1. How long have you been writing? What was your first creation and when?
Answer- I started my literary journey in 2009 when I wrote an article for a local English daily, The Telegraph. Ever since that achievement, there was no looking back. I accomplished my first novel, The Adventures Beyond Existence in 2014 which earned me the Rajiv Gandhi Youth Literary Award in Odisha. It was based on a teenage boy named Shlok who found himself in the land of restless spirits called Saptraj.
2. How has writing has made an impact on your life?
Answer- A lot. At first, I used to write because during my B.Com days, I used to find lots of time for leisure which I decided to invest in savings. Gradually life changed and so did the work hours but writing fiction was something which always found time, even during the busiest days. One thing I must tell you and that is, most authors feel a sense of void after they have just commenced with their novel which pushes them forward to find new topics, challenges and other plots. After I had completed writing The Adventures Beyond Existence, I realized that to evolve as a writer, we need to read more and until my next novel, which is “Never Again”, I went through 137 books.
3. Who is your role model and why?
Answer- My parents, which is self-explanatory. The other role models I have are Sun Tzu, the Chinese philosopher and H. G. Wells. I like following the ideals of Sun Tzu because he has outlined the various kinds of people who would be effective and how war strategies can be formed thousands of years ago and his ideals still hold a place of authority. Being a SF author, I admire HG Wells for continuing to weave stellar literary wonders during a phase of tension in late 19th century and bringing out marvels such as “The First Men on the Moon” and “The War of the Worlds”. When it comes to sports, my role model is Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
4. What are your hobbies apart from writing?
Answer- Probably, surfing some educational or informative videos on Youtube and searching for breakthrough research papers. The latest one that I’m reading is about LUCA or Latest Universal Common Ancestor (i.e. an ancestor whose genes we all share)
5. Do you have entire concept well formed in your mind or you invent it while actually penning it down?
Answer- I frame it well before going ahead with my novel. This is because chapter outlines or a draft is a necessary tool which publishers demand before deciding whether your novel would be published or not. A concise chapter outline is always a win-win document for both the author and the publisher. It also gives us a precise outlook on how our novel would come out chapter by chapter. Also, you can come across another plot while writing your novel hence it’s prudent to write a draft every time we come across such plots.
6. What kind of response have you received from readers across the nation about your book? Are you satisfied with it?
Answer- Mild response, although I would prefer more. On the positive side, with more books, I’m earning more readers. I’m satisfied with whatever I get at the end of the day.
7. If not an author, what would have been your profession and why? Or framed otherwise, which profession would you choose except being an author and why?
Answer- Product manager or a relationship manager, because obviously I used to be a relationship manager before I turned to full time content-writing and writing novels. Going back to a typical post-MBA sales job would be nostalgic!
8. What would be your advice to upcoming and budding authors?
Know your plot before you write, create a strong central character in your novel and pitch it better to publishers. Most authors do not know how to pitch a novel to publishers and that is essentially what the publisher wants to know what you are looking for? What are the age-groups you would target and who all will be your readers?
9. In what way do you think your books are making an impact on readers?
Answer- My books are meant for the niche market and not the masses. Hence, expecting a bestseller confirmation isn’t something which I would ideally long for. It opens the Indian readers to new genres which haven’t been tried before or has been tried in a limited manner. My first book, The Adventures Beyond Existence is a paranormal romance. My second book, Never Again is a military thriller while my last one, Not Worth Living For is a science fiction. My future plan is to dedicate as much novels as possible to the genre of science fiction and its subsequent subgenres.
10. Who is the inspiration behind your creation?
Answer- Eoin Colfer and Lee Child, for branding the central character of the novel. That’s the idea behind most successful novels. If you brand the central character of the novel around which the story revolves, you are halfway through the creation of a magnum opus eg. Lee Child’s Jack Reacher. Also, we need to have certain anti-heroes or an equally authoritative antagonist. For maintaining a traditional SF outlook and possibilities, I often resort to H G Wells as well. They are the inspiration for most of my creations.
So, go ahead and grab a copy of his latest novel!