The journey of author is no different than the journey of his book. We at The Book Buzz would explore various nitty gritties of the development of that one line scribbled somewhere that catapulted into the book, the dream that became a reality. With interesting anecdotes and personal stories of defeat and subsequent success of the author, this section would be dedicated to his/her own version on his/her book.
Varun Sayal, author ‘Demons of time-Race to the 7th Sunset’ speaks to us..
The Book Buzz (TBB): The very first thing that one feels after reading your book is how ‘mythology’ was there throughout as a backdrop to your story. Any special fascination towards the genre?
Varun Sayal (VS) : I have been brought up on a steady dose of mythological stories via comics, and mythology based teleserials. I was always fascinated by these stories and their caricatured heroes and villains. As I grew up and read more in depth, I realized the layered undertones in these stories. Mahabharat, for example, is a story which clearly shows that the world is not all black and white, and almost all the characters in this story are gray-scaled. That is immense learning for me as a writer.
TBB : Your book is doing really well, both online and offline, a real-time example of successful self-publishing. This entire process of moving away from the traditional mode of publishing and yet tasting success must have brought with it a whole range of learning, revelations, and experiences. Would you like to share something with us?
VS : Self-publishing in a way is entrepreneurship where you as the author are the sole owner of ensuring the quality of writing, editing, formatting, and cover design. In addition to that, the whole onus of effectual marketing lies on your shoulders too. That gives you more control as an author to carve out your product as you want, but the process and results can overwhelm you at times. Although I see enough independent writers, a.k.a. indies in the US earning big bucks, which is inspirational. But one has to understand that those indies are successful because they figured out techniques such as series writing, write-to-market and identifying the tropes. The moral of the story is that it is very important to understand that everyone has their own journey, their own path, and comparisons are seldom helpful. It is important to set achievable targets for yourself and hit them regularly. That being said I have immense respect for traditionally published writers too. They have been able to convince the publishing houses that their work will interest the masses. In the future, I do plan to venture trad-pub side too.
TBB : Now that your Book 1 in the series ‘Demons of time-Race to the 7th Sunset’ is being widely read, tell us something about the sequels to it and your future projects.
VS : Oh, this is a very interesting question. The working title of my next book is “Aliens of Suryaksh” (may change). And in this book, I have been, hopefully, able to create a female super-villain, an entity so powerful that I had to spend an extra month crafting a plausible end. So you get the drift of how exciting it is going to be. My first draft is finished and I have fixed a few plot holes too. So a few more revisions and professional editing are what is pending. Besides this, I am planning to write two new series but I want them to be “write to market” projects for which I need to do more research before I can even begin plot outlines and story arc construction.
TBB : They say that even when a writer doesn’t actively write, he is a ‘writer’ nonetheless. But a writer does have a life other than writing as well, our readers would love to know what you do when don’t write? Tell us something about your family as for a professional writer, his surroundings, family, etc. plays a big role.
VS : My parents are both retired from their respective jobs. My sister is a teacher. We are in different cities so we don’t get to meet more often. I stay in Hyderabad with my wife who is a doctor. My parents are hard-working folks who, owing to their tenacity, have built their lives right from scratch. They are very supportive of my writing and my biggest learning from them is there is no short-cut to hard work and grit. My wife, although not a regular reader, motivates me to pursue the craft of writing as she understands that it’s important for me.