It starts with the characters. I take weeks to chisel them in my mind with their struggles & objectives. Once that is in place, the dramatic situations that they are involved in become easy to visualize. Next up is finalizing a narrative style & the event chronology. Then the writing starts. I am slow at it :-). Usually write about 300-500 words a day.
How do you approach cover design?
After finishing the story, it is easy to identify the theme & the message in it. I try to be as detailed as possible about it while describing it to the designer. The description includes the general mood of the characters, the geographic setting , the key aspects that could be visually highlighted & an overall tone of the story. Then I leave it to the designer to come up with multiple cover designs. Then there are reviews where both of us check the designs followed by rework or fresh versions till we get it right.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up at Paithan in Maharashtra, India. It is an ancient city that dates back more than 2000 years. It offers real taste of the traditional India. My time in Paithan had a great impact on my writing. It has given me a firsthand look at the rural Indian life. The traditional Indian way of life, the new found aspirations of the youth & the changes caused by modernization that exist together in Paithan have affected the way I go about setting up the stage for my stories. So far, I have managed to mention Paithan in all my works!
What's the story behind your latest book?
Mousebite is a story that I thought of after it became evident that I had to get the Unique Identity card that was being issued by the government. Somehow, becoming a number for the government records did not go well with me. After researching the planned government project & coming across some scary predictions about it, I decided to write about it. Given my background in computers, the emerging trends in pervasive web intelligence & the use of biometrics for this project, I could paint a grim picture in the book. The project has worthy intentions no doubt, but it could go horribly wrong very easily.
Who are your favorite authors?
Greg Iles, Michael Crichton & Gerald Seymour. I have a special liking for Nelson DeMille too.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I enjoy reading. Binge watching seasons of popular TV shows is another favorite!
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