Interview with Priya Sharma, author of ‘The Orchid Hunters’

Priya Sharma has written two stories for Alt Hist so far: ‘The Bitterness of Apples’ in Issue 1 and ‘The Orchid Hunters’ in Issue 2. She kindly answered a few questions for Alt Hist.

How did you get into writing?

Reading a great book transported me but it also made me envious. I realised I wanted to write too and was making excuses not to. Some people find it a natural, easy process but I had to go through a very big pain barrier to make a start. Writing can feel like pulling teeth but nothing beats the thrill of completing a story (except for an editor accepting it, of course).

What do you do apart from writing?

I love books and films. It’s my mother’s fault. She introduced me to Hardy and Hitchcock. I’m a doctor by day.

How did you come up with the idea of writing about Victorian orchid hunters?

Men once died looking for what we can now get at the local garden centre. I find the history of the mundane fascinating- wars were once waged over coffee and nutmeg. Orchids are a window into a certain strata of Victorian society and its ideals. When I saw a documentary that showed elephants cradling the bones of their dead I knew I wanted to work it into a story and the ‘elephant orchid’ was born.

Are you working on any other short stories or novels at the moment and if so can you tell us a bit more about them?

I have two novels sat on my hard drive that need reworking- one is a historical fantasy and the other science fiction. I’m currently writing a horror short about the recession. The other piece I’m wrestling with is about a woman haunted by the failure of her marriage.

What are your ambitions as a writer?

To write more and write better. To be better at plotting. My approach to writing doesn’t lend itself to tight story structure, so it means I have to do a lot of rewrites to get a story I’m happy with. If I was better at planning it would also make it easier for me to write another novel.

Priya’s website: contains more information and links to her other work.

Don’t forget to read the free extracts of Priya’s stories ‘The Bitterness of Apples’ and ‘The Orchid Hunters’.

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Alt Hist Issue 1 Print edition available via Amazon

I am pleased to announce that the print edition of Alt Hist Issue 1 is now available via Amazon.

Please visit if you want to order it.

Just as a reminder the first issue of Alt Hist contains the following stories:

  • “The Silent Judge” by David W. Landrum
  • “Easter Parade, 1930” by Rob McClure Smith
  • “Holy Water” by Andrew Knighton
  • “Lament for Lost Atlanta” by Arlan Andrews
  • “The Bitterness of Apples” by Priya Sharma
  • “Travelling by Air” by Ian Sales

Gareth Jones at SF Crowsnest reviewed the first issue and pronounced it “an interesting selection of stories and a successful debut issue”.

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50% Off Alt Hist Issue 1 Until End of December 2010

I have now made available a 50% discount off the first issue of Alt Hist. This discount is available as follows:

Print copies via Lulu at £3.50/copy or equivalent US pricing

Ebooks in various formats available via Smashwords use the coupon code XE57C to buy at the discounted rate of $3.50

Kinde ebook available from Amazon for $3.49 (may take a couple of days to see on the Amazon site).

Please enjoy Alt Hist Issue 1 responsibly during the holiday season.

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Lulu 15% discount Offer on Issue 1 of Alt Hist

Alt Hist Issue has kindly sent me a special promo code granting a 15% discount off copies of Alt Hist Issue 1.

Simply visit the product page for Alt Hist Issue 1 on Lulu and when checking out use the following coupon code:


It looks like this offer expires on 15th December.

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Get your Alt Hist Now!!!

Get your copy of Alt Hist Issue 1 before everyone else hears about it! Alt Hist is now available in print format and ebook format, and readers of this blog will be the first people to hear about it!

Print copies are available via Lulu and ebooks available via Smashwords right now!

Over the coming weeks other ebook retailers will start getting the book, so don’t worry if you want to get it via your Kindle or iPad, we have a solution for you!

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