Interview with Richard Crasta

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.
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, mango, cashew, and jackfruit trees, and with a church or chapel 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, he became the benevolent emperor of the entire world.
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 experienced both, while going through the traditional publishing process. Magazines and newspapers have fairly rigid policies about what they will and will not publish, and they do not fit my freedom-loving mind. Even Penguin and one other major publisher wanted me to remove certain words or sections. Being an independent publiisher provides me with the joy of instant publication, and a sense of fulfillment, though reaching readers, I have realized, is hard work.
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.
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.
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 inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Coffee, sunlight, fresh air, food! Being outdoors, after a shower. Starting work, the sense of a mission: to complete and publish ten more books, many of which are more than half completed. Sleep is a boring necessity!
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 original and moving.
Published 2016-10-07.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

One Little Indian
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 73,920. Language: English. Published: October 6, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary, Fiction » Coming of age
In India, a land of “snakes, elephants, gurus, and coconuts,” Vijay Prabhu grows up Catholic and confused. The result is an Indian Angela's Ashes, one in which Vijay, redefining his goals, dreams of going to America, the land of milk, honey, and Campbell's Cream of Chicken Soup. "Surprisingly delightful...the unstoppably copious funniness is Shandian."-The Telegraph.
The Last Catholic Colony: An Indian Catholic Childhood: Fiction and Essays
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 48,910. Language: English. Published: July 26, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Literary collections » Asian / Indic
A subjective impression of life in Mangalore, which with its churches, convents, seminaries, and Jesuit schools, loomed large in the imagination of the author, as he was growing up, and made a deep impression on his mind: fiction and essays celebrating and analyzing Mangalore's Catholic community..
My Introduction to Love
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 13,000. Language: English. Published: December 18, 2014. Categories: Fiction » 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.
Beauty Queens, Children and the Death of Sex
Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 52,670. 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.
What We All Need
Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 52,660. 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: $4.99 USD. Words: 75,120. Language: English. Published: April 29, 2012. Categories: Nonfiction » Biography » Literary biography
An exhaustive list of mistakes a writer should never make (for example: insisting on total freedom of expression), and an Encyclopedia of the Dark side of publishing and writing, “The Killing of an Author” is a true story set mainly in New York, and partly in London and New Delhi, with cameo appearances by literary and publishing stars, and a breathless sense of wonder and hope: a writer's journey
Lord Bush of Iraq: or, The Jolly Nuker of Baghdad
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 5,570. 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.
Father, Rebel, Dreamer
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 23,470. Language: English. Published: June 4, 2011. Categories: Nonfiction » Parenting » Divorce and children, Nonfiction » Biography » Personal memoir
Writers and artists who are fathers; terrorist mothers-in-law; how to face the stealing of your children (including your book-children); this eclectic book on fatherhood and Mangalore from the author of the celebrated novel "The Revised Kama Sutra" is full of surprises, passion, poignancy,
I Will Not Go the F**k to Sleep
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 27,360. Language: English. Published: June 4, 2011. Categories: Nonfiction » Entertainment » Humor and satire, Nonfiction » Entertainment » Humor and satire
What if a child, asked to go the f**k to sleep by its father, could respond in adult language? What if 5000 Indian yogis simultaneously dropped hot coffee on their laps in 5000 McDonalds to balance India's budget? How about selling used nukes to help balance the budget deficit? This anthology of humor is by the father of 3 boys and one Inner Brat that refuses to go to sleep or to grow up.
Impressing the Whites: The New International Slavery
Price: $6.99 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 » 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.