Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I am too a ‘neat’ guy, so to say.
When I completed my graduation in 2009, I wanted to be a Computer Scientist specializing in Algorithms. But I never got any closer to that (still haven’t). My job in IT gave me a head start in life and my bread and butter. But writing, as I have always maintained, I took upon me by a combination of force and chance (not by choice). When I stared paying attention to my personal ordeals and to my surroundings, poetry eventually won over me.
So far I have written two books, both English Poetry collection. Pilgrims(2014), and Musings of Desire (2015).
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
Musings of desire. The inspiration is always within, external factors can only be a stimulus to it. My close to three years of life in Australia, exposed me to a lot of emotions, some personal, some observed and all those finally found a place in the poems I have written.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
To me, serious writing is a full time and a rather ‘spontaneous ‘ 24/7 job , be it prose or poetry. Because of the plain fact that you, or no one else, can bind ideas to come at some specific time or place. So, every time when I get a thought or an impulse to write something (be it 3AM, 4AM), I write it in my diary beside my bed. I don’t wait for a proper time or place.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
A few poets that I read in detail are Tagore, Kamla Das, AB Vajpayee, Dinkar, Blake, Mirbai, Gibran, Sarah Teasdale, Vijay Sheshadri, Billy Collins, Gulzar, Keats, Shelly, Neruda and Shakespeare.
Other Authors that I love reading are Khushwant Singh, Charles dickens, George Orwell, Anton Chekov, Jhumpa Lahiri and Vivekananda.
The Bhagwad Geeta has always been there for me.
What are you working on now?
I am working on an English translation of ‘Yugal Sahastranaam Stotram’.
Plus, Initial drafts of my first Hindi poetry collection (‘Ghutan’) and another English short story collection (The Shape of Faith) are complete and I am looking for a better publishing deal for them.
I have also started working on a travelogue and a novel, on the issues of identity crisis – the idea of which was long impending in my mind. So a total of 3 active works in hand at the moment which I plan to finish by the end of this year.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I find an active facebook page, in present times when more than 80% of the world’s population having access to internet is on it, could be the gateway to a lot wider audience. Other than that, I believe in sending out personal emails to as many people as you know. Personal emails tend to be noticed more, still.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
There are three fundamental parts to any writing. First is the story, what the book is all about with its twists and surprises (what is being told). In case of poetry it is the theme of the poem. Second is the literary part (how it is being told) where details of characters, events and places are worked out. The more the literary acumen or poetry prowess of the writer, the better it is. And the third is the underlying symbolism, the message, the philosophy (the purpose of everything).
I would suggest the writers to work their way in a bottom up fashion, starting from the symbolism (to know why you want to write something, rather than what and how).
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
The most important thing in this universe to achieve any end you desire is to believe in it, through and through.
What are you reading now?
Tinkers by Paul Harding, Raja-Vidya and Indian Philosophy
What’s next for you as a writer?
I am desperately looking for an international publishing deal now. It may not happen this year, but I am trying,
What is your favorite book of all time?
The Bhagwad Geeta