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Interview with Raja Nunna

He was born in India and has been a storyteller since childhood. Whenever he tells a story, it connects to the listener significantly. The way he tells the story enchants, bewilders, stuns, and emotionally grips the audience; their reactions, appreciation, and expressions of awe led him to become an author. He currently lives in the United Arab Emirates and came up with his first novel - Alphas Vs. Albras: The Super Hero is Born.

Q.1 Tell us something about yourself that not many people know.
I can learn a few things deftly and quickly, most people think, I am an earnest person and insecure, but to be honest, I am the funniest, coolest, and most confident person. But, I don’t want to show that outside, I don’t know why.

Q.2 When should we expect your next book?
Perhaps it’s in 2025.

Q.3 What inspired you to write Alphas VS Albras: The Superhero is Born and delve into the world of fantasy fiction?
Growing up in India, my house was surrounded by 6 movie theatres. So, watching movies became a hobby and later turned into study material. I didn’t like going to school on a daily basis, except during exam times when I had to go. By the grace of God, I got through the schooling. However, in my final year at school, I started going to school daily because of one subject - The Hound Of Baskerville - which was our English subject based on the Sherlock Holmes novel.

As part of my introduction on the first day of school or college, I always mentioned that I wanted to be a film director. But unfortunately, it didn’t happen. I tried, but like many others in the middle class in India, I faced issues with a lack of support. So, I gave up on my dream and got a job instead. However, I realized that film directors, authors, and writers all share the same intention - to become storytellers.

So, I decided in 2014 to become an author. It's easy to say and think, but hard to persistently work on it. However, I had planned to write. Unfortunately, that plan never came to fruition. But the one whom I pray to every day knows my plan. He has provided me with the means to write, bringing forth the sources and resources to complete this task.

So, coming to this story whenever I watch any movie mostly Hollywood films, I am inspired a lot, because, in my inner mind, I think like - I have similar thoughts in my mind also I can write well, I believe it. Then, I wanted to test my writing skills and storytelling, so I started to write a story, it’s a superhero story and it’s Alphas vs Albras.

But now I am writing this answer to this question, after seeing my book reviews, I got very nice reviews about my storytelling, most of the reviewers loved the story, but some of them said “I have to improve my writing skills, especially in dialogues” and I will improve that.

Q.4 What challenges did you face while writing this book?
First of all, writing a book in English itself is the biggest challenge for me. I am from Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh and Telugu is my native language. English is not my thing, but I understood, that if I want to be a global storyteller, I need to learn English, still learning English for betterment.

Q.5 Can you share a bit about your writing process? How do you develop your characters and plotlines?
I think every writer knows that - Once we create a character's ultimate goal organically that character will tell us what it has to do to achieve that goal. And ultimately we get the development in the story also.

Q.6 Which character(s) in this series spoke to you the most?
Stella Holmes.

Q.7 When did you first realize you wanted to become a writer?
In my childhood at the age of 12 (not sure), I wrote small stories in Telugu in a rough book, and some investigative series at the age of 14. All those are unpublished books.

Q.8 What is the best piece of advice you have received, as a writer, to date?
I didn’t get any piece of advice, I got some compliments. But I want to tell you one thing, as a writer, we have an imagination in our minds, and that imagination is - whoever reads this novel, needs to feel the same as what the writer felt.

When I write this novel, whoever reads this must see a Marvel movie in their mind and feel awe when they encounter the Sherlock Holmes Character in a superhero movie set-up.

Interestingly! All my reviewers, including bad reviewers, said they felt happy and surprised when they encountered the Sherlock Holmes character in a superhero set-up.

Q.9 What was one of the most surprising things you learned while writing this book?
I enjoyed the process, writing a book is also a kind of study, because every scene whatever I wrote, first of all, I studied and verified with other sources and I wrote that, so it’s a kind of learning while writing.

Q.10 Can you provide any insights into what readers can expect from future installments in the Alphas vs Albras series? Are there any new characters or storylines you're particularly excited for readers to explore?
I cannot think and talk about the whole series now, but I have already seen the whole story of the second book in my mind, it’s really going to be exciting. It’s completely out and out an investigative thriller. Hopefully, I would like to deliver a good output.

Q.11 As an author, what message or emotion do you hope readers take away from The Superhero is Born and your broader body of work?
The message that I have given through that book is Be cool! Every toughest, hardest, and greatest problem had the coolest solution.

Q.12 What is the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?
Surprisingly! I didn’t feel any difficulties. Maybe, that’s my specialty, or I can understand every human to their core values, so it’s easy for me to write their character authentically.

Q.13 Do you have any quirky or interesting writing habits?
A scene - if any excellent scene pops out all at once if I am free, I will write, if not, then I will record it on my phone and I will write later, so particularly I didn’t have any habits, but, usually I will write as per my schedule.

Q.14 It is vital to get exposure and target the right readers for your book. Tell us about your marketing campaign.
I didn’t have any. But, I am just learning, I am new to this field, so approaching one technique after another. But, I believe, that if the story is good, eventually, it will reach a better audience.

Q.15 How long, on average, does it take you to write a book?
It depends on the scenes, I don't take stress, it should come naturally, usually, it takes one year to two years to complete the book

Q.16 How do you select the names of your characters?
Some names define their characters, I know every character in my story, so I used a peculiar word for an important character. For example, The antagonist name in my book was - Peter Dowick. His name sounds something abnormal. For some characters, I put the names who surround me.

Q.17 Who designed your book covers? How do you select him/her?
I have designed my own book cover. After reading the whole book, and seeing the front page of the book cover it reveals something - Only readers know that….

Q.18 Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with good or bad ones?
I read and consider those reviews to develop my skills and find out my flaws through the bad ones, and by reading good ones, I thank God.

Q.19 Are there any particular authors or works that have influenced your writing style or the creation of your fantasy world?
 Yes, there are a few: Harry Potter, Narnia, Lord of the Rings, Sherlock Holmes series, and Marvel and DC movies and the works of Stan Lee, Agatha Christie, and Stephen King. S.S. Rajamouli, and Christopher Nolan - The film directors.

Q.20 Share the experience of your writing journey so far?
Writing is a lonely process, no one believes you, and no one cares about you. So, whoever wants to be an author must enjoy the writing process and put an image in their mind.

That image was - ‘For what purpose you’re writing this book?

And what do you want at the end of the day?

Why are you investing a lot of time in this book? Is that worth it?

What drives and motivates you to write this book? Fortune? Name? Passion? Fame? Or a so-called title - The Author? Or God?’

You’ll enjoy the process and happily invest the time when you have answers to these questions.

Believe in God and Believe in yourself. Lastly, many people have impacted and influenced me, and I am grateful for them. My second book will be better than this in terms of literature and storytelling.

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