Greetings of the day!
We are absolutely happy to take your interview today. So, let’s begin our journey.
1. Tell me about yourself and about your journey of writing.
I started writing articles at first. Back in 2009, when I was in 10th grade. Gradually, my first article, called “Following Our National Birds”, was published by a reputed blog which got deleted. (It’s now available in Readomania). Once that happened, I wanted to try bigger things. Next, I wrote my first novel, The Adventures Beyond Existence (which was published as a first draft without editing). Though the novel performed poorly, it bagged me the Rajiv Gandhi Youth Literary Award in 2014.
2. What inspired you to write?
At first, I read thriller novels by Lee Child. Also, I wanted to appear amongst my age-group different, so in an age where every kid was reading Harry Potter, I chose to read Eoin Colfer’s Artemis Fowl Series. Later on, I shifted my views towards the books of Asimov and Wells. Also, Robert Heinlein’s “Stranger in a Strange Land”. A lot of things inspire me to write. Besides writing, various things inspire me, like football, perfumery etc.
3. What problems did you face during the writing and publishing your book?
When I was first foraying into publishing, I was not aware of editing and how important it is. Learnt it the hard way – until I published my first sci-fi book, “Not Worth Living For”.
4. Tell me about your work and about the books that you have published till now.
I’ve written four science fiction books. Although I have written six – I do love to say four since I have decided I wouldn’t shift from sci-fi to any other genre. My non-sci novels are “The Adventure Beyond Existence” and “Never Again”. The ones are as follows
– Not Worth Living For
– A Tiny Reason to Live
– A Year Without Summer
– Virtually Lost
5. Your good and bad experiences about your book and journey to become a writer.
I did have some bad experiences with certain authors while publishing short stories, and I handled them in an impulsive, childish and contrarian manner. I only wish I had handled my grievances in a more mature manner – bargaining wherever necessary instead of lashing out with no logic. At the end of the day, life is all about learning. As I went ahead to publish my first sci-fi book, Not Worth Living For – I became a lot more calm and composed. If I had to compare my attitude then and now, it would be comparing that of Shoaib Akhtar to Sachin Tendulkar.
Good things? As we learn, good things do happen. Not Worth Living For clicked and now has over 100 Amazon reviews now! The day the book had 100 reviews on Amazon. was the day I realised I had to continue on the path of a sci-fi author. I was then awarded as Top 100 Inspiring authors of India by Indian Awaz in 2018 for the same and later, Top 50 Indian Authors by Delhi Wire in 2021 for my book Virtually Lost.
6. What is the best part of your author’s journey you want to treasure for all life. ?
Speaking at Pune Literary Festival, 2018. Right after Anand Neelakantan. However, there are many to come!
7. What is the best genre of reading and why, according to you, as a reader?
Sci-fi. Obviously, I’ll score for the team I play on.
8. As you have authored good books, can you tell us what was the reason behind choosing particular genres and heading to a saga?
Write what works for you. I love descriptive scenarios. For example, making new worlds. That’s how I realised I was built for the genre of science fiction. I could have written fantasy novels, too, but fantasy alone can only incorporate a little bit of scientific factoid here and there.
9. Your favourite author and why?
I do not have one specific favourite author. There are many, actually. Robert A Heinlein, Isaac Asimov and these days, Becky Chambers. Reason? I look up to them in my genre. Among non-sci-fi, I’ve mentioned their names earlier!
10. What are the three things that a writer should keep in mind while writing, and can you suggest a good time of writing in a day . ?
One: Edit all the time. Make 32 drafts before sending it to the publisher (By 32, I mean a lot and not literally. You may exceed that limit if you feel like it). Second. Read. Sure, one may have enough imagination. It’s entirely possible for someone who has not read novels, to write original ones. Even if we consider that – the person has to read novels in order to not write what has already been written. How would a person his idea hasn’t been attempted before? Hence, an author cannot be an author if he does not read. Three. Know whom you are writing for, and don’t be afraid or try to mince words.