SIPNREAD INTERVIEW – ARJUN HEMMADY

1)  Talk to us about your writing routine; what’s a typical writing day for you?

Actually I try to incorporate writing into my daily routine. When I was working on my novel, I was concurrently working and studying for my CA Final Examinations. So my typical day would start with me leaving for office at around 8:30 in the morning. I would be in office till about 8 in the evening. After reaching home I would have dinner and study till about 12 at night after which I would switch on the computer and start writing. I would write for about half an hour to an hour. I generally do not write everyday. I write whenever inspiration strikes.
    

2) Do you write more by logic or intuition, or some combination of the two?  Summarize your writing process.

It is tough to describe my writing process. I would like to think that it is a combination of both logic and intuition. I think that my subconscious mind is always thinking about various scenarios through which my characters would go through. I try to see ensure that the situations are as realistic as possible because I believe that the readers should be able to relate to the story and the characters. I don’t believe to create characters which are flawless as it is unrealistic. I believe that every person is a combination of good and bad qualities. Everybody makes mistakes. As a result, my characters are also not perfect. They have numerous flaws, they also mess up in life.

3) Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?

To be honest I had never imagined that I would write a romantic novel. I always knew since my school days that I would write a novel, but just never expected that it would be a romance novel. I had always thought I would write something like a political cum military thriller. But to answer your question I think right now I would consider horror as a genre which I would probably not write.

4) What was your own journey to publishing like?

The publishing journey was actually very refreshing for me. The last couple of years have been quite challenging for me both academically, professionally and personally. The one thing that kept me going was my novel. The process of publishing was not always easy. There were times when I was rejected by a couple of publishers. Even though I felt bad momentarily, I knew deep within myself that my idea for the novel was good enough to get a publisher.

5) If you could do it again, what might you have done differently? 

I think that the next time around, I will pay more attention to editing. I have always found editing to be tough and cumbersome. I have been writing articles on various issues since my childhood. Whenever I would write an article, I would quickly send it to a magazine called the Kanara Saraswat Magazine which would get it published. I would not go through and edit my article. As a result, when I would see the final product in the magazine, I would notice about half a dozen mistakes. I knew that when I would have to write a novel I would have to be more careful. So this being the first time that I would edit my own work, my attitude towards it was not that good. I should have approached it more positively. So the next time I will write anything be it an article or a novel, I have promised myself to pay more attention to the editing process.

6) What was the book that most influenced your life — and why?

There are many books which I influenced me but off late I am inspired by Amish Tripathi’s Shiva Trilogy. I think that the scale of the project, the imagination and the style of writing had me hooked from page one.

7)  How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning? Do you have any name choosing resources you recommend?

Names are important to me. I think long and hard about the name of the book and the names I give to my characters. Even though I don’t have any naming resources, I am very careful while naming my characters.

8) Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?

I most definitely read my reviews. I look forward to the reviews enthusiastically. While I don’t respond by writing back, I do take important points made by the reviewer. With regard to handling bad reviews, I will be honest and say that I have not yet received a bad review, but if I do, I will take it with a pinch of salt. I believe that I handle criticism in a mature way. As I have said before, the last couple of years have been difficult for me, so I think I have developed tough skin which will help me to deal with the criticism or the bad review in a positive way.

9) What are you reading right now? Are there any authors (living or dead) that you would name as influences?

Honestly, the only things I am reading these days are my Chartered Accountancy and MBA study material. It has been ages since I have read a fiction book. But the last book that I have read is “Dongri to Dubai” and I thoroughly enjoyed it. While I like authors like Dan Brown, Amish Tripathi and George R. R. Martin, I don’t think that there is an author who has influenced me with regards to my style of writing. I consider my style of writing as being unique. I don’t consciously try to write in a particular way.

10) What is your advice to first time or aspiring authors?

My advice to first time or aspiring authors is :-

a) Write when you are inspired.
b) Don’t quit your job to write a book It is important to continue pursuing your profession as you must have resources to pay your bills.
c) If you are not getting inspiration, don’t force yourself. But if you notice that you have not written for six months or more, just sit down and write how much ever you can. But then don’t immediately read what you have written because you will be very self critical. But do ensure that you do read it after a couple of months so that you can edit and fine tune it.

Source :- http://www.sipnread.com/Post/2016%5C1%5CSipNRead_Interview_-_Arjun_Hemmady