Amongst the several notable Indian authors, Ashok Banker has earned himself name and fame because of his retellings of the Indian mythological epics. His eight-volume Ramayana series became the best-selling work, and it made mythology one of the most successfully selling categories in Indian publishing. Ashok Banker's works have been published in 16 languages and in 58 countries and has sold over 2 million copies of his books.
Born on 7th February 1964, in Byculla, Mumbai, where is British grandmother, May Agnes Smith, had settled to live with Mr. D'Souza. His grandmother has been an influential presence in his life, as he also states in some of his interviews. He self-published his first book titled Ashes in the Dust of Time, which then went on to represent Youth India at World Book Fair in Paris. In a conversation with Anupam Arunachalam, Ashok spoke about how he had already written a science fiction trilogy by the time he was 15. He carried the 800-page full manuscript in his schoolbag and approached publishers every day after school. He even approached Penguin India and received appreciation for his work, but did not get the chance to get published.
Finally, he gave up and started selling his science fiction short stories and poems abroad. He was invited to AIR and had conducted a 30-minute interview solely about his poems on Doordarshan. He continued writing short stories and got published in popular magazines like Interzone and Artemis Weird Tales. He got nominated for several awards and even won a few of them for being the first Indian writer in the field of science fiction fantasy and horror. Apart from his literary contributions, Ashok Banker has also been a successful freelance journalist for the notable newspaper like Times of India and has done cover stories for Outlook magazine.
He has written three books that contain several autobiographical aspects. He has made an incredible contribution to the young readers of India by retelling the greatest epics like Mahabharata and Ramayana. His version of Mahabharata is soon going to be made into a feature film, which is supposed to be the biggest Indian film production in the history of Indian cinema. Ashok Banker is also the writer and creator of
Chakravartin Ashoka Samrat, on the popular channel Colors.