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Put the tales of Sabrina, Count Dracula, Harry Potter and others in a pot. Give them a thorough stir and bring to a boil. Out come interesting and somewhat familiar names like Count Drunkula Von D’eth, Nostra Daemus, Hilda the hag and Sinistra weaved in a plot reminiscent of the usual evil versus the good theme.

There is a difference here though. The characters battling the evil themselves are from the evil worlds of ghosts, blood-suckers and flesh eaters, tantriks, vetals and demons. However, they are evil people with a good heart.

Sonja Chandrachud manages to bring together these varied confusing elements of good within evil and evil within evil in a surprisingly smooth way. The Potion of Eternity begins with the underworld and its order which is under threat from the Black Magi, the blackest of the black

The Transylvanian vampire and a secret service agent for the Wizards Organisation Worldwide (WOW), Count Drunkula Von D’eth, is pressed into service. He relocates to a secret place in the human world, Texas, US, to make a magic potion. This potion when had by the great couple would enable them to produce children with the greatest of powers ever seen.

The task as it turns out to be is not as easy as expected. The count’s Indian tantrik wife almost rises in rebellion against her husband, and is later abducted. The children have to pretend to be human in school and horror of horrors, the cook has to make human food like kebabs and curries instead of the delicious fungus, cockroach sandwich and dark blood cake with crunchy flies sprinkling.

The book races to a climax as the black magi casts devious spells and the count is forced to take him on in a life-threatening one-on-one.

Read this amusing book to know how even the bad guys can have it rough.

Reviews from-

Indian Express, Express India, Screen,Loksatta, Express Cricket, Kashmir Live, Biz Publications,Mon,7 Jan 2008, FinancialExpress web

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The Funny Bone

This Mumbai born author, with her schooling in Zambia and Muscat and then finally in Pune, found it awkward when all her classmates fumbled with numbers and wrecked their minds understanding the human body. She instead, masterminded midnight feasts and spooky ghost stories and regaled her friends with her own versions of them all. An MBA by profession, she has also worked as a copywriter in a Pune-based ad agency. But soon enough her fascination with the Halloween world, love for children and writing combined to make her take the step she had long been contemplating. This month Penguin will launch Sonja Chandrachud’s first book, starting a series on ghostly adventures for children, with humour being the twist in this tale.

* So tell us about your first novel.

The Hilarious Hauntings Adventure, is a series of fantasy adventures, with the first book, The Potion of Eternity, ready to be launched. It introduces the Von D’eth family, the weirdest, meanest and funniest assortment of ghouls, witches and yogis who find themselves embroiled in a battle of witches and witchcraft against the evil Black Magi. The Potion of Eternity is due to hit all major bookstores by mid December 2007.

* How does it feel that such a big publishing house is publishing your very first book?

It feels beyond awesome! It is every writer’s dream to see their work in print. To be published by Penguin, such a big publishing house, is fantastic. When I decided to approach them, I was warned by many to be prepared for a long wait and possible rejection as Penguin has extremely stringent manuscript submission guidelines. But contrary to my apprehensions, Penguin was extremely enthusiastic and I was soon signed on.

* How did you come up with the concept?

Fantasy adventure stories that served up rib tickling humour like Asterix and Obelix are still my favorites. And this genre of writing that allows one to chuckle while trying to outwit the enemy, inspired me to think along the same lines. And truly speaking, one fine night, the Von D’eth’s Family just swooshed into my imagination and began to brew The Potion of Eternity. By morning, every single character was ready in my mind to enter the story.

* Have Harry Potter and JK Rowling also been an inspiration?

I believe it is a better version of Harry Potter, as Harry Potter was a serious series, but my book has a humorous touch in it, that makes it unique and a light hearted read. Asterix and Obelix inspire me much more.

* Why did you choose to write for children rather than adults?

Contrary to popular misconception, children have a far more superior and fertile imagination with the amazing ability to follow intricate twists and turns in the plot. This fascinates and inspires me to pick up my pen and enter their world of magic and make them see the fascinating world I wish to show them.

Reviews from-

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Posted online:Friday,December 14,2007 at 12:00:00, Updated:Thursday,December 13,2007 at 11:03:58,Print Email To Editor Post Comments