29 April, 2018

#SpecialFeature :: #Interview with Siddhesh Inamdar, #Author of The Story of a Long-Distance Marriage

*** Special Feature - April 2018 ***

Quick Recap:

15th April - Reading List

About the Book:
We’ll always have each other to come back to.

Rohan and Ira’s life takes an unexpected turn when Ira decides to leave for New York to study. They’ve been married for only fifteen months, but this is the opportunity of a lifetime, and Rohan is not going to come between his wife and her dream. So, sad but supportive, he stays back in Delhi, where he is on the brink of a promotion at a national daily. After all, his relationship with Ira is strong enough to survive the distance—they are new-age lovers who don’t let marriage come in the way of careers and ambitions.

Rohan prepares for a year without Ira, getting by with a little help from his friends: Yusuf, his on-call confidant who lives in Bangalore; Alisha, a colleague he likes catching up with over tea; and Tanuj, his new role model at work. Life without Ira is going surprisingly well. Until the day, that is, she reveals the real reason she left.

Beautifully written and unflinchingly honest, this is the love story of our times.

Book Links:
Harper Collins * Amazon

An Interview with the Author:

When did you first realize that you wanted to be a writer/ a storyteller?
I was 15 when I wrote my first book and it was published when I was 16. I suppose deep within I knew I wanted to be a storyteller in my early teens. 

What inspires you to write?
Different things have inspired me to write at different points in time. The first three books I wrote were mystery stories for children. I was inspired by the planning and plotting it takes to create a good mystery. With my recently published novel, The Story of a Long-Distance Marriage, I was inspired by a need to make sense of the myriad emotions one experiences when in an intense relationship, and fiction, for me, is a controlled environment where it’s easier to do that. 

If you could pick any famous author to review your book who would you pick and why?
Jhumpa Lahiri. I didn’t realise it when I first read The Namesake but over the years I have discovered that hers is a writing style I have subconsciously tried to imbibe and emulate. So it would be nice to see what she would make of this novel. 

Name three things that you believe are important to character development?
Dialogue, understanding his/her motives for doing even everyday things, and emotional depth. 

Do you ever experience writer’s block? If so what helps you to get over it?
There’s no escaping writer’s block, is there? There was a 5-year period when I struggled to complete a book I had started writing. I eventually finished it but never bothered trying to get it published because I wasn’t happy with it. It was the result of a writer’s block. What eventually helped me overcome it was moving on to another story that I had felt deeply and felt compelled to write it. I think the only thing that helps overcome writer’s block is feeling and experiencing a story in the core of your being.

What part of the writing process do you enjoy the most?
Being one with the story, the characters, the plot, the climax and being driven by that sense of purpose of telling a story well which makes me lose track of time.

Do you know the ending of your books before you finish writing them?
Yes. At least what the last scene is going to be. The last lines may evolve organically as I write but I do have the last scene in mind. In fact, it is the last scene where the germ of an idea originates and I work backwards from there, so the whole story is basically a build-up to it. 

What is the best piece of advice you would give to someone that wants to get into writing?
Writing is not easy. It’s a long, long process involving years – coming up with an original or unique idea, feeling for the story strongly enough for you to devote months if not years writing it, followed by several more months of self-editing, finding a publisher, doing many more rounds of edits with the editor, followed by the release and promotion to actually sell the book so that the publisher may sign you up for another book. There’s heartbreak involved at many levels, maybe you will face rejections or your book will be received badly, or it will be read differently from what you had intended. It’s a long, lonely process with few returns, your life may fall apart in the bargain. When you get into it, ask yourself if you are prepared to do it in spite of all this. 

About the Author:
Siddhesh Inamdar is a 30-year-old writer and editor based in Delhi. 
He graduated in English Literature from St Xavier's College, Mumbai, and was a recipient of Mumbai University's gold medal in the subject. He did a master's in English from Delhi University and a postgraduate diploma in journalism from the Asian College of Journalism, Chennai, where also he ranked first in his batch. 
He has worked with the  Hindu as a correspondent based in Pune, with DNA in Mumbai and with Hindustan Times in Delhi. He has been with HarperCollins since 2013 as an editor for non-fiction books. Some of the authors he has worked with include Raghuram Rajan, Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Devdutt Pattanaik and Aanchal Malhotra.

Contact the Author:

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