Do you remember the first Novel that you read? Now imagine a person writing his first novel, the excitement is no less than giving birth to a new life.
When I met author Vikash Sharma I was not surprised to see the passion in his eyes for writing. I had an urge to ask too many questions to him. I took out my pen and paper as I began asking and he began answering them.
You are a writer and a publisher too. Share with us your journey. What made you pick up both the streams together?
Vikash: It all started with the cinema course that I opted to pursue from Delhi. While reading screenplays for various movies, and simultaneously experiencing the various phases of a young life, I started reading books. And from there onwards, I somehow developed a taste for writing short stories. One by one, the short incidents that I penned down in my personal diary, took shape of various small chapters. And at one stage, after 2 years, while working in an MNC, a realization dawned on me that I owe something to them, those numerous small chapters. And the crazy journey began of finishing the entire story in a professional way. It took me about 3 years to finish it the way I wanted it to finish. Publication happened simultaneously as I have to provide the platform for the novel to reach the masses. The story of the novel and the publication picked me instead of me picking them.
What was the mission behind creating your own publishing company?
Vikash: Initially, to provide the platform to the novel trilogy to reach the masses. Later on, the budding authors will be provided this platform to fulfill their dreams of getting published. Of course, the content of the new authors should be good and professional.
How many phases of edit, did your story undergo?
Vikash: Nine phases of edit from my side. At one stage I thought the novel might never get published because I would always change something or the other every time. The thought would always strike me that it can be better and better and so on. So, in a way the entire process of editing was going in a vicious loop. But somehow, I agreed with myself that it can’t go on like that, and I have to stop editing at one point where I have to believe – this is it! When it happened, I passed the edited version to the editor. The books went through two phases of edit change from the editor’s side.
Did you approach any publisher for your book?
Vikash: Yes, many in facts. In my opinion, the whole traditional process of getting published is way too cumbersome, exhausting and time taking. I could not wait for next 3-4 years to accomplish what I have accomplished a year back. I am happy about the whole journey and have no regrets.
Given a chance what would you like to redo related to your book writing journey?
Vikash: I would like to keep the story more tightly instead of going too descriptive. I would like to keep it short, I mean.
What message do you want to convey your readers through your book?
Vikash: There’s a good realistic story with varied first-hand experiences. Since all the incidents portrayed in the story are quite realistic and natural, I am quite sure that the readers will find the story relatable and may enjoy reading it. One may take away a lot of messages from reading the book. But personally, I am not conveying any message. I am not after bringing any paradigm shift in the thinking of people or a drastic change in the world. I don’t feel the need to do that. Although I hope the biggest impact that I wish to see in the readers were to start reading again, the way older generation used to. Reading should never become un-cool. It never was. And so, it should never be.
Are you a full-time writer?
Vikash: No. I’m a part-time writer. Full-time writing is too exhausting for my taste and capacity. I believe I am happy being a selective reader and a part-time writer.
What is the story about?
Vikash: About two young college students, their complicated situations, their notorious friends, with the background of a film school in Delhi NCR.
This book is centered on love and friendship. The protagonist Aakash is an average performer, from an average class family and who has everything at stake on his performance in next 2 years in Delhi NCR. The Trouble ensues once he falls in love with Neha. It’s the story of his love, friends, trials and tribulations and how he copes up with the mess around him. It’s a troublesome love story, wrapped with friendship on the edges.
Through this trilogy, I have tried to capture the various stages of the life of a student.
Who was your inspiration to write this book?
Vikash: Actually, a small part of it comes from my interest in writing since childhood as I always liked reading stories. However, majorly it comes from my post graduation course that I pursued from Delhi NCR and because of having good friends, who could be portrayed into interesting characters in a good story, most parts of which are true and lifted from my own actual experiences. I would like to reiterate that this novel would not have been published if I didn’t have these wonderful friends who have helped me through every thick and thin. And rightly so, this book is dedicated to all my friends and to all those who believe in friendship.
The best review received so far?
Vikash: Since there were so many wonderful reviews, I can’t recollect just one. That’s why I’m very thankful to all the readers who took time to give their valuable reviews after reading the book. I’m very thankful to each one of them.
When is your next book planned?
Vikash: The target is to get the second part of the trilogy published by September 2018. Fingers crossed. Legs crossed too.
Advice to aspiring writers?
Vikash: The aspiring writers should have plenty of patience and grit to survive and grow in this industry. And I strongly believe, the upcoming writers can contribute very well in the field of literature, since the advancement in technology and science have eased us a lot lately as far as writing is concerned. The energy and passion of this coming generation of writers is contagious. They are already too smart to figure what they want.
So, my only advice is, gather all the experience and do what you believe is best for the book you’ve penned down or working on it. Always remember that you might owe nothing to anyone, but surely you owe it to the book. So, it has to be published someday. It must be.
I will be telling you some initials and you have to complete them.
Best holiday would be…with family in Rajasthan or with my friends in Goa.
If I was not a writer, I would be… a professional boxer or a cook or… there’s a long list to it.
When not writing, I like to….travel and meet new people and explore new places.
My inspiration to write is… field of Cinema.
Favorite cuisine… Idli-Vada with Sambhar.
The best book that I have read is… The unbearable lightness of being.
I cannot live without… Cinema.
If I could be… a professional cricketer.
Writing book for me is… sometimes bliss, sometimes exhausting..
Vikash is… a simple guy with minimal needs.
I aspire to become… a much experienced and better version of what I am today.
Thank you so much, Vikash. I am sure readers got to know how Vikash really is. Wish you all the best with your writing career.
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