Saturday, June 22, 2013

"Swimming Against The Current Is Always Difficult But Never Impossible"

A 2008 graduate in Zoology Honours and holding a diploma in Hardware Engineering, Chandan Sharma started his career as a technical specialist and has worked for companies like IBM and DELL. While working with the IT giants he continued to pursue his passion for writing as a freelance writer. He has written for many local magazines and has also participated in programmes of Akashwani Patna. He has been an active freelance writer and has helped a few companies to develop their content. He has an instinct for observing different things going on around him and hence the art of writing comes naturally to him. 'Me and She 2: A Story of Romance, Remorse and Reincarnation' is his first novel and is inspired by people working in different MNCs and BPOs. It has a very close and tentative look towards the life of a common out-station boy working in a so-called IT company.

Congratulations Chandan for your debut novel ‘Me and She 2: A Story of Romance, Remorse and Reincarnation.’ I would really love to know more about you and the book.

In case you find any question offensive, you can skip it. I apologize in advance for such instances.

“Zoology Honours graduate - diploma in Hardware Engineering – MNCs – freelancer.” – How did writing and the wish to become an author fit among all these different roles that you have pursued?

I know it’s a bit jumbled up. A person does lots of things in his life but his main goal is only one. So, apart from the fact that my different studies and roles give me experience, ideas and chance to interact with different people, my main aim is to concentrate on my writing.

Please tell us something about the plot of this novel. This surely looks unconventional, and pleasantly so. How did you come up with this plot?

I don’t know whether it is unconventional but it’s a little different than other stories. The story is funny and it embraces all the odds and bitter facts of society. The latter half is embedded with intense emotions and few messages. 

Stories reflect society and the world we live in. How much of your story is based on real life experiences?

This story is very much close to the reality of daily life. In fact, while I was writing the story, I was bit confuse with the social issues part in the story but as I headed to the end of it. They were pretty much complimented the story, and being a writer, giving right message to the society is something I always try to do.

How was the entire process of writing this novel?

It was quick. I started to writer the story in December 2011 and it was finished in May 2012. People may think that it’s a big period of time but when you talk about a novel, its quick. I relived many parts of my life and talked with different people working in BPO and other MNCs to research about the subject. Overall, it was a good experience.

If you had the chance to change anything in your novel, what would you choose?

There is nothing which I think I have added in the story. It has fun, love, action, emotions, humor and it’s a quick read. In today’s life when time matters so much. I have written a novel which can be finished in a day or even less. But yet it gives you everything which you want from a story.

What do you do when you are not writing? What are your other hobbies?

I do like playing cricket, traveling, playing video games, cooking and watching movies with friends. 

Would you like to write a sequel to this story?

Definitely, it is a good story which gives win-win situation to everyone who reads the story, disregards of religion, community or gender. Feel-good stories are always loved. I may come up with a sequel as well.  

Who are your role models?

I like and admire ‘Shaheed-e-Azam’ Bhagat Singh a lot. His ideologies towards life are still relevance. In writing, I like everyone who writes well. I admire established author to aspiring writers. I don’t think there is someone specific. 

Every writer encounters that dreaded “writer’s block.” How do you deal with it?

Reading and visiting new places always work for me. There are times when you cannot write anything for months but inspiration/motivation has no doors or windows, they can pop-in anytime. 

Are you currently working on any new story? 

Yes, I am working on my science-fiction story called ‘Faceless Enigma- life beyond faces’. It has a very unique story line and around 7 month’s research had been done before writing it. I would not like to disclose many things about it. You will have to wait till it hits the bookstores.

What would be your message to the readers?

A lot of hard work is involved before writing any book. At times you get disappoint and many times you feel great after reading a novel. The only secret to enjoy reading is to leave the last novel you read with its last page…new novel, new start. 

Read my book, you will feel related and will enjoy every shade of the characters. If you are in a BPO you should read it to realize, how enjoyable your life is (you know what I mean). And people who are not in a BPO, then you must read it. It’s nothing like a place to chill and without skills. I have read description of a call-center in many novels and I feel, they have little idea of BPO life. 

What would you like to say to all aspiring authors out there?

There are many hurdles, obstacles and problems which would try to stop you and distract you from your goal. These problems are actually shape-shifters. Sometimes they appear as your friend, parents, wife, girlfriend or even you. Never forget what you want. Swimming against the current is always difficult but never impossible.  

Thanks a lot for your time. I hope you enjoyed the interview as much as I did. All the best for your current and future goals.

I did enjoy a lot. And thank you for asking wonderful questions. Best of luck to you too.