Q.  I would like you to share something about yourself with our readers.

I am, Suraj Kothiyal, from the beautiful city of Dehradun. A mechanical engineer and an MBA in marketing,I had five years of corporate experience before I started my own construction firm that develops beautiful living spaces in Dehradun.

As a child, I had been writing poems in Hindi for my school magazine but the passion for writing bloomed when I started looking for doing something meaningful with my life. The love for poetry continues, and my collection of Hindi poems can be seen on my personal blog that goes by “poems.surajkothiyal.com”.

I start my day by hitting the gym. The rest of the day is invested in either constructing a beautiful building or constructing an exotic fable on my laptop – both supplemented by heavy doses of tea.

Q. How did you come up with the idea of writing this genre?

Living in the Himalayas, there are temples everywhere. Some are big, some are small.The temples, the ancient statues and idols kept in them, have a story behind them. How much of it has been told, I wonder!!! 

Q. Where did you find the inspiration to write this book?

I went to Bali for my honeymoon. It was a very refreshing experience. Bali is a Hindu island inside the Muslim dominated country of Indonesia. I got to see Hinduism from a very different perspective. Their beliefs and practices pleasingly vary to ours. This led me to thinking about the time when Maharishi Markandeya must have come to Bali and introduced our Hindu gods to the native people of Bali.   

So when I returned from the scenic island, apart from precious romantic memories, the Hindu culture on the island had also given me an inspiration for my next book. I started researching on the culture and history of Bali. The Balinese Hindu culture is full of mystical traditions that have never been revealed before in such a compelling story.  The history of island provided me the iconic characters of valiant Prince Erlangga and his commander Kebo Chiwa,who fought to rescue the island from the dark forces.

Many people get confused over the usage of the word Dewtas in the title of the book. However in Balinese, Devtas is written as Dewtas

Q. What exactly does your book convey?

Neskalam-Sekalam. My book depicts a continuous struggle between the good and evil forces and how a brave persistent Prince, brings glory to his island.

Q. What all was going in your head while penning down this book?

The traditional heritage of Bali had mesmerised me. After doing an extensive research on Bali’s history and culture, I got to know about the usage of different masks. Masks are sacred and very powerful force of nature in Bali.Excerpt from the book :

“You are making a very beautiful mask,” Neer complimented, trying to strike a conversation with the carpenter.

“If you make an attractive home, someone will want to live in it,” the carpenter replied.

Q. How much time you used to commit to this book?

One year

Q. Was there any moment you backed off from the idea of writing a book?


Q. How do you handle the criticism that comes towards your way?

I am learning with each and every step. Every criticism is a lesson to be learnt for the future.

Q. How was your experience with the publisher throughout the publishing of the book?

I was so captivated by the idea of the book that even before contacting the publisher, I had contacted a very talented artist from Kolkata and got the cover and illustrations ready.  

Q. How would you like to advice budding authors?

Write and keep writing. One day everyone will read the fantasies of your mind, if you have patience to wait for that day.

Book Review: The New Dewtas