About the Author

In a land dubbed as God’s Own Country, blessed with sweet monsoon rains, a very amiable winter and coconut tree lined beaches, A.J. Antony bleeds his heart out in a word processor- words that either translates into stories for a book or a blog, or ends up in the recycle bin. Most of his friends call him ‘A.J.’, and a few suggested that he go with the name A.J. Antony in the realm of books.

Working as a Medical Officer in the National Rural Health Mission, a programme intended to give free consultations and medicines for the poor, he finds some time daily to fidget with his limited knowledge in Oxford Dictionary and spin some tales. Though being a doctor who serves in the rural areas eats up much of his time, he never forgot his first love: writing.

From the age of about ten, A.J. had begun writing short stories, though most of it never made sense to his parents- who didn’t encourage such a behavior. But they did tolerate the display of his other talents for a limited time, which included: strumming a guitar to make moderately enjoyable music, stroking pencils and brushes to make okayish art, coordinating body movements into an eyebrow-raising break dance.

If the time was right and the friends were close, it wasn’t unusual for him to dribble a basketball across the court and still get appreciated for missing 6 out of 10 shots. He also loves to enjoy a long road-trip with friends or relish drink or two under the moonlight.

But only one thing remained constant: the writing. There were years drowned in guilt when he hadn’t touched a paperback, a sin which he couldn’t repent for, but he always wrote. In the school, he bagged some prizes for short story, essay, and poetry.

He conceived the idea of Otherworld after getting inspired by Rowling’s work while in his sixth grade- Philosopher’s Stone was the first ‘novel’ he had read back then. Then came the time he played Age of Empires, a game which introduced to him the character of Joan d’Arc. This inspired him to undertake a journey of medieval thrillers set in a modern Otherworld.

Back at school, he was the kind of guy who would haggle with the librarian to borrow more books than the allowed quota, which was a pathetic one fiction per week. Stealing his sleeping time to get into late night reads with a torch under the blanket wasn’t unusual either.

This avid reader and wannabe writer got driven into the medical profession, primarily because “writing” was not considered as a ‘proper job’ in his side of the world. Secondarily, he always dreamt of contributing to the alleviation of the suffering, to do what he can to serve humanity. His parents called Medicine a ‘noble’ profession and since the Age of Knights existed only in fiction, he embraced the medical profession.

Being a doctor taught him a lot of valuable lessons regarding life- in fact, it was a life-changing experience to work in an overcrowded government hospital with meager facilities. He witnessed the birth of many unsung heroes in real life, and just like any aspect of life, it had its share of villains.

Even amidst the noble flock of sheep, there always werewolves who wore white woolen wigs- pretending to serve while all they do was loot and plunder. Some of the depictions of injustice and heartlessness of the villains do come from his experiences. Since he was around the field of medicine for a lion’s share of his life, it is not uncommon to find a medical metaphor in his works.

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