Born in Bangladesh, I have lived most of my life with my family in England. But Bangladesh will always command a very warm place in my heart. To my eyes at least it is the beauty spot on the face of this earth, for it is the place I spent my youth and harbours my most cherished memory. This would be a time when I was about 9 years old and had a very poor appetite, to the extent that I would refuse to eat, and my mother would chase me with a plate of food in her hands all around the garden and even up a tree saying, “one more bite son, one more bite.”
As a child, I was very quiet and enjoyed my own company. I was chiefly fascinated by the rain and clouds and would contemplate sometimes for days as to why doesn’t gravity effect the clouds. And how is the rain divided into trillions of drops rather than a cascading ocean, for surely if the earth’s gravity can influence meteors the clouds are nothing.
Anyway, enough of the science, but not enough of the rain for I am proud to say that I presently live in London, one of the greatest cities on earth. I just love London, especially when the sun comes out it is simply paradise. But oh, how I miss the sun of Bangladesh. I just wish some scientist called the Einstein of our Time comes along with an invention dubbed the Cloud Controller, so this glorious city is perpetually bathed in the sun’s glorious light.
I currently work as the production manager of my father’s clothing factory New Planet Fashions. It is there I coordinate the manufacturing of a vast array of high-end designer dresses and coats. I also co-manage the development of our very own family brand called Coatmaker. I particularly enjoy meeting and negotiating wholesale prices with potential clients as well as visiting their prestigious stores situated in Belgravia as well as worldwide. This is just one of the pretty perks of developing your own brand. Another perk that I really enjoy is free samples along with assembling the trims for our garments, which consist of horn bone toggles and I must say, it is a great feeling to hold a piece of antler that once adorned something as mythical as a stag or dear.
The irony nevertheless is that fashion was never my passion. My passion is and always will be Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, “videogames”, Twilight and the Chronicles of Narnia. These five phenomena’s were the building blocks of my book as I took bits and pieces from all of them. Such as the elements of casting spells from Harry Potter. The elements of the craft of war from Lord of the Rings. The elements of romance from Twilight. The elements of a quest from fantasy videogames like Legend of Zelda and finally the sheer colour and vibrancy of the world of Narnia.
The breath-taking scenery of Bangladesh also inspired much of the scenery described in my book Legend of Horian and The Dycentian Blade, including descriptions of the tall trees, fertile lands, and delicious fruits. Our lake especially in winter would ignite my imagination for there is nothing quite like the sun’s rays dancing on the ripples of the water under a crisp blue sky.
Despite the recent publication of my debut literary work, it was never my intention to write a high fantasy novel. Instead, I wanted to design a videogame that’s a fusion of every genre.
The qualities of my childhood role models and superheroes played a huge role in this. Especially with creating the characters themselves. Inspired by the likes of Einstein, Robin Hood, Ironman and the Incredible Hulk. I wanted my protagonist to be an amalgamation of these four individuals. I wanted Horian to be the ultimate superhero who had the mind of Einstein, the sympathy of Robin Hood, the armour of Ironman but a “medieval version,” and the muscles of the Incredible Hulk.
I wanted to design something that all colours, creeds and ages can instantly relate to. And one might wonder why? Well, I have and still do play a lot of video games and every time I watch the cut scenes I look at it from a director’s point of view. Thinking, this could have been done this way and that could have been done that way and it would have been better if there was an undercurrent of contempt from this character, so it would make more sense of why he did what he did and make it even more powerful. In short, I wanted to play a videogame that has elements of everything and since nothing of this sort ever came out. I thought that I might as well do it, so I began to read widely and avidly and started to compile ideas and the names of the countries and characters that make up Horian’s world.
It was only when my father discovered my list of ideas and suggested that, since designing a videogame is somewhat far-fetched and there was enough content for a comprehensive storyline with complex characters, I should instead turn the story into a novel.
I decided to heed my father’s words of wisdom, and the result of my decision is Legend of Horian and The Dycentian Blade, an action-fantasy that follows an ordinary farmboy on his extraordinary quest for revenge after a tragedy befalls his village. This is just Book One, of a twelve part saga, which took me a mighty 14 years to perfect, and I am now brave enough to invite the world to live the legend by reading this timeless tale that is best described as the epitome of the word epic.
About the author: Although born in Bangladesh, Shah Jalal has lived most of his life with his family in England. When not writing he helps his father run the family retail business in Leytonstone, London. The first book in a twelve part saga, Legend of the Horian & The Dycentian Blade by Shah Jalal (published 9th November 2017 in paperback) is available to buy from online retailers including amazon.co.uk. For more information please visit: www.legendofhorian.com