18 April, 2015

#Interview with Amit Nangia, #Author of Killer in the Shadows

About the Author:
In the world you meet, talk to and read about dozens of people sharing the same interest for writing and, in a lot of cases their adventuring dreams end up in muddle, overshadowed by daily life issues. Surely you’ve seen this happen to someone you know. Some friend loving the guitar strings is now busy in tapping the computer keys at his office cubicle. Most people are stuck in the corporate rat race that they leave behind their aspirations. It’s not a small deed to leave everything behind and follow the writer within. Only few have the courage to take on this challenge to follow their passion.
Amit Nangia, who has been working in a brand marketing team in a leading MNC for over10 years, is a traveler by passion and a writer by choice and explores the hidden shades of life through his writing. Climbing the rocks, gliding in a parachute, bungee jumping or making cocktails; nothing could elevate his spirits as much as writing did.
“These days when we are multitasking and doing so many things at the same time like facebook, whatsapp, dinner, tv ...In the midst of all this, taking out time to read a thick novel is really difficult. Keeping this in mind I have written a crisp short story which can be consumed quickly.”

Connect with the Author:
Facebook / Goodreads

Interview with the Author:

When did you first realize that you wanted to be a writer/ a storyteller?
Being a Punjabi, born and brought up in Delhi, telling stories came naturally to me. I used to make up stories all the time and everyone believed me. So as a kid I realized I was a storyteller .My friends always motivated me for two things – writing and standup comedy. So eventually in 2011, I decided to write my first book.

What inspires you to write?
In the corporate world where stress becomes your forced companion for life, I was constantly looking for a way to do something meaningful. When I started writing, my mind stopped oscillating to all the stress situations and I entered a new world altogether. A fictional world where I could create characters who had a life of their own. A life in which they could fight like a Bollywood hero or fall in love or solve a mystery or do anything they wanted. I think creating new characters and giving them life is what inspires me.

Tell us about Quickies.
Quickies are the books for the future. Fiction re-defined. 
We’ve come from Test Matches to Twenty20 cricket, from bulky desktops to slim tablets, from letters to sms... when everything around the world is going compact and trendy, why not books? 
Quickies is that short trip to Goa with your best buddies which makes you high even before it begins.
Quickies is the sudden punch in the gut that gives you the pleasure of the rum before biting into the chocolate.
Quickies is the love between the partners who break up even before the hickeys get noticed.
In short, if you have to wait for your lover, have a short journey to cover, a bus/ Metro ride back home, or even a lot of time sitting on the commode seat in the morning, Quickies is what you need!
Easy to carry, easy to read, it will fit into your pocket (and your wallet), and still promise an overdose of adventure. The power of a punch, a shot of liquor, the heat of seduction and the thrill of a con – Quickies is a lot of things rolled up into one small, seductive package.

Do you think Quickies will help promote reading among today’s youth?
The main objective of Quickies book series is to promote reading among the youth. A thick book can be quite intimidating for a new reader. Quickies has been conceptualized in such a way that any new reader would feel comfortable in picking it up from the bookshops and would be able to read the complete book in a few hours. That accomplishment over a period of time would make him/her comfortable and he/she may upgrade himself/herself to the next level of books which he/she would have hesitated to even pick some time back.

How did you come up with the idea for your current stories - Killer in the Shadows! & Catch Me? No You Can’t!  
Crime fiction has two aspects, like the two sides of a coin. While Killer in the Shadows! focuses on how a law enforcement officer solves a mystery, Catch Me? No you Can’t! focuses on how a criminal breaks and manipulates law.
The ideas for these books have come from my observation of the world around me. For instance, I have read a lot of mystery books, but most of them are set in metropolitan cities. And when I traveled to smaller cities like Lucknow and Kanpur, I observed typical settings of the town, as also various people who are audacious, to say the least, and ‘law’ in themselves. That’s when I felt that a mystery set in a smaller city with such a character would give the book a truly Indian flavor. That’s how the ‘Daring Daroga’ was conceptualized.
And staying in Gurgaon for over five years now, I have been watching and following numerous crimes. I clearly remember how local police chowkies would refuse to lodge complaints fearing their crime records would disgrace their image. Wherever we go – the studio, gymkhana club, maple house apartment or its terrace, there is getting away from these crimes. A knife attack on a 39- year-old lady by a man believed to be his driver, a 27-year-old guy left fighting for his life after being robbed and stabbed by a gang of men in his parking space, a man following a school cab up till the school targeting some child – I have heard, seen and felt the vulnerability of the city many times and that gave me an idea to write this Catch me? No you can’t!

Are there some stories tucked away in some drawer that was written before and never saw the light of the day?
As the protagonist of my book, Daring Daroga would say: Dil pey lag gya yeh question! 
I had submitted a manuscript four years back and got really inspiring responses from many publishers: “Your writing is really good but we already have many manuscripts in this genre.” At one point, I wondered if this was an auto reply email. In fact, I really wanted to send a blank mail with subject: “Manuscript submission” just to see if my work was really being read, but I controlled the urge somehow.
I completed another book but did not submit it to any publisher. The passion to write was still alive but the passion to submit wasn’t.
Srishti Publishers called me in, for my first book that I had submitted to them. But by that time I had learnt a lot more about writing, about the Indian audience, about the changing literary landscape and I was full of ideas. I presented my new ideas to the publisher and the rest is history.

What is your favorite scene in the book? Why?
The first scene, where Inspector Abhay comes in his jeep with blaring music and steps out in a crisp police uniform. I love that scene as it’s the first scene where the fictional but believable character comes to life.

Tell us a bit about your favourite characters…
Naam: Inspector Abhay Pandey, Uttar Pradesh Police. If you read newspapers, naam toh suna hee hoga
Silky Sinha: As hot and sexy as her name. She is hotter than any girl I have ever met. I wish she could come out of my book.

Did any of your characters inherit some of your own quirks?
“Not adhering to the rules and doing it my way.” I think Inspector Abhay has completely inherited this from me.

Do you read? Who are your favourite authors and how have they influenced your writing style?
Yes, I read a lot. My favourite authors are James Patterson & Michael Connelly.
I always enjoy the pace of James Patterson’s books, the way each short chapter jumps straight to the next so the reader has no opportunity to put the book down. He builds up an anticipation of what’s to come. Taking inspiration from that, I have tried to keep the plot really fast-paced and the anticipation consistent in the novel Killer in the Shadows! 
Additionally, Michael Connelly’s works are well-plotted and well-written. They feature such believable characters and realistic glimpses into the police’s world that it really wins the reader over. That’s in some ways given me an idea about efficient characterization. 

What is the best piece of advice you have received, as a writer, till date?
Know your readers. Imagine that you are telling a story to a person sitting in front of you. If at any point you feel that the person is going to get up and go away without listening to your complete story, then you don’t know your audience well enough.

What is the best piece of advice you would give to someone that wants to get into writing?
a) Content is the king. If you can create great content, I am sure you would get great audience for the same.
b) Perseverance: Be patient and prepare yourself for a marathon and not a sprint.

What would be the Dream Cast for you book if it was to be turned into a movie?
I love this question  :)  

Daring Daroga: Killer in the Shadows!   
The lead role could be played either by Salman Khan-Katrina Kaif, or Akshay Kumar-Sonakshi Sinha.

Criminal Masterminds: Catch Me? No You Can’t!
The main protagonist, the conman or the thug could be played well by Emraan Hashmi,Varun Dhawan, or Saif Ali Khan; and Silky Sinha’s role would fit in well for Nargis Fakhri, Sunny Leone or Kangna Ranaut. 

What do you have in store next for your readers?
I am already working on the next mystery in the series Daring Daroga. In the first book, I had to spend a lot of time in establishing the character itself. But in the second book, I intend to increase the police procedures and the investigation methods used by the protagonist.
The next in the series of Criminal Masterminds would be a heist set up in the heart of a metro city probably in a bank, or a corporate office or… You will have to wait for that. 

Is there anything else you’d like to share with your readers? 
If you have reached this question in five minutes, you will finish the Quickies books in two hours max. That’s even shorter than a Bollywood movie, but no less in the entertainment quotient!

About the Book:
Naam: Inspector Abhay Pandey, Uttar Pradesh Police, sheher Allahabad. If you read newspapers, naam toh suna hee hoga. 

Kaam: Maintaining public order, ordering the hawaldars, patrolling in my jeep and giving rides to women in need. 

Shauk: Haseeno ko bachaana, gundon aur politicians ki bajaana. Fir chhamiya party mein nachnagana. I like murder investigations the way I like my women - mysterious, complicated, and with a (killer) body.

A threat: Naina Sinha received a threatening phone call, followed by an attempt to kill her. I found Naina with a bloodstained knife at her house. Has she killed someone? 

A murder: An unidentified body is found in the public toilet with Naina's photograph and a huge sum of money. Was he out to kill her? 

A secret: There is a dark secret from her past that Naina is unable to remember. Does the secret hold the key to solving the case? As new secrets are unravelled, I begin to realize that everybody from her past has something to hide. This is much more than a simple murder case. 


About Quickies:

From Test Matches to Twenty20 cricket, from bulky desktops to slim tablets, from letters to sms... when everything around the world is going compact and trendy, why not books? 
Quickies is that short trip to Goa with your best buddies which makes you high even before it begins.
Quickies is the sudden punch in the gut that gives you the pleasure of the rum before biting into the chocolate.
Quickies is the love between the partners who break up even before the hickeys get noticed.

In short, if you have to wait for your lover, have a short journey to cover, a bus/ Metro ride back home, or even a lot of time sitting on the commode seat in the morning, Quickies is just for you!

Easy to carry, easy to read, it will fit into your pocket (and your wallet), and still promise an overdose of adventure. The power of a punch, a shot of liquor, the heat of seduction and the thrill of a con – Quickies is a lot of things rolled up into one small, seductive package.

Statutory warning: Quickies books are only for those who have no time or patience for bullshit, who want to learn and feel more in less time.

Quickies are the books for the future. Fiction re-defined.

After taking the world of commercial fiction by storm by making pacy books available at affordable prices across even the smallest of stores across the country, Srishti Publishers & Distributors are back with a bang! Quickies is intended as a series of books that help you unwind, enjoy, laugh out loud, feel pleasure, and dream – all in a concentrated shot! A yet another “first” in the world of publishing, 

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