Winged Post is happy to have Olivier Lafont, the French actor and author of the mythological novel Warrior‘s exclusive attention and is thrilled to post the interview conducted with him.
How was your transition from France to India? Any difficulties that you faced?
My family moved from France to India when I was seven years old, and the transition was difficult. I joined the American Embassy School, so I had two new cultures to adjust to, American and Indian. I also didn’t know any English, and had to learn it as quickly as possible to join the regular stream of education. The main difficulties I faced were cultural and linguistic. It did take some time, but I grew to love India – which is why I’m still here now.
How did you improve your skills in English?
I was able to develop skill in English because I was genuinely interested in the language, in reading, in writing. I became obsessed with my dictionary, even packing it in my suitcase when we traveled so I could learn new words.
If not fantasy, what would have been your chosen genre of writing?
That’s a tricky question, since fantasy is a fairly integral part of me and my history. I think I would have probably gravitated to science fiction.
If ‘Warrior’ is made into a film, which character do you think you would be fit to play?
I would play Saam – I know him through and through, and have lived his life in my writing.
Can you tell us about the research you made for writing this novel? What obstacles did you cross for undertaking the research?
The general research that forms the background of ‘Warrior’ is a lifetime of reading about Indian history, mythology, religion, philosophy. Once I had the idea and structure of the story in mind, I began to explore the pertinent subjects more specifically. Since I like to keep my writing process fairly organic and unpredictable there were many new elements that appeared along the way, so I’d spend time through the writing researching these elements. I don’t think there were any obstacles to my research, it was all straightforward.
After the promotion of ‘Warrior’ can we expect a sequel?
There are some ideas I have in mind, and I’d love to continue the story. There’s a whole world of ideas and themes here I’d like to explore. Let’s see!
Your relationship with contemporary writers?
I don’t know any contemporary writers very well, although I’ve met a few. Writing is a private endeavour, whereas media and performing arts involves more people, so most of the people I know are from the media and performing arts.
Any issue in India that you consider needs immediate attention and action?
I feel very strongly and urgently about the environment. Whatever may happen politically or socially, the vital bottomline for humanity is the health of the planet. We’re coming dangerously close to the point where all our modern influence won’t be able to turn back the critical mass of negative effects. That said I’m still hopeful about human ingenuity and determination, and that we can turn this ship around if we can get enough people to realise that this matters right now.
Does ‘Warrior’ have any message to the society?
I don’t have any message I want to communicate, frankly, with ‘Warrior’. I just want readers to have fun reading it. That said, there was one underlying social theme I wrote in very consciously, that of integration. I believe that integration, especially in a country as amazingly pluralistic as India, can be effectively and beautifully expressed in our art and our culture.
What do you think you can do as a writer to change any evil in the society? Have you done anything before?
I think it depends on the person’s ideology. I don’t think I would write a book about a social issue specifically, that’s not how I operate as an artist – and I don’t think people pick up a book in this genre to read about a social cause. If I feel strongly enough about the issue I prefer to be directly active about it. However I do believe that a writer’s ideology is reflected in his or her work. My social ideas and opinions are present in my work, and whatever impact they may have on a reader is the change I feel I can effect through my writing.
Feel free to use the following links to stay in touch with Olivier and his writings.
‘WARRIOR’ BOOK TRAILER LINK
‘WARRIOR’ AMAZON LINK