Friday, 3 March 2017

Guest Post : 1857 Dust of Ages by Vandana Shanker

I have been thinking lately about the changes in the reading trends of today's time. People tend to pick small books, with easy story to grasp so that they can achieve there Goodreads goals quickly and flaunt merrily. In the midst of so many books, do we actually miss the ones which deserve quite a lot of attention?

Well I have been a fan of Historic books only because of Mahabharata. Who doesn't want to read about that age? But when I discuss this with people they call me a high-class, over-the-top reader, and trust me they sound sarcastic.

So when this book came up in "The Book Club Group", this question popped up instantly. And the way the author has answered is quite fascinating.

Read what Vandana thinks on this:

How hard or enjoyable it is to write about historic things? How can it be made more refreshing for an impatient group of readers of this time?

It’s boring, irrelevant, too many dates – ask any student and you would hear these common complaints about History. But turn around to take a look at historical fiction. It captures attention with its juicy scandals, the gossip, a distant world of romance and heroism.
Here are some reasons why I love reading and writing historical

1.       Past depends mostly on the writer’s words.  Despite all the struggles and squalor, one can paint the picture in all its vibrant colors. The image that comes alive doesn’t have to jostle with reader’s first-hand experience as it would in a contemporary setting. So the writer is free to select the historic details to create an aura of romance and nostalgia.

2.      The characters already carry a hint of tragedy, especially in the historical fiction set in times of war and strife. One knows that they suffered and died. It is a given. Their existence during the turbulent times is enough for the heroism and tragedy.

3.      It is a different world, different time. And you can make your characters chart paths that they would never do in the contemporary setting.

4.      Research is fun, especially if you are interested in the period. And the stories surrounding 1857 uprising have always fascinated me.

5.      Make it interesting for the impatient readers by dividing your bulky historical fiction into a series. Let’s admit it – one of the main reasons a common reader does not pick up a historical is that it is thick. All that recreation of the past, the setting, the characters – it takes pages and pages scare away the impatient readers.


I divided 1857 Dust of Agesinto a 5 volume series. Due to this serialization, it doesn’t become a heavy dose of history. I was able to concentrate on the historical romance and current investigation and move between the time frames. 

Storytelling techniques like continuous narrative and cliff hangers became handy. So for the present generation readers with short attention spams, the serialization was the answer.


You can check the spotlight and interview for more details about the book and the author: Spotlight Interview

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