May 19, 2013

Author Interview with Prabh S. Mokha

Hi Prabh first of all, could you tell us a bit about yourself.
I was born in London and after a few years of travelling have settled with my family in the New Zealand wilds. On the way I have undertaken corporate stints training as a Chartered Accountant in the UK and New Zealand, and I have undertaken public service stints as a volunteer for charities. At present I wear a number of hats of responsibility at a High School.

What do you think makes your genre special?
Fantasy is a genre where possibilities are limited only by imagination. Young adult fantasy is targeted at mature(ish) minds so the possibilities need to be grounded in reality to make them believable. This reality-fantasy mix means the writing has to be sophisticated, yet easy to follow; a balance many non-fantasy readers mistake for simplistic prose. A long term aim is to become part of a breed of authors that push the genre further into the mainstream.

What do you think makes a great story?
Characters are the key. If we care what happens to them, we’ll want to turn the page to share in their success or empathise with their failure. A book also needs a rhythm and contextual strands, like a theme tune that crescendos and falls to give the book shape. Also there’s the relationship between the characters; how the tension is built, how the stakes are raised higher and how our heroes get into and out of impossible situations in unexpected yet plausible ways. Finally there’s the subconscious messages that underpin every great story; something that echoes in the readers mind days after the book is finished.  

What is your latest book called and could you explain to us in 20 words what it is about?
The Last Sanctuary - children trapped in a London orphanage are unknowingly the last of a dying race exiled from their own magical world.

Which kind of reader do you think will enjoy your book?
I’ve had 9 to 17 year olds say it was the best book they have ever read (better than Harry Potter). I’ve also had people in their 60 and 70s compare it to Tolkien. Although the key age range is 10-14, I’ve created something that everyone can enjoy and many will absolutely love.

Is it a Standalone, or part of the series? If it the latter, how long do you think will it go on?
It is part of a series of six books.

What influenced or inspired you writing it?
I live in a remote part of New Zealand surrounded by lakes, forests, mountains and very few people. We have no street lighting, mains water, mobile phone coverage or mains sewerage. Our strongest connection to the outside world is satellite broadband. Along with my book-mad daughters we have conjured worlds of possibilities, which have been painstakingly documented and used as the background to The Last Sanctuary. My technical and scientific interest means attention to detail is paramount, but does not compromise the flow needed to draw in younger readers.

Why did you choose especially this title? Was it your first choice?
The story is exactly the one I wanted to tell. It has all the elements from classic stories which I wanted set in a modern context with elements of humour and twists and turns that keeps readers guessing until the end.
Regarding the actual title, my mentor is a former NZ Society of Authors’ Chairwomen. The book’s title was chosen by the members of her Master Class.

What was the hardest part for you working on your book?
Getting up at 5.30 am every day was a test of endurance, particularly in the winter. We have no central heating and leaving a warm bed every morning for 5 years (the time it took me to be absolutely satisfied with my work) was tough at times

Was there a scene that you didn’t want to add or remove in your finished work?
Nope – it’s just as I want it to be.

Do you already know what to do next?
I am half-way through book two of the series, which I am ridiculously excited about. The tension is ratcheted and the choices the protagonists have to face even surprised me when the story unfolded (this natural sense of unfolding will make sense to writers).

Where can we find more about you and your books?
There is a great trailer on You Tube. (search for the Last Sanctuary by PS Mokha) I have an author page on, Amazon and on the publishing company’s website ( You can also find PS Mokha on Facebook. Hard copies are available from Amazon in the US and across Europe. The Last Sanctuary is also available from all the big e-book platforms. However, a great way of getting hold of the book for free is to ask your local library to order a copy – don’t be shy to ask; that’s what they are there for.

Any last words?
Stories are part of our DNA. For thousands of years it was how knowledge was passed between generations, with the most successful civilisations conjuring the most memorable stories that enabled vital survival information to be retained. And finally, don’t underestimate the power of stories.

The Last Sanctuary

Can three orphans with a mysterious past unlock the meaning of a
chilling 700-year-old prophecy; Three will arrive, one to give, one to
die and one to live?
Secret forays from their London orphanage into the hidden world of
Ammasaya reveal how their lives are entwined with blood-thirsty Spine
Crawlers, secretive goblins, deadly scorpions, murderous witches,
enchanting Spry and the powerful Dragons of Creation and Destruction.
A genocidal war and the evil Blood Empress are lurking in the shadows,
waiting to change the orphans’ lives forever.

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