One of the most interesting facets of writing is that each line vividly depicts the writer. Every writer has their own flavour, set of attributes, and expertise. Only a hardworking few can develop a fan following around the piece of art that they’re creating.
In the genre of espionage, where we’ve seen some phenomenal writing from the likes of Charles Cumming, Alan Furst, and Paul Vidich, one name has undoubtedly made its way into the hearts of all those intrigued by mystery, action, and love.
Presenting the woman of the hour and the writer behind one of the most exciting spy-fiction books of today—Puja Guha!
So, what has she been up to?
With the latest instalment of The Ahriman Legacy, we see the return of the iconic Petra Shirazi, Kasem, and Carlos. This time, we’re delving into a more psychological and drama-driven narrative that illustrates the level of versatility Puja can conjure with her words. While every writer has an ace up their sleeve, Puja has two. The Ahriman Legacy has become nothing less than a brand. Puja’s writing style is intricate; she weaves words into her fabric, creating a whole world for her readers to explore.
But her flagship series has us curious for more. So, we spoke to the author and got all the details on her creative process and behind-the-scenes. She had quite the insights to share and some comprehensive tips on how she does what she does!
A good writer has many teachers, and Puja makes sure she extracts the best from every book she reads. She draws inspiration from the most unconventional of places, delving deep into her inventiveness.
But words can only do so much.
There are perks to being an independent consultant; Puja gets to travel a lot. She’s been to the most fascinating cities, inspiring her to adapt realistic descriptions and locations into her books. When you read The Ahriman Legacy, you are transported to not just one world of the writer’s making but many.
The series has been a captivating read for her fans and critics alike. The history and events that have transpired in the setting and locations invite you to become a part of it. Puja takes us from the historical metropolis of Kuwait to Burundi, the heart of Africa, in Reckoning from the Shadows. Puja emphasizes the country’s traumatic history and its abundance of nature, which she helps her readers explore as if they were there. Puja’s attention to detail is meticulous and authentic, a treat for all those seeking to flip through the pages of her mind-blowing series.
When it comes to the characters, you don’t see Kasem, Petra, and the gang bound by fiction; it’s like you know them and have grown with them through the story.
We’ve seen Petra and Kasem’s relationship develop from Ahriman III: Resurgence of the Hunt, and look where they are now. Without spoiling too much, at the start of the book, the dynamic duo of Petra and Kasem breaks down their walls and perseveres. But here’s what will excite you —what’s so beautiful about The Ahriman Legacy is that the side characters, too, make their mark. Puja doesn’t write your average antagonist; hers are gripping and relatable! It takes a true genius to create villains that appeal to the masses—in her case, espionage aficionados. Most writers would show their villains in some high-flying action from the get-go; Puja prefers taking her time and giving us readers breadcrumbs on the characters until the finale, which worked out great for one character in particular in the latest instalment of The Ahriman Legacy—who shall not be named!
But what’s the secret behind writing such larger-than-life characters? According to Puja, she lets them be their own person. Writers would agree there comes a point in the creative process where the character just seems to write itself. Even though you’re their creator and breathed them to life, your role becomes limited to that of a spectator as they move toward their defining moments themselves.
Puja’s books have plenty of these moments.
Petra has been a fan favourite since day one, and rightfully so. In a world where girls seek inspiration to fight the bad guys, Petra Shirazi, witty, strong, and elegant, does not disappoint.
Exciting locations, relatable characters, and to-die-for plots—what’s next for our author and her critically acclaimed series? For the future of her books, Puja plans on a fifth instalment that she is currently busy writing, with a possible spin-off on the way as well.
The Ahriman Legacy is a treat for spy-fiction lovers. If you’re a fan of espionage and Puja Guha’s spell-bounding world, much more is coming your way.
So, buckle up!