12 February, 2015

#Interview with Dee Walker, #Author of The Winner's Curse

About the Author:

Dee Walker is the pen name of S.V.Divvaakar

S.V.Divvaakar, an alumnus of the IIT Delhi, assists international businesses to invest, set up, grow their India businesses, and serves on boards as a professional director. He is also an international Monitoring and Evaluation specialist working for several UN and other international agencies. 
'Serving one another, prospering together!' is his motto for a collective and compassionate world.
He has now ventured into writing, picking up the genre of realistic fiction, aiming to connect with young people, who he believes are the key to a better world, a better tomorrow.

An Interview with the Author:

When did you first realize that you wanted to be a writer/ a storyteller?
The first stirrings were sometime in primary school, when I tried to improvise on stories I had heard. It was fun to concoct completely different versions of movie plots for my friends who hadn’t yet seen them. Once, I even made an action movie out of a maudlin love story and filled it with the hero fighting a rhino and tiger (I was bashed up and had to reimburse the ticket money, of course). I realised that it is fun to interpose fiction amidst fact to take it to a different track. 

What inspires you to write?
I guess I am a reader first. And my profession demands that I write a lot. But the real inspiration is always to wonder how a set of characters decide to expose themselves to me and strings of words that did not exist manifest suddenly as fingers touch keypads. It is as if the characters have a life and want me to note them. The wonder aside, I am also inspired by the fact that good writing gets good readers, which one does covet. I would like to one day be seen as a writer who sincerely tries to give the reader her time and money’s worth.

How did you come up with the idea for your current story?
The idea came about from my professional work, and the possibilities of misuse of the national database for personal and political gain. I wanted to give truth its full power even when the whole world is against it, and that is the high point of the story.

Are there some stories tucked away in some drawer that was written before and never saw the light of the day?
There are some, but it is best that they remain buried in the crannies of my memory, for bringing them out will destroy many happy lives. That’s too heavy a price for a selling book. Maybe when we are all gone, these stories will be published. 

What is your favorite scene in the book? Why?
The last one and the epilogue. Can’t expand, for it will be a spoiler. But I felt satisfied that complete justice is done, and Truth wins finally, comprehensively, by itself, without anyone’s support.

Did any of your characters inherit some of your own quirks?
I have sprinkled a bit of myself into all the main characters.  The laughing, lying, the gluttony… you’ll know when you read.

What is your usual writing routine?
It happens in spurts. There are the intense phases, days on end when I write more than ten hours a day, and then days – especially while on missions – when I can barely get a few sentences in. But on average, I do a manuscript in twelve to fifteen months.  

Do you read? Who are your favourite authors and how have they influenced your writing style?
I read a lot, mostly self-help books and thrillers. I have many favourites. Enid Blyton, Agatha Christie, Jeffery Archer, Sidney Sheldon, Frederic Forsyth, Dan Brown, and now I am reading all of Ken Follet’s thick books. I also read a lot of others, including some Indian writing – Ashwin Sanghi and Ravi Subramanian especially. I do read Chetan too, to figure out where the magic is.

What is the best piece of advice you have received, as a writer, till date?
Write for your own soul, not for fame and glory, for they may never knock at your doorstep. 

What is the best piece of advice you would give to someone that wants to get into writing?
I would say the same, know why you wish to write, be clear of the consequences, and do not depend on writing for livelihood. 

What would be the Dream Cast for you book if it was to be turned into a movie?
Early days. May that day come.

If you were to be stranded on the famous deserted island, what three things would you carry?
 A woman I’d like to be stuck with, an IPad mini loaded with a thousand books, and a bottle of poison, when I’ve tired of the first two. 

How do you spend your free time? Do you have a favorite place to go and unwind?
My interests are very simple: I love food, books, movies and lively people. My constant travel (93 countries, counting to a 100) gives me ample opportunities to come across an amazing variety of all of these. 
Unwinding: for me it’s always either the bliss of home and family, and outdoors, the mountains and the sea - the grandeur of Nature in its powerful quietness. 

Can you share with us something off your bucket list?
Machu Pichu, Xian (two wonders left in my list; meeting Amitabh Bachchan and reciting Madhushala together, producing a low-cost movie with all new talent. )

Tell us three fun facts about yourself.
I laugh midway while reciting something funny, and never get to complete it.
I can lie convincingly (as shared earlier) and even earned the title of Gappodi Mal (fibber) at school. But I never lie about important things.
I throw music parties to impose my singing on others. Not too much a price to pay for great food and booze, hey!

What do you have in store next for your readers?
Don Daud Abraham is Dead:  the manuscript has been finished and is being edited as we speak, I intend launching it this winter. It is again, an alternative pathway about the final exploits of the most elusive man, and connects the dots of real events with credible doses of fiction.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with your readers?
Do write in with your feedback, I promise to take it seriously and will use it to improve my work, my craft.

About the Book:
A political thriller about national ID numbers, power and greed.

Orphan Harsh makes it to the billionaire club with a burning vision, sheer intellect and the blessings of his political Godfather. The favours must now be paid back through a huge Guru Dakshina. To honour his Master’s wish, Harsh, with the help of his fellow IITians, sets out to create a never-seen-before governance technology around the national ID numbers, that will change the face of democratic India.
Everything is at stake: money, reputations, egos and morals. Even lives.
Will they succumb to insatiable greed in the murky games of politics, backstabbing and subterfuge or will they be redeemed by the ‘Ten Commandments’ that once forged their ideals at college?
If you thought that supreme technology and unalloyed power can bring lasting change or that e-governance and transparency can address the ills of our system, The Winner’s Curse will force you to think again. For what’s at stake is: YOU.
The Winner’s Curse: the turbulent voyage of talent and intellect in the morass of turpitude.

1 Paperback Copy of the Book is up for grabs at my 3 year Blogiversary Celebration Giveaway!

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