1.What motivates you to write?
I write because it is fun. I enjoy the process of creating scenes and dialogues in my head and then putting them down in writing. I enjoy coming back to old pieces and re-reading them, editing them, making them better, or deleting them altogether. I enjoy reading a twist, even when it is my own writing so I know what's coming. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night, a chapter already in my head and I know that if I don't write it immediately, it will be gone by morning. Having said that, a lot of writing involves spade-work, the fillers and the connections between chapters, which are not as much fun, but still need doing. You do it because until you do, the story is not complete for sharing with others. Details that you take for granted in your head, still need to be put to paper for others to enjoy your work as much as you do.
2. How did you feel after publishing your books?
Before publishing, I had honestly thought that my work is over. I can wrap up this book and just focus on the next. I can already hear seasoned authors laughing! Post-publishing has been a lot of work as well. It was surprising that people don't automatically come to know of your book, don't automatically trust you enough to read your work. Looking back, it should have been obvious! It has been a learning curve and I am thankful to all the people who took the time to explain the nitty-gritties to me.
3. What are some of your favourite novels and authors?
Terry Pratchett is my all time favourite! Jeffrey Archer, JK Rowling are authors I grew up with. Bankim Chandra and Devkinandan Khatri are authors I read in my childhood but I still remember how I felt reading some of those stories. I specially liked Devkinandan Khatri-ji's style of always keeping the reader in suspense. I feel if I can write even half as well as any of these, I will consider myself a success as a writer.
4. Is there a specific reason for naming your novel?
Yes, I am so glad you asked. There is a dual reason for the name of the book. The first is that the book revolves around the enmity between two immortals, and how everyone else just becomes pawns in their games. The second is that the book introduces Emotions as sentient beings, and Rage is one of the main characters.
5. Where do you write from? Do you go to some specific place, like beachside or the hills?
I wish! No, I write whenever I can get a few minutes to myself. I write on my phone, a few sentences at a time usually. Longer blocks of writing need to be arranged around my day-job and my kids. I can either write or binge-watch a series. Sometimes I choose one, sometimes the other. That's why this book has taken almost four years to complete!
6. What was your biggest learning experience throughout the writing process?
That you can't wait for the stars to align. You can't wait till the conditions are just right to put down that first sentence, to tell your story.
The second is that your story grows with you as a person, so something you write today might seem silly by the time you end. Your language also grows better, stronger. That's why I can't emphasize the importance of self-editing and getting the assistance of a professional editor, enough. Those can make or break your work. Also, you should have good beta-readers who can give you an honest opinion on what works and what does not.
7. Any best piece of writing advice that you would like to share with new or struggling writers?
I am myself new, still at the stage of seeking advice. I would not presume to give others any, except to keep on writing, keep polishing old pieces, keep learning.
8. Something personal about you people may be surprised to know?
I think one thing that usually surprises people is that I am quite an introvert, and avoid talking to people, specially strangers. It takes a lot of mentally kicking myself to make me summon the guts to reach out to people. I also have a major fear of public speaking, and every meeting, every presentation in my day-job is an exercise in overcoming that fear.
That's a recurring theme in my book as well - my characters struggle against innate shortcomings and strive to be better, like Cifer who struggles against his anger, Kara who struggles against her inner demons and Atom who struggles to balance the opposing aspects of his personality.
9. Any future books that you would like to discuss now?
I am working on the next book in this series. I am calling it "Hell Freezes Over" and it picks up from "Rage of the Immortals'.
10. What other profession excites you the most?
I really like my day-job a lot. I am a business analyst and that is something I quite enjoy doing.
11. Any special mention about your reader (be it with reviews/feedback or anything else)
Yes! Please read the book and let me know what you think - Do you like it? What parts do you like best? Was there anything that especially resonated with you, or you found especially interesting?
My instagram is rage.of.the.immortals
12. 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 took quite long, specifically 4 years from start to finish. I had to work around my day-job and daily responsibilities, but I wrote small bits at a time to finish the book. You are right, there is a risk of forgetting the story, and that's why I had to spend a lot of time re-reading the book at interim stages so ensure the coherence of the book.
13. Traditional or Self-Publishing? Why?
I self-published, mostly because I was so glad to have finished the book and so eager to get it off my hands so that I could start on the next one.
14. How is the response so far for the book?
The response has been great! People who have read the book have been reaching out to me to tell me how much they enjoyed it. It gives me great pleasure to hear their thoughts and their praise for something I have worked on for so long. It took me 4 years to build this book, but now the four years seem quite well spent!