Tell us about yourself and what inspired you to start writing.
To be honest, this question intimidates me a lot because I am always confused (and deficient of facts) as to what to say first – like an opening line that can create the plot for the rest of ‘about me’ description. So I will settle for this – I am average performing IT guy and an extraordinary dreamer. I come from a land that had inspired some of the best of the devotional poetry in India.
My first inspiration came from reading poets like Tagore, William Blake and Mirabai.
Tell us about your books.
I have written three books so far. All three English poetry collections, mostly lyrical and short descriptive in their form. My latest book is Musings of Desire which was published 4 weeks ago. This book is different from the other two in many ways. While in the previous ones, I tried to capture distinct moods and shades from an observer perspective alone, while in Musings, emotions came upon me naturally. I think it happens when you immerse yourself in the details around you and feel things rather than just noticing them.
How did you go about getting published?
Traditional is always the best but these days self-publishing is really becoming something. It has both good and not-so-good aspects. Good ones, that it gives you complete control over your book in terms of its contents and publishing is a much faster process. While in traditional, I feel that the volume of readers is much more and you tend to get more reviews and newspaper coverage. Self-publishing can also achieve this but needs a lot of investment and time.
What is your writing process? Do you have a time, day or place you like to write?
Unfortunately, I am still struggling with some self-disciplinary issues regarding my writing schedule. So far, night has been the ideal time for me to write, after the day is done with its affairs. But one thing that I have followed for years is to not underestimate any thought. I keep a diary in my pocket and one beside my bed. and whenever I feel like writing, be it 3AM, 4AM, I write – in sickness or in health. I think as a writer, we need to be both regulated and spontaneous with respect to our writings and should not stick to any rigid schedule. Writing should become a part of life.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Full-time job, pets, hobbies?
Besides my office and social hours, if I am not writing, I am thinking about what to write next. I just can not stand procrastination. Sitting idle is an insult to god.
Any advice for authors about book covers?
This could be a matter of pure subjective choices, but ofcourse, the cover, in my opinion, should be less crowded, more relevant to the symbolism of the story (rather than the story) and should not include any other words – other than the title, the author’s name and any major award or appreciation comment.
Any marketing tips you’d like to share with other authors?
From ‘a good literature will eventually sell itself’, I have now started believing in wearing a tag of ‘Shameless promotion’ around my neck. I am doing internet like crazy to find bloggers and reviewers and talking nothing but about my book to my colleagues and social circle. Recently, I delivered this line to a very good looking girl in order to impress her “The way to my heart goes through my poems”. She can now be seen happy with another guy, but the point is – Let’s do it shamelessly.
What’s your favorite book?
The Bhagwad Geeta
What are you reading now?
An idealistic view of life – by Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan
What’s your next book project?
Well, my next books of English poetry is going to be more meditative than contemporary. If you have read Pulitzer winning poet Vijay Sheshadri’s poetry, you will know what I mean. Other than this, I am also working on several other projects including a short story collection, a Hindi poetry collection and a translation – some almost in their final stages, some still in initial drafts. I have already missed several deadlines in the past so I have to make up by doubling my literary output this year.