18 July, 2016

#Interview with Akash Verma, #Author of Three Times Loser... Love Never Dies

About the Author:
 I am an entrepreneur and Indian fiction author. 

My work has taken me across the country and I find this experience very relevant while giving shape to my stories.

I have authored two national bestsellers - It Happened That Night, in 2010 and Three Times Loser, in 2011. The third book, A Broken Man, is in the press.

I took up writing fiction in 2007; was bitten by this sudden urge towards writing by my compelling passion to understand human relationships and behaviour. 

Music, literature, history and travel fascinate me. I am currently based in Gurgaon, India.

An Interview with the Author:

When did you first realize that you wanted to be a writer/ a storyteller?
I belong to a family where both my parents are eminent Hindi writers. I have always been surrounded with books and literati.
My urge to write first surfaced in 2001 when I was based in Gujarat , in the year the riots took place. My first fiction novel – It Happened That Night is set against the backdrop of Gujarat riots. 

What inspires you to write?
I am moved by surroundings and people who I meet up with. I am very curious and a keen observer. Observations within our environment, society and human behavior triggers me, and I weave my stories around them.

How did you come up with the idea for your current story?
I belong to a middle class family where you grow up with everyone around, meaning all strata of society. I have witnessed caste based discrimination personally. Moreover Mandal was a dominant issue when I was passing out from school and took admissions in college. It has stayed with me and became a backdrop for A Broken Man. Secondly the belief that everyone has this unlimited potential within that can completely transform his/ her environment comes from a life philosophy that I practice.

Are there some stories tucked away in some drawer that was written before and never saw the light of the day?
Yes there are. Hopefully they will also see the light of the day one day.

Tell us about your writing process.
I do set up a broad timeframe within which I have to write a book. After that I don’t follow any set patterns or rules to approach this self deadline. I write whenever and wherever I can. The environment doesn’t bother me much as I usually get into a cocoon when I am writing. When I write I usually let it flow and come back to it only when I am editing the manuscript finally.

What is your favorite scene in the book? Why?
My personal favorite is the railway platform scene where the two protagonists --- Chhavi and Krishna separate without knowing whether they would be able to meet ever. It’s the defining moment where pure love overcomes any grudge that you may be carrying in your heart. It is also the moment where a victim of caste discrimination and poverty, Krishna , determines to achieve his true potential. It is the most poignant moment in the story yet it is reassuring in a manner. 

Did any of your characters inherit some of your own quirks?
In my opinion a writer would be lying if he/she says that it doesn’t.

What is your most interesting writing quirk?
I can write anywhere. Surroundings’, noise, place doesn’t bother me. 

Do you read? Who are your favourite authors and how have they influenced your writing style?
Good stories fascinate me more than the pedigree of the authors but I have some favourites as well. I love reading Marquez, Orhan Pamuk, Khaled Hoseini and Pablo Neruda. I can read diverse genres and writers, recently I read The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins and loved it and I wouldn’t in a similar manner ever leave a Dan Brown book. Similarly I love reading history; Nehru, Ramachandra Guha are a couple of my favourite writers in this space. A few fellow Indian authors whose work I have been privy to and have quite liked are Chetan Bhagat , Ashwin Sanghi, Preeti Shenoy, Novoneel & Vish Dhamija to name a few. 

What is the best piece of advice you have received, as a writer, till date?
This is my advice to self. Keep your wring simple. It’s usually not the language but the thought which touches someone heart.

What is the best piece of advice you would give to someone that wants to get into writing?
Every one learns along the way. The advice can’t be generic – One shoe fits all. 

What do you have in store next for your readers?
A crime thriller based in Gurgaon. I am researching on it currently.

About the Book:
Megha, a home-maker in Gurgaon, receives a letter. 
Mandira, a top MNC executive in New Delhi receives a letter. 
Shonali, a Corporate Slut in Mumbai receives a letter.

Three unknown people; three different lives; one common thread that binds them together. Alok.

Why is he calling them after so many years? What is it that he has, which he wants to return back to each one of them?

Three times loser... it the story of love and friendship; of sacrifice and deceit and of victories and heart-breaks. The story meanders through the narrow by lanes of Paliwal Park in Agra to the politically alive corridors of Lucknow University and finally lights up the studios of Smile FM in New Delhi. The quest for love continues over years; over time; and over cities. Does it find its destination in the end?