Local author publishes debut novel
By Bella Ross
After a lifetime of sticking her nose into books, local author Prasanna Madabushi realized the gaps she noticed in literature could be filled with a story that is uniquely her own.
The product of this realization was “Heir to Malla,” Madabushi’s debut novel that dives into a fantasy world through the lens of an Indian princess.
“There was a gap and I realized I wanted to read a book that was based in Indian culture,” Madabushi said about her decision to write her first novel.
The story tracks the dilemmas of an Indian princess whose brother mysteriously disappears. Meanwhile, the princess is being pushed by her father to marry a prince from a neighboring kingdom, prompting a series of romantic and ethical battles.
Although these battles are not physical in nature, Madabushi said this was part of her goal.
“I wanted to portray a strong female protagonist, but not necessarily strong in a traditional male way …” Madabushi said. “She does not fight in a physical sense, but she’s very strong.”
For somebody with an engineering degree and a job in the technology sector, Madabushi said picking up the pen was daunting at first. She’s never confronted many of the storytelling techniques familiar to career writers, and had no experience working on such an expansive writing project.
After working on a draft for about three years, Madabushi deemed her words ready to meet a second set of eyes.
“I did enjoy working with her and she really did the work,” said freelance editor Christa Yelich-Koth. “She put the effort into it, and so I knew that because of her willingness to try harder, to work harder, to learn more, the book just was going to get better and better. And you can see that on the page.”
Yelich-Koth and Madabushi worked on “Heir to Malla” for about two years before the finalized version became available.
One piece of advice Madabushi carried with her throughout the process is that the novel was entirely her own, and that it needed to be written as such.
“Just write for yourself. Write a book that you want to read,” Madabushi said. “And then you will find others who have similar interests.”
Now that “Heir to Malla” is available for purchase, Madabushi said she is excited to be working on a second book for the series.
“I think whatever she puts out next, she’s just going to keep improving more and more,” Yelich-Koth said.
To learn more about “Heir to Malla,” visit AnnaBushi.com.