Friday, 19 December 2014

Author Spotlight and Interview: Saurabh Garg




Saurabh Garg has authored a murder-mystery with a twist. It has Bollywood, it has pets, it has police at work, it has an investigative journalist, it has life, it has strife. This is how we review it:

A lot of thought, research and plotting has gone into scripting this masterpiece. Honestly, coming from a debut author, this is an expert writing.
(Read full review here)

Interview


Congratulations on getting published. So, tell our readers about that moment of epiphany when you realized that you are going to write this book?

Thank you!

There was no epiphany per se. But, there was this inkling that I had for almost ten years that I want to write a book. And rather than just one blinding flash of lightening striking my head from up above, a lot of things came together to make this book possible.

One was my hectic job. Even though it was as exciting as they come, it was sapping. Two was this short story that I had written that I thought I could extend into a book. Three was this friend who told me that he's starting a business and needs my help. Four was my then-girlfriend who was in Mumbai and wanted me to move to Mumbai. Five was the eternal question, "if not now, then when!"

So these things came together, conspired (as Coelho would say) and made me work on the book!


It has been an observation that everything in the book was quite thoroughly researched: the descriptions of Mumbai, the details about legal system so on and so forth. How tedious was this part?

Very!

But most it was done using two tools - Google and Wikipedia. And it took a lot of time and effort to do so. Plus a lot of bandwidth and coffee. Good to see that people are appreciating it.

Even though it was tedious, I enjoyed it. Probably because I am very curious as an individual. The research for book helped me feed my curiosity.

For my next book, I am currently reading about Navrasa - the nine emotions. And I am reading the Geeta. And about the Bombay of the 70s! Let's see what comes out of this concoction.


How difficult was the writing process? And what was the most exciting part- etching the plot, sketching the characters or proofreading it?

Proofreading. Definitely.

Because while I was sketching the characters, I was, sort of, playing God. I could give all sorts of shades and hues to the characters. I could create good, evil, interesting, boring, funny, drab and all other sort of people. I know there are a lot of things that I can't do in real life. But I could get my characters to do those.

Talking of the plot, t I don't really work on a plot per se. I start with a theme. I work on characters. I think about locations. And then I throw them all together in a blender. And then I let fate decide the outcome. I could get lucky with things and get a pot boiler that everyone wants to read. Or may be get something that even I would be ashamed to put my name to. I work hard and then hope like hell that I get lucky.

Proofreading is boring because you know the story. You can't make changes. You can't add things. You can't twist the story again. You can't play God. All you can do is find your mistakes and cringe over those. You can spot inconsistencies and whine about those. And the mistakes, the typos, the inconsistencies don't seem to end ever. Even after 8943 revisions!


Was there any instance in the novel where you made the story an outlet for your repressed feelings: good or bad?

Haha :) Tough question. You expect me to be honest with this one?

Few things did come from my real experiences. Most characters are inspired by real people - just that I don't really know more of them. For example, Nishant Kapoor is loosely inspired on one of the leading actors of the yesteryears. Rujuta is inspired by a friend's girlfriend. Prakash's bald head is inspired by mine. So on and so forth.

The story, the plot however is original. As they say, correlation to any person dead or alive is purely coincidental.


This one is an off-beat question: Rujuta and Prakash both had a personal story of their own, but the stories were left incomplete. Why the cliffhanger? We get it that the end of the story doesn't mean the end of their lives, but leaving your readers pondering about these facts, you seem to have acquired the status of John Green already!
Jokes apart, will characters from the book ever make a comeback and reprise their role for a sequel of sorts?

Thanks for mentioning John Green and me in the same line. You made my day!

And yeah, a sequel, a reprise may happen. But the characters have to get a case worthy of their time and attention.

I am toying with the idea because a lot of people who've read the book have told me that they want to read more about the characters. So, along with Navrasa, Mumbai in the 70s, I may throw in characters from #tnks back in the blender. Let's see how the story writes itself.


 How does it feel in the post-published phase? where do plan to go from here: probably experimenting with genres or churning more racy reads?

Despite the cliché, trust me, life is still the same. No one has sent me love letters. Or hate mails for that matter. I dont get stopped to ask for autographs. That million-dollar movie deal is still a distant dream. I haven't been invited to give motivational talks. My mother can't remember the name of my first book. #sgMS hasn't responded to my rather public proposal. I haven't been sued by anyone for throwing mud at their legacy.

So, life is still the same.

However a lot of good things have happened. People seem to have liked the book. Lot more than what I had expected. Most readers have been tolerant of typos and grammatical errors. Some have sent letters and I have made few new friends. So, life has been good.

In terms of writing, I am trying to convert the book in to a screenplay. A friend recommended that I write a love story - only because it sells! I may give it a shot. You think I must?

Apart from that I am working on my next. Hope to release it in Nov of 2015. But then, I cant really predict the future. Lets see what's in store in 2015. I am really looking forward to it.

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