I.J. Roy, lives in Chappaqua, NY with his enduring wife and two overactive sons, trying to balance between his bread earning job at the Big Apple and finding ways to channel his hyper-imaginative mind. Being a history buff and geography enthusiast from early childhood, IJ uses his analytical nature and imagination, to bring to life for his readers, ancient places that time has forgotten.
A recent interview with the author.
Q: Is there any story behind why you wrote The Meluhhan Oracle?
A: Yes there is a story behind my The Meluhhan Oracle. I had just left my job in London, and moved back to Westchester County, which is just north of New York City. As my previous employers had put me on a gardening leave, after many years I had some free time. At the same time my elder son had started attending a weekend school to learn my mother tongue, Bengali. That year, the students were being introduced to the history of India. For his project, my son chose the Indus Valley Civilization. He had many questions, most of which I did not have answers to. When I was in school, we had studied about a relatively small civilization in this area, which was contemporary to Egyptian and Mesopotamian civilization. However, when I started surfing the net, I was surprised by what I found. When I had studied history in school, only about 40 to 50 sites had been found. After I left India, I got interested in the history of other Lands, and had not kept up with new discoveries in India. I found out that 1400 sites had been found, and new sites were being dug up regularly. One fifth of the ancient world’s population lived here. It was bigger than Mesopotamia and Egypt combined. And what fascinated me even more was now little we still knew about these great engineers and scientists. That was the genesis of The Meluhhan Oracle.
Q: Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
A: The first stories that I imagined and narrated, was when I was 8 or 9 years old. Most of these, were narrated to my younger sister, and two of my younger cousins.
However, The Meluhhan Oracle is the first story that I actually penned down, or actually typed out.
Q: Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
A: Since childhood, everyone in our family, were avid readers. And come to think of it, I don't remember the first book I ever read.
Q: Who are your favorite authors?
A: I have many. I have been an avid reader since childhood. And as for most of my professional career I have travelled a lot, giving me even more reading time. The authors who have influenced my thoughts behind The Meluhhan Oracle are also many - but mainly JRR Tolkien and Wilbur Smith.
Q: What are you working on next?
A: The sequel to The Meluhhan Oracle. I don't have a title for it yet - my project is called East of Meluhha.