1.What motivates you to write? I feel that there is a need to reach out to people with good ideas, unique concepts and beautiful thoughts to make this world a better place. Writing to me is trying to reinforce the basic core values of life, which gradually seem to be diminishing in the present world. I strongly believe that the only way to change this world is to influence and inspire each and every mind into right actions through writing, movies. media, television etc. 'God is great' is the quest of a young Indian Scientist to find his answers on Spirituality and God. We all know that there are many complexities and dilemmas among the generations of people on issues of faith, spirituality and traditions. The book tries to address some of those dilemmas logically.
2. How did you feel after publishing your books? I felt a long cherished dream come true. 'God is Great' is my first book to be published and I am ecstatic about it. I, being a doctor, always found it difficult to spare time from my professional activities to pursue my passion of writing. But there has been always a thought process running in my mind since a few years which I wanted to put on a paper. Covid induced rotational breaks gave me spare time to realise my dream.
3. What are some of your favourite novels and authors? I like 'The Alchemist' by Paulo Coelho, 'Waiting for the Mahatma' by RK Narayan, Wings of Fire by Dr Abdul Kalam, Freedom in Exile by Dalai Lama, 'The Da Vince Code' by Dan Brown. As a child I admired 'The Three investigators' series by Robert Arthur jr, 'The Five Find outers' series by Enid Blyton and 'Nancy Drew' series by Caroline keene. I always wanted to be as brainy as Jupiter Jones, the lead character of 'The Three Investigators"
4. Is there a specific reason for naming your novel? Originally I planned to write a non fiction book on my beliefs on God, spirituality and life. I always wanted to make a movie out of it, the last scene of which would be on the beachside where the protogonist will be strolling along saying to himself those three words, 'God is Great'. Though I am a doctor, I love Physics, Cosmology and Universe. That gave me the subtitle - Science, Spirituality and Love.
5. Where do you write from? Do you go to some specific place, like beachside or the hills? I write wherever I am, in my room, living hall, sitting in the balcony, garden. I get so engrossed in my writing that it doesnot matter to me where I am. In fact I imagine the place where the incidents of my story are happening. The only thing is the right mood to write.
6. What inspired you to write the books(in general)? Any tales to tell… I was fond of writing short stories in my school days. As a child I made my family members and friends read them. They always had to praise to escape my wrath. Most of those were influenced by movies that we watched. In my college days, I wrote scripts for plays and earned some praise. I wrote multiple scientific research articles on medicine and Radiology in particular. It was a natural progression into writing books. I knew that my hold over the language was good enough to pen a novel.
7. What was your biggest learning experience throughout the writing process? Over the period of last six months while writing my first novel, I realised that patience and perseverance are the most needed virtues to write novels. We imagine a particular scene; but to write it down on paper in such a way that the reader also imagines the happenings exactly the same way, is where the art of writing lies. It needs multiple revisions and rewrites, sometimes. It is hard work, sweat and lots of night outs too, just like any other profession. But there is a joy in going through the process.
8. Looking back, what did you do right that helped you break in as a writer? I felt I analysed things in a unique manner and positive thoughts. I always wanted to reach out to people with my thoughts, which I believed were right. I nurtured that dream by giving it adequate time and space in my routine.
9. Any best piece of writing advice that you would like to share with new or struggling writers? I myself classify as a 'new/struggling' writer. Yet I would say that writings should be honest. It is neccessary and important to write on subjects, a common man can relate to. Not all stories need superheroes. Make common man feel like a hero. Every writing should have a take home message or two. Writing has the potential to make this world a better place. Write responsibly.
10. Something personal about you people may be surprised to know? I happened to serve in the Indian Army for a few years and that is what has made me what I am today. I am a Radiologist by profession, a music lover and an amateur singer.
11. Any future books that you would like to discuss now? I am already writing my second novel. It is a fiction based on some true life incidents. It is about people around us and how they influence our lives. Expecting to complete the work in a month or two and make it available for the readers. Surely it will be a delightful and an inspiring read.
12.What other profession excites you the most? Two professions inspire me other than what I am. A school Teacher can mould the young minds in the right direction. A Soldier is always ready to battle for his country and keep his people safe, no matter how good or bad the people are, towards him.
13.Any special mention about your reader (be it with reviews/feedback or anything else) Readers are why I am here. Readers have encouraged me and corrected my flaws. Some reviews are extremely satisfying. At the end, even if the book could impress and influence some people into right thinking, I consider my job done. I do not mind writing even for those few people who believe in me.
14.Do you write the story at a stretch or you take your time to complete it? If you take a longer time, wouldn’t you be forgetting the story? How do you tackle it? I write in short bursts depending on time convenience and mindset. But I do make up for time during the weekends and some late night efforts when I am in right frame of mind. I generally make a small gist of the novel before starting to write the details. That way I could remember what was happening in my story.
15.Traditional or Self-Publishing? Why? Self Publishing, because it is extremely difficult to grab the attention of traditional publishers and convinve them, when new in the field. Self publishing has more freedom, in terms of time, style of writing, ease of work etc., though one needs to put in extra efforts to gather some public attention.
16.How is the response so far for the book? Pretty Good. Mostly word of mouth publicity is doing the trick. Hope to reach out to a wider audience in near future. I just want people to read it once and give the concepts a try. They are honest, genuine and logical thoughts.
Dr.Joish Upendra Kumar is the author of the book "God Is Great". You can find my review of his book here