Exclusive Interview with
When did you start writing?
Reared in Telugu, the Italian of the East, I groomed myself in English, the language to converse, in which my youth made me pen ardent letters of crush. Subsequently the imbibed art of letter writing enabled me to craft a number of novel letters in the fictional arena as well.
What makes writing your passion?
It is my love for the language and its scope for expression that lends passion to my writing.
How long have you been writing?
When I was thirty-four, I began publishing articles on managerial issues and ten years later, my devotional reading of the continental fiction thus far seemingly impelled my muse to enter into the arena of novel writing.
What was the feeling when you published your first book?
The manuscript of my maiden novel, Benign Flame: Saga of Love, which I believed would enrich the world of letters (I craved to live till I finished it), afforded me the top of the world feeling but the ordeals of finding a publisher that followed insensibly diminished my satisfaction in its self-publishing. Whatever, I’ve novelized the travails of publishing in the chapter ‘Domain of the Devil’ in Jewel-less Crown: Saga of Life that followed it.
What’s the story behind your choice of characters?
It’s my conviction that for fiction to impact the writers and readers alike, it should be the soulful rendering of characters rooted in their native soil but not the hotchpotch of local and alien caricatures sketched on a hybrid canvases.
What annoys you the most in pursuing a writing career?
I happened to be a novelist and though the prospects of a writing career were foreclosed from the inception, my urge to write led me into the arenas of stage and radio plays, short story ‘n non-fiction writing and translation to fashion my body of work of twelve free e-books that I’ve placed in the public domain.
How do you get over the “writer’s block”?
We all know the writer’s path is never easy, what makes you keep going? What advice would you give to new authors?
With regard to the first question, one may like to go through My ‘Novel’ Account of Human Possibility that can be accessed through Google search.
In respect of the second, I suggest that the new authors may mind the old saying that one cannot be a good writer without being a good reader, and that it's right for them to wait till writing beckons them to write.
If you could go back in time and talk to your younger self, what would you say?
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with the bad ones?
I do read book reviews of my books and even revised some of them based on constructive criticisms but for the most part it is so be it.
What is the feeling when you get a good review?
Needless to say, a good review makes me feel nice.
Have you ever incorporated something that happened to you in real life into your novels?
As I believe that only fiction can lend scope for the full play of life, I’ve lent much of my life and times to my novels.
Which of your characters you can compare yourself with? Did you base that character on you?
I may confess that Sathya’s tale in Crossing the Mirage: Passing through youth is indeed semi-autobiographical
What do you think, the book cover is as important as the story?
I think that what is face to the body the cover is for the book and my books would forever be indebted to my artist friends E. Rohini Kumar, Gopi, Niranjan and Mohan, who variously embellished them with their artistic faculties.
Do you connect with your readers? Do you mind having a chat with them or you prefer to express yourself through your writing?
I think that personal interaction with readers in any form makes it surreal for the writer.
How do you feel when people appreciate your work or recognize you in public?
Given that emotional fulfillment accrues from a well-done feeling, there is no dearth of it owing to my body of work, but as it is the public recognition of the work that entails ego gratification, being an unheralded author, I have not experienced the same.
Who is your favorite author? Why?
My favorite authors are Theodor Fontane, Leo Tolstoy, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Nikolai Gogol, Ivan Turgenev, Marcel Proust, Emily Zola, Gustav Flaubert, and Robert Musil to name some, for the way they explored the varied facets of human emotions.
What’s the dream? Whom would you like to be as big as?
I may say that even in my dreams I’m at ease being as small as I am
Would you rewrite any of your books? Why?
I’ve revised every book of mine to make it better for me and for my potential readers.
If you could switch places with any author – who would that be?
Whatever may be my limitations as a writer, I would rather let me be for writing is unique to each author.
What would you say to the “trolls” on the internet? We all know them – people who like to write awful reviews to books they’ve never read or didn’t like that much, just to annoy the author.
As for me but for the internet, my body of work would have lain naked in the mortuary of letters and I haven’t become someone to merit the attention of the trolls to defame. Well, anonymity has its own boons to bestow upon the unheralded writers.
What would you say to your readers?
If any of my books, in varied genres, happen to relate to the subject matter of your interest then please give a try to see if they interest you.
Share a bit about yourself – where do you live, are you married, do you have kids?
I’m a graduate mechanical engineer from Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra, Ranchi, India, and had been a Hyderabad-based Insurance Surveyor and Loss Assessor from 1986 - 2021. I’m married, to a housewife, with two sons, the elder one a PhD in Finance, and the younger a Master in Engineering.
What is your day job if you have one?
What are your hobbies? What do you do in your free time?
I had been a passionate Bridge player before I devoted myself to writing and ever since, for the most part, I’ve been solely living in the world of letters, occasionally lending my ears to Indian classical and popular music.
Did you have a happy childhood?
I was blessed with such a happy childhood some of the detail of which that I recalled in my Glaring Shadow – A stream of consciousness novel could incite envy in many.
Is there a particular experience that made you start writing?
“When I was forty-four, having been fascinated by the manuscript of a -satirical novella penned by one Bhibhas Sen, an Adman, with whom I had been on the same intellectual page for the past four years then, it occurred to me, ‘when he could, I can for sure’. It was as if Sen had driven away the ghosts of those literary greats that came to shadow my muse but as life would have it, it was another matter that not wanting to foul his work, as he hadn’t obliged the willing publisher to pad it up to a ‘publishable size’, that manuscript remained in the literary limbo.”
This is an excerpt from My ‘Novel’ Account of Human Possibility that can be accessed through Google search.
Do you have unpublished books? What are they about?
What do you think should be improved in the education of our children? What do we lack?
If you were allowed 3 wishes – what would they be?
What is your favorite music?
Share a secret with us 🙂
I’ve lent many secrets of my life to my fiction and so I’m left with those that would be interred with the bones.