Hello Ayan, thank you so much for taking the time out to talk to us. 😀 First things first: how did you take up writing?
I took up writing after watching M. Night Shyamalan’s Signs. I was in college then and knew I had to become an author someday. I took me more than a decade however to realize that dream!
What was your very first attempt at creative writing?
It was while in school – class 7 to be precise. I took part in a Creative Writing contest and emerged as the 1st runner up. My story was titled ‘The day I was trapped with a dog in the lift’.
Where did you get the ideas for your stories?
From my past experiences, society in general, and my friends and acquaintances in particular. I believe everyone has a story to tell, if only one is patient enough and / or willing to listen!
What in particular gave you the idea for Confessions on an Island?
The book was born out of a maddening desire to tie up certain events in my life, with some short stories I had already written. I realized one day that these stories have certain overlapping elements, be it in terms of its theme, or nuances in the plot. This drove me into trying to tie them up into a novel of seemingly unconnected events! I set it up in the island because I needed a strong unbiased narrator, which I believe this relatively unknown private Island from Malaysia fulfilled perfectly!
Do you have particular schedules or writing routines when it comes to your work?
While writing, my routine involves listening to music before I begin, followed by locking myself up in my room and writing till the scene or chapter has been completed. I usually prefer to write late in the evenings, or early morning. I continue writing till the wee hours of the morning or at the most till noon. I generally avoid the afternoons. I do not read anything apart from the newspaper while I am writing.
A lot of authors are taking the indie publishing route. What’s your view about it?
To each his own actually! We do have several success stories in that field, a case in point being Amish, and some great publishers like Notion Press, who are doing a fabulous job. But I personally prefer the traditional publishing route, and feel one must at least try his or her best in order to land a deal with a traditional publisher before opting for self-publishing.
If your story got turned into a movie, who would you like to see star as its leads?
Radhika Apte / Alia Bhatt as the woman, Fawad Khan / Randip Hooda as the man, and Amitabh Bacchan / Irfan Khan as the voice of the Island.
What are your future plans for writing? Can you give out a teaser or two for your readers?
Apart from coming up with the sequel to Confessions on an Island, I am also planning to write a series of fantasy books set primarily in India and England. A thriller with supernatural elements is also in the pipeline. Let’s see how it all goes!
Do you have any particular authors who inspire your work?
While I have been inspired by several writers and storytellers, the five who inspired me the most are Agatha Christie, Arundhati Roy, Jhumpa Lahiri, JK Rowling, and JRR Tolkien.
What would your advice be to aspiring authors?
Anyone who aspires to be an author, and to be taken seriously at that, needs to inculcate a habit of reading. That’s the best way to learn how to write! And while you are at it, remember to read from the genres you wish to pursue writing in, especially books released in the last 5 years.
What would be an ideal gift for you?
The ideal gift – a book I am yet to read (hopefully from a series I am already reading), or a pet – I love them, accompanied by a thoughtful or quirky greeting card. I hope my fans are reading this!
And finally, if there was a book you could turn into a movie, what would it be and why?
Apart from my solo debut novel Confessions on an Island, which I feel is perfect for the big screen, I would love to see Niranjan Navalgund’s A Lively Library and an Unlikely Romance being turned into an animation film someday!
Thank you once again for talking to BUZZ Magazine. I wish you all the best with your current work and future works. 🙂
Ayan Pal is an Electronics and Communications Engineer and Education Technologist with over a decade of experience across top IT organizations, and several international awards to his credit. These include multiple Service Excellence Awards, Accreditation as an IT Professional (IBM), as well as 2 Brandon Hall awards, considered as the ‘Academy Awards’ by Learning Talent and Business Executives Worldwide.
Ayan is also an avid public speaker, mentor, and member of Toastmasters International (TMI), considered as a global leader for communication and leadership, and the recipient of the highest honor from TMI – ‘Distinguished Toastmaster’, that made him the first person from Kolkata to win this rare honor.
But most importantly, Ayan is an Author with 11 titles to his credit, several of them Amazon Bestsellers. This includes India’s first Composite Novel – ‘Crossed and Knotted’ that garnered him an entry into the ‘Limca Book of Records’ under Literature, and his solo debut novel ‘Confessions on an Island’ that released earlier this year.