Q1 Tell us something about yourself?
A. Well, I'll start off by stating the obvious. My name is Vikrant R Utekar and I'm 24 years of age. I'm born & bought up in Mumbai. I've just given my MBA Final Semester Exams and waiting for my results.
Q2. When did you start writing?
A. I don't know when exactly it is I actually started writing. I've had a knack for writing for as long as my remember. But I distinctly remember writing an incomplete manuscript for a sci-fi novel back in my college days. But after college was over and I began my MBA course, writing was put on the back burner. I got into the corporate line, got a job and excelled in it. But in the back of my mind, I knew that this was not the life I wanted. After a few months, my own dissatisfaction took a toll on my work and I reached a saturation point. So I quit the job. Funnily enough I had written the first three chapters of Tripurantaka while I was at that job, which was for 8 months. So the first three chapters took 8 months, while the rest of the book took only 3 months.
Q3. Tell us something about your book and Title? Why did you choose this title?
A. My book "The Shivaputra Chronicles: Tripurantaka" is my own attempt to merge human with the divine. According to me, God is not an entity, but the epitome of human potential. My characters live in present times, but in a world where mythology is real and has a crucial role in the lives of my characters. The title, particularly the "Shivaputra" tag has got me a lot of negative as well as positive reactions. Some ppl love it while some have asked me to change it. My protagonist is not the biological child of Shiva but a foster child. In the Kaliyuga, where God cannot interfere in the mortal world, someone has to fight the good fight. Hence, the concept of these chosen heroes. "Tripurantaka" is the name given to Shiva by his devotees after he destroyed 3 Asura cities in a single arrow. My book is based on that story and so I've named it so.
Q4. There are many books on Lord Shiva. Tell us how your book is different from other books?
A. Firstly, my book is not on Lord Shiva. It's the story of Chandrashekhar Kashyap, the Shivaputra. Secondly, the book differs from other books in the sense that it's not a mythological book, but a story about current times, which happens to have mythology as an essential aspect to it.
Q5. These days readers love to read, love stories. Why did you choose a mythological fiction?
A. Because I absolutely love mythology. If you woke me up from sleep and asked me to talk about mythology, I could start and not stop for days. And it's not just hindu mythology that I love. I read them all. Greek, Roman, Norse, Egyptian. I just love to read mythology. So it comes naturally to me to write about it, I guess.
Q6. Would you like to try other genres also or just stick to mythology only? Will there be any sequel to your book?
A. I'm working on the sequel as we speak. It'll take me some time as I want to do a better job at it then I did with the first. Also I want to finish the sci-fi manuscript I had written in college. I'm also interested in writing a thriller, as in I want to write something along the lines of Dexter, but that's something that requires a lot of research, so it won't be anytime in the near future.
Q7. What marketing Strategy you are doing for the book promotion?
A. For marketing and promotions, I'm completely dependant on "The Book Bakers". Right now I feel like I'm Alice & the literary world is my Wonderland. "The Book Bakers", and Suhail Mathur in particular, is my Mad-Hatter, who guides me through this wonderland.
Q8. How important is the characterization of the book? Tell us your favorite character.
A. I prefer writing in First Person, and as such characterisation is crucial. Until I don't understand how a character will react to a particular situation, I cannot write it down, which means it takes me a lot more time when I change perspectives from one character to the other. This also means I have to sit and visualise the entire storyline, the key characters and their characteristic traits before I sit to write. My favourite character has to be Chandrashekhar, who is my hero. He is everything I aspire to be.
Q9. Tell us something about your publisher? How is your connection with the publisher?
A. My publisher, Rohan Vij & his team at Quills Ink, showed faith in me when others did not. For that, I will always have a place in my heart for them. Rohan and I have a very friendly bond as he was my first point of contact with the literary world.
Q10. Who is your source of inspiration?
A. My parents, without a doubt. It's difficult to digest the fact that your son left a well paying job to pursue a career in the literary world. But they took it sportingly, and supported me every step of the way. My father is my greatest supporter and my staunchest critic. From my mother, I got my love for books. I vaguely remember her with her Marathi Kadambaris during my childhood. She loves them. My parents have strived to keep me grounded at all times. To give me a modern upbringing and yet they have never let me forget my roots. My father, a businessman, has always had the philosophy that one should not just rise alone, but strive to inspire others around to rise with us. I guess that's where I got the idea for Shivaputra from. The idea of a man who everyone would look as an ideal.
Q11. Is it important to read books in order to be a writer? Tell me, do you read books. And who is your favorite Author?
A. It's very important to read books inorder to be a writer. You have to be able to visualise, and there is no other better way to exercise the ability to visualise than reading a good book. The first book I read was "Harry Potter and The Philosophers Stone". I have a personal collection of over a 100 books. My favourite authors are Devdutt Pattnaik and Amish.
Q12. Tell us your experience working with Literary Agency “The Book Bakers”
A. "The Book Bakers" came to my life at a point of time in my life when I was wondering "What Next?". They held my hand and guided me through it all. The fact that most of them are literaries also helps, as they understand what the author goes through and do not compromise when they negotiate from the authors side.
Q13. What message would you like to say to our readers?
A. Books have and will always be my best friends. I hope to god that you feel the same way to you. If it is so, then there's this book called "The Shivaputra Chronicles: Tripurantaka" that wants to be friends with you. Please go out and read it. I hope you enjoy it as much as I loved writing it.
Author can be contacted at:
All the best Vikrant for your book….