The Next Big Thing: Amulya Malladi

I was tagged by the very talented Sujata Massey who writes the lovely Rei Shimura series to be part of a blog chain – The Next Big Thing where writers tell readers about their upcoming books.

I’m going to be honest – as I don’t have a contract in place and no new book coming, which makes it a little difficult to talk about The Next Best Thing; but you can check out my previous book The Sound of Language. It might not be the next best thing but it’s definitely the last best thing I wrote. And makes a lovely Christmas present (hint!).

Regarding what’s next? I’m working on a children’s book The First Book, which was my way of introducing my kids to Indian mythology. Hopefully, I will finish this soon and get it to my agent who will sell will it like immediately (and then I’ll climb Mount Everest in my shorts). So here goes nothing and a quick introduction to The First Book – and if you all think the idea is fabulous then I’ll keep my fingers crossed and hope a nice editor at a nice house thinks the same.

What is the working title of your next book? 

The First Book

Where did the idea come from?



I wanted to tell my kids about Indian mythology – we have a rich, rich mythology and I wanted my kids to know who Indra (God of Gods) is and Asuras (demons) and Trishanku and Garuda and Yama…and the list is endless. And yes, all these mythological characters do appear in the book.

What genre best defines your book?

Middle Grade fantasy I believe.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Hmm…not sure. I don’t know 12-13 year old actors. Needless to say, nothing from the Harry Potter or Twilight variety.

What is a synopsis of your book?

When Olivia and Marco end up on Nanda Parbat with their archeologist mother and best friend Theo on a hiking trip – they find out that Olivia is actually a reincarnation of a very old soul that wrote The First Book, a book that gives its reader immense power. And now gods and demons are chasing Olivia to dig into her memories to find out where her previous incarnation hid the First Book and Olivia’s mother has gone missing, kidnapped by a truly bad guy who’s also looking for the First Book. Olivia, Marco and Theo with the help of Garuda, a celestial eagle and Nagi, a snake from hell (literally) have to find the First Book before the bad guys do and save the universe.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Definitely represented by Matt Bialer of Sanford Greenburger if it’s up to snuff…and not self-published…for now.

How long did it take you to write the first draft?

Took me 10 months. What can I say, I work as a marketing manager in a medical device company and I have that usual family stuff, so it’s been taking longer and longer to write a book. I’m getting better though!

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Rick Riordan’s books. My kids love them.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I want my children to know what I know about Indian mythology or some of what I know. This seemed like the best way to tell them the stories and they helped me write the book. We came up with the characters together and plotted the first half together. It was so much fun!

What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?

A fast-paced fantasy story laden with great characters from Indian mythology and there’s my indomitable protagonist, twelve-year old Olivia.

Now that you’ve read my blog – please read The Next Best thing in the blogs of some other great writers (with genuine book contracts).

Sujata Massey – she’s an amazing person and an amazing writer. Learn everything about her next book in her blog.

Caroline Leavitt – she’s not part of The Next Best Thing blog chain but she’s a lovely writer and funny Facebook lady and is introducing her new book “Is This Tomorrow” on her blog

And from Naomi Hirahara’s The Next Big Thing blog are some more recommendations:

Gar Anthony Haywood — I was reading Gar’s Aaron Gunner series before publishing my first Mas Arai novel. Gar is a pioneer and you can find his blog on Murderati.

Ed Lin — Ed’s a wonderful down and dirty writer. He will have some interesting news to share as well over on his blog