We are back with another author interview. Today, with us, we have Ketan – the author of ‘Shades of Pink’. In this interview, Ketan talks about his writing aspirations, and the route to getting his book published. Stay on...while we chat with him.
What motivates you to write?
Everybody needs a medium to express! Writing is just one of them. I believe I can write better than probably I speak. As far as motivation goes, I would like to do something what I enjoy! Furthermore, as a writer you only need your thoughts, a laptop and your solitude i.e. this is something you can carry on as long as you want!
Was it tough to pen down a novel based on two female personalities?
Not really! I think what really matters is the subject and how much do you believe in what you have written or going to write. The book is not only about two female personalities. Rather, it is the ideology entrenched in beliefs of people in any generation and conflict of those very beliefs across generations. And this is not new, it happens all the time.
What inspired you to write this book? Any tales to tell…
No specific incident but I must say it is bits and pieces of what you see around you. Our society has undergone tremendous transformation over the last few decades – more in some parts of the country than others! But I am sure we can relate to the characters of the book somewhere and somehow in our lives! When I first thought of the book, I realized it is very apt for our society and it is important to bring this open. Being a fiction, it gives you the liberty to shape your characters and mould them as you want i.e. to say you play God!
How did you handle the response of this book?
Frankly, whoever has read this book, has given the feedback that it’s a lovely, heart-warming story written in a very lucid and easy way. It has kept them glued till they finished. Apparently, many people have given ratings on Kindle but not on Amazon site. But I must be honest – it is not easy to market your book especially when it’s your first book! You compete with some of the best- known authors locally and globally. But It will happen, I am sure because it has the necessary meat to make a great story, it holds people’s attention and it has for sure a message for the society!
Was there any character in the novel from your life?
As I said, there are bits and pieces of all the characters that I have come across in real life, but it has no direct bearing with anyone in real life.
What are some of your favourite novels and authors?
I started reading books at very young age. From the books/cartoons meant for kids to fictions/self-helps and business books, I have read quite a few though it has reduced a lot nowadays. I have read almost all the books written by Vaju Kotak and Harkishan Mehta – all in Gujarati. I also read lot of books in Hindi before switching to English novels and never went back to Hindi or Gujarati. I have a lot of respect for Hindi and Gujarati writers but just that I got hooked on to English books more. Primarily I love thrillers. My favourite author in this category would be none other than Frederick Forsyth (Eye of the Needle, also a famous movie). I just love his style of writing. Other novelists are Jeffrey Archer (Shall we tell the President, also a movie), Sidney Sheldon (If Tomorrow Comes), Robert Ludlum (The Bourne series), Tom Clancy (Clear and Present Danger, Patriot Games) etc. I read a lot of non-fictions and some of my favorite authors are Robin Sharma (The Monk who Sold his Ferrari), Paul Coelho (The Alchemist), Malcolm Gladwell (The Tipping Point) etc.
What was your biggest learning experience throughout the publishing process?
The world of publishing has changed completely. I guess with the digital world you can have lots of resources like Amazon Kindle where you can practically publish your work without any other help but that’s a first step. How do you market your book, how you market yourself as author is a challenge by itself and it’s big jungle out there. So, completing your book is a great first step but then one need to be sure to have a solid marketing plan. This is very important.
Looking back, what did you do right that helped you break in as a writer?
As I mentioned earlier, to be a writer of a published book is not that difficult provided you are committed to it. Writing a book requires lot of self-discipline and commitment. You need to believe in yourself before anyone else believes you. I guess I was determined to see the end as I wanted to see a book with my name on it.
Any best piece of writing advice from your side that we haven’t discussed?
To be a writer one needs self-belief that he/she can write something that people would love to read. Everyone loves commercial success, but one need to hold its horses as you would be competing against the best names. So many new authors publish their books, not to mention the acclaimed ones. So, how to you get your book noticed? The key is still the content of your book. Content and solid marketing plan go hand in hand. So, begin with humble expectations on return and be realistic about it.
Something personal about you people may be surprised to know?
I am an engineer currently in business management role in large engineering MNC. The combination of engineer and an author is not something people expect. I have moved out of India for the last twenty-five years. So, most of the people who came to know after I published my book were taken by surprise. But I come from a family where two of my uncles were teachers and one of them a well-known poet too! So, I may say that I have continued that tradition in some way!
Any future books that you would like to discuss now?
I am toying with a concept now that haven’t pen down yet but that’s potentially my next fiction. Unlike my first book, it is based on some real-life incident. But the story goes beyond when the incident stopped making headlines. It delves into human relationships and how some incidents can turn your life upside down. Watch out for it…
Connect with Ketan Modha:
Facebook: Ketan Modha