Siddharth says writing is work, life and the perpetual passion. He also undertakes lifestyle and travel assignments for a bunch of publications on a fairly regular basis. Let us know more about him and his book.
What inspired you to start writing?
There wasn’t a lot of plotting that went into becoming a writer. I’ve always been writing from a young age. In fact, it’s the only thing I’ve stayed committed to and the only preoccupation that’s managed to gain some measure of control over me in all this while. After penning copy for a gamut of agencies and clients and writing freelance features for a whole host of global publications, writing books was but a natural progression.
What did you like to read when you were a boy?
I believe Noddy and his world were the first instant attraction points. I also remember being fascinated by some old volumes of Dickens, as much for the lovely old smell of the paper as for their world of scamps and drama. There were also some amazing titles from Raduga Publishers, Moscow – none of whose names or characters I seem to remember.
What was the greatest challenge in writing this book?
There were struggles of course, as there absolutely should be while writing a book, especially early on. But once I’d weathered those early storms, the words came in a pretty consistent deluge. Another thing to take into consideration is that much of this novel is rooted in things that have happened, in experience that have been felt, which helped decrease that lag-time or the customary writer’s block. I’ve mentioned this on a few occasions – I love that early morning vibe for writing, perfect for putting in those couple of hours a day. As long as I got that in, I knew that I was being disciplined enough to undertake the entire journey.
How much research do you do before writing the book?
For this one, not a whole lot since much of it is rooted in real life and many of the instances, memories, experiences and encounters contained therein have a direct relationship to my life.
What motivated you to write the book ‘Letters from an Indian Summer’?
The inspiration behind this novel was something as basic and in-your-face as life itself. There were these stories, experiences, memories, and encounters floating around impatiently in the air, waiting to be brought together and encapsulated in a somewhat coherent form. Hence, Letters from an Indian Summer. The topic pretty much chose itself; it was a story waiting to be written. This is a journey brimming with wanderlust and a sense of romance that will, hopefully, linger. As for the title, the letters between the two central characters form these intense focal points in the story, moving back and forth in time, and as such, are a moving window to the characters at different points in their lives. The ‘Indian Summer’ part is touched upon right at the beginning of the novel, hinting at the turmoil and sense of betrayal at play… it’s more an Indian Summer of the mind, really. The motivation was simple, the process was anything but.
Can you tell us more about your latest book?
‘Letters from an Indian Summer’ is a love story between an Indian photographer and a French artist caught in a vortex of secrets, memories, travel, sensuality… and destiny. This is a multicultural journey, spread across a truly global canvas of cities. Its two central protagonists – Arjun Bedi and Genevieve Casta – share an interesting, intoxicating relationship suffused with many secrets from the past. Will these secrets they harbour end up destroying them? I suppose that’s the crux of the journey.
How did you came up with the idea of writing a Romantic Fiction genre book?
This novel is as much Literary Fiction as it is Romance Fiction; it contains as much wanderlust as it does the lingering essence of love.
Who are your favourite authors?
At the moment, it’s Vikram Seth and Bill Waterson. It changes on a weekly, monthly, and sometimes, daily basis.
How much time do you dedicate for writing on a daily basis?
I’m fairly haphazard with the writing – sometimes there’s silence, other times there’s a deluge. If I’ve devoted even a couple of hours a day, I consider it a monumental achievement.
What words of wisdom would you like to give to aspiring writers?
None. They’ll need to figure out their own path, as I have mine.
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