Sunday, 12 April 2015

On interviewing debut authors

 
I have interviewed a lot of debut authors on my blog. They have spanned various genres: self-help, thrillers, non-fiction, romance, mystery, fantasy, among others. 

They have been from various professions, while some of them have written books that suit their profession (see: Shama Patel, a psychiatrist who wrote 21 ways of being happy) while some others have taken a plunge from professions like medicine into writing a fiction piece with a cat and a dog as the protagonists. (Deepal Kripal who wrote The Devil's Gate)

Being an aspiring author and an avid reader, it has always piqued my interest to know what makes the authors take the call, and finally have the transition from their profession into the field of writing.

Here's what I found: they seek inspiration from whichever source they can: it can be their own profession, it can be their workplace, the eccentric people they work with, their own fertile imagination, or a gap in the published market they want to tap. 



So, RV Raman penned Fraudster, a thriller/crime fiction which was a product of his experiences in the corporate sector, as he remarks, "The corporate world is a fertile ground for stories – both inspirational and fictional. It has a fascinating interplay of every emotion one can think of, and every kind of conflict. Fiction, after all, is about emotive conflict. I saw an untapped potential for crime fiction there, and decided to give it a go."

 I have observed that all these authors share one common thread: they had been looking for inspiration, which means that they already knew they would write one day. Just like you and me, they had an itch to write, they just needed the right idea and plot. Saurabh Garg, author of The Nidhi Kapoor Story, confirms my belief, "There was no epiphany per se. But, there was this inkling that I had for almost ten years that I want to write a book. And rather than just one blinding flash of lightening striking my head from up above, a lot of things came together to make this book possible."
During one such interview, an amusing concept of an alter-ego comes up. I had seen so many authors with professional jobs in the corporate sector, which means that they obviously did not get much time from their work deadlines and other pre-occupations. I was naturally curious to know how they managed to go through the herculean and emotionally taxing task of writing and getting published. In her response, Shikha Kumar, author of the romance novel He FIXED the match, she fixed him, told me, "We all have an alter-ego which we at times even keep away from the world with fear of being mocked up. But I decided to embark an journey in unknown terrain with just one funda “I have nothing to lose”. Time management was certainly a challenge, but when the self-drive is so insanely lethal I think even odds starts working in your favor."

These were all lessons in writing, marketing and taking the plunge. However, there has been one very very important lesson I learnt in all my formal/informal conversations with the authors : never give up. I realised that all the authors were writing about the subject that was dear to them, that they felt the most passionate about: Lee Van ham wrote about the environment because that is where his mind belongs. Someone descended into a fictional world because because it was his/her escape just like it was the readers'. 
Yet another positive soul wrote a book on happiness because that's her goal in life: making more and more people happy.
You don't write for the sake of it. You write because you feel.



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