'A writer’s competition is anything that takes away time of their readers'
On Prime Reading: Prime Reading gives users access to high quality digital content, and enables authors to reach out to readers through another interesting channel.
On engaging readers: We live in a distracted society. So many things compete for your time. Content is platform agnostic. Most consumers of content are people who like good stories which they can absorb through a novel, TV series, or even through their mobile phones. What they are essentially giving importance to is time. Anyone who is an author, has to realize that just because you are writing a book your competitors are not other authors. Your competition is anything that takes way time of your readers. If he is streaming a show, he has less time for your books. You have to that quality standard in your mind when you put out a book. You can’t say my book is better than another book. It has to be better that that Netflix show he watches, the video game he is playing or that IPL match he is watching.
On Reading versus TV shows/movies: I am biased towards reading and am a voracious reader. Nothing triggers your imagination like reading. When you are watching movies or a series you are watching the imagination of a director. The medium is such that you don’t have the space to fill in your colors. Whereas in a book, I might describe the book as an author in my own way but every reader will have their own interpretation of the book. It is a collaborative process where the author does half the work and the reader does the other half with his or her imagination. This is not so in a movie or web series, It is a passive medium, a book is an active medium.
I am an author - nobody recognizes my face, I can lead a normal life. I don’t really go for Page 3 parties, I don’t go to TV debates, I am visible only during the time of my book launch.
On banking and creative writing: Honestly, I didn’t have one creative bone in my body. My school and college friends refuse to believe I have written these books. Most joke and ask me "Sach bata - actually kisne likha hai?" Seriously though, I am fortunate that I have both the left and right brain working in partnership. And that is where I feel our education is
On Modern education: In fact, one of the misfortunes of the modern age is that education is biased towards one or the other. Primary schooling is very left brain focused analytical and logical. When you graduate, the so called high IQ subjects (I don’t agree with it) like Science, Engineering are left brain and the Humanities subjects are right brain. So while many on humanities side grow up with unemployable skills, those with Science/Engineering might have good jobs, and they don’t have appreciation of arts and almost work like robots.
Our traditional education: Our Indian gurukul system - developed left and right brain – the Humanities and Science. The subjects everyone had to study no matter what was was Math and Philosophy. Then you could progress and it’s basically tells you the art of learning how to live. That balance is crucial, and our current education system does not create balanced individuals.
On success: I am an author - nobody recognizes my face, I can lead a normal life. I don’t really go for Page 3 parties, I don’t go to TV debates, I am visible only during the time of my book launch. So I do get to spend time with close friends and family. But yes, fame is part of the job and I work harder than I used to.