16 November, 2015

#Interview with Kannan, #Author of Fizz...

About the Author:
Kannan was born in a Tamil migrant family from Palakkad, Kerala. Born and brought up in Kanigiri, Andhra Pradesh, he spent his childhood climbing the mountain formed from single rock and swimming in the wells used for agriculture.
He became an engineer and is employed by an Aluminium manufacturer. He lives in Mumbai with his wife and son and leads a regular and boring life - which is why he started writing fiction.
A person with strong opinions but no expectations from life, he became a spiritual atheist after witnessing the aftermath of the Latur earthquake.
He spends his time mostly listening to music and playing chess online. 
He can be reached via Email or Facebook or Twitter

Interview with the Author:

When did you first realize that you wanted to be a writer/ a storyteller?
Used to write poems in Telugu, when I was in my teens. Then came a long gap when I was busy in becoming an engineer.  When I started working, I used to read a lot.  And I don’t know the reason, but somehow I started to paint also.  Then came a gap off nearly five years when I did nothing and all of a sudden I started writing blogs, with a great irregularity.  One fine day, may be in 2008, I started to write my first novel, which is yet to be completed.  Then I started two more and finally I could complete the one that I started last.

What inspires you to write?
Life.  Life is a good teacher if one is willing to learn.  Life is a unique teacher that teaches different lessons to different people from same experience and situation.  

How did you come up with the idea for your current story?
That Jules Verne had written a book on going to the moon was a well-known fact.  There is one little known novel titled “Sign of the Prayer Shawl” that I read some years back.  In that some old Japanese major wanted to fly into US and crash onto Government institutions.  This book was released in 1976 and we’ve seen this plot executed after twenty five years.  
This book was always in the back of my mind, though I was writing on something else. I simply started thinking in tangent, if Pakistan could plan something big, what they could do to India.  As I started the book in 2013, I cannot consider the plot of attacking directly like that happened in 2008.  I can’t expect them to repeat same thing.  I explored what they will do, if they plan big and in clandestine.  The result is “Fizz…”
Of course, recently Pakistan had admitted they have deployed small nukes at border.  

Are there some stories tucked away in some drawer that was written before and never saw the light of the day?
Few were there.  Though I simply blogged the others.  Most of my old poems were with my friend. I’ve not seen them in the last twenty or so years, as he took them saying he’ll publish them one day.

Tell us about your writing process.
Last five years, I was travelling a lot – part of my job.  Most of the time that I spent in Airports and Guest houses was used to think a lot and suddenly I write some pages.  But, those two books I wrote for the past eight or so years are no-where near completion.  However, they helped me to finesse the art of writing.
Last year, when my father was operated upon, we were together alone i.e., during day time, for a week.  As I was alone with nothing to do, I preferred to write, rather than contemplating on unnecessary thoughts.  By the second day, I was writing, as it is my regular job.  Whenever stuck, I went for long walks, deliberating the scene.  By the end of the week, I finished about eighty percent of the book and it took another month of night work to complete.
I prefer to write when I was left alone, and there would be short breaks for long walks.

What is your favorite scene in the book? Why?
It is the scene when US President sends a command in mid of night to the bed room of Pakistan’s prime minister to discuss the purported nuclear attack on India, and had a video conference.  The commando stands guard during the video conference while the wife of Prime minister pretends sleeping and the President was enjoying the embarrassment of Pakistani PM with a bit of sadism, sitting in his office along with his team.
First, this scene exposes the hypocrisies that exist in international politics.  All those who pretend they are democratic and wage wars for democracy, had in fact achieved exactly opposite results. 
The other reason is at the end of the day, everybody is a mortal, with a capital M.  Even the POTUS has all human traits and needs to exhibit his heroism before his team.  He can always tell a story of his deeds to his grandchildren.   Come what may, even the most powerful man on the earth couldn’t resist in getting some ‘kick’ by being adventurous.

Did any of your characters inherit some of your own quirks?
Yes, including the adventure by the US President.  Probably, in many characters, though in a slight way – in particular situations.  Like the driver from Pakistan’s embassy who makes his colonel to walk miles in a Chinese city that he was not familiar with. 
More than anything else, it was the first meeting of Qadar when he ridicules Pasha, the colonel.

What is your most interesting writing quirk?
Pre-deciding what to write.  May be it is a practice I developed in the course of my job.  Yes, when preparing a specification or inquiry document, I’m supposed to know what I’m buying.

Do you read? Who are your favourite authors and how have they influenced your writing style?
I do read.  And I like thrillers and classics.  Favourite author is Robert Ludlum.  I like the way he describes the thought process of the protagonist.  The other author I revere is Ayn Rand.  That is because it takes a higher level of brains to conceptualize the plots of Fountain Head and Atlas Shrugged.  
I think the best book could be the one conceptualized by Ayn and written by Robert.
And the stories that I liked most were Ramayana and Mahabharata, which might be fulfilling the above criteria.

What is the best piece of advice you have received, as a writer, till date?
It was given during a lecture, when I was in college, by our Telugu lecturer, who himself was an author.  The advice was “If you want to write, read a lot.  Read hundred poems, you can write one”.

What is the best piece of advice you would give to someone that wants to get into writing?
One should write something that they themselves would love to read on any given day.

What would be the Dream Cast for your book if it was to be turned into a movie?
Let me not reveal these details.  They may hike up remuneration.

If you were to be stranded on the famous deserted island, what three things would you carry?
Full set of Chandamama, Music system.  I’ll create the third thing there.  After all, I am a technocrat.

How do you spend your free time? Do you have a favorite place to go and unwind?
I play chess online during free time.  It became a sort of meditation.  In Mumbai, time is less to go somewhere and so I walk down late night on roads.  I am basically an outdoor person and whenever possible, I’d love to be in hills or forest or a beach.   And I know some places, where all three do exist.

Can you share with us something off your bucket list?
To spend one winter at Kedarnath in Himalayas.  Yes, I know nobody lives there in winter.  For the same reason, I want to be there at that time.

Tell us three fun facts about yourself.
- I ran away from home at least three times, as a child.
- I refused to study engineering
- I wanted to become a writer and politician.  

What do you have in store next for your readers?
Some story of kidnap that was related to a political issue??

Is there anything else you’d like to share with your readers?
That I can be contacted at any time and would love to know their opinion of my book.

About the Book:
“Peace and Violence complement one another and both are undermined without the presence of the other.
Insecurity inspired by violence and devastation provides a business opportunity to those who live by selling killing machinery.
When the war of thousand cuts could not bring India to the negotiating table, let alone concede defeat, Pakistan’s ISI immediately grabs the opportunity to nuke India.
However, the common legacy shared by both countries had many Indians in Pakistan who played a vital role in its establishment.
How various nations respond to the purported nuclear attack intended to destabilise South Asia?
 At the centre of the plot is the defamed Qadar Khan—””Father of Pak Nukes””—who was a Muhajir.
Will he try to nuke India, the country in which he was born, so that he can reclaim lost respect in Pakistan, his adopted country?
What happens to the flamboyant general of Pakistan, Syed Ashraf Pasha, when his own Government denies any plot that he was executing through Qadar? Under international pressure from dollar donor countries, his family was arrested. Pasha, the man projected as future Army Chief, was labelled traitor. What would the patriotic army officer do in such circumstances?
Who actually detonates the device?
What happens in the aftermath?”

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