09 November, 2019

#Interview with Ruby Gupta, #Author of No Illusions in Xanadu - @drrubygupta

About the Author:
Ruby Gupta is a, bestselling author, who initially chose to study science, then switched to creative writing, dabbled in journalism, was awarded two gold medals for English literature, earned a PhD and thereafter joined the world of academics.

An awardee of the GSE as Cultural Ambassador for USA by Rotary International and the recipient of the Pratibha Samman Award, she has published the following books:

1. No Illusions in Xanadu, Bloomsbury Publishing, 2019
2. A Degree in Death, Alchemy Publishers, 2012
3. Maya - A Novel, Pilgrims Publishing, 2009
4. Khushwant Singh: Reality and Myth, Classical Publishing Co., 2003
5. The Fulfilment: A Collection of Short Stories, Har-Anand Publications, 1996
6. Basic Technical Communication, Cambridge Publishers, 2009
7. Advanced Technical Communication, Cambridge Publishers, 2010
8. Creativity Decoded: Mind and Art of Selected Poets, Indian Military Academy, 2017.

Her unputdownable bestseller novel, A Degree in Death was Long Listed for the Crossword Award 2013.

Her latest murder mystery novel, No Illusions in Xanadu has been published by the internationally renowned, Bloomsbury Publishing (publisher of the Harry Potter Books).

Of her eight books, four are non-fiction, whereas four are fiction. Her forte is mystery and all her novels are essentially mysteries. Her current focus is crime fiction and both her recent novels, A Degree in Death and No Illusions in Xanadu are murder mysteries and feature the intriguingly dapper detective, Professor Shantanu Bose.

Contact the Author:

Interview with the Author:
What inspires you to write? 
Well stories were my first love. Growing up, I loved reading all kinds of stories whether in the form of comics or books. In particular I was fond of mystery and suspense.  So perhaps it was natural that I would try and write stories of my own and finally end up as an author of the mystery genre. Actually creativity, the urge to create something out of nothing is my inspiration to write.

Are there some stories tucked away in some drawer that was written before and never saw the light of the day? 
Well not in a drawer, but there are certainly some half-written plots in some folders in my laptop. I intend to get back to them some day, though.

Tell us about your writing process. 
I do not have any writing routine. I go for months and even a year without working on my books. Then in between I get back to it and try and write for a couple of hours every day for some weeks. After that again there is a break. This is because my job and other things often demand my time and attention.  In fact, sometimes I wonder how I have managed to write eight books with this kind of erratic schedule.

Did any of your characters inherit some of your own quirks? 
Yes, my protagonist Professor Shantanu Bose loves to run and is fond of the same music as I am.

Do you read? Who are your favourite authors and how have they influenced your writing style? 
Yes I love to read. To begin at the beginning, my favourite author was Enid Blyton, followed by James Hadley Chase, Agatha Christie, Arthur Conan Doyle,  Jeffrey Archer, Ken Follet, Sydney Sheldon, Dan Browne, Ayn Rand and some others whom I cannot recall at the moment.  Though these were my favourites growing up. Since getting into academics, my reading is mostly serious literature. My writing style has perhaps been unconsciously influenced by Agatha Christie and Sydney Sheldon.

What is the best piece of advice you have received, as a writer, till date? 
The late Khushwant Singh whom I had the privilege of interviewing several times whilst writing my book, ‘Khushwant Singh’s Fiction: Reality and Myth’, said to me, ‘If you want to be a writer, then you must read a lot’. This I think is the best advice for a writer. 

What is the best piece of advice you would give to someone that wants to get into writing? 
Read a lot, be prepared for rejections, persist in the face of obstacles and keep believing in your writing. 

What would be the Dream Cast for you book if it was to be turned into a movie? 
If international, I would have loved the younger Pierce Brosnan to have played Professor Shantanu Bose. Or else Jude Law. From the Mumbai film industry, I guess Akshay Kumar or Irrfan. I would leave the selection of the other actors to the director.   

If you were to be stranded on the famous deserted island, what three things would you carry? 
My laptop, my phone and lots of chocolate!

How do you spend your free time? Do you have a favorite place to go and unwind? 
I generally watch TV, or catch a movie in a theatre in my free time. My favourite place to unwind is to quote Virginia Wolf, ‘A room of my own’.

Can you share with us something off your bucket list? 
The Northern Lights in Iceland, Russia, Ireland, Turkey and Australia.

Tell us three fun facts about yourself. 
I love to dance. 
I love to travel. 
I love movies and music.

What do you have in store next for your readers? 
I am working upon a mystery novel, a sort of a thriller based on the current volatile, geo-political scenario.

About the Book:

When the devilishly handsome, legendary Bollywood superstar Rajvir Kapoor is found dead in the thirtieth-floor study of his swanky new home, Xanadu, the entire country is aghast. 
Barely hours before his death, Xanadu, had been teeming with the pick of the country’s elite: hot-shot celebrities, business magnates and close friends and family of the iconic actor – all of whom had come together for the grandest party Mumbai had ever seen. 
Investigations reveal that Rajvir Kapoor was murdered, and now everyone is a suspect.
Professor Shantanu Bose, eminent nano-expert and part-time sleuth, a house-guest at the time, is willy-nilly forced to join the investigation. He finds himself in an alien world of the glitterati and their idiosyncrasies, where murky secrets are revealed and facts muddled. As Shantanu struggles to piece together the puzzle amidst the confusing moral codes adopted by the people of this starry realm, glamorous Mumbai seduces him and he finds himself irresistibly attracted to the enchanting prime suspect … 
Will the professor manage the tightrope walk between emotions and justice?

Book Links: