Q1. Let’s start with a basic question. Tell us something about yourself?
Moody, choosy, sarcastic, weird, different, unpredictable- guess I have summed myself up quite well here! On a more serious note, I'm Abhirup and I have been quite lost ever since birth. And ever since then, I have been trying to find myself. I seem to come close to my search with each passing day. These days, I introduce myself as a banker by profession and a writer by choice.
Q2. When did you start writing?
I used to write ghost stories when I was in school! And I wrote imaginary scripts too! Wrote for the school magazine. Then, graduated to mouthshut.com while at college and further post-graduated to movie reviews for a website- spectralhues.com. So yes, I have always been writing. Talking about 'Once Again... With Love!', I penned the first draft of the manuscript during the four months I got between postgraduation and my first job a little over five years back. The idea now is to get better in both my profession and passion with each day.
Q3. “Once Again with Love” is your debut Novel. Why did you choose this title and genre of your debut novel?
When I wrote 'Once Again... With Love!', I really had no intention to get it published. I had a few close friends whom I sent the manuscript. They said it is really cool and... the characters and narration struck a chord with them; suggested I should have it out. But I'm lazy! It took me some more pushing and now since OAWL is there for everyone, I'll answer to your question by saying a love rom-com story is the best way I could have debuted. The working title was 'Yeah! I love you a lot, but...' which is one of the lines in the book. However, I wanted something more appropriate and so I thought (which I don't do too often... kidding!) and 'Once Again... With Love!' seemed just perfect to me given the plot and idea I had.
Q4. I have read your book. It is simple, Why did you write a simple love story as a debut novel?
I believe the best stories are always about a man and a woman. Simplicity is beautiful and I wanted a beautiful book as a debut novel. Moreover, I wanted to target impatient, non-readers. Not a voracious reader myself, I understand their psyche. It had to be simple, breezy and crisp. To me, any book which makes a non-reader, read is success defined for it.
Q5. Tell us something about your book?
'Once Again... With Love!' is nothing cult or path-breaking and I didn't intend to write one for a debut. It is simply a simple story about three oddballs muddled by love, confusion and relationships. It is a simple story about the weird complications they go through while they come of age. The characters are people you can relate to and I have infused a lot of humour (though still restrained) to make it a fun read.
Q6. Since you are a reviewer yourself and Review movies. How does it feel when your own book was reviewed and you got ratings?
Good question! Since I review movies myself, I'm of the opinion that the best reviews are always ones which are blunt and unbiased. If you have read some of mine, you will know how I praise movies I like and pan movies I don't. Some mistake it as rudeness. It's not. Opinions vary. Everyone is a critic. Some get to write it. Some get to speak it. Some don't. I have welcomed both positive and negative criticism, but thankfully for me so far, the reviews have ranged from average to excellent which is good for a start.
Q7. Tell us your experience with Your publisher?
The irritating perfectionist that I can be when it comes to anything I get close to, it was important for me to have a publisher who bears all my tantrums! I wanted the mood of the book to be portrayed in the best possible manner and my publisher has worked in tandem with me in each phase- the manuscript, the cover, the trailer, the posters and most importantly, the idea! My friend, Manpreet has been with me visualizing what we were to portray through the cover, trailer and even the FB Page which she monitors. It has been a fantastic teamwork and a learning process.
Q8. Are you planning to write another book. Which genre will you choose for your next book?
Absolutely! What motivates me further is the initial response to my book. However, I'm not a full-fledged writer and I know how demanding the schedule has been to explore my passion along with work. I plan to write a book every two years as of now. Talking about the genre, I have been suggested by many to stick to love stories and probably, write something intense this time. While I'm brimming with ideas and I have to take time out to put them on paper (read MS-Word!), I haven't really decided about my next book yet. But I may like to experiment with various genres- horror being my favourite.
Q9. Apart from writing. Do you read books. What are your hobbies?
I'm a writer; not a reader! So, I write in my spare time when I get it. I have read books- ranging from classics to modern fiction but not too many and I'm being honest. Without trying to sound intellectual, let me just say that I look up to Chetan Bhagat for bringing about a change in reading habits and reaching out to so many readers and non-readers.
My Hobbies include writing, watching movies and traveling. I'm also a foodie.
Q10. What marketing strategies you are doing to promote your book?
As it is my first book and I'm a debut writer, I very well knew that a good and smart marketing strategy would be required to reach out to people. I also needed someone who understands the mood of the book well. I also knew that the online market is a huge one and if smartly planned, it can be wonderful. My friend, Manpreet who is into online marketing and incidentally also the first person to read the first draft of my manuscript volunteered and I couldn't ask for more. She also monitors the FB Page which has been garnering a decent number of organic likes. We will also keep a (in)formal book launch in the last week of July. Visibility is of utmost importance.
Q11. How does it feel to be a writer?
It feels great! Ever since OAWL has been out, congratulations have poured in from friends and close people; messages have been dropped through my website. It is a very positive book and positivity seems to attract positivity. Friends who have read it mostly loved it and I'm told they could not stop reading without completing it. Some may be biased! But critics also like it. I'm humbled with so much love for a book about love.
Q12. Tell us some of your memories while writing this book?
Like I said earlier, I penned the first draft of the manuscript during the four months I got between postgraduation and my first job a little over five years back. I recall it was a lazy afternoon when I looked into the mirror and muttered to myself- “Damn! How will I even manage a routine job? Let me write something.” And that's how OAWL happened. It took me over a fortnight and a half to complete the first draft. So engrossed had I got into writing the book that I actually lived the characters during the time. I still am! I remember parents thought I was either depressed or sick. I didn't shave all those days, stayed at home, watched tv in the afternoon and hardly spoke to friends over the phone too. I simply wanted to get the characters, sequences, humor and feel right.
Q13. It is a Love story. Tell us your point of view on Love? Do you have a girlfriend?
To me... Love is all about friendship, chemistry and compatibility. You know it's Love when you probably start off quarelling with him/her (the 'him' for girls... I'm not gay!) and then realize you are now friends. And then, you further realize you tend to miss him/her when not around. You like talking to him/her and you like it when you two are together. It's as simple as that. We people ourselves make relationships complicated.
Yes; I do have a girlfriend. We intend to tie the knot later this year.
Q14. Lastly, What would you like to convey to our readers and writers?
Grab a copy, have a fun two-hours read, laugh a bit, fall in love with Love all over again and... spread the word!
Author can be contacted at:
Thanks Abhirup. It was nice talking to you..All the best for your book…