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Author Highlight: Naveen Kakkar Discusses his New Book ‘Dissected’ and Stories from his Life

We are back with another author interview. Today, with us, we have Naveen – the author of ‘Dissected’. In this interview, Naveen talks about his writing aspirations, the route to getting his book published, and his inclination towards fiction. Stay on...while we chat with him.

What motivates you to write?

I write as it gives me a creative outlet to see humor in true or fictional situations. It gives me the freedom to see and describe things around me the way my inner world perceives them. I also find satisfaction when others enjoy my work.

What were your feelings after publishing this book?

A great sense of accomplishment for a while and then about a month of emptiness when there was no proof reading to be done, no deadlines to meet, no loud reading of the written text while checking for flow of thoughts, no revision of the ideas for the sketches and finally, no more late nights. The first author’s copy in the hand did feel like my own baby though it was delivered by a tough courier guy.

What are some of your favourite novels and authors?

At the risk of appearing like a frivolous writer, I still have to be honest in disclosing that I am not the “conventional well-read author.” The only bit of serious reading I have done was to read “The Fountainhead” by Ayn Rand more than 20 years ago. I have also read two of Khushwant Singh’s books partly. I found his unbound writing style fascinating. My favorite reads over the years have been Archies, Tintin, Commando war comics, Phantom and Asterix.

Do you think writing a book from the comfort of bedroom is possible?

Of course and I can vouch for that having done that myself for “Dissected.” Having said that, I do tend to jot down on a rough piece of paper or my palm, an idea that I remember while at work, travelling, or even while having food. I then build on this later when I sit down to write.

Where do you write from? Do you go to some specific place, like beachside or into the hills?

I write from my heart primarily. Although I have been to the beachside or hills but it has always been for vacations and never with the intent to be seduced by the scenery for the words to flow out. I have a strong visual imagination and with that, I do tend to mentally visit the places and people described in the book. Writing then comes relatively easy than trying to construct an imaginary plot.

What inspired you to write this book? Any tales to tell…

The seed was sown by Reena, one of my MBBS class mates who met us on our 25th reunion and was impressed with the titles I wrote describing each of my class mates in 4-5 lines. I wrote about 30 schizophrenic pages then and then faced the writer’s block for most part of the next 5 years. In the summer of 2018, I resurrected the plot prodded by my wife (she drew the lovely sketches for the book) and Gunjeet, my foster daughter who visited us in June this year.

What was your biggest learning experience throughout the writing process?

That writing does not follow a method, at least for me. It is a lot about inspiration first and then giving it a structure. Also if I enjoy what I write, I feel the reader also will.
Looking back, what did you do right that helped you break in as a writer?
After I gingerly wrote the first chapter in 2012, I felt it really gave me a feel of my first few days in college. That made me confident that I could write well and could get better. I showed the initial musings to a few of my friends who encouraged me to keep going.

Any best piece of writing advice that you would like to share with new or struggling writers?

With an explosion of books, print and electronic, it may be an endless wait if you wait for reputed publishers to decide your fate. I would suggest you to take the plunge using a self-publishing platform. But do make sure your writing is grammatically correct, flows well and has a target audience. Avoid hurrying before submission. Proof read thoroughly and best of luck. And most importantly, write regularly even if for a short time every day.

Something personal about you people may be surprised to know?

That even in these times of supersonic lives of people, I hate flying and still prefer endless train journeys with multiple stops. That I was forced to buy a smartphone only after being stranded in Jaipur with loads of useless cash (the demonetization fun night) and a 800-rupee phone that refused to communicate with Uber or Ola (It wasn’t that smart). That I went on to Facebook for the first time in the autumn of 2018 after book reviewers asked for the address. I am still learning to write on walls and finding out that it is rude not to press the like icon when Veena aunty posts a picture of her mushroom pie with dried baingan crust. That the bird on my recently created twitter account still lies silent as the world tweets by. I hope I do not change.

Any future books that you would like to discuss now?

I have already started working on two books, one on the remaining medical course that Tazo and his batch-mates still have to endure and another one on a family from Punjab settled in Canada.

Connect with Naveen:
Twitter: @naveenkakkar10

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