Interview with Richard Crasta

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Mangalore, a small South Indian town full of tall coconut trees, mangoes, cashew nuts, and with a church every mile or so. Churches and chapels were very important in my childhood. So were nuns and priests. My parents were away for a significant part of my childhood. Writing was a cure for my loneliness, it helped me escape into a fantasy world. Almost as soon as I could write full sentences, I started writing imaginary things. It culminated in a story about a John F. Kennedy character, a hero, on a horse, who went around conquering countries till, finally, the whole world was his empire.
When did you first start writing?
I was ten years old, or perhaps nine. But I really became serious about writing around 15 and 16, when I came across the novel "Herzog" by Saul Bellow, and had also read Somerset Maugham's "Of Human Bondage." I felt I had a story to tell. Writing of this sort, which was different from the story books I had read as a child, excited me.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
The freedom to write as I wanted to, without censorship. Censorship of content, or censorship of words: I have faced both. Magazines and newspapers have policies about what they will and will not publish. Even Penguin and one other major publisher wanted me to remove certain words or sections. The joy of instant publication: a sense of fulfillment.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
To share my laughter, wonder, happiness, my story, my experience, my creation, to reach out to readers in faraway lands, and to see beautiful words on a page.
What do your fans mean to you?
It matters that you have given joy to some stranger in a faraway land. Many of my readers have ended up becoming my friends. Also, fans who write reviews and share their joy with others make it possible for me to continue writing.
Who are your favorite authors?
Too many to name. Shakespeare, Dickens, Saul Bellow, Don DeLillo, Henry Miller, Vladimir Nabokov, James Joyce.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Walking, reading, meeting friends, seeing movies, watching people.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Hamlet, Lolita, Tropic of Cancer, One Hundred Years of Solitude, Invisible Man (Ralph Ellison). Because they are immensely good.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Coffee. Being out. Starting work. Sleep is boring!
Published 2013-08-29.
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Books by This Author

The Last Catholic Colony: An Indian Catholic Childhood: Fiction and Essays
Price: $7.99 USD. Words: 48,910. Language: English. Published: July 26, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Literary collections » Asian / Indic
Mangalore in South India, which to the author, while growing up there, felt like a Catholic colony (a subjective interpretation from being bound within a tightly knit Catholic community) is celebrated here with fiction and essays that describe what it was like to be a child in Mangalore in the sixties and seventies, and earlier years.
My Introduction to Love
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 13,250. Language: English. Published: December 18, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Biographical, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
What happens when you combine sexual starvation, a repressive culture, a powerful libido, dangerous psychotropic chemicals, love, longing, obsession, power, and sex? The following story, set in India, comprises the first section of a story—how a young Indian stumbled towards love, sex, and marriage--that will be told in a series of interconnected but independent parts. Robust, uncompromising.
Killing Me Softly: A Report from Benzo Land
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 20,120. Language: English. Published: October 20, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Health, wellbeing, & medicine » Healthcare issues, Nonfiction » Biography » Autobiographies & Memoirs
A personal testimony of accidental dependence on Benzodiazepines, a drug that kills ... softly, unnoticed, Will help you understand friends and dear ones, and the millions in the same boat. This book speaks for them and appeals to policy makers and the medical profession to work towards ensuring justice to victims and to behave more ethically.
Beauty Queens, Children and the Death of Sex
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 52,640. Language: English. Published: March 3, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Sex and Relationships  » Sex and culture, Essay » Literature
In this revised, expanded e-book edition of his controversial collection of personal and political essays, humor, and satire, the author of the celebrated novel "The Revised Kama Sutra" comments on a range of subjects, from India's sexual confusion to the colonization of the Indian mind. Arguing for true freedom for Indians and writers of Indian origin, he also discusses identity & nationalism.
Jesus Christ in Latter Day Hackensack
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 6,390. Language: English. Published: March 19, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » General, Essay » Literature
In this Woody Allen meets the Bible fantasy-satire, Jesus Christ makes a time travel visit to 21st Century New Jersey, walks into a bar, and finds himself trying to answer the question: "What do you do?" It turns out that he's hired a Jewish lawyer to examine the fine print on his contract for the Redemption of Mankind. Next, the Buddha gets a lecture from Berkowitz the headhunter. And Gandhi . .
What We All Need
Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 52,640. Language: English. Published: November 14, 2012. Categories: Nonfiction » Sex and Relationships  » Sex and culture, Fiction » Literature » Literary
“Sex is the most fun you can have without laughing,” said Woody Allen. But which do we need more, sex or laughter, and what is it that we ALL need? In this explosive anthology of literary, political, and sexy fiction and nonfiction, sex, laughter, politics, and public interest are blended into an unusual cocktail, subversive as well as thought-provoking.
The Killing of an Author
Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 75,160. Language: English. Published: April 29, 2012. Categories: Nonfiction » Biography » Literary biography
The Killing of an Author has been described as a nonfiction publishing thriller having "a sense of humour from start to end." It is the true story of small town Indian boy pursuing an American Dream: to become a novelist. The very human story of his quixotic quest for freedom in the Land of the Free is funny as well as instructive for writers, editors, publishers, as well as the general readers.
Lord Bush of Iraq: or, The Jolly Nuker of Baghdad
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 5,980. Language: English. Published: December 18, 2011. Categories: Nonfiction » Politics and Current Affairs » World politics, Nonfiction » Entertainment » Humor and satire
Conned Dee and Donald Ducksfeld “discover” the Al Stinkeroo, Iraq’s megafartacious SWMD, and demand that Iraq be totally disarmed—every steel knife in the country to be confiscated and replaced with plastic knives supplied by the Unholy Bottom Corporation, formerly headed by Veep Dick Shinyhead. Black Humor and Anti-War Political Satire, About 7000 words.
Impressing the Whites: The New International Slavery
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 59,330. Language: English. Published: April 9, 2011. Categories: Nonfiction » Social Science » Ethnic studies, Nonfiction » Politics and Current Affairs » Current affairs
In this comical, passionate, satirical, and sincere book, The White God delivers "The Fourteen Commandments of Impressing the Whites" to a brown "Moses." Inscribed on two coconuts, the Commandments sum up both the secrets of success for brown/colored writers, entrepreneurs, and artists, and the distortions caused by race politics and realities in the modern world.
The Revised Kama Sutra: A Novel
Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 126,220. Language: English. Published: October 8, 2010. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Coming of age, Fiction » Humor & comedy » General
A Confederacy of Dunces meets Catcher in the Rye in this comic novel about a boy growing up Catholic in India, freeing himself from brainwashing by priests and nuns, and hitching himself to an American Dream. The Dream is interrupted by a grueling campaign against his virginity; the novel was described as Kurt Vonnegut as "very funny," and was published in ten countries and seven languages.