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Author Highlight: Saurabh Kudesia Discusses his New Book ‘Aahvan’ and Stories from his Life

We are back with another author interview. Today, with us, we have Saurabh Kudesia – the author of ‘Aahvan’. 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 made you to write a novel in Hindi?

I started writing Aahvan in English as early as 2009. After spending more than 8 months and completing almost 30-40% of the book, I realized that I am not able to express the ancient characters in their true colors particularly when using Sanskrit text/references. The difference in the impact was so profound that I decided to junk the English version completely and switched over to Hindi.

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

I was always fascinated by the art of writing and its ever-lasting impression on the readers. It was my deep curiosity about the Mahabharata that triggered the whole idea of this book series in 2003. It took me another 15 years to research the subject, collect the scattered pieces of history, and integrate them into a coherent story.

What message would you like to convey through this book?

Irrespective of the circumstances we always have the freedom to choose our actions and change our destiny. As the story unfolds, you will realize that this message is deeply rooted in all the characters of my book.

Since this novel contains information which is limited to mass, well then how you did the research for it?

I spent almost 15 years researching on the subject of the novel. This includes more than 40 major Vedic literature and contemporary research work. In addition to subscribing to different libraries (including New York public library), I purchased some rare literatures to cover different aspects of the story. 

What else drives you other than writing fiction?

I like travelling, visiting new places, and meeting people. I love reading about the latest technologies and experimenting with them. Currently, I am exploring Machine Learning and developing Information models based on Natural Language Processing. I am also an application developer and have implemented multiple tools and process models to improve efficiencies of my teams. One of my best selling application was “Shrimad Bhagwat Gita” written in Hindi and Sanskrit and distributed on Windows Phone.

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

I used to write short stories and screenplays as part of my language practice since class 4th. I was passionate about my handwriting that won me many accolades (a big accomplishment at that time). My passion for writing continued in my later years and I worked for some of the prominent technology magazines covering articles on different aspects of technology for masses. I can now look back and say that I wasn’t a born writer, but I choose to be a writer and followed my heart to reach where I am today.

How do you handle the response of this book, especially from your friends and relatives and readers?

That is the most interesting part! I have blessed to have some of the most enthusiastic readers who keep sending me messages about how they feel about certain aspects of the book, or about why a certain character behaved in a way different than his personality. It is interesting to note what they like or dislike and how aligned their reactions are with the thought process that was driving the story development. I keep a small log of interesting feedbacks that provide me insights about my writing/narration style and other aspects of the book. These inputs are important for me to improve different aspects of the upcoming books of the series.

What are some of your favourite novels and authors?

I am inspired by the epic works of Acharya Chatursen Shastri, Shri Bhisham Sahni, Shri Narendra Kohli, and Shri Rajkumar Bhramar.

What was your biggest learning experience throughout the publishing process?

Finish what you have started and never give up. There were many challenges during the writing and publishing process that almost left me broken hearted and almost put me almost at the edge to abandon the whole project. The whole writing process was an altogether different experience with full of ups and downs, frustration, disappointment and what not! 

However, after publishing the book and getting extremely positive response from readers, I am glad that I didn’t give up. All those setbacks were just part of the whole process to make a successful book and surviving them meant a lot to me.

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

I keep improving my abilities to understand things and situations from different perspectives. Understanding the characters (whether the story is technical or fictional), your audience (technical/non-technical), and their need is the basis of any story development. As long as you have these aspects in control, you can write any story. Of course, to master these factors you need a lot of patience and practice.  Sometimes it may also lead to information overload and/or complete breakdown.

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

As a writer, you should not only understand your characters, but also be confident enough to give them ‘freedom’ to let them show their true self when placed in certain situations. As is evident in my debut novel, I have only designed situations and the characters, but provide the complete freedom to my characters to choose how they would like to interact in certain situations or how they would like to behave with other characters. This thought process helped me establish unique relationships between them, which is vibrant, yet fuzzy and enigmatic, leading to richer and engaging storyline.

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

For me, writing is a state of mind. My writing work is therefore independent of place. If I am not writing, or the place does not allow me to write, I start creating visuals of my story in mind about major events, and use them to create a story outline. When I have the opportunity to write, I expand these outlines and fill more details to expand the story.

Something personal about you people may be surprised to know?

I can’t think of any! I am an open book. If you notice something surprising about me, don’t forget to share it with me.

When is the next part coming?

Stay tuned! I am working with my publisher to release the second part as early as March 2020.

Any future books that you would like to discuss now?

Although I am excited about the upcoming second part of the series, I would like to keep the story in wrap so that you do not miss the excitement that is waiting for you.

Connect with Saurabh Kudesia:

Twitter: saurabhkudesia 


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