Today’s authors are known as Akay Brothers for their readers.
Before you ask, yes, this is a pen name and not an actual person’s name. They know it is not as cool as Lee Child, and in their words “Just look at the name, coolness dripping from every letter and yes it is also a pen name and not an actual name”.
Actually, after finishing the first draft, both of them wanted their respective names to come first on the book’s cover. Well, who doesn’t? After a lot of arguments, they decided to focus that their name matters a lot less than Jason Cage (the character they created). Of course! So they decided on this “not-so-cool” name (in their words again) that combined letters from both of their names. And thus– Akay Brothers. Well, this was something I had figured out, but still, for those who don’t know, I had to give this info.
Q: How did writing happen?
A: Don’t we all want to be writers? We had a story that kept us awake at nights for the last five or so years so we thought to end this we have to pen it down no matter what. That’s how writing happened.
Q: What inspires you to write?
A: As long as we remember, we always wanted to tell stories that will make our readers think at the end –Shit! How did that happen?
We literally think in these specific terms. If what we are writing is not creating this effect then we keep working on it till it does or leave it altogether. So our process is very simple and straightforward.
Q: Jason Cage – A very unusual, un Indian name for an Indian novel. How did you happen to choose it?
A: We think a story as a story, nothing else. We have tried not to bind it into the web of nationality. From the beginning, we knew this story is going to get international and we have already covered a large part of Ladakh, Egypt, the US in our first book. The second book is majorly set in the USA so naming the main character as Jason Cage was no brainer. Also since he is adopted, we are not sure who his real parents are, Could be from the US too.
Q: The plot is an amalgamation of Egyptian mythology and present-day terrorism, spread out across the world, from the snowy Ladhakh to sky scrapping New York. Such a huge ground to base a story on. How easy or difficult was it?
A: Once we had the complete arc defined, setting the story was not so difficult but since we took four years just to develop that arc so time-wise it was a lengthy process. And the arc not only contains Egyptian Mythology but a large part also has Hindu Mythology that will be a major pillar of the next books in the series.
Also, we didn’t know what we are writing is even making a sense or not. In our minds, we were clear that this story is going to be unique but whether readers will embrace this uniqueness or not is always a question hanging in the air.
The research part was also an eye-opener for us as included Egyptian Myths and Pharaohs, Indian Mythology especially Gods which are not very well known to the audience but they have their backstories firmly placed in the psyche. Stories about people who have visions and how they perceive it.
We also learned a lot from other authors especially on how to develop the characters and pacing the story, set pieces, and how to build a new universe. But mostly it was reading about writing methods of the screenwriters, authors, and writers of our famous series, books, and comic books.
Q: This book has left me in a lurch, am craving for the rest of the story, but I don’t know for how long can I keep my interest. Do you think ending apart on a cliffhanger is the best way in a series?
A: We thought about it a lot too. And we totally understand that it could be frustrating for a reader that is why We are already towards the completion of your next project – Whispers (Jason Cage Chapter 1.5). (Interesting huh?)For our readers, we would like to request that please bear with the wait for a few more months.
Q: How was your journey from the first draft to published work?
A: Enlightening, frustrating, at times we thought of junking the whole thing and writing something simpler but then we kept coming back to it since this story was not getting out of our head. So we had to put it on paper.
Q: I know the sequel is on its way, and frankly, can’t wait to lay my hands on it. What else is in the pipeline apart from this? Do you work on multiple projects? Or believe in one at a time?
A: Our next- Whispers (Jason Cage Chapter 1.5) is a standalone story of Jason and aimed to let our readers know more about Jason. This is also a way for us to create stories that are aimed at readers who do not prefer to wait for the next book in the series or who do not like to read a series until all the books are out. With this story, we are also touching a new genre – horror in a thriller setting. You can check it here.
Post that we will start writing Jason Cage Chapter 2. Which will be a continuation from where we left the story in our debut novel – Jason Cage Chapter 1.
Our aim is to expand this universe with standalone stories, Series for Jason Cage, Shirin, Axel, The Devil with the tail.
Q: An author whom you idolize, and why?
A: Not one but we have many favorite authors.Stephen King – For his ability to put normal characters into unusual situations or creating damaged characters.Dean Koontz – For his totally out of the world topics on which he writes amazing stories.
Neil Gaimon, Frank Miller. Actually we read anything and everything (Except mushy romance). We also read a lot of bad authors to learn what not to do in a story or to understand what is actually bad in a story. We refer to a lot on interviews of directors and screenwriters and writers of famous Hollywood series.
Q: A message for all your readers.
A: For the readers, we would like to say that we do not have the marketing muscle like big publishers but we do have stories that we want to bring forward. Our main weapon against the big publishers is the reviews or short blurbs that you post about our books and we only request that if you like what we are writing, please tell us and also let others find our work through Goodreads and Amazon.