- Where are you from?
It’s global world now. How do you decide where a person is from? I was born in a place about which I have no memories as moved out when I was six months old. My parents come from a place called Farrukhabad in Uttar Pradesh that I have visited only once in my life. I’ve spent my childhood in small towns of Uttar Pradesh such as Atrauli near Aligarh, Mainpuri and Orai. US has been my home too. I’ve been staying in US almost for one third of my age so far. I hope this gives you the idea.
- Why do you write?
To express myself. I feel that you have the full control of the world when you have pen in your hand. It gives wings to my imagination.
- What do you write about?
This is my first novel so it’s difficult to answer this question. I’ve got great feedback so far including from several celebrities that my book cannot be bound to a genre. This is a book about a scientist who wants to change the world through his inventions. The main theme is that I want to bring scientists to the mainstream, I want them to be the part of our daily lives the way we have politicians or film actors. So instead of working on pure science research which is difficult to understand by general public, my character solves day to day problems through innovation.
- Do you have a specific writing style?
I don’t want to be bound with any style. I’d choose a different style for different scenarios. For this novel, I’ve tried to write in simple English with a lot of humor inside so that the book reaches the general public.
- What are obstacles that come in the way of writing?
The biggest issue was to find a publisher. As a new author, I had to wait almost for a year to get a publisher. Finally I was really lucky that Bloomsbury is publishing my book, the same guys who have published Harry Potter.
- What’s the most memorable thing asked/said by a reader about your work?
Readers comments are coming in as the book was released just two weeks ago. ‘The book is simle and 90% of people will be able to relate to it,in a way.’
‘Pinto has an idea , can not be bound to a genre, that’s rare to come up with a book that is more like a life.’
I’m also honored to get great feedback from a few celebrities:
‘The moment I got the book, I could not resist finishing it in one go.
I hope the author writes a series based on Pinto.’
– SRIDEVI, Actress
A strong plot full of emotions, love, pragmatism and very importantly,
humour. The author has touched a genre which doesn’t exist in traditional
publishing in India. A must read, you shouldn’t miss it.’
– BONEY KAPOOR, Film Producer
‘Superb story. It brings you back to college days and soon takes you to your
professional journey. The humour is amazing.’
– MANU AGARWAL, CEO and Founder of Naaptol
‘Looks like the author is going to be a trendsetter.
It’s the first time I see romantic fiction raising social issues in a
highly entertaining and interesting fashion.’
– SANDEEP PANDEY, Social Activist and Magsaysay Award Winner
- How long have you been writing?
It took almost two and a half years to complete the book. It’s not a simple story. It’s about innovative ideas which need a lot of thinking. Please also keep in mind that I was writing only during the week-ends as I am not a full time author.
- When did you first realize you wanted to become a writer?
When I was eight-year-old, I wrote my first story. As there was no social media back then, the circulation of my work was very limited. Since then, it has been in the back of my mind that I have to write a book. God has been kind to me. Finally I got this opportunity, though after a couple of decades.
- What is your work schedule like when you are writing?
For me writing should not follow any schedule. Mostly I used my week-end to write. At the same time, whenever a thought comes to my mind, I immediately note it down and expand it later on. It all depends on the mood and the topic. Sometimes in one hour I can write several pages but other times I hardly produce any output for the whole day if I get stuck on one para.
- What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I keep on thinking passively whenever I’m doing some other regular activity such as driving, taking shower or just watching TV. Whenever a thought comes to my mind, I’d immediately note down on my mobile phone and will eventually use in my writing at appropriate time.
- How long does it take to write a book? (if you’ve written one -published or non)
It depends on three things:
- What is the book about?
- Who is writing?
- What is the environment around the author?
Now, when I’m well-versed with the book writing process, I can probably write another one in one month. Ideally one can write a romantic novel where a lot of research is not needed, in six months. A book which I’ve written which is a novel as well as a little different novel i.e. talking about ideas and innovations, would take around one to one and half years.
- Do you have suggestions on how to become a better writer?
I think I’m too new to give this kind of suggestion. If my opinion really matters, I’d say the plot is extremely important in a story. It’s like the heart. Without the heart, the body does not have any meaning. Give enough time to conceptualize the plot.
- What challenges do you come across when writing/creating your story?
As a first time novelist, the biggest challenge is to avoid contaminating your characters from reality. A lot of things which happen around you make a space in your first book knowingly or unknowingly. When you write your second book, it doesn’t happen as you have already talked about it.
I’ve tried my best to make sure that my characters are 100% fictionalized. At the same time I’ve taken some liberty in using some of the locations and places which have been the part of my life. It’s my way of giving them respect.
- What do you think makes a good story?
As I mentioned earlier, the plot is the most important. If you are a good author, you’d be able to craft characters and write dialogues. I have seen sometimes even very well-known authors have struggled with plots in some of their writings.
- What does your family think of your writing?
They knew that I’ve been writing a little bit here and there. But I never produced anything significant which would put me in an official category of a writer. When my book was accepted by Bloomsbury, it came to them as a surprise. They are really proud of me.
- Do you see writing as a career?
I’d be very frank. It’s not easy to decide writing as a career. Do I have willingness? Yes, of course. Readers will see more and more books from me. And If I get their blessings, yes, I’d love to switch to writing as a career.
- Do you have anything specific you’d like to tell the readers?
Good books are like your true friends. Keep reading. Keep motivating new authors. I’d love to get your feedback about my book. Happy reading.
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Please feel free to connect me at Rajeev@RajeevSaxena.com or iAmRajeevSaxena@gmail.com or
just join me on my social media at https://www.facebook.com/AuthorRajeevSaxena/ or at
https://twitter.com/iamrajeevsaxena . I’ll try to respond to you to the best of my ability.
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and my website http://www.iamrajeevsaxena.com/