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Author Highlight: Sadashiv Pradhan Discusses his Debut Book ’23:59:59’ and Stories from his Life

We are back with another author interview. Today, with us, we have Sadashiv – the author of ’23:59:59’. In this interview, Sadashiv talks about his writing aspirations, and the route to getting his book published. Stay on...while we chat with him.

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

The moment I entered XLRI, I knew there was a story to tell! Honestly, earning money was one of my motivations. Incidentally, amidst of all brilliant minds of my generation, I was a below average student at my B-school, you know the one of those who starts searching their name from the bottom, on the rank sheet. All the euphoria of joining the best B-school comes down within a week. A rat race gets intense and against the popular belief, so-called glamorous B-school life becomes a series of frustrating failures. Everyone goes through a phase where he or she questions the choices, the reasons, and the motivations of joining a B-school – and therein lies a story – which turned into 23:59:59!

What else drives you other than writing fiction?

Reading! I enjoy reading books – I keep a target of reading at least 50 books a year

How did you find your writing chord, or were you a born writer?

I think I was always a storyteller. I tend to look for stories that can inspire others or help them to take better choices or just give readers a reason to smile. 

How do you handle the response of this book, especially from your B-school friends and class fellows?

Fortunately, reviews have been encouraging, hence that part was easy! As far as, B-school friends are concern, most of them do come back with – ‘why didn’t you add that part of B-school’ but then again as an author I had to make sure that 23:59:59 isn’t just about B-school, it is about life choices, dilemma of money vs passion, and objective was not to show only B-school culture but to make reader ponder over their life choices. 

What are some of your favourite novels and authors?

It has to be Agatha Christie! I always had a fascination towards crime – mystery genre. The most difficult part as an author is to keep a reader enticing till the very last word, especially in the mystery genre. 

What was your biggest learning experience throughout the publishing process?

Writing is the easiest part of the process! Hahaha! Honestly, book publishing is a taxing process, it drains the immense amount of energy from you and I am still getting used to it. It has been a great learning experience and a part of me enjoys it. 

Looking back, what did you do right that helped you break in as a writer?

Believing that I am a good storyteller! I am a dreamer – I believe that if you are good at something or have a passion for something then don’t leave any stone unturned in making it big! I used to write blogs or articles in magazines, and many readers used to appreciate my stories. ‘Anything for passion' minded Ishaan (a character from 23:59:59) inside me kept on pushing me to take my passion seriously whereas ‘money minded' Abhimanyu (a character from 23:59:59) inside me asked a simple question – why are you doing it for free, if you are good at it? – and thus born the idea of 23:59:59!

Any best piece of writing advice from your side that we haven’t discussed?

It is a story that matters the most! I work in the media industry and we truly believe in the idiom – content is the king! As a writer, most of the authors focus way too much on semantics, grammar, and other technical aspects of the writing – here, I am not saying those are not important, absolutely, these things matter but if your story is poor then no amount of great English can save you. Focus on story rest of the things will fall in place…

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

Not really… For me, writing is an escape from a reality! I work in a stressful, travel-heavy, demanding job. As much as I enjoy my work, I must confess, it takes a toll on your mental peace, that is where writing comes in – and at that particular point of time place doesn’t matter – it is a switch-off my the real world and write about a story that you want to tell the world.

Something personal about you people may be surprised to know?

23:59:59 is not written chronologically! I did not write a book starting from the first chapter then the second one, then the third one… No, as a first draft, I wrote more than a hundred stories or incidents and then ended up putting it together in the form of chapters. The story that I wrote on the very first day ended up being part of the 20th chapter of 23:59:59!

Any future books that you would like to discuss now?

Haha! As I said, I believe, I am a storyteller! Obviously, I have a few stories in mind which I would love to write. But, first, the focus is to take 23:59:59 to every possible reader. Once this story becomes a success then we will sit down and talk about the next story…

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