Q1) When did you start writing and what was your first writing experience like?
I have always been a dreamer since childhood. My vivid imaginations allowed and still allows me to dream about different stories across different situation and environment. As I grew up, I started penning down my thoughts, initially it was a diary but later it became an online blog. I blog about multiple topics, stories, poems. For me writing a story is not easy as they take time to evolve. I am currently working on 3 different stories (Across 3 different genres) and the idea for all of them started off with me dreaming about how it ends and now I am figuring out how it should start and reach the end.
My first writing experience happened when I was in 6th standard. There was a particular day when I was feeling very sad, and I wrote a poem named “Song of a Man”. 35 years later now when I read it, it makes me laugh, my initial poetry days were heavily influenced by Shakespeare and his style of writing.
Q2) “Saved by the Devil” has been a result of your hardwork ! Tell us about how you came up with the idea?
“Saved by the Devil” is a narrative of a part of my life. On a relaxed day (most days for us are chaotic with 5 dogs running around in the house) during the initial months of 2021, me and my wife were just talking about how our life has changed because of our 5 pet-kids. Our life, thought process, temperament took a 360 degree turn as we started getting our pet-kids. And as she and I mused over it, we realized that these 5 kids have taught us some basic life lessons that was lost to us. These life lessons have made us better humans, happier and merrier and most importantly more stronger together.
That’s when the inkling of an idea about the book came to my mind and at that moment the name “Saved by the Devil” just popped up in my mind. I had no second thoughts about naming the book such.
This book is about the 7 lessons that my pet-kids have taught me and my family. Devil is my eldest son, who came into our lives and saved us (My wife and I). He is the first of the 5 we currently have and each of them has taught us life lessons that have made us stronger and better humans.
Devil is the central character of the book, and he is the protagonist who connects the readers to our story. As the reader reads the story and ponder the questions and the activities mentioned, they will resonate with the life lessons that Devil and his kin has taught us (Me and my wife)
Q3) Do you think an author has to specialize in a particular genre ? Or one can have expertise in many genres ?
I truly believe that writing is about who you are as a person. Most good authors do not stick to a particular genre as it limits you and your imagination. The things we write are generally influenced by how and what we feel, stories we grew up hearing, things that are happening around us, dreams we have. There is a story/poem in everything we see and hear. There is no harm is specializing in a particular genre, but I feel that is limiting to one’s potential and after a particular period, it will end up becoming a block. Writing is an ever-improving skill and as you gain experience in one genre, you will build the courage to try other genre as well, the important thing is that you tried other genres and didn’t always stay in your comfort zone. Only when you try different styles and genres will your imagination evolve. Yes, an author can be successful in one genre but that doesn’t mean they should only stay in that lane.
My favorite author is Jeffrey Archer, and he writes across different genres. It’s because of his versatility, he is such a best-selling author. Even J. K. Rowling moved away from the Fantasy genre (the acclaimed Harry Potter series) and started writing crime fiction and young adult fiction, because there was the potential to explore other genres and she has been successful in those as well.
The other versatile author that is regarded widely in India is Chetan Bhagat.
Q4) You also have interest in writing poems, how do you find time in the busy schedule to write poems !
Poems come easy and naturally to me, because they are my reflections of the fleeting moment and then just like that, they are gone with the wind. Most of my poems are on the spot based on how I am feeling at that moment and if I do not pen them down then they are lost in the chaos of my mind. Some poems I write in a mixture of Hindi and Urdu while others are in English and ainl few are written in both.
The inkling of the formation of the poems that I write, come to me at random times, like while I am walking, while I am drafting an office email, while I am talking with someone, while I am in the shower, while I am watching something, even while I am reading something. I categorize my poems under the section “Gone with the Wind”, because if I do not jot them down when they are forming in my mind then I do not remember them anymore. Once I have written them down, then the next step is to refine them.
I have forgotten more poems than I have written. Sometimes I remember a few lines but because I lost the momentum, I can’t finish them anymore. Below is one such poem where I didn’t write it when it came to me and now as hard as I try, I just can’t finish it.
ek panna pustak ka
likha tha jo khwaboon se
ud gaya sitaro main
khoya hua apno sa
The page of a book
I wrote based on dreams
Flew away into the stars
Like my lost loved ones
Q5) What is your advice to the new generation authors ?
Writing is not easy, but that does not mean that you shouldn’t start. There is a potential for a story in everything around us. If you feel you have a story to tell, then just start writing and penning down your thoughts. The main thing is to develop the content for the story.
Do not be bogged down by the sequencing/order of the story or the characters of the story. Most people get caught up in the flow of the story and are not even able to start. Once you have content then you can re-arrange and play around with the storyline. Characters generally develop as you write the content.
Story writing is not about you starting with chapter 1 and ending with the final chapter, that rarely happens. Its about writing random chapters and then compiling them into a compelling story.
The most common story template/ structure of writing a story is known as The Hero’s Journey. If an aspiring author understands the elements of the Hero’s journey, then writing and compiling the narrative is easier.
Having said that, writing a story is just 1 part and I feel it is the easiest part. Proof reading, editing, and publishing a book is a whole different ball game. Marketing the book is even tougher and costlier than publishing the book but also one of the most needed activities
Once you have written your story, please spend time finding the right publisher. A great publisher will ensure your story reaches all your intended audience and market and making you a best seller.
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