Sunday, January 31, 2016

#288 : Online Talk : In Conversation with C Suresh - Writer

Me : How did the idea of writing a book pop up to you? What was your motive when you wanted to pen down your thoughts?

You know, there were some products that seemed like the heights of elegance at a time and a buffoon’s costume later – bell-bottoms for example. I have always wondered how many of the things that we consider impossible to live without are truly so. Later, at IIM, I realized how much the marketing of a product lead to our attitudes to a product. THAT, then, was the genesis of this book.

I have written a more detailed answer to this very question in a guest post recently. You can find it here.

Me : You book was a laugh riot and has been getting rave reviews. The ‘story’ that doesn’t have a conventional plot were you apprehensive about actually publishing it? Also, given that satire is genre that many of us Indians don’t probably ‘get’, weren’t you anxious?

You write what you like to write. As you know, I am from IIM and I quit my job in order to write. One of the main motivations was to do what I want to do and not what I had to do. So, I had no qualms about writing what I wanted to write. As for apprehensions about publishing, that would actually apply more to the publisher ‘Fablery’, who was putting in the money into it, wouldn’t it? To their credit, they did take it on. (Yes – it is a traditional publication deal. It was the publisher who incurred all the costs of publication and I get a royalty on sales.)

But, yes, as an author you do like to have people read what you write – otherwise you would be content mumbling to yourself. The point, though, is that you want them to read what YOU write and not merely write what you think they want to read. It is heartening that whoever has actually read the book has been impressed by it – some to the extent of buying copies to gift their friends for Christmas. Who knows, maybe I will be one of the steps on the way to Indians actually getting to like to read satire.

Me:  What’s with people from IIM and writing? You are from IIM too.

I can speak for myself. Engineering and Management happened because I am as averse to starving as the next person and, in my time, unemployment was a very serious possibility if you were not professionally qualified. So, IIM was in a way an accidental stop on my way to writing and not the cause of my wanting to write. I had decided to quit by 40 to write way back in 1988, so it is these others who are Johnny-come-latelies! So what if I started late; I decided on it earlier!

On a serious note, though, I’d say that the success of one from a fraternity, possibly creates both an interest in the others of that fraternity as well as inclines the publishers to look on it more favorably. It could well be that, among the various people who can handle English well, IIM grads wanting to write may not be an abnormal proportion but those who get published may well be.

Speaking for myself, I can only say that the interest in writing predated my even joining IIM and this success of IIM grads at writing was not even a blip on the horizon then.

Me : Tell us about your writing process

I am what one would call a plotter. Unless I have an entire story mapped out and a clear idea of what I intend saying in each section, I cannot even type in the first word. Unusually, though, I cannot outline – I keep it all in my head.

After the plotting is done, though…it seems too much like work. I procrastinate and use all my creativity in finding excuses to not write that day. Eventually, when I finish the book in fits and starts, I am astonished that I really have completed the book.

Me: Any books in the pipeline? (*sigh* the corporate world has ruined my vocab apparently)

I am a very eclectic reader and, thus, an eclectic writer. Prior to this book, I had a short story published in ‘Uff Ye Emotions – on Romance, yet, and if that is not creativity from a confirmed bachelor, I do not know what is! Then there is the self-published novelette collection “Sirens spell danger” which I edited and also wrote one of the three novelettes in the collection.

That was a sort of explanation of the fact that my next books are likely to be a collection of relationship short stories, a crime novel and a fantasy. All of them are in various stages of conception and execution.

Satire and humor are very difficult to write and even more difficult to conceptualize. It is just the fact that I have not yet struck upon another idea that is keeping me from writing another. When one does strike, that too shall get written.

check out the review of his book - A dog eat dog food world here



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