Dev Prasad is currently working as QA Head at Robert Bosch Engineering & Business Solutions Ltd in Bangalore. Prior to this, he held senior management positions at various American and European Companies such as ABB, Dell, Philips, Motorola, etc.
He has graduated from National Institute of Technology, Trichy (formerly REC Trichy) in the field of “Electronics & Communication Engineering”. He has also done a “Management Development Program” from Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore.
His debut book “KRISHNA: A Journey Through the Lands & Legends of Krishna” (A Spiritual Travelogue) was published by Jaico Publishers. It was long listed for “2010 Vodafone Crossword Award”. His second book “Pitch It !” (Management genre) was published by Random House. It was on the Bestseller list at leading Bookstores across India. It bagged the Second Prize of the prestigious ISTD Book Award (Instituted by “Indian Society for Training and Development”)
It was shortlisted for the Tata Literature Live! Business Book of the Year 2014 Award.
His third book “The Curse of Surya” (Crime Thriller) has been recently published by Penguin Random House. It has been listed under India’s leading e-Retailer, Flipkart’s “Top 10 Must Reads”. India’s leading Bookstores chain, Crossword has listed it under “Crossword Recommends”. Let us know more about his writing.
What inspired you to start writing?
In the year 2005, I had gone on a family vacation to North India. While preparing a detailed list of tourist places to see and the agenda, I realised that while there was lots of information about well-known tourist places like New Delhi and Agra, there was hardly any information about the religious places such as Mathura, Vrindavan, Gokul, etc. The trend continued when I visited Gujarat and a few other states. It was quite sad that despite India having thousands of historical and spiritual places, very little information was available about them. This made me to do an extensive research for five years which finally resulted in the publishing of my first Book, a Spiritual Travelogue – “KRISHNA: A Journey Through the Lands & Legends of Krishna”.
What did you like to read when you were a boy?
Like any other School kid in India in those days, I started by reading Enid Blyton and later went on to read Alfred Hitchcock and Sherlock Holmes. By the time I was in High School, I had begun to read P.G. Wodehouse, James Hadley Chase, Sidney Sheldon, Erle Stanley Gardner, Agatha Christie and Alistair Maclean.
What is the greatest challenge in writing a book?
My first two Books were non-fiction – the first Book was a Spiritual Travelogue and second Book belonged to the Business Management genre. The greatest challenge in both these Books was the high amount of research that was required.
For an IT professional like me, the other challenge is to balance between my professional career at Robert Bosch, my Book writing and my family life.
How much research do you do before writing the book?
My first Book covers 120 tourist places in India associated with Lord Krishna. I have described the places and the associated legends. Many of the places are lost or very little is known about them, including the location. Due to this, I made multiple trips to many remote parts of India. I had to speak to numerous local people to ensure that I capture all their views and versions. The other challenge was in ensuring that I had got the legends right. When you are writing on a Personality who lived 5,000 years ago, it is quite tough to get authentic information. And when He happens to be one of India’s most loved Gods, we cannot afford to get our facts wrong and hurt the sentiments of millions of Indians.
My second Book “Pitch It!” has sixty cricketing anecdotes and draws analogies with an equal number of corporate case studies. This contains extensive statistics and data hence, having authentic information is very critical. When we are talking about revenue, turn-over, profitability figures, share values etc, we just can’t afford to publish wrong data. This Book has around twenty pages of Bibliography!
My third Book “The Curse of Surya” is a crime thriller with a background of Indian history and Hindu Religion. I was able to reuse lots of information that I had gathered while writing my first Book.
What motivated you to write the book “The Curse of Surya”?
While doing my 5-year research for my first Book “KRISHNA: A Journey Through the Lands & Legends of Krishna”, I came across many fascinating places – a mysterious corridor between Krishna Janmasthan Temple and the adjoining Mosque in Mathura; five sweet water wells near a sea, two towns – Dwarka (in mainland Gujarat) and Bet Dwarka (an island) both claiming to be the original capital city of Lord Krishna’s kingdom, and part of the city of Dwarka submerged under the Arabian Sea.
I decided to weave a story using these interesting places and their legends as the backdrop. In order to make it fast paced, I made it into a crime thriller. This resulted in the birth of “The Curse of Surya”.
Can you tell us more about your latest book “The Curse of Surya”?
Sangeeta Rao a beautiful, feisty anchor at Channel 7 TV in Singapore has to abandon her European holiday plans as an early morning phone call packs her off to Agra on a special assignment of anchoring Singapore President’s visit to India.
At the Taj Mahal, Sangeeta meets Alan Davies, a charming Welshman. After a terrorist attack at the famous Krishna Janmasthan Temple, Mauthura, the couple are falsely implicated and become fugitives from justice. Along with Anton Blanchard, an elderly Frenchmen, they criss-cross across India in the hunt of the Shyamantaka Gem, the biggest and most priceless gem in the world that has been lost since 5,000 years. In their pursuit are the daring supercop SP Nisha Sharma and the most ruthless terrorist organisations in the world.
Lightning paced, fascinating and gripping, ‘The Curse of Surya’ is a thriller which takes the reader into a maze of events packed into forty hours and unfolding itself among the three protagonists from different parts of the world unravelling the biggest mystery since 5,000 years!
Who are your favourite authors?
My favourite authors are P.G. Wodehouse and Sidney Sheldon. During my school days, I used to also read Enid Blyton and James Hadley Chase a lot.
I also read many Business Management books – but I don’t have any specific “favourite” authors in this genre.
How much time do you dedicate to writing on a daily basis?
There is no fixed pattern. When I am working on a Book, on an average, I try to write around 500-1,000 words during weeknights. During weekends, I try to double that.
What words of wisdom would you like to give to aspiring writers?
I would like to give two pieces of advice to all aspiring authors.
Firstly, they must write from their hearts and not keep any specific audience in mind. It is fine to be “politically incorrect”, if you have the conviction of what you want to write.
Secondly, you should write about a topic that you are passionate about. Don’t choose a genre just because it is currently doing well in the market. Please choose topics which you consider as your forte. That’s the key.
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