Q. First off, Congratulations for your debut book! How does it feel, being one book old?
Thank you. ‘Supertraits of Superstars’ being my first book is very special; it has encouraged me in thinking that perhaps I can now venture into writing a few more books.
Q. What inspired you to choose and write about the eleven luminaries from Bollywood?
Since my work involves writing about film actors, I am often asked about stories and anecdotes about them. The stories that always came to my mind were instances of the stars going beyond being just beautiful glamorous people. For instance, I never cease to be amazed at the discipline Mr Amitabh Bachchan displays in everything that he does. Whether it is a film shoot, a social appointment or his personal conduct, he is unwavering in his discipline. Or Shah Rukh Khan’s passion for everything that he undertakes. The idea was to feature personalities who have displayed a defining quality in their endeavours—and all 11 people featured in Supertraits of Superstars have a supertrait that is responsible for the success they enjoy.
Q. What was the hardest and favorite part of writing for you?
The hardest part of writing was the discipline it requires besides trying out a new format of writing. My favourite part of course was the fact that it forced me out of the comfort zone vis-a-vis writing.
Q. Who are your favorite authors? How have they influenced you to be a writer, if at all?
Arthur Conan Doyle, Charles Dickens, Erma Bombeck, William Shakespeare, T.S. Eliot, Jane Austen, Munshi Premchand, V.S.Naipaul, Shobhaa De, Ashok Banker and Piyush Jha are a few of my favourite authors. A few years ago, when I went for a short vacation to London, I even visited Stratford Upon Avon, William Shakespeare’s birthplace in the hope that I get imbued with some of that prolific creativity.
Q. How has your journey been as writer?
My journey as a journalist/writer has been an eventful one. I am certainly grateful for opportunities that my job offers—of meeting a variety of people from different professions and get a glimpse into their lives and their work.
Q. You have been a successful Editor and from your columns, one can see that writing comes almost easily to you. How was it to write a full-length book?
I have often heard it being said that journalism is literature in a hurry but writing a book is a different ball game. It is much harder than it seems.
Q. Do you believe that the success of a book depends much on the publicity that goes behind it? How did you choose to publicise your book in these days of social media networking?
I think there is certainly something to be said for the virtues of good marketing but having said that, good marketing can only support good content and ensure that it reaches the consumers it is meant for; it can never be a substitute for good content.
Q. You are quite a multi-talented person. Tell us about the other projects that you are part of.
Thank you for the compliment at present my energies are devoted to writing for my work as a journalist and a book or two in between but times are a changing with the new media explosion and it would be interesting to see where that takes writers and content creators. Are we losing the art of conversation? Is grammar no longer relevant to the written and spoken language in the world of sms and tweets and so on.
Q. What can we expect from your next work?
I haven’t quite made up my mind but now armed with a little more confidence, I would like to explore the fiction territory.
Q. Any suggestions for our budding writers?
Sit yourself down and write the book that you have been dreaming of. There is no other way to do it, but to start.
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