S.G. Basu found inspiration for her Kindle Scout Selection, The Eternity Prophecy by extrapolating the future from the “many moments of everyday life and news headlines.” She is also the author of The Lightbound Saga series, Elementals, Population Morpheus, and Jumpers.
Question: What was the original inspiring moment for this book (if there was one!)?
[S.G.] The Eternity Prophecy is a social science fiction story, focused on a speculative extrapolation of human society. There are few spaceships or laser gun battles here. Since it revolves more around society, it goes without saying that the primary inspiration is the world around us. There isn’t any one inspiring moment, but many moments taken from everyday life and news headlines.
The story depicts tender facets of humanity—love, loyalty and sacrifice. Greed, violence, abuse, and many other human vice also find their way into the story. But at the core, this story is about an age-old truth—absolute power can corrupt anyone.
Question: What’s the most rewarding aspect of writing?
[S.G] It’s seeing the characters I imagine come to life in my story. Often a story and its characters sit in my head for months before I put them down in an outline. If they are promising enough, they get a prominent place in my story. After that, sometimes they follow the life I had planned for them and sometimes they chart their own path. Whatever path they choose, it is rewarding all the same to see them live, grow, and flourish. And sometimes, a reader falls in love with a character and identifies with them or feels for them enough to send me a note—that’s the best reward for me as a writer.
Question: How do you choose the names of your characters?
[S.G.] My characters mostly have names of human origin, sometimes with a slight twist. In The Eternity Prophecy, all the names distinctly human, but of different cultural heritages. Noell, Bryanna, Mako, Steffen—you can find them all here on Earth.
There are two rules I try to enforce on my name selections—
- Avoid names that end with “s” because such names make awkward possessives. Sometimes though, I love a name too much and overlook the rule.
- Vary the names alphabetically. For instance, if I have a Bryanna in the story, I won’t have any other character names that start with a “B.”
Question: What are three books that you recommend to others?
[S.G.] I love the science fiction genre a little much above any other, so I’m going to recommend a couple of sci-fi books first.
- “Nightfall” by Isaac Asimov (short story) - is, in my opinion, one of best science fiction stories ever written. It was originally written as a short story but rewritten on a novel form later. My recommendation is the short story. Be prepared to be amazed.
- Dune by Frank Herbert - is another book that stays on my all-time-favorite list. That the book is still so contemporary even though it was published in the 60’s goes to speak for its awesomeness.
- East of Eden by John Steinbeck - A tour-de-force, a family drama, a roller coaster of human emotions and relations, East of Eden is not just a read but an experience.
Question: How does your professional life inspire the content or process of your writing?
[S.G.] Being an engineer for decades has shaped my thinking and personality to a large extent. I’m overly analytic, so the logical flows in my stories get the most attention. That is both a good thing and a bad thing. While there are few loose ends in my stories (other than those left in on purpose), I also obsess about missing any loose ends, which makes me a terrible self-editor. This was worse when I first started writing, but happily, things are getting better.
Also, I enjoy going into technical details of scientific instruments and/or processes, sometimes more than is needed. But many readers have liked my focus on the technicalities, so I’m happy to give them what they want.
Question: What’s your favorite movie and why?
[S.G.] One of my all time favorites is Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai. Why do I like it? Because it’s a timeless tale with emotions—sacrifice and self-discovery, fighting for honor, rooting for the underdog—that are quintessentially close to our hearts. It’s a story that touches everyone and will keep on resonating with generations in the future. No wonder it has been retold a hundred times over (The Magnificent Seven being the most well-know of such efforts) and still it never grows old.