Ayan is currently working as an IT Consultant in IBM. He has done BE (Electronics and Communication) from Dr. AIT, Bangalore. He has also completed a course in Education Technology from SDSU, California.
He is Winner of 6 Service Excellence Awards from IBM, Winner of the Brandon Hall Silver Award, considered as the Academy Awards by Learning, Talent and Business Executives worldwide, Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM), from Toastmasters International – the highest honour that can be received for excellence in leadership and communication, which made him the first person from Kolkata in 90 years to win, chosen as ‘Best example of International Collaboration’ across the world from IBM.
He has also won several short story contests including – Notion Press Social Short Story Contest (1st Runner Up), Litagram Viral Short Story Contest (Winner), Grapevine World Short Story Contest (Winner), Hachette India – Sita- The Language of Desire Short Story Contest (1st Runner Up) etc.
What inspired you to start writing?
I was inspired to start writing after watching the film ‘Signs’ by M. Night Shyamalan. A dialogue from the film ‘there are no coincidences’ went on echoing in my mind. I was in college then, and I knew I just had to become an author some day!
What did you like to read when you were a boy?
Books by Enid Blyton and Agatha Christie. Also several comics, including Tinkle and the Amar Chitra Katha series.
What is the greatest challenge in writing a book?
The greatest challenge in writing lies in reviewing and editing, at least developmental editing. A bird’s eye view of your work is extremely important if you wish to soar high as a writer. However, it takes wings of patience and perseverance to do so. Not the easiest thing in the world!
How much research do you do before writing the book?
Quite a lot actually! My next book is set in the early 1950s and required extensive research spread over several years! Research helps in acclimatising a writer to a lot of specifics and is an invaluable exercise that has no substitute. Having said that, research should be done before starting work, and not during, and need not reflect in the writing in the form of excessive information, else it may take the charm away.
What motivated you to write the book “Rudraksha”?
I had always wanted to try my hand at mythology and got the perfect opportunity when I was approached to contribute to a mythology anthology. The fact that my protagonist, the title of my story, and the name of the Book are one and the same, I feel is not a mere coincidence! I wrote this during Kali Puja/Diwali in November, 2014. The fact that Goddess Kali was integral to the plot made the flavors of the story emerge in a way that I am really glad about. In hindsight, I guess this was simply meant to be!
Can you tell us more about your latest book “Long Story Short”?
Long Story Short is an anthology that concludes with my winning entry for the Litagram Viral Short Story Contest. While my story is a speculative fiction fantasy fairy tale, the book has a collection of a diverse set of stories that are relevant, evocative, as well as entertaining. The book is available across online platforms in India and UK. Do look out for it!
How did you came up with the idea of writing a mythological fiction genre book?
The heady cocktail of Amar Chitra Katha, Mahabharata, and a spirited grandmother ensured that I was addicted to mythology from a young age. What added to the addiction were Indian authors like Amish and spectacular franchises like the Percy Jackson Series, Kane Chronicles, and Heroes of Olympus. One fine day I realized that the only way of curing myself from this addiction was to come up with my own set of mythological tales. That’s how ‘Rudraksha’ was born. I hope to continue this in my next novel which, despite being a period thriller, has fantasy and mythology elements in it.
Who are your favorite authors?
While I love a variety of authors for various reasons, the ones who have influenced me the most are the Bakers Dozen: Agatha Christie, Emily Bronte, Arundhati Roy, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, JK Rowling, Jhumpa Lahiri, Rick Riordan, Jodi Picoult, Mitch Albom, Khaled Hosseini, Satyajit Ray, JRR Tolkien, and Paulo Coelho.
How much time do you dedicate for writing on a daily basis?
It depends actually. Some days I don’t write at all! Sometimes, especially over the weekends, I may write continuously for hours at a stretch! But on an average, I usually write about an hour a day.
What words of wisdom would you like to give to aspiring writers?
Don’t stop… Listening. Observing. Analyzing. Reading. Imagining. Discussing. Thinking… And if you don’t, writing will automatically follow!
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