Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I am an emerging communication professional who has been writing since the age of 11 years hoping that one day I will have written a book. Strangely enough, it took 15 years and then, only when life hit me real hard, that I got to putting together my first book.
Growing up in a modest Indian family, I have had a humble education first to be an engineer and then to do communication. In my short but continuing working life, I have had the chance to be a software engineer, a PR executive, an assistant professor, communication coach, pre sales consultant and a marketing associate.
‘You Adored, Me Ignored’ is my first book. I am working on my next one now.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
Well, my latest book is pretty much my first and it is called- You Adored, Me Ignored.
As to what inspired me to write this one, first of all, let me tell you that I was not planning to write it anyway. And when I did, I have no intention of getting it published either.
It so happened that I was going through a period of time when, unlike most people of my age (at the time I wrote the book), who believed that theirs is ‘The’ life, I didn’t think so. In fact I felt I was destined to be a failure. That somehow I didn’t figure in the good books of the universe. So I reasoned to myself that if I was headed for much bigger failures anyway, why not start documenting how it all began. And that’s how I got to writing one incident or chapter in a week. I paced it that way. Initially even I had no clue that it would turn out to be a book, but when exactly a year later I found that indeed I had, I was pleasantly surprised.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
Well, if scribbling potential story lines, characters and dialogues while seating through a boring meeting or conference sounds unusual, then I guess that would be my ‘unusual writing habit’ lol! Otherwise, I have the usual writing habits.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
My writing style and the over all approach to writing has been influenced by the works of Terry Pratchett, Agatha Christie, Jerome K. Jerome and P.G Wodehouse.
What are you working on now?
Am currently exploring 2-3 storylines and also writing a weekly column for an online writers’ site called Writersmelon.com.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
What I have found is that, the social media and the various online mags, discussion forums and sites that review books are definitely the fastest, easiest and budget efficient ways to promoting a book. I have used all of these means and the results have been very satisfying.
Of course, the trick here is to know which are the ones that belong to your book’s target group.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Think more and have self discipline. All accomplished writers have been able to produce their great works because of these aspects, amongst other things.
I do hear a lot on the lines of ‘I write on the spur of the moment, it comes from the heart’ kind and most of them are from ones who are yet to develop even the basics of their craft. As a result it shows in their writing. If your intention is to do writing as a hobby, then this is fine. But not for serious writing.
That requires practice, thinking and discipline. Its almost like a full time job. And like any other full time job where you work hard to be better and earn more, this too needs sincere efforts.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Well, the best advice came from my publisher Wisdom Tree who encouraged me to actively dissect a book after reading it and to re read it as many times as required until I was happy with the dissection. I have followed this most faithfully and in doing it what I have realized that not only has it enriched my ‘after reading’ experience, it has also refined by my thinking process when it comes to writing. Am definitely not going to give up this habit!
What are you reading now?
I am currently reading Violett Graff’s ‘Lucknow’ which is a collection of essays on the history of the city of Lucknow, in the state of Uttar Pradesh in India. It is where the first war of Indian independence had taken place.
What’s next for you as a writer?
More writing and reading, of course!
On a more serious note, parallel to doing writing, I would really like to participate- actively or as audience- in more discussions and workshops involving serious writers so that I can develop myself better. There is something about these events that seem to trigger an undiscovered part in you that eventually ends up motivating you to do better. I like that.
And yes, I would also like to explore and study the various forms of narration and work on them so that I can use them in my future works.
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
Well, my pick would be – ‘Three men on a bummel’ by Jerome K. Jerome, ‘Pyramids’ by Terry Practchett and 2 of Agatha Christies’ mysteries set in Egypt. Wow, it already sounds pretty exciting!