13 September, 2015

#Interview with Harsha Shahtry, #Author of 8 FBian Hearts

About the Author:
Harsha Shastry is a dynamic creative writer with over eight years of experience in the areas of  creative script writing including animation screenplay, lyrics, Novellas, Novels, copy ads, contents, jingles, game concepts and dialogues.  He has written stories/screen plays for very acclaimed and popular cartoon shows like Choota Bheem, Motu and Patlu. His stories have been published in international journals like “Earthen Lamp Journal.”  His debut novel “The eight FBian hearts” is being published by Numerique Publication. Apart from being a writer, Harsha is a humanitarian who believes in the strength of each individual irrespective of race and gender.

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Interview with the Author:

When did you first realize that you wanted to be a writer/ a storyteller?
Well, I used to write lot of stories and poems for contests in newspaper and magazines during my college days.  During my animation degree, I groomed the skills to professional level.  I started my writing carrier by writing screen play for a kid’s animation studio in Bangalore.  I was an avid reader since school days and hence I should say I wanted to be a writer since early young days. 

What inspires you to write?
I am totally mesmerized by life. Everything and anything I observe inspires me to write.  I could find stories anywhere from slum to Taj Mahal. Many times small ignorable incidents would give me greatest ideas.  

How did you come up with the idea for your current story?
The idea had been bugging my mind since I started to use face book.  In fact “The eight FBian hearts” is not the first novel I wrote. Before that I had written three other novels in different genres which are still under the dark desks of publishers and might get published in coming days.  I was always fascinated about the way face book worked. In the initial days, I used to spend more time just like all and wonder about this new addiction. During that process I happen to stumble upon this idea.  For reasons not known to myself, I picked up the imperfectness of people and finally ended with eight characters and hence “Eight FBians”.  During my writing process, I even didn’t know that there were novels about face book love.  I blindly believed that I am the first to write about face book love (At least in India). Later I released that there is another popular writer who has already written about face book love.  But then, from face book, thousands of stories can be derived. 

Are there some stories tucked away in some drawer that was written before and never saw the light of the day?
Yes, as I mentioned earlier I have four other novels in my folder. The first I attempted was a kid’s and young adult’s genre.  I dare say, it is an Indian version of “Lord of Rings”.  I wanted that as a trilogy and hence was hammered with many rejections.  My second attempt was a still unpublished young adventure “Zealed ZED” (I am a great admirer of Enid Blynton). My third attempt was a detective thriller “Mr. Rawat, the Private EYE” which is still under consideration list by publishers.  Then, Facebook hooked me.

Tell us about your writing process.
Well, I usually work upon the plan. While writing novels, I usually expect myself to write at least 1000 words on a working day (Of course I generously give myself many unofficial holidays).  Primarily, I do have the whole vision of my story; I spend time just seeing the story and dialogues (Even) in my minds screen.  Later, it was the work from mind screen to pages. 

What is your favorite scene in the book? Why?
It’ the scene when temporary RJ Bhaskar hosts the final part of show “Hum kale hai tho kya Dilwale hai.” I have come across situations almost close to that (No, I am not an RJ for sure).  I really hate racial or facial discrimination. 

Did any of your characters inherit some of your own quirks?
I may have Vishnu’s naughtiness and Bhaskar’s gentle mind.

What is your most interesting writing quirk?
I just write allowing the flow. 

Do you read? Who are your favorite authors and how have they influenced your writing style?
Yes, I am an avid reader. I read a lot from old to new authors and from Indian to foreign Authors.  Primarily J.K Rowling, Richmal Crompton, and Enid Blynton have been always my pick.   Writing about Indian authors, R.K. Narayan always inspires me. I have read modern authors like CB and DD. They are doing justice to the modern readers. I hope I would find quite a lot of modern readers since my book is about face book and love. 

What is the best piece of advice you have received, as a writer, till date?
The best advice I received is,  “The first step to success is to start”. 

What is the best piece of advice you would give to someone that wants to get into writing?
I would advise aspiring writers to take their own time in research and concept vision.  Secondly, one should not force the pen; the story has to flow on its own accord. 

What would be the Dream Cast for you book if it was to be turned into a movie?
I would be extremely delighted if this story reaches Dharma productions. Karan Johar has been my favorite. About dream cast, I would love to see Amir Khan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui playing Bhaskar and Vishnu. 

If you were to be stranded on the famous deserted island, what three things would you carry?
Lol, I wish that would happen someday.  One thing I would definitely carry is books. Other two, I don’t know – perhaps, my body and soul to enjoy the island. 

How do you spend your free time? Do you have a favorite place to go and unwind?
I do go for quite walks which always help in regrouping my ideas. I also enjoy observing petty activities all the way along. My free time is spent in reading books, playing games on mobile, watching sports and movies and playing games with my best buddy - my brother’s four year old son.

Can you share with us something off your bucket list?
I have many bubbling ideas for new novels which I want see as a hugh success. I also have plans for trilogy in future. 

Tell us three fun facts about yourself.
Well, I still believe that family of Uncle Scrooge exists somewhere. Secondly, I still believe Amazon. in/com will help me to complete  my Amazon Jungle dream tour. Finally, I hope someday an alien will pop out of a flying saucer and say “Harsha you are chosen.” 

What do you have in store next for your readers?
Probably, it would be “Mr. Rawat, the Private EYE”. It is a detective thriller. I might surprise them with other unique ideas as well.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with your readers?
Well, all I would say is to give a fair chance to “The eight FBian hearts”. I sincerely believe it would give them something to think about. 

About the Book:
God has given you one face, and you make yourself another.
~ William Shakespeare

The face has many facets and people @ Face book make yet another one. The eight young hearts who call themselves as FBian’s fall in love on Face book. What would happen when they meet face to face? Can they find exactly what they have desired? If not, are they ready to face the true facet of reality? And above all, can real love sustain reality?


Read a Short Excerpt:

Anaya didn’t have the mood to log into her FACEBOOK account since three long days. Tonight bored by her self-depression she logged into it. Anaya was surprised when she saw Bhaskar on line. So, he had not unfriend her until now. She was suddenly filled with an unknown anger and quickly created a quote and posted it on her update status.
“DARK faces are not really BLACK, but the thoughts of some people are really DARK. It is better to be black than having DARK thoughts.”
Anaya got four likes within two minutes.
After few more minutes she saw a new post from Bhaskar. It said:
“Love cannot be forcefully induced through fake beautiful photos, Love is eternal. It needs to rise up with honesty, faithfulness and trust.”
And poor Bhaskar didn’t get any likes and comments as always.
Anaya understood that it was intended to her. She began to compose another one to counter the post of Bhaskar. And this time it said.
“A Loving heart never cheats – but can take any abuses, absurd speculations and weird advices.”
Anaya managed to get two likes this time.
After a while Bhaskar posted another update.
“It’s funny to see people who don’t even know the spelling of word ‘LOVE’ write and posing as a great philosopher.”
The self-induced, self-speculated, warlike, uninteresting, eccentric, selfish posts continued to flow from the two profiles of FACEBOOK while other respective FBians ignored it completely.


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