Studio Carry On Harry [ Interviews with Authors ] in talks with Book Talks with Author Sthitaprajna Debadutta Kar . Good occasion being New Book Release “Muffled Screams of Buriganga” . Today in this interview session he is about to introduce his book to us and shares his journey as an author. He is also going to share his writing process and will share some tips for new authors .
Tell us about yourself. Who you are where you come from. Few things that define you ?
I am a marketing professional from Odisha, India. I love listening and telling stories. If I have to define myself I would be similar to ‘Veera’ of “The open window” by Saki. I am a voracious reader. I love reading, literary works ranging from Tintin to Tolstoy and Archies to Archer have captivated me for years. The only ambition I have is to write till I can hold the pen or type and hopefully, I can have an audience for whatever I write.
What made you a story teller ?
I was fortunate to be born in a family where literature was a way of life. From my early childhood, I was surrounded by books. We have always been a family of voracious readers. So, writing looked like a natural progression. Writings were not only encouraged but celebrated in my family. I started writing small stories and poems when I was in school. I even edited my family magazine, while still in my teens. I have always had a vivid sense of imagination but lacked the confidence to articulate it. Once my early writings got appreciation from peers and family members, I got the confidence to pen bigger essays.
What are qualities that an author should have to write well ?
An author must have a vivid sense of imagination, receptive eyes, and a love for storytelling. But like any other facet of life, a disciplined approach can make one’s writing tasks easier. one has to create small goals for himself and try to achieve them. This way he can get motivated to write every day. One must read a lot. He should read at least 100 pages before even start writing a page. Then he must practice the craft, after all, only practice can make one perfect. As Stephen King would say “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.”
How do you construct ideas into books. Tell us Journey of your Books how they travel from just a thought all the way to store ?
Ideas are sourced from events and happenings around you. A small event somewhere can ignite an Idea. You need to have a receptive, open mind to receive it. Ideas also germinate from what you read. The more you read and the variety of literature you read, goes a long way in the formation and development of an idea. Once I have a basic sketch of the story and the primary protagonists are fixed, other things fall in line. I try to write as much as I can keeping the scope of the story in mind. Nearly 30% of what write gets edited in the 2nd draft. Once I have finished the first draft, I give it to 10-15 people to read. I read it at least five times myself. I take their feedback constructively and change the draft accordingly. After the 2nd draft, I send it to a friend of mine who is an English teacher for proofreading and grammatical correction. After I get the corrected manuscript in hand I contact publishers and the rest follow.
What is your writing process. How you develop a plot, make it interesting read , create characters. Where do you draw inspiration from ?
Ideas are sourced from events and happenings around you. A small event somewhere can ignite an Idea. You need to have a receptive, open mind to receive it. Ideas also germinate from what you read. The more you read and the variety of literature you read, goes a long way in the formation and development of an idea. I am no different, I also get ideas from the above-mentioned sources.
How do you cope with writing block ?
I get away from writing for a week or so. I read books, play cricket, and indulge in lots of other activities. Then I read what I have written from the beginning. Once you that couple of times the ideas begin to flow again.
What books have you written . Tell us about recent release ?
I have written two books so far. My first book “Thank you Indian Railways” is a love story. This was written keeping the Indian audience in mind so the language is a mix of Hindi and English. It was first published in 2016 as “Thank you IR”. We republished it this year with a different cover and adding a new preface. My second book “Muffled Screams of Buriganga” is a crime thriller that is based out of India and Bangladesh and talks about religious crimes, investigation and Justice.
What gener of books you want to write in future ?
I would like to write books of all genres. Be it a crime, romance, or fantasy.
Your experiences with publishers and editors ?
I am sorry to say till date the experience is mixed. Maybe I was expecting much more from my publishers and the gap between that expectation and reality disappoints me.
Any book writing in progress ?
I am on my way to writing my third book. It will be a travelogue, which would introduce the rural and tribal areas of my state to the outside world, not in a documentary manner but through anecdotes and small traveling incidents.
People whom you would like to thank and share gratitude with this interview ?
I would like to thank the inner coterie of my first-time readers. My father whom I lost recently was prominent among them. Thank you friends for your time and feedback.