Bhuban Patra is a travel blogger by choice and a marketing executive by profession. He has a degree in management from Maastricht School of Management, Netherlands and holds a certification in Social Media Marketing. He was born in Balasore, a quaint district in Odisha and was raised up in Bhubaneswar.
Bhuban Patra is a contemporary traveller, who found interest in writing when he started exploring and blogging about Odisha and its inheritance. He travelled deep into the history and culture, where he found monuments yet to be explored and its stories to be told. His traveller heart and spontaneous photography led him to become a travel blogger and then an author.
Bhuban’s debut book “Where is Ekamra” has been appreciated by many and he has been awarded one of the top hundred debut Indian Authors of 2019, by Literatureslight and Criticspace Journal. His latest book ‘Lotus Land’ is published by Leadstart publishing.
He currently resides in Hyderabad with his wife and two pets.
TBE: Tell us about your book, can you share with us something about the book that isn’t in the blurb?
Bhuban Patra: Lotus Land is the first part of the Konark Secrets Duology. There are many secrets associated with the grand sun temple at Konark, and this story is my take on a probable prophecy that led to the building of a colossal temple. Though it is historical fiction, I have blended mythology to make it an exciting read.
TBE: If you don’t mind backtracking a little, what led you to originally write Lotus Land?
Bhuban Patra: I undertook this book’s writing after discovering that there has not been enough written about Odisha and, more specifically, on the temples of this state. I unravelled so many things during my research and visits to these architectural masterpieces, and they deserved a mention.
TBE: Is there more pressure when you tell a story about ancient history? How is the research process different?
Bhuban Patra: I feel there were many challenges in writing this book. History in India has been reported in a linear way emphasizing more on dates rather than the events. What we read may not have happened in the way it is told. For me, the best way to research was meeting and talking with the locals and then getting back to the books written about them.
TBE: What comes first? The idea for a story or a historical event that you begin to research? How do you choose your subject matter?
Bhuban Patra: I believe more in the idea of the story than the historical event. As I said, one cannot know the exact reason why a particular monument was built, so for me, the myths surrounding it plays an integral part in choosing the subject.
TBE: Historical fiction is a particularly difficult genre to master. The writer cannot let his imagination run unchecked, but must adhere to facts. How much creative license do you allow yourself?
Bhuban Patra: As a student of history, I need to make sure the timelines and characters are well placed in that period. Basic research on culture, food, clothes and behaviour has to be studied. History is such a subject that determining its exactness is a challenge, so a blend of mythology broadens the scope of creativity in the story.
TBE: When you develop characters do you already know who they are before you begin writing or do you let them develop as you go?
Bhuban Patra: All the characters in Lotus Land are present in history books, but their portrayal has been different. History mentions their achievements, but there is no detailing of how and what they did in their lifetime. I had the leverage to characterise in my way. While writing, I felt as if I was the person himself and being in that situation, what kind of emotion I would have carried. All the characters evolved with age and the events they faced in their life.
TBE: How long did it take you to write this book?
Bhuban Patra: It took me close to six months to write, with over two years of research backing the narration.
TBE: What do you hope your readers take away from this book?
Bhuban Patra: Every state in India has a rich history to tell. I want my readers to know the untold stories of Odisha and its inheritance.
TBE: What was one of the most surprising things you learned during creation of your book?
Bhuban Patra: I came to know that Historical Fiction has a large readership base in India and abroad. If our history is told in an interesting way, people would love to learn more and read the fascinating tales of their land.
TBE: Is there anything you are currently working on that may intrigue the interest of your readers?
Bhuban Patra: The 2nd part of the series is now complete, and I am giving it a second look before it gets to the publishers. I thru my writing, intend telling the numerous enthralling tales of Odisha to the world.