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Author Highlight: Atul Sharma Discusses his Debut Novel ‘The Illegitimate Dollars’ and Stories from his Life

We are delighted to welcome a very talented novelist, Atul Sharma, for a brief Q & A session at our website about his recent novel: The Illegitimate Dollars.

In this Q & A session, he will be talking about his writing aspirations, inclination towards historical fiction, and the route to getting his novel published. Stay on...while we chat with him.

What inspired you to pen down this novel? Any tales…

My years of work on the cruise ships, wearing different hats and performing diverse roles, along with the time spent in the US during the student life, exposed me to some phenomenal experiences, diversity, cuisines, myriad places and interesting people. I was taken aback on learning the stark reality of the student life, lived by majority of students. One such event happened with me, and it remained stuck with it for a decade before I decided to express myself through a story-truly worthy of telling one and all.

What do you do when you are not writing?

Cooking and lots of it. The few food descriptions in ‘The Illegitimate Dollars’ are a testimony to my passion about food and food experimentation. 

What inspire you most in life?

The pursuit of an aim and its journey inspires me.

How often do you write?

A minimum of one hour daily.

What kind of books do you enjoy reading?

Short stories and historical fiction.

Have you ever written a character based on the real you in some part?

Arjun - The protagonist in my maiden novel.

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

Few months before you start writing a novel, stop reading any novel for the critical reason of ensuring that anyone’s writing does not at all influence you.

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

Maintaining a diary and noting down special events categorically.

What was your biggest learning experience throughout the writing process?

The reflection of the situations which I was constructing provided an immense learning and understanding what went right or wrong in past.

Can you tell us about your current projects – be it anything?

The ‘Final Chapter-The Illegitimate Dollars’ is in development.

If you were to change your genre, which one would you choose?

Children genre.

What does literary success look like to you?

An immense confidence booster.

Connect with Atul Sharma


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