Aditya Iyengar is known for viewing Indian mythological and historical tales through the eyes of often unexplored and peripheral characters. His works include The Thirteenth Day, Palace of Assassins, A Broken Sun, The Conqueror and Bhumika, which was longlisted for the Mathrubhumi Book of the Year 2020.
Your writing schedule?
I have found a heightened fear of being unproductive and an ability to work oneself into a frenzy to achieve a deadline is the most valuable talent a writer can possess. In this regard, if none other, I am a talented writer. On normal days, my schedule is carefully planned to avoid doing anything too strenuous. On writing days however, my sense of guilt swings into action and pushes me to achieve great feats of productivity. I work from early morning till the time I have to go to work on weekdays, and from early morning to late afternoon on weekends till the time I finish the book. After I’m done with a novel however, I don’t even look at my work laptop till I decide to take up another project.
Does writing energise or exhaust you?
It is physically tiring. Perhaps the most physically tiring sedentary job there is. But there is a sense of achievement at the end of a writing day that more than makes up for it.
Writing advice you’d like to give your younger self?
Don’t sweat the small stuff. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Always maintain a sense of humour and you’ll be fine.
Your favourite books?
Kiran Nagarkar’s Cuckold, Arun Kolatkar’s Jejuri, Trevanian’s Shibumi, Volga’s Liberation of Sita.
Favourite spot/s in Delhi you used to write before shifting to Mumbai?
The room of my apartment when I lived in Noida two years ago. There was only a desk with my laptop, and this spartan environment really prevented any form of distraction. Failing that, a nice café in Khan market or Hauz Khas, especially during early winter.