When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I prefer reading, listening to music, sipping mostly black or green tea, or trying to get that peace and quiet which is so hard to come by in my house (sic).
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I use a service called BookBub. Moreover, I have a lot of friends who are bookworms, and I'm still part of my old college's Literary Club's WhatsApp group, so I get suggestions from there. I also try to Google books on specific subjects, or related to a previous work of fiction. For example, after reading Dan Brown's 'Inferno', I immediately downloaded Dante Alighieri's 'The Divine Comedy'. I also try to indulge my more unusual or cruder interests such as historical studies of bestiality, hacking, seasteading, hydroponic gardening, etc., and I actively seek out books on the same.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Now that's a tricky one, as unofficially I started writing when I was just a kid. Those were silly stories, really. No plot development, no coherence of language, nothing. Just wild imagination. The earliest I remember writing is a story called Sobosome, whose name I later gave to a trilogy of not-for-sale, just-for-fun short books, two of which I've already written.
What is your writing process?
Step 1: Think of an idea Step 2: Actually start typing it, no matter how messy it is. Step 3: Edit as you write. Avoid repetition. Try to occasionally use fancy words that actually match the situation. Step 4: Save your work Step 5: Constantly revise what you've written, unless it's something you're uploading to Wattpad. Step 6: Skip this step if you're publishing to Wattpad. If you're now done with the first draft, go ahead and edit it. Then read the second draft, and make necessary corrections. Step 7: Publish your work. Writing is a sporadic, continuous and erratic process, really. One moment you know volumes about what you're gonna write, the next moment you have writer's block and have no clue what to write next.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Yes, I remember very well, although the story concerned wasn't the first I read. I had already seen the first movie based on the prequel, so I decided to go ahead and read Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets first, reserving The Philosopher's Stone for later. I was awestruck by the simplicity and the wonder it incited in me. It was then that I decided that I would also some day write my own book.
How do you approach cover design?
Not really my department, Simon.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
1. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, because of all the action and Voldemort's return. 2. Breaking Dawn. Vladimir and Stefan are so damn badass :) 3. Inferno by Dan Brown. It just completely blew me away. 4. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, because there are many memories (some very unpleasant) associated with it. 5. The Inimitable Jeeves. PG Wodehouse. Need I say any more?
What do you read for pleasure?
Mostly fantasy or supernatural lore, sometimes science fiction or nonfiction (give me any book by Richard Dawkins and I'll give you a hug :* )
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Hands down the Kobo Aura. Or the Kobo Aura H2O, which I haven't used as of yet. Although it's not as fancy as the Kindle, and the dictionary doesn't respond well to PDFs and MOBI files, it runs circles around the Kindle due to its greater social reading features, reading incentives, support for comic books, and expandable memory.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Haven't used any as of yet, but social media is the most important, according to me.
Describe your desk
Messy. No other word for it.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in London, Japan and conservative India. This gave me a taste of the good and openminded life and how much it was lacking in the small town in India that I grew up in. I was exposed to atheism here in India, and my writing reflects my proclivity for freethought, atheism, and sometimes (unfortunately) outright blasphemy.
When did you first start writing?
When did the clock start ticking?
What's the story behind your latest book?
It follows the amazing, wondrous life of Dr. Arjun Singh, who is basically a better version of me, from his early days in his second year of college, to his journeys across the globe, to his residence on a seastead, and his space colonisation. It combines elements of atheism, sci-fi, seasteading, space travel, biology, and rocket science among others. If you're a thinking person who can keep up with someone whose temperament is that of a nutty professor, and you don't mind a little crude language, I have a feeling that you'll enjoy my book.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
The time I would have to waste by using conventional publishing platforms. Plus, everyone's reading eBooks these days, and reading on an eInk device is especially a good practice.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
I'm yet to see it.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The escape from reality. When you're writing a book, you're writing as the character, you're walking into their shoes, seeing the world as they see it, feeling what they feel. It's like a pleasant dream that you never want to end.
What do your fans mean to you?
Everything. A writer is nothing without his readers, and my fans (or those who have said that I write well, so far) have continually motivated me to give my all to writing.
What are you working on next?
A love story between two best friends, Numaa (a Muslim girl), and Ishaan (a Hindu, Bengali guy). It's called Numaa-Ish.
Who are your favorite authors?
JK Rowling, Dan Brown, PG Wodehouse, Chetan Bhagat, Roald Dahl, and Enid Blyton
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
To tell the truth, I'd rather STAY in bed, thank you very much.
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