon had been born an Indian—with the same talent—could he still conquer the world? This is the very question that I kept asking myself during my writing of Bollywood Invasion. Something extraordinary had to happen if the Indian (British) Invasion was to take America by storm, as the world back then was not even close to be as multi-cultural as we are today.

 Do you work from an outline?
I am an outliner writer; there is no question about it. Before I officially start writing a book, I'd like to have the ending of the story in my mind. As far as the character development is concerned, I typically don't think too much about them in the beginning. During my writing, I always imagine myself as one of my characters, talking to them, listening to them, putting myself in their shoes. As a result, they naturally come to life as the writing progresses.

 Tell me about your favorite scene in your novel.
My favorite scene in Bollywood Invasion is a scene that I call "Hey Raj". After the protagonist wakes up as a young prince named Raj in 1958 India. His life becomes a constant stream of debauchery, coming to a stand-still only when he meets “the one,” a girl named Ankita. However, she despises him. Raj decides to become a better man and sing his way into her heart with the songs based on his memory of vintage Beatles music. One night, Raj comes to the lawn outside her dormitory building to ask her out, for the last time…by singing "“Hey Raj, don’t make it bad …”, a parody of Hey Jude. The scene ends with Ankita agrees to go out with Raj just once in the chorus of "Na nanana" from all the girls in the building while the matron trying to catch Raj with a large broom.

 Can you tell us a little about your writing philosophy?
Like I said, my stories are mostly based on some weird dreams that I had. I just follow my heart in my writing. 

 Have you ever tried writing in any other genres?
No. I have not. I prefer to stay in Fantasies.

Ricardo's book is available on Amazon

Find Ricardo at his website, on Facebook, or on Twitter.

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