Interview with Sage Patel, Author of Tarak

06 Dec 2023

What’s the story behind the story? What inspired you to write Tarak?

So many things. I tell myself stories to fall asleep and one day I decided I needed to write this one down. I wanted to bring readers to a unique world that had inspiration from Indian and Caribbean folklore but combined elements of many sci-fi favorites. Tarakians can generally be described as a blend between Pierce Brown’s Golds and Dune’s Fremen. Ultimately, I wrote this book for those who find home in worlds beyond our own.

If you had to pick theme songs for the main characters of Tarak, what would they be?

I create playlists for the main character of each book I write to help focus my attention on them when I’m not writing. It helps my mind dive into my worlds with ease while on a walk or doing errands. Apashe and Troyboi’s music immediately throws me into action scenes of Tarak. The music combines orchestra with dark electronic tones and rap music that is the trifecta of many fights and high-tension scenes.

What’s your favorite genre to read? Is it the same as your favorite genre to write?

I’m a creature of habit. I fell in love with writing because of my genre. Most of what I read is science fiction and fantasy sprinkled in with non-fiction works as well.

What books are on your TBR pile right now?

Too many. Lightbringer by Pierce Brown, Lords of Uncreation by Adrian Tchaikovsky, Starter Villain by John Scalzi, Fractal Noise by Christopher Paolini, The First Sister by Linden Lewis, The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin, and many more.

What scene in your book was your favorite to write?

Much of the world building is very vivid and intense and throws you into these grand environments. But my favorite scene is one that has a simple setting. A very important dinner scene with the Syndicate (the galactic governing body) meeting King Relaa on Tarak. It is epic. Politics, power, greed, anger, negotiation, intrigue, betrayal, and blood all in one scene. I reread those chapters often for inspiration.

Do you have any quirky writing habits? (lucky mugs, cats on laps, etc.)

Weird seating positions and an excessive amount of coffee. I’m not the type of author who can write x number of words a day and stick to a well-drawn-out schedule. My career in finance is very structured and intense so my writing I take in sprints. When I get inspiration, I jump on my laptop. When I do not have motivation, I stare at a computer screen and aimlessly check my phone.

Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?

I do and it’s one I sort of made up. There’s a Latin phrase that is all over Sci-Fi, “Per Aspera Ad Astra” which translates to “Through hardship to the stars.” I wanted to create a simpler one for myself and my readers. The word “Oopar” in many Indian languages means “Above” but for my Tarakians and other works I’ve written it means “Onwards and Upwards.”

If you could choose one thing for readers to remember after reading your book, what would it be?

That this story is going to get so epic. No one is all good or all bad, anyone could be the “bad guy” and morality, when the stakes are this high, gets blurred.


Sage Patel is the author of the new book Tarak: Blood Dictates All

Connect with Sage Patel

Author Site


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