'Refreshing to see big production teams proactively reach out to writers'
Congrats on your e-book, Avishi: Vishpala of Rig Veda Remagined, which is now on its way to becoming a screenplay. What were your first thoughts when this news was broken to you?
Thanks a lot. The news, along with a lot of joy, also made me realise a lot of things. It was exhilarating to know that my story would reach the masses. It was an affirmation of my decision to pursue my passion as a career. It was a signal that I could take my writing career to the next level.
You have said that this character in your book will almost be like the Indian product equivalent to Wonder Woman. How did you pick the plot for this book?
That Avishi would be India’s answer to Wonder Woman was the comment from the studio who bought the screen rights. When I picked the story, it was out if pure awe for the ancient heroine whose strength and will drove her to fight with a prosthetic leg. The story found in Rig Veda was just too compelling.
KDP showcased my writing without me having to go through the excruciatingly long periods of waiting that many unsolicited manuscripts undergo in a traditional process.
With many books now being adapted into screenplays do you think the stories Indian audiences will see today will be far more diverse in narrative/plot?
Definitely. Writers, when they conceive stories to write, don't limit themselves to 2-3 hours of screen time or so many episodes. They create stories, characters and worlds that always add fresh dimensions of imagination. It is refreshing that the big and small screen production teams are growing out of the formula mentality and proactively reaching out to writers
Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) has worked well for you? What do you think are advantages of this versus traditional publishing?
KDP was also instrumental in getting me my first deal. Draupadi, which was released earlier this January was published by Rupa Publications. Their editor reached out to me after coming across my first book Abhaya that was published on KDP. That way, this platform showcased my writing without me having to go through the excruciatingly long periods of waiting that many unsolicited manuscripts undergo in a traditional process. For a career writer, having a plan of 15-20 books at a regular launch rate is crucial. KDP gives you that control and that is an invaluable advantage. I am enjoying working with team Rupa too. Happy to remain a hybrid writer.
You are an investment analyst-turned-author – when did the writing bug bite you?
Quite early during school days! You can say getting back to writing and publishing during my career break was akin to seeking back my childhood love
You draw into India’s glorious past for your plot – what fascinates you most about that era?
The timeless element of those stories is what draws me to that era. It is not like they actually belong to past. They do belong to us (present) and also show the way to future. The knowledge and wisdom of our Rishis has that power to inspire and keep inspiring.
The artist in me is happy only after getting that story down on a word document. But the entrepreneur is me constantly strives to expand my reach and subsequently monetary returns.
Would you like to be a writer who specializes in one genre or will you think exploring multiple genres?
I would very much like to try out the related genres like historical fiction, fantasy and folklore. Trying out new themes and genres presents a healthy challenge to my abilities. Currently I am exploring a story that has a parallel universe twist to Ramayana. It is really exciting.
Finally, as a writer what gives you most satisfaction – popularity of your book, the money it brings or the fact that you are pursuing your passion? In other words do you miss your investment analyst days?
Satisfaction happens at different levels. The artist in me is happy only after getting that story down on a word document. But the entrepreneur is me constantly strives to expand my reach and subsequently monetary returns. I don't really miss my old job, but I fondly remember my former bosses and colleagues because of the valuable lessons they taught me.