Q1. Let us start with basic question, tell us something about yourself?
Ans. Well, I’m a person who loves to live a slightly off-track life. Two reasons for it are: confusion and ignorance. I have always remained confused about the choices I make. Also, I mostly ignore the interference of my parents before locking myself over a choice! It was when we moved to Agra from Kolkata, I carried my schooling with a mindset of becoming a doctor. However, when the time arrived, I switched myself on for engineering. That’s where the clashes between me and my parents started, which increased, when I decided to be a writer in my second year. But I, once again, went on with my choice alongwith my bachelors. Luckily, I managed both and presently, I’m working as an engineer in a Tata Group Company. Of course, now my parents are at peace!
Q2. What motivated you to start writing?
Ans. Real life incidents and experiences had driven me into writing, and it still does. There is always a section or some incidents in my books, which for me, are too inspiring to ignore that I have to weave the plotline around it!
Some years back, I visited a small hill station near Siliguri. There was this girl teaching in a convent school. She appeared completely different in comparison with rest of the North-Eastern teachers. On querying about her, I was told, that she was from Nagpur. And had been there since her fiancé went missing during the 26/11 attacks. He went to Mumbai for a work interview and had never come back. She still waits in the very town she met him for the first time! Though the words were difficult to digest, but were inspiring enough to base my first book True Love Desire around them.
Similarly, the section which had Arjun and Diya in spilling Down the Wine Glass had been woven around the 1989 Bhagalpur riots.
Q3. You are an Author of two published books. Tell us something about your books?
Ans. If you frame my books in two parts: a body and a soul, then True Love Desire had been given romance as genre for both its soul and body. It is the story about Vikrant, who comes all the way from London in search of true love, meets Veronica, fall in love and tries to give his love story a desired end. Of course, the events are dominated with the real incidents I mentioned earlier!
Whereas, Spilling Down the Wine Glass had remained a completely different book right from the time I was trying to understand it in my mind. The core soul is once again revolves around the genre romance, while the body is structured with a packed thriller and greedy politics. The story oscillates about three characters, Revathi- a politician’s daughter, Siddharth- a young politician ready to cross anyone, and Arjun- an army soldier lamenting over his lost love. Interestingly, all three lives are somewhat intertwined even the characters being in different places and of different time. This helps them to pull up an excellent conclusion for the book!
Q4. Both your books are of different genre. Why sudden shift in the genre?
Ans. While writing True Love Desire, I contemplated a fact that pure love stories are unidirectional. There is a boy, a girl. They meet each other and somehow fall in love. Some tragedy follows and either they end up together or get separated. Now, what important here is the uniqueness of the tragedy. This uniqueness generates the likeability of the reader for the book. And to create this unique tragedy is honestly quite challenging and risky.
However, thrillers provide multi-dynamic space to experiment with the plotline and the characters. It is like creating a web of unmatched thrills, putting your characters in adrenaline pump circumstances and then serving readers what they were least expecting. Plus, I’m in awe of grey characters more, which looks more fascinating under thriller genre! Also, if the story has a romantic core and a thrilling contour, I guess the purpose is served for both the author and the readers.
Q5. How will you rate Pushpendu as an Author?
Ans. Honestly as an author, I’m still learning and growing. Also, I had neither analyzed myself nor had written enough to offer myself a rating. Whenever I finish a book, I take a sabbatical. This is to distance myself from the writing style, plot, characters and every other minor element that I had already taken care while completing the previous work. In short, every time I resume writing, either I’m a better writer than yesterday or once again an aspiring author. In other words, I feel like an Author in Making and I love it!
Q6. According to you, what mistakes new writer makes while choosing the concept of the book?
Ans. Three years back, when I started writing, I took campus love story as a base for my first book. I wrote around three chapters of it and then dropped the idea thinking that there were already too many books, having similar concepts, crowding the market. Hence, I went onto write True Love Desire which was supposed to be my second book. This gave me an opportunity to come out of my groove and try something unusual.
Believe me. New writers (young) had the courage to come out of their shell and write something that is not in their comfort zone. But they mostly go ahead with the herd which believes on the success of few already well-established authors. I myself had been the victim of the same during the start of the journey. But I restrained myself after understanding the market scenario which has changed drastically. Now, publishers are commissioning authors having better script and quality marketing strategy. Readers had turned choosy too. Therefore, new writers had to show an extreme thirst and hunger in every domain of book publishing to make an impact; otherwise the effort would be killed!
Q7. Both your Titles of the book are captivating. How did you choose your title?
Ans. I generally lock on a title based on the market segment the book had been targeted to. Also, a title which doesn’t giveaway the exact feel of the book, interests me. With True Love Desire, the title was chosen first and then the story was created to justify the title. It happened exactly opposite with Spilling Down the Wine Glass. The book was written first in this case and a suitable title was chosen latter. Amazingly, even after locking the titles in both cases, I remained uncertain until the books were printed. Choosing a title, for me, is like jumbling few words keeping the plot in mind. With correct combination, the title gets ready.
Q8. Tell us some of the good memories associated while writing your book?
Ans. When I was putting together the climax for Spilling Down the Wine Glass, Hachette India Publishers in association with DNA Newspaper announced a nationwide contest called, DNA Hunt for the Next Bestseller. I was in dilemma whether to send the book or not. But considering it as a never-again-opportunity, I submitted my entry. Three months later, I was informed, out of 300 entries received; my book was shortlisted by the editorial board. I was surprised to see myself sharing a space with some big names in the Top 20 shortlisted authors. The contest re-energized me to believe on the potential of the book. It was really something special!
Q9. Tell your association with both your publishers..?
Ans. Let’s put it in this way. An author has commitments with one publisher, whereas a publisher has commitments with many authors. Hence, a publisher cannot support his every single author with full force. An author has to extract as much support as he can from his publisher. Although, in many cases an author has to work alone to increase his book’s reach; somewhere a publisher is cornered too (revenue). Overall, it is a fair game, with publishers having a slightly more advantage, as they have options in the form of books from different authors.
Coming to my experience, I can only say that with every subsequent publisher, my association is getting better.
Q10. As a writer what research have you done while writing your Second book as it is based on politics?
Ans. For me, research is probability. When I’m about to write behavioral traits of my characters or a particular scenario which seemed unrealistic, I do research. It provides necessary arguments, a possibility, and a hint of whether the circumstances can happen in future or had happened in the past. If the research parameters work, I move ahead with my creation. Most of the research work, I do from books. Reading published work on politics gave me a better insight about the topic, thus, assisted me to pull off Spilling Down the Wine Glass in a better way.
Q11. Tell us your Future Projects?
Ans. Currently, I’m working on a romance-financial-thriller which, hopefully, will involve multiple grey characters, quenching their greed, in a quite brutal manner.
Q12. Do you read books? Who is your favorite Author?
Ans. I have always believed in the concept of, If you read well. You write well. In fact, I dedicate majority of my time in reading books even when I’m on writing mode. JK Rowling- for her Cormoran Strike series, Novoneel Chakraborty- for How About A Sin Tonight?, Dan Brown- for The Da Vinci Code and Sharanindu Bandyopadhyay- for Byomkesh Bakshi series, are some my favorites!
Q13. Apart from writing what are your hobbies?
Ans. When I’m not writing, travelling remains on the priority list, followed my cooking and watching left over movies.
Q14.What is your biggest strength and weakness while writing a book?
Ans. Biggest Strength: I hardly run out of ideas. Even when I’m into my current book, the concept of next book appears transparent. Biggest Weakness: In thrillers, revealing right thing at right moment is necessary. It drains me completely to figure out the above pattern.
Q15. What message would you like to tell to your readers?
Ans. When I was growing up, I heard this line, If you are not living on the edge, you are taking up too much space, everything after which just transformed. I started taking untoward risks. I began living on my choices. I enjoyed following my dreams. My message to my younger readers, precisely, is: Never ever, even for a second, give up on your dreams and choices. Life is already too complex. Let it do its work, you do yours. Keep things around you simple. And remember this bitter truth; nobody loves you more than you love yourself. Trust me. Take care!
Author can be contacted at:
Twitter: @ authorpushpendu
Thank you, Pushpendu. It was nice talking to you….