You would have read many books in your life time, falling in love with them and the characters therein. But have you wondered about the authors? What are their wishes and aspiration? How did they start etc? A lot of questions, but we never get the answers. The personality of an author is mostly hidden. And well, if he is a new author, then he is unknown to the readers.
We would like to take an initiative to introduce you to new authors and give you more insights on how and what inspired them to write the book.
Below is a short interview of the Author of A Leap into the Dark Mr. Chandan Kumar Pathak.
What is your present age?
Chandan: I am 53, an Aquarian by sun sign.
Is writing your profession or you do it part time?
Chandan: Writing is my hobby and favorite past time. I do not intend to make it a profession wherein you are compelled to compromise on your writing principles for commercial benefits. My desire is to write as per the call of my soul and contribute meaningfully to the world of literature.
What made you write the plot of the story based in Mumbai?
Chandan: I have made Aamchi Mumbai my home and have been living here for more than 30 years since I started my career. During this period I have met many people from different wakes of life. My story is an amalgamation of inspirations from some of these people and the deep impressions left in my mind by them.
How much time did it take to write this story?
Chandan: It took me a long time to write the first manuscript of A Leap into the Dark – one year and one month to be precise. This was primarily because of my hectic professional life with lots of traveling, leaving only the weekends free for writing. On an average @5 hours per weekend of effective writing, it took me around 280 hours to complete this novel.
The biggest challenge was the disconnection from the plot and the characters between the weekends and the serious effort that I had to put to reconnect with them. Many time I had failed and then it was impossible to write ahead. This is the problem when one does not have continuity of writing.
The story main character Sati, seems like a true warrior, did you have any person in your real life in mind while writing this character?
Answer: Yes, a bit of Sati’s character and her life story has been inspired by someone who worked for us for many years; she is like a family member to us. The entire story however is fictional except for these small bits and pieces from her real life.
What was the contribution of your family in your story writing?
Chandan: Immense! My wife Kalpana and son Anku are my continuous sources of encouragement. I am thankful to Kalpana for giving me space and time to get lost in my world of dreams and contemplation – adjusting her life accordingly. She is also my first reviewer and critic for anything that I write.
My father is another pillar of strength for me. He wants to see his son succeed with his efforts and minces no word if he reads something below his expectations. He is my biggest critic and I am always nervous when we are about to discuss his opinion on a literary product of mine.
The cover of the book, looks different, was it you who designed it and what made you chose that theme?
Chandan: I hope you liked the cover. It was designed by me by superimposing two photographs that I had clicked. The sunset was from the Thar Desert of Rajasthan and the woman with a melancholic look was from a remote village of Gujarat.
The cover depicts the struggle and sufferings of Sati. The darkness is about to engulf the setting sun as well as Sati, Her melancholic and contemplative mood reflects her helplessness and tiredness from fighting against the challenges that were continuously coming her way.
Somewhere in the novel, she had almost given up saying, ‘I am tired Kaki, very tired. I see only darkness all around, groping as I move, falling and tumbling many times, to get up again and again. Next time I fall, I just don’t want to rise anymore. I want to lie in the filthy abyss of darkness till God takes my life away.’
I believe the cover aptly reflects the above mentioned state of her mind.
How many stories have you written so far?
Chandan: This is my fourth publication so far.
- A Leap into the Dark (eBook format. The paperback version will be released in due course of time).
- 72-hour Ordeal (eBook format only. It is a single story published on an experimental basis)
- The Beckoning of Gyanganj (a spiritual thriller under the banner of Leadstart Publishing. Not a commercial success but I have received overall very positive reviews of this book from the readers in goodreads.com )
- Footprints (a collection of short stories under the banner of Leadstart Publishing.)
Currently, I have two projects that I am working on. First one is a guide to a healthy, balanced and successful professional life. The other one is a collection of short stories.
When did you come to know that you like writing stories?
Chandan: Pretty late actually. I wrote my first blog in www.sulekha.com back in 2008. However, I was a popular story teller in my childhood. I had this knack of creating ghost stories and animal stories on the spot for my younger cousins and siblings, so I was always in demand J. But this is in a lighter sense. As I continued writing my blogs, with time I realized that this was a very good channel of de-stressing and expressing oneself. Right now I am experimenting writing in various genre in fiction as well as nonfiction. In due course of time, I would perhaps settle down with one or two.
Writing is a process of learning and evolving. I have a long, long way to go.
What are the main characters in your story?
Chandan: The protagonist of the story is She is Sati, a Banjara teenage girl from a poor family – alluring, vivacious yet innocent! Her breath-taking beauty becomes her curse as a myriad of pleasure seekers chase her, making her life miserable. Meanwhile, she falls in love with Sanjay, a good-natured guy and their romance takes wing.
A tragic turn of events lands Sanjay in the police lockup. Fatnani an old, lascivious rich man – the antagonist, seizes the opportunity to trap Sati. He bargains for a deal to secure Sanjay’s release in exchange for her youthful body. Hit by a bolt from the blue & trapped in a serious crisis, a shell-shocked Sati struggles frantically to wriggle out of the situation.
Does she decide to sacrifice her chastity to save her beloved? What lies in store for Sati? Where has Sanjay suddenly disappeared? Does their beautiful love story perish before blooming?
A Leap into the Dark is a gripping, heart-rending, emotion-filled story of love, sacrifice and the lurking evils of our society. The main characters are the three mentioned above. In addition, there are two more, Sati’s mother who she called fondly as ‘Baya’ and the old Raju Kaka, the servant at Fatnani’s home.
What is your message through the story?
Chandan: A Leap into the Dark is a woman-centric story which deals with the evils of our society who are quite powerful and unchallenged. The story centres on pure, selfless love between Sati and Sanjay, the unimaginable struggles and challenges thrown at them by destiny and their fight against a devil in Fatnani. Who wins, who loses is purely a statistics but the reality is – it is not easy for an ordinary person to take on the evil powers of our society.
In your story, you have shown how pathetic is the life of a poor girl, tortured, conned and ripped every time in her life. What do you think what we can do to change such scenarios from happening?
Chandan: Our society is ailing and the illness is spreading fast. Talk about rape, molestation, child-abuse, domestic violence and what not. Further complications in our society are brought by the negative influences from selfish religious and political groups. The power of position and money worsens the situation further. So it is not easy to weed out all these negative traits at one go and make our society healthy and happy. Changes have to happen at the grass root level and for that, we need to take the initiatives in our own hands rather than expecting our governments to do everything for us and keep blaming them when things go wrong.
Basically, we need a social revolution. Eliminating the evils require lots of patience, dedication and sacrifice. We need to empower each and every citizen of our country and that empowerment comes only with education. We have to make a start.
Where from the readers can buy your fiction ‘A Leap into the Dark’
Chandan: The eBook is available in all major eBook portals. Price is INR 84.00 & below are the links.
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/722882 [free download till 15-Sep-17 using coupon code: KS58Z]
Just for information, all the proceeds from the sale of my books are donated for charity work through Udaan Charitable Trust. Quite an insignificant amount so far but I believe drop by drop makes the ocean.
Are you part of any blogging site, where the user can connect with you?
Chandan: Yes, I do blog time to time at https://chandanpathak.blogspot.in/ Readers are most welcome to read my blogs and provide their valuable inputs.
Below are the social media pages Mr. Chandan is active:
Facebook link: https://www.facebook.com/chandan.k.pathak.7
Email id: email@example.com
Our review on the story:
The plot of the story is excellent. It makes you want to know what’s store ahead in the book. Each character is well displayed and emotionally strong to connect. I could easily portray Sati, in front of my eyes and empathize with her. The background narration part is excellent. It stands apt for the torture women face today.