KOCHI: Thriller novels always garner a huge following in any language. Lajo Jose, who quit a corporate job to pursue his passion for writing, was an ardent fan of Sherlock Holmes, books of Kottayam Pushpanath, Batten Bose, etc. “Thrillers have always fascinated me. But to be honest, I was never into writing. My first stint with writing was in 2011, writing a script for my friend's short film,” Lajo quips.
Scripting the short film gave him the confidence to write further. After years of trial and error, his first book 'Coffee House' was released last May. The book which dealt with the murder of five people in a coffee shop got rave reviews and Lajo became an author to watch out for. His second book 'Hydrangea' released recently by Mathrubhumi Books has also become an instant hit and already the book is into its third edition.
“Coffee House dealt with an impulsive killing, whereas the crux of Hydrangea is based on serial murders. Esther Emmanuel, the protagonist in Coffee House resumes the role in Hydrangea. She meets a person named Ali Imran, who was a police officer and now is a lawyer by profession. He offers her a job at his office and the story deals with how Esther faces the new challenge in her life,” says Lajo. Hydrangea is getting great response from the readers and Lajo is ecstatic. So quitting the corporate job was a good decision? “I was working as a regional manager at Max Life Insurance, which kept me busy 24x7. When one gets addicted to writing, their thoughts will always be about writing the idea down. So I had to choose between my passion and livelihood. If I had chosen to continue with the job, I would've regretted at a later stage.
Now, the name Lajo Jose has an identity. People identify me, that's success.”
Though an admirer of thriller books, he observes that not many books are getting released in the same genre. “There were many writers who wrote fantasy and thriller stories in the '90s. Over time, people started questioning the logic of the stories, reducing their popularity. So authors were reluctant to write in the genre. Thrillers of the '90s are still well liked by people like me, but the new generation may not enjoy them,” he added.
Lajo's ultimate dream is to script a movie. “After I quit my job my initial attempt was at screenwriting. But I couldn't build my network in the film making circles. This was disheartening and I became clinically depressed. That's when I decided to try my hand at writing a novel but penning a movie script is still my dream and I hope to fulfill it soon.”
Lajo is currently working on this third novel which will be a psychological thriller. “The writing part is done. Ernest Hemmingway had said that once we finish a manuscript, we should keep it aside for six months. Later when you open it, you will find the flaws and it improves our work. I'm at that stage now,” he signs off.