We are back with another author interview. Today, with us, we have AmyReads – the author of ‘Not a Different Story’. In this interview, he talks about his writing aspirations and the route to getting his books published. Stay on...while we chat with him.
What inspired you to write this book? Any tales to tell…
The idea to write this book had caught me unawares when I was going to my college in a city bus. But I feel that the core of this book i.e. “a toxic family experience can fill you with negative attitude” had been in my mind for so long.
When I was small, I used to live with my family in a rented apartment, and the flats were such that if you spoke loud enough, people in adjacent flats could easily hear you. So, the couple next door used to fight a lot. A lot means their altercations were the constant background noise. Their children rarely interacted or played with other children and that was definitely because of the shame. One day, our landowner told them to vacate the flat since their continuous quarreling was disturbing others. I didn’t understand then, but now that I’ve grown up, I think that’s the worst humiliation that can ever happen to anyone. They went away, and I never heard from them afterwards.
So, when I was writing this book, that experience not only helped me to connect the dots but also became the most important part.
What message would you like to convey through this book?
My message is for the parents. I know all parents love their children and want only the best for their children. But, at the same time, it’s important to be cautious of what they’re displaying to their children because that’ll have an effect on children’s later life. It’s true there are successful people having bad childhood experiences, but if you ask them, even they’ll admit that they wish they didn’t have to witness all those things.
What else drives you other than writing fiction?
Reading, of course, but I think reading and writing are the same things. So, other than that, I love music. My whole teenage was about songs of KK, my favorite singer. Recently, I’ve developed a taste of English metallic bands such as Evanescence and Within Temptation.
How did you find your writing chord, or were you a born writer?
Honestly, I don’t know. I wrote a fifty-page long story when I was in seventh grade. It was childish, though. During high school, I weaved so many filmy stories in my head, but none of them was penned down. The real writing began only when I started writing “Not A Different Story”.
How do you handle the response of this book, especially from your friends and relatives?
I was a bit hesitant about giving my book to my friends and relatives to read because, obviously, it was my first book. But they appreciated my work. My cousin advised me to shorten this book and he even helped me remove me some clutters. Rest was all about my editor.
What are some of your favourite novels and authors?
My favorite author is Gillian Flynn. Her book Gone Girl was just… amazing. Andy Weir and James Dashner are my favorite sci-fi authors. Recently, I’ve come across books of Fiona Neil, and I believe she’s going to be my next favorite. In Indian authors, I draw a lot of inspiration from Chetan Bhagat and Savi Sharma. Savi Sharma’s “This is not your story” was the one which saved me when I’d almost given up.
What was your biggest learning experience throughout the publishing process?
Traditional publishing is getting more and more centralized and thus, difficult for new authors. Self-publishing is the way and it’s beneficial to learn marketing skills at the same time. If your story has the potential and you’re able to do the right marketing, then you can earn a significant number of readers over time.
Looking back, what did you do right that helped you break in as a writer?
I think that the right thing was just “getting started”. I knew that waiting for the inspiration to come was a bad idea, and so I made writing a habit. And between all those good pages and bad pages, this book got finished. Of course, there were setbacks and feelings that I should give up, but luckily, I kept finding ways to start again.
Where do you write from? Do you go to some specific place, like beachside or into the hills?
I write in my study room, at my table near the window which has a view of a nearby park. For me, it’s the most peaceful place in the world.
Something personal about you people may be surprised to know?
I hate onions. Nope, sorry, that went too far. No one should hate onions. I mean, what you will eat after all if you hate onions!
Any future books that you would like to discuss now?
Currently, I’m working on a crime novel. It’s the story of two sisters who once used to be the ideal girls in the eyes of society, but disaster happens when they grow up and decide not to abide by society’s expectations anymore. I also have a fantasy novel in my mind, and I hope to start it right after my second book is finished.
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