Thursday, May 3, 2012

Shadow on the Wall: Interview with Pavarti Tyler and a Giveaway

With us today is another great author on tour with Goddess Fish Promotions. Please welcome Pavarti Tyler as we chat about Shadow on the Wall and what makes her tick. Welcome Pavarti!

MK: Controversial and daring, Shadow on the Wall details the transformation of Recai Osman from complicated man to Superhero.” What inspired this fascinating story?

PT: Originally Shadow was written as a part of a writing challenge my friend Jeff Wills put on his blog. He challenged his readers to write about a Middle Eastern superhero.  I wrote about 2k words and realized I was no where near done with the story in my head. I continued working on it for NaNoWriMo 2010 and finished a few months later.  Ultimately, the inspiration was to tell a story which spoke to people on an archetypal level and explore issues which in life are often too frightening to look at directly, such as religious intolerance, misogyny and fate.

MK: What kind of research was involved with this book?

PT: Shadow required a tremendous amount of research.  As I am neither Middle Eastern nor Muslim, I had a lot to learn and authenticity is an extremely important element in fiction. I studied the Middle East and Islam in college and have been a general student of religion all my life, but to become intimate enough with the Qu'ran to quote it in text was a lot of work.   I studied everything from religious texts to the cultural history of the Turkish and Kurds who live in the Eastern regior on Turkey.  Even down to the city I chose, research was essential.  Google “Elih, Turkey” to find it's modern name for a good giggle.

MK:  What is your favorite scene in Shadow on the Wall?

PT: My favorite scene is probably the morning after the attack of Sabiha when Isik wakes up alone in the alley.  Isik was such a fun antagonist to work with.  His vitriolic nature allowed me a lot of freedom with how he thought and saw the world, but the element of vulnerability necessary in all truly evil characters makes him extremely complicated.  Up until that moment we see the world through the eyes of Recai or at least people who see the world in a similar way.  Isik appears and from outside is the icon of evil.  His story, as twisted and uncomfortable as it may be, creates layers within that evil.  Those layers were the fun part of writing Shadow and I think he and Darya exemplify that.

MK:  Who is your most complex character in the book and why?

PT: Darya is decidedly the most complex character in Shadow. Her situation is one I think most women can relate to.  She is defined by her gender, held to standards of conduct not expected of her male counterparts.  Regardless of how intelligent or talented she may be, her gender will always be a factor in how she is regarded.  In the cultural climate of Shadow on the Wall, that fact is enough to slowly drive even the most amenable person wild.  For Darya, the constraints that bind her are even more restrictive due to her family's social status. Pushed to the breaking point, and beyond, I hope that even Darya is someone who at times you find yourself rooting for.

MK: Without giving it all away, please tell us a little something about how Recai Osman is going to get through his biggest challenges.

PT:  Oh man, that's hard.  Recai resists his calling at every turn.  He's unable to believe that he can make a difference.  Despite his wealth and influence, he still believes he is not strong enough, not good enough, to do anything worthy of his father's legacy. I think Recai's biggest challenge is believing in himself and the thing which helps him find it is his makeshift family.  Maryam and Hasad never lose faith in Recai, no matter how petulant he may be.  They know he has a greater calling and in supporting him, give him the strength to submit to Allah's call.

MK: What has been your greatest challenge in writing Shadow on the Wall?

PT: Shadow was difficult to write for a lot of reasons, the fact that it's the first book in a series, 3rd person, male protagonist.  It breaks from my usual writing style in a lot of ways.  It was about finding the poetry.  Once I found the beauty in the story it started to flow.  I noticed in editing, the places that were the roughest were where I lost the beauty of it.  Thank goodness I have the best editor in the world :)

MK: Is there an underlying message you hope readers grasp from this book?

PT: I hope readers come away feeling a connection to the people around them.  In Shadow, the world is very different from the one I live in from day to day, but the people are still relateable.  The reason for this is that good people, trying to do the right thing, and pulling on their beliefs or faith to make themselves better, exist everywhere.  No matter what color they are or if they wear a hijab or if they don't speak the same language, it doesn't matter. When you distill it down to the basics, we're all the same.

MK:  How do you unwind after a long writing session?

PT: I drink :)

MK: What do you have in store next for your readers?

PT: Two Moons of Sera, my serial novel will have another part released in June.  I'm also working on my zombie book, DEVOUR, the second book in The SandStorm Chronicles, Prisoner of the Wind and have one other piece of goodness up my sleeve I'm not quite ready to share yet.  Watch my website for news. 

The Book: 
Recai Osman: Muslim, philosopher, billionaire and Superhero?

Controversial and daring, Shadow on the Wall details the transformation of Recai Osman from complicated man to Superhero. Forced to witness the cruelty of the Morality Police in his home city of Elih, Turkey, Recai is called upon by the power of the desert to be the vehicle of change. Does he have the strength to answer Allah's call or will his dark past and self doubt stand in his way?

Pulling on his faith in Allah, the friendship of a Jewish father-figure and a deeply held belief that his people deserve better, Recai Osman must become The SandStorm.

In the tradition of books by Margaret Atwood and Salman Rushdie, Shadow on the Wall tackles issues of religion, gender, corruption and the basic human condition. Beautiful and challenging, this is not a book to miss.

Book Excerpt:
Recai walked for what seemed like miles, resisting the instinct to second-guess his direction. The sand moved between his toes but soon he found his footing, and his body responded to the landscape as if from some genetic memory. He remembered his father’s words from a trip he took to the Oman desert as a child: Never take your shoes off; the sand will eat away at your feet. Recai had done it anyway, then and now, feeling more in control with that connection to the ground, its movements speaking to his flesh directly.

His father had always been full of surprises: one moment the strict disciplinarian, the next, he would wake Recai in the middle of the night to see a falling star. Recai had never had the chance to get to know him as an adult. Instead, he lived with the enigmatic memory of a great man lost.

Recai stood in the middle of the desert—every direction would eventually lead to Elih or one of the smaller villages scattered around the city. But who would take in a stranger? A stranger with a Hugo Boss turban and a bruised and bloodied face? In’shallah, he would be delivered to safety.

Visit Pavarti!  
My blog is all ages: http://www,
My tumblr is 18+ only:
My Fan Page needs your likes:!/FMPress
My Twitter likes friends:!/PavartiKTyler
My Google+ is random:

Here are links to my books:
Two Moons of Sera 


One randomly drawn commenter will win a $15 Amazon gift card.



  1. Welcome Pavarti! It's great having you with us today.

  2. I know I will appreciate all the research when I read SHADOW ON THE WALL. I'm sure I will learn a great deal.


  3. MK, thanks so much for having me back on your blog! I really enjoyed reading the interview again. You asked a lot of great questions :) Good luck to everyone entering the giveaway and I hope you enjoy Shadow on the Wall!

  4. "I drink"...I love it! I started laughing out loud...and considering that I am reading your blog post in a cardiac procedure outpatient waiting room at our local hospital (I'm waiting for my mom), spontaneous laughter has people looking at me, wondering if I shouldn't be--perhaps--in some OTHER ward!

    It's great that this started out as a writing challenge. Did you think when you started that it would lead to this?

    catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

  5. I never imagined it would lead to this. I was just a silly Twilight FanFic author when I started this and didn't take any of it too seriously. But this story took me over. Both the plot but also the characters. Recai and Darya especially would just show up in my dreams or in the car and start yelling at me about how this was my one chance to DO something about the problems in the world. And then Recai would get all tight jawed and sulky and Darya would start throwing things at me and I had no choice but to write. Otherwise she might have called Isik...

  6. I had a good laugh over the "I drink" answer too the first time I read it.

  7. hehe, I'm nothing if not self aware :)

  8. I love stories that make me laugh. I giggled a lot, but laughed out loud too.

  9. Hi Pan traveling with you once more, lol

  10. Hi Pavarti,
    I enjoyed the excerpt and would like to know if you visited the place of your story setting?

    Jibriel.O (at) web (dot) de

  11. Jibriel, no, I have never been to Turkey. I would love to go someday though. I did extensive reading and research on the area and actually did my Thesis (a long time ago) on Troy which is technically in Turkey!

  12. I like the idea of the book and the thought about it's setting, mostly because of Batman. How do you research for your stories?


  13. Ellie, thanks! I'm a dramaturgue by training so research is my middle name :) I've been studying Islam on and off for over 10 years so I had a sense of the direction I wanted to go for the research. As far as Turkey goes, the internet and some great friends helped a lot. My only fear is that I didn't do it justice, but I certainly tried my best.

  14. Very nice interview. Thanks for sharing more about the characters. They sound very intriguing.