City Express catches up with Durjoy Datta, at the Bangalore Literature Fest. Excerpts from the interview:
What book are you working on?
I have recently completed my next book. It will be launched in January 2016. I am working on the book that will be released after that, in 2016 end or early 2017. I am trying to write a thriller and a fantasy this time.
Who are your favourite authors?
If I want to get scared, I read Stephen King. For intricate plot, I would read John Grisham.
Which book are you reading?
I am reading lots of thrillers as I am working on a thriller novel. I read the Hannibal series long ago. I am reading them again.
How did writing happen to you?
It was an accident waiting to happen, I think. I would always write elaborate answers in my English papers.
I always liked to write but I never thought I will be an author, predominantly because you do not have a commercial fiction role model in India. Whom would you like to be like? There’s no answer.
I started with a blog and it had decent following. People started advising me to write a book. I took instances from my blog and strung them into a story and sent it to a few publishers. Luckily, it got accepted.
Why did you choose to write college love stories?
My first six books were on college love stories because that’s the space I understood the best. But after my fifth book, I changed my genre.
I wrote If It’s Not Forever, based on a road trip. After that came Till The Last Breath is based on a hospital.
Has your book been rejected by the publishers?
Not really. Fortunately, my first book worked. They don’t reject but suggest changes.
What challenges do you face as a writer?
I make sure that my next book is better than the one before. That is the only challenge I face.
What does it take to sell a book?
Sell a book...good book. No matter how good your marketing plan is, if your book is bad, it’s not going to sell. My first book had a print run of 2,000 copies and one of the main character’s name changed half way through the book.
We forgot to replace the name in the second part. I thought nobody is going to read that book. But somehow people overlooked that and still read it.