Hello Vikash, thank you so much for taking the time out to talk to me!
First things first: how did you take up writing?
It happened by chance. However, I was interested in reading and writing from a young age but at that time, I could not purchase books of my liking or other than my syllabus. The comics were not that costly that time and so it was a natural choice for kids like me to have an inclination towards the Hindi comics. Back then, I admit there was dearth of resources in my family, which I don’t regret or feel awful to accept, since the same scarcity has taught me plethora of things which makes me the person that I am today. Although, the interest was generated late in me towards the field of writing but I am happy that somehow I got into this amazing field. I took up writing in 2010 and have been writing novels, short stories and movie scripts since then, most of which is work in progress.
What was your very first attempt at creative writing?
My first creative attempt at writing was Poems. I love reading and writing poems. Poems are like short stories, where a lot can be said over a few effective and efficient lines. It’s been around 10 years that I have been writing poems in Hindi and English. None of them is published. They are very personal for me.
Where did you get the ideas for your stories?
Actually, once you begin with a goal in your mind, it’s amazing how ideas keep on pouring in your head, one after another. Since my methodology of writing is presenting the story in a simple, raw and realistic form, I collect the ideas from my day to day life. It can be any incident that seem unique, interesting and worth to be told.
What in particular gave you the idea for Les Just Not Only Be Friends (1)?
Regarding this first novel, the idea comes up while I was pursuing post graduation from Delhi in 2009. Coincidentally, during the same time period there was a boom in publishing of Romantic books and novels. And during the same time period, while reading a few good novels, which touched and moved me, I fell in love with an amazing person. Everything started changing afterwards.
Also, I consider myself to be extremely lucky to have an amazing friend circle since then, out of which, some of them rightly deserved to be penned down in a novel. Why? It’s because first, they were different and compelling characters and second, a lot of the instances of their life are extremely interesting. So, overall the idea comes up out of the summation of my education, relationship and friendship.
and because of the title, we can safely assume that there will be more books in the series?
Absolutely, there are two more parts of this trilogy, which will extend the story further. And the positive response of the readers is most important for the remaining parts to be published in the near future.
Do you have particular schedules or writing routines when it comes to your work?
No. I don’t follow any schedules or routine. It’s not that I don’t wish to. But writing is something that if you take it as a job, you will start losing interest day by day and I don’t want that to happen with me. I write when I have this persistent urge within me to write. I call this time – my writing window. That’s when I enjoy writing and it’s the most satisfying feeling in the world to me.
A lot of authors are taking the indie publishing route. What’s your view about it?
I don’t find anything wrong in becoming independent. One should follow the strategy which one is most comfortable with. My view is that, the publishing industry is going through a transitional and simultaneously a rough phase, where the biggest challenge for the industry is to face and adapt with the shifting of customer’s reading habits and preferences. The time is changing rapidly and with that it’s imperative to understand and adapt with the changing times. People don’t read the way they used to once, and somewhere the Publishing industry and we, the authors are also to be blamed equally for that and that’s one of the reasons of this sudden increase of author’s taking the indie route. Independent authors provide variety through their works and I feel there is market for all kind of works. It’s all good for a healthy competition.
If your story got turned into a movie, who would you like to see star as leads?
To be frank, it would be difficult to make a movie out of this series. At best, it can be turned into a T.V. series, where a new cast will be an ideal choice. Still, If asked to choose, I would say Rajkumar Rao can pull off the role of a protagonist most effectively, efficiently and effortlessly.
What are your future plans for writing? Can you give out a teaser or two for your Readers?
After the first part gets published, the second and third will follow and will get published in the near future. That’s the whole plan at the moment. About the teaser, the first part is centered on love and friendship. The protagonist Aakash is an average performer, from an average class family and who has everything at stake on his performance in next 2 years in Noida. The Trouble ensues once he falls in love with Neha. It’s the story of his love, friends, trials and tribulations and how he copes up with the mess around him. It’s a troublesome love story, wrapped with friendship on the edges. It’s an endearing tale of veritable friendship and love in its ever changing colors. Through this trilogy, I have tried to capture the various stages of life of a student.
Do you have any particular authors who inspire your work?
Well, I can’t name anyone who has inspired my work as every writer has their own particular talent and style of narrating a story. And my methodology of writing is presenting the story in a simple, raw and realistic form. But I would I like it to say this, that I really enjoy reading Arvind Adiga, Amitav Ghosh, Rohinton Mistry, Khushwant Singh,Shashi tharoor, Devdutt Pattnaik, Gabriel Garcia, Anurag Mathur, Milan Kundera, Ravinder Singh, and various others.
What would your advice be to aspiring authors?
It’s a long tedious process. Keep polishing your skills. Keep working at it. And one day you will realize that you get it. You will be surprised that day. Enjoy that day. And then again, keep working on your next work. And about the process, well, with the advent of technology and other mediums at our disposal, it’s not difficult to find all “what’s and how’s” about writing these days. I wish you all the best. Hope to read and enjoy your work some day. Cheers!
For young authors, if you want to get in touch with me regarding any help or assistance, please feel free to connect via the link shared below:
What would be an ideal gift for you?
An honest smile. A god conversation worth remembering. A Royal Enfield classic 500cc bike. I’m just kidding. The ideal gift for me is homemade food, along with the first two things mentioned before.
and finally, if there was a book you could turn into a movie, what would it be and why?
I am working on it. And once I’ll be done writing it, you would be the first person to come to know. But first things first, I request all the readers that the digital version of first part of my Romantic series called – Les Just Not Be Only Friendz(1) is launching on 18th march 2017. You can get it on Amazon and Flipkart from 18th March onward. Keep reading and keep enjoying. Thanks for this wonderful interview.