“I am fascinated by any epic that has detailed descriptions of beings from antiquity who are revered as gods because of their accomplishments. The mythology of Sumer, Egypt, Persia, Greece, Rome, and India and many other mythologies from around the world fascinate me for this reason” Christopher
This time around Bookaholicanonymous features a rock star author…literally…he is the lead vocalist of the band ‘Mid Life Crisis’ in NCR…is a bestselling author and a corporate honcho all rolled into one…we speak to him about his inspiration, the secret behind his success and about his time management skills…Read on…
About Christopher C. Doyle: He is an author who transports the reader into a fascinating world where ancient secrets buried in legends blend with science and history to create a gripping story. Along the way to publishing his debut novel, ‘The Mahabharata Secret’, Christopher pursued a career in the corporate world after studying from St. Stephens College, Delhi and IIM, Calcutta. Over the course of his corporate career, he has worked with leading multinational organizations as a senior executive and CEO before setting up a strategic consultancy in India in partnership with a US based consulting firm. Christopher is a musician and lives his passion for music through his band called Mid Life Crisis. He lives in Gurgaon with his family.
Christopher's debut novel, ‘The Mahabharata Secret’ released in 2013 was an instant bestseller. His second novel, ‘The Mahabharata Quest: The Alexander Secret’, was released in 2014 and was a bigger success than his first book. His third novel, ‘The Secret of the Druids’ released in 2016 is among the highest selling books. His novella ‘A Secret Revealed’ which is available free on his website was published as a paperback and became an instant bestseller. His next book ‘Son of Bhrigu’ under the ‘The Pataala Prophecy’ series now launched and is doing very well.
So you are a rock star author...where does your band play? Which instrument do you play?
Wow, that’s a big compliment – I feel honoured to be called a rock star author. My band plays in upscale venues in NCR, like Hard Rock Café, The Pianoman, Saint n Sinners and other such venues. I am a lead vocalist for the band.
Who is your favourite musician/band?
I enjoy various genres of music and don’t have a single band that is a favourite. In rock music, I love Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Doors, U2, AC/DC, Metallica. In rock funk, there’s Red Hot Chilli Peppers. In Jazz, there’s Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington, Glen Miller, Louis Armstrong and Weather Report.
When did you start writing?
I wrote my first story at the age of 10. I went on to write three plays when I was 11. From then onwards, I continued writing until the present day.
All your books are connected to the ‘Mahabharata’ majorly...is it that fascinating? What is in the epic that you see and we are not able to?
I don’t think I see anything special in the ‘Mahabharata’ that no one else sees. I have met (and received emails from) a lot of readers who tell me that they have been wondering about exactly the subjects from the Mahabharata that I write about. I think the only difference is that most people have not read the entire ‘Mahabharata’, while I have read and studied it for over a decade now.
In 'The Mahabharata Secret' you have tried to connect Ashoka and ‘Mahabharata’...is there a connection or you tried to make a connection?
While all the historical facts and scientific facts in my books are authentic and validated by experts, the connections I make are fictional – but plausible. Was there a connection between Ashoka and the ‘Mahabharata’? Is it possible that there was a connection? No one has the answer, but this cannot be dismissed out of hand either.
In 'The Mahabharata Quest: The Alexander Secret' Alexander knows of a secret hidden in the epic....that's exciting how...is it all fiction? How did you think of making that connection?
That is a long story but a really interesting one. I was fascinated, since my schooldays, with the mystery of why Alexander turned back from the river Beas, after marching for more than eight years and thousands of miles to reach the land he wanted to conquer – the land beyond the “ends of the earth”, beyond the Indus River – which we now call India. I have not found a satisfactory explanation for his turning back in any of the books that I researched. It also intrigued me that Alexander never disclosed to his troops that they were going to march to the ends of the earth, as the land beyond the Indus was known then. When they left Greece, it was to conquer the Persian Empire. It was only after the Persian Empire was conquered that Alexander revealed to his troops the existence of a vast and rich land beyond the Indus that he wanted to conquer. The mystery deepens when you realise (as I did after extensive research) that Alexander didn’t take the fastest or easiest route to reach India. Enroute to India, he crossed the Hindu Kush mountains twice with his entire army. Again, there is no explanation for this. Some historians have tried to explain this by saying that Alexander wanted to conquer the Central Asian tribes which is why he went north to Samarkhand before travelling east towards India. But that is strange – he went to great lengths to conquer small tribes yet, when he reached the actual objective of his quest – India – he turned back. It just didn’t make sense to me. And then there was the mystery of his death just two years after returning from India, from an affliction that medical science has not been able to explain. Since I couldn’t find a logical answer to these mysteries, I decided to create a fictional one. When you look at the map (provided in my book) of Alexander’s route, it appears that he was searching for something – that is the only explanation I could come up with for his erratic route to India. But what could he have been searching for? He was undefeated in battle in the fourteen years he lived after becoming king at the age of 19. Two years before reaching India, he declared that he was a god and would be worshipped under pain of death. He crucified his own court historian, Callistenes, who refused to worship Alexander as a god; Callisthenes told Alexander that he was mortal like all men. And then it struck me – could Alexander be looking for the secret of immortality? There is a lot of literature about Alexander’s search for the fountain of life. That’s when I made the connection with the Mahabharata. Aristotle had taught Alexander (and the Greeks) that the earth was flat and nothing lay beyond the ends of the earth. Yet, Alexander had discovered a land beyond the ends of the earth. What if he had also discovered that this land harboured a secret – the source of immortality, manifested in the amrita which was obtained through the Samudramanthan described in the ‘Mahabharata’? When, through extensive research, I created a scientific theory – based not on speculation but on actual scientific fact – that explained how the amrita worked, this was the connection between Alexander and the ‘Mahabharata’ that I had been searching for. And, to prove my point about the scene being real, ‘The Economist’ magazine ran a cover story entitled ‘Cheating Death’ two years after the release of my book, describing the very science I had used in the book.
In 'The Secret of the Druids', …tell us if Druids really exited? It's amazing how you have connected ‘Mahabharata’, Julius Caesar, and Britain’s megalithic sites to modern day. How do you do it really?
People have been writing about Druids since 300 BC – maybe even earlier, but we have lost any writings from before that period. So it is likely that the Druids existed – though who they actually were is still a mystery. The connections between the Druids, the ‘Mahabharata’, Julius Caesar and Britain’s megalithic sites seem obvious once the research has been done, so I owe it all to extensive research. Once again, there were mysteries that I had to explore. Who were the Druids? What was their connection to the megalithic sites of Britain? Why did Julius Caesar mount two invasions of Britain while he was busy conquering France, only to return empty handed? Researching the mythology of Ireland and Wales revealed to me deep connections between the Druids and the ‘Mahabharata’. There is also a goddess with a set of sons in Irish mythology that is mentioned in the ‘Mahabharata’ – the same name, the same pronunciation, the same set of sons – it is amazing. Research into the latest technological breakthroughs yielded an insight based on real science – we actually have the technology today to build one of the most powerful weapons mentioned in the ‘Mahabharata’. And what is more, when that weapon is connected with the megalithic sites of Britain, it can be used to control the minds of people – which is exactly what the Druids were famous (or notorious) for. Once I did all this research, it all came together – did the Druids also have this weapon from the ‘Mahabharata’ (after all they did seem to have links with ancient India)? Was this weapon the source of the power of the Druids? Did Julius Caesar invade Britain to get this weapon? And then I found an amazing legend of an Assyrian queen who lived around 2000 BC, who is also mentioned in the Puranas. All I had to do was connect the dots and The Secret of the Druids was born, connecting the Druids, the ‘Mahabharata’, Julius Caesar and Britain’s megalithic sites. It also helped that I spent a lot of time in the UK visiting over 50 megalithic sites to understand exactly how the science could have worked.
In 'A Secret Revealed' you take your readers to Kazakhstan...how have you connected ‘Mahabharata’ to this country? This book is available free on your website, right?
Actually, I took readers to Kazakhstan in ‘The Alexander Secret’ and continued it in ‘A Secret Revealed’. I found an amazing location in Kazakhstan that fitted well with the location of a secret that was vital to the Amrita (as explained by science) in ‘The Alexander Secret’. That’s how I connected the two. ‘A Secret Revealed’ is available for free, in six parts, at ‘The Quest Club’, a club for my readers which can be joined by anyone for free, if they are interested in reading about ancient history, my research, videos and photo tours about ancient mysteries etc.
Now with 'The Pataala Prophecy - Son of Bhrigu' a new series starts? But this time the series is not just connected to ‘Mahabharata’? Right?
Correct. This time, I have drawn from the ‘Mahabharata’, the ‘Vedas’, the ‘Puranas’, the ‘Bhagavad Gita’ and the ‘Srimad Bhagavatam’. I also read up the ‘Kathasaritsagar’, the ‘Kadambari’ and the ‘Rajatarangini’ to get a flavour of Indian mythology.
How many books are there going to be in the new series?
I don’t really plan that far ahead, but I think there is enough material for 5 books in this series.
Other than ‘Mahabharata’ which other epic or god/gods fascinate you?
I am fascinated by any epic that has detailed descriptions of beings from antiquity who are revered as gods because of their accomplishments. The mythology of Sumer, Egypt, Persia, Greece, Rome, and many other mythologies from around the world fascinate me for this reason. It is almost like there is a common thread running through all of them and this is something that I explore through my books in ‘The Mahabharata Quest’ series which link science and mythology.
How do you make time for your passions like writing and music? And your job? What ratio of time do you devote to each?
There is no fixed ratio of time allotted to each. I prioritise. There are times when I go without writing or music because my work takes centerstage. And, there are times, like now, when I travel to promote my book and work takes a backseat for several days. Music is restricted to Sundays for practice and the odd day off whenever we have a show happening, so that doesn’t take a lot of time. But I do try and ensure that I spend time with the family as well. So there is a lot of balancing to do. And my wife and daughter are immensely supportive. I wouldn’t be able to pursue my passions without their understanding and wholehearted support.
Bookaholicanonymous wishes Christopher even more success with his current series...and we hope to meet you in Bhopal soon!
You can check out his website: http://christophercdoyle.com
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