Are you working on any book at present?
I am currently working on a love story of a gym trainer. It’s due mid next year. It’s going to be extremely different from the kind of love stories I have written so far.
Why did you choose to write?
I am an author by chance. Sad things happen in my life. In 2007, I lost my girlfriend in an accident. The outcome was that I thought of penning down my pain with my debut novel, I too had a love story. It happened out of chance but then people wanted to read more of me. I took the pen again and since then, there was no looking back.
Tell us why do you write romance?
The purpose was to re-live my love story one more time, to bring her back into this world in my own way and share my grief. That’s the reason it had to be a love story. Going forward, I found that this is an interesting genre. People want to read more out of it. If I can deliver that, I must pursue this and I went ahead to do that.
Did you expect such great responses for your debut book?
No. I am someone who hadn’t read a single book before I wrote one. I didn’t know too many authors and publishers back then. So, how would I have any idea about how people will respond to my book. My only purpose was to share my feelings. This kind of response... I had never imagined.
Who are your favourite authors?
I love Khaled Hosseini, John Green, Nicholas Spark. They all write romance. They have interesting plots and styles of writing.
What are you currently reading?
I just finished reading Ravi Subramanian’s new book and now I have picked up Harper Lee’s To kill a Mockingbird.
What does it take to sell a book?
The story. That’s all you need to sell a book. And then gather an audience for yourself. This requires reaching out people in terms of marketing, building on social networking. Once word-of-mouth recommendation starts, the book will take off on its own.
Has a book ever been rejected by publishers?
Never. A bunch of authors command their readership. We have a sense of what we are writing. I am not just saying about myself but also other new young authors. There is no question of being rejected.
What does it take to become a writer?
Two things - a story and an art of storytelling, and no one can manufacture this. It is an inherent talent. You just need to explore it, unleash it.
What do you have to say about the whole intolerance episode?
Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion. We need to become a society in which we are tolerant of everybody’s opinion, no matter how good or bad or different from your own beliefs it is. That’s what we call diversity. You have the right to protest in whatever way you want to... as long as it non-violent. You have freedom of speech. Just because they have a different opinion, it does not stop me from dining or shaking hands with them or calling them my great friends. You can always agree to disagree whatever the point.