Interview with Ashish Shukla

What is your e-reading device of choice?
I will be frank. It's been Kindle for a few years now. I like the lightness of it; as well as the voracity for books which it feeds. It's like you are in a candy store. The low prices are a huge temptation. I would confess I have bought more than I have read on Kindle lately. Blame it on writing this tome "How United States Shot Humanity: Muslims Ruined; Europe Next
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I haven't begun marketing in earnest really. But the kind of work I do, through my books or my website: www.newsbred.com, I realize there would be few takers in mass media, ignorant and manipulated as it is. I would rather be an independent writer and thinker. Fortunately, internet has quite a few credible names in this field. I enjoy tremendously reading them.
Describe your desk
Well, all the time really. I just sit and work in front of my computer. Everything appears a nuisance: spending time with family, a tring on my mobile, gracing social occasions. I am consumed by books, reading and writing. An unpleasant acquaintance, if you must.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in a major city in India, though nothing like its mega metropolis of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai. For the last quarter of a century though it's been Delhi and its suburbs.
I have been a journalist for as long as I remember which is while I was still a teen. I am over 50 now so over three decades in the business of reading and writing.
The influences were early and sporadic. To begin with, I wasn't very good in English. I began with fiction, then graduated to history reading, all those heroic figures you know. I developed a fascination for them. One thing led to the other.
When did you first start writing?
Very early age as I said. Before I was 18 to be sure.
What's the story behind your latest book?
It's an interesting one. I wanted to write a travel book on Balkans. But while reading about the region, I came to realize how it's at a crossroads of humanity: East and West; Asia and Europe; Islam and Christianity; Capitalism and Communism. All its history it has been pulverized. So it is at the moment. After Soviet Union was over, the United State-Germany alliance sought to take control of it because of its strategic location. Access from Mediterranean Sea to Black Sea etc. This brought their imperialistic ambitions to the fore. It has brought world to a grief. The worst, I fear, is yet to come.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Most independent authors do it for love. I don't think money is a motivation. Skills with words, solitude, a broader vision all contribute to becoming an author.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Well I have read great things about it. From all quarters. It's going to be one of my three major Ebook distribution options.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
To be able to comprehend things which are not easily understood by others due to misinformation, ignorance or plain allegiances the modern mass media has with the oligarchs of this world.
What do your fans mean to you?
Who doesn't want recognition and acceptance. But the kind of work I have undertaken, largely moved by the terrible future our children could inherit, I doubt if really there would be a huge audience. There would be if information highways of this world were not clogged by selfish interests. But they are and most independent voices can hardly rise above the din.
What are you working on next?
Geopolitics again. I have already begun to apply my mind on a subject which I would rather keep to myself for now!!!
Who are your favorite authors?
Many: Pepe Escobar, William Engdahl, Amy Goodman, Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, Arundhati Roy, Prof. Michel Chossudovsky, Paul Craig Roberts among others on international relations. Among classical authors, Evelyn Waugh, Graham Greene, Stephen Crane are outstanding.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
To read and write. Simple.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I like to swim. Spend time with my family. But they all come after Reading or Writing. Which makes me a lousy person really.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Amazon Kindle
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
It was a sports article on India's cricket legend, Sunil Gavaskar.
What is your writing process?
500-1000 words a day.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
"Atlas Shrugged" the book.
How do you approach cover design?
I rather leave it to specialists.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
The Veins of Latin America: Eduardo Galeano (because it presents history from a different viewpoint
The Red Badge of Courage: Stephen Crane (what divine prose)
The Quiet American: Graham Greene (A typitcal British delicious mischief with words)
The Loved One: Evelyn Waugh (prose, imagination, cryptic--a knife can't be sharper)
A House for Mr Biswas : V.S. Naipaul (an unhurried elegant novel of immense richness)
What do you read for pleasure?
Non-fiction and classics
How do you see your writing career panning out
Well I feel at the start of it so surely the next few decades, if I am alive, would be exciting.
What do you fear
I won't have energy to read and the eyesight to sit in front of computers when I am 90. Ambitious huh...
Published 2015-07-29.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

How United States Shot Humanity: Muslims Ruined; Europe Next
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 102,990. Language: English. Published: August 10, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » Politics and Current Affairs » Islamic militancy, Nonfiction » History » European
“How United States Shot Humanity: Muslims Ruined; Europe Next” traces the present crisis from the end of Cold War. The principal actors in this macabre drama; their evil designs; the big picture of impending crisis and the solution which lies decades ahead in the womb of future—if humanity still has one. As the world, especially Europe, sits on a ticking bomb, our children might have no future.