In Conversation with the Aspiring Author Chiradeep Patra

by Subhechcha Ganguly
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Author Chiradeep Patra has authored three books namely “The Final Week”, “25 Minutes” and “Soaring In The Mist”. Apart from being an author he is also a motivator and a life coach. His interest lies in music as well and he has composed almost seven odd songs for family functions. He loves to share Biblical thoughts and teachings as well.

Q1) How did you understand your calling as an author? What was your first writing experience?

Ans: My uncle, Mr. Samuel Patro, is a well-known Odia song writer and author of numerous books. And I believe I inherited that gene as well as his inspiration. When I was in school, I used to write Odia songs and poems. But I didn’t bring them out in the open for them to see.

While working in Kolkata, I began writing articles in English for various writer communities on the internet. In 2005, I had the idea to launch a print magazine called “Candles”. Candles, because they provide light until the end. My calling to write began with the journey of “Candles” in January 2006.

“Candles” lasted 8 years. I stopped it due to financial and time constraints, but after about a year, I restarted it, and “Candles Online” was born in 2015, with 40 or so writers joining forces with me to write and inspire people all over the world. I had always wanted to write a book but didn’t know how to go about it, and I also had work and health issues to deal with. I intended to publish after I left my job in 2021 and returned to Cuttack. And now, thanks to today’s self-publishing platforms, I’ve already published three books.

Q2) How did you decide the content for “The Final Week”? Give us a short brief about the book.

Ans: West Bengal experienced its first lockdown on March 23, 2020. And it went on for a long time. We couldn’t even go to church that year for Good Friday, which was on April 10th, 2020. And I considered writing small poems about the events of Jesus’ last week on earth to post on my Facebook wall each day in chronological order. That’s what I did. And almost two years later, I rewrote, polished, and compiled them into a book for publication. “The Final Week” was born on June 22, 2022, to poetically explain what Jesus had done for mankind and why He had done everything that He had done for us.

Q3) How did you decide the plot for the book “Soaring in the Mist” and “25 Minutes”. Tell us in brief about these books to the readers.

Ans: “25 Minutes.” The title in itself substantially hints the theme of the book. It is a short story which is about two heart patients who met each other while in queue, waiting for their respective heart surgeries. The story is based on the exchange of emotions between them in that short span of time. Every emotion and feeling that oozes from my heart is very precious to me. As a writer, I exploit those emotions to weave poems, articles, and stories. In 2001, the events that took place during my second heart surgery are indeed valuable to me. Perhaps, I can never forget the beautiful girl I met just before going for my surgery. I smiled looking at her and she did reciprocate a beautiful smile. Now, even after almost 21 years when I sat down to pen that story, those memories flashed through my mind as I gave birth to, “25 Minutes”.

 

“Soaring In The Mist” is a short novella about a girl who writes a letter to her childhood best friend explaining her heart’s matter that she couldn’t have shared with anyone else in the world. And that letter creates awareness among all of us about the general public’s mental health. Basically, I wanted to create awareness about one’s mental health, which we often ignore or suppress, through this short novella. This book is my attempt to encourage people to keep their eyes, ears, and hearts open to the cries of people around them who are suffering emotionally and mentally.

 

Q4) Nowadays a majority of the youth is much more focused on social media rather than reading books. What is your view on this topic?

Ans: We didn’t have smart phones to keep us engrossed in technology when I was in school, as far as I can recall. TV was our new entertainment, followed by books. Sidney Sheldon and James Hadley Chase were my favourite authors, whereas teenagers and young adults at the time were very fond of Mills & Boons books. And I have observed that my elders were addicted to a variety of other books and magazines. In the 1980s, our only friends were TV and books, but today’s youth are busy creating reels and posting on IG, FB, and other social media. And since Netflix, Prime, Hotstar, and other streaming services have become so popular, young people no longer read.

I understand that we can’t stop them from using social media or their smartphones, but we can inculcate the reading habit once again. I challenge all the authors, including myself, to create captivating content that will hook the majority of young people.

Q5) Kindly attach the links of your books so that the readers can get a grasp on these beautiful reads.

Ans: Links of the books are as follows:

http://“The Final Book” – https://www.amazon.in/Final-Week-Chiradeep-Patra/dp/B0B4S4VYCD

https://www.amazon.in/25-Minutes-appears-little-vanishes/dp/B0BD935DZ5

https://www.amazon.in/Soaring-Mist-behind-written-inexpressible/dp/B0BNBYQN5L

Q6) We know that there is a lot of hard work that goes behind the launching of books. From preparing the final manuscript to writing the first draft till publishing. Tell us how your experience was and to whom would you dedicate your success in this entire process?

Ans: Sincerely, I’ve never been asked to do anything. Due to my congenital heart disease, I have many physical limitations from the very beginning of my life on this planet. And for that reason, my family just gave me their unconditional support in whatever I wanted to do. I dedicate my success to them all.

Then comes my writer friends who have been with me all the time, appreciating, applauding, and helping me for everything I write. I also dedicate all of my success to them.

Above all, I give thanks and praise to God, who has been my strength throughout my life despite suffering, sickness, and success.

These days, there are many online self-publishing platforms available. Additionally, some of them are completely free to publish even though authors must pay a price set by the publishing houses for their own books. I immediately availed the opportunity after learning about it, and now I have three books available in both paperback and eBook formats. The only thing I needed was the ability to set everything up myself, including writing the entire thing, asking my friends to proofread and edit it, designing the cover pages on my own, formatting it in the self-publishing editor, and then pressing the review and publish button. I relished the entire procedure.

 

In closing, I urge all writers to realize their aspirations of becoming published authors, by utilizing these platforms.

Thanks a lot, dear Subhechcha for peeking into my life to have a glimpse of the journey I treaded as an author.

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