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From the Publisher

What drew your interest to become a writer?

I wish I had a clear answer to this one. What drew my interest? I’m not sure if there was something specific, as I guess this happened organically over the years. As a child, I loved to be read to, and began reading voraciously devouring one classic after another from when I was 8 years old. I believe I always had a penchant to tell stories, and I had these different stories growing in my head till I decided to finally sit down and start typing away furiously. Some people like to skateboard, some like to paint, and I enjoy telling stories. Its been a rollercoaster ride as a writer since then, and mostly its been fun and I’m grateful to have been able to tell the stories I have and bring to life some of my dreams.

And why the comeback to writing after nearly 6 years?

I guess it was a combination of factors that led me to step back and not do what I enjoy. Partly it was the arrival of my children and being able to play an active role in their life, given that I’ve always had a day job and I needed more balance in my life to straddle work and family while giving due attention to both these aspects; and to some part it was driven by the need to rejuvenate and come back with stories I really believed in and stories I wanted to tell. I didn’t want to move breathlessly on from one story to another, as I had four back to back releases over four years along with several Urban Shots collections, and to be honest it was a slog; I was jaded at the end of it, and wanted to do other things I enjoy like travel or get back to playing tennis regularly.

I needed to live a little more and draw energy and inspiration from new experiences, and thus grow as a person and as a writer, and thus I decided to re-emerge with Bestseller, which I believe will standout among the releases in contemporary fiction.

Tell us about your main protagonist Akshay Mathur. How much of yourself do you see in him? What makes him relatable to the readers?

What makes Akshay very interesting and endearing in my opinion is that his journey begins with his back against the wall, and its do or die for him from the very beginning. He is no superhero, but instead he’s a flawed individual with some redeemable qualities that one would relate to easily. He epitomizes the lives we live in reality, as nothing is the same from one day to the next, and I’ve seen this from my life experience. You could be very successful in your work and at the same time go through difficult relationship or a bitter break up with your loved one. There are many dimensions that shape our life, and Akshay is a multi-faceted personality who is good at making lemonade when life throws lemons at you. He is resilient, cynical, witty and has an eye for a good story. In that respect perhaps, he’s a lot like me.

Were you apprehensive about writing a satire given that bestseller trends show that love stories and historical fiction drive the sales numbers?

Not at all, because I don’t follow these trends or let what I write be shaped by what is trending and I tend to remain dethatched from who is writing what within the set of contemporary writers. I believe if there is an interesting and well written story, and if enough readers know about it, the book will find its audience.

Besides, I do this because I enjoy telling stories, its one of the aspects of my life where the journey itself is self-rewarding, and I thus don’t have to slot myself into what sells to make a living from it.

Tell us about your book ‘Bestseller’. How did you get the idea for the book?

Bestseller is a comic satire on the publishing business in India, and the story is set in Mumbai. It has a love story in the backdrop, as well as a lot of drama, intrigue and behind the scenes politics which is depicted with a dash of humour. The book will appeal to readers across different age groups.

Akshay Mathur, an out of work editor of a defunct literary magazine in the UK, is told to move to India for a year to help shore up the value of Kalim, an ailing Indian publisher. He needs to work with books he would never publish or would never even read. To complicate things further, he has to contend with motley crew of has-beens and misfits working for the publishing house as well as wannabe writers, dealing with their follies and derisive tactics, and battle his own affections for Zorah Kalim, the impulsive daughter of his former boss.

Will he succeed in bringing out that one ‘bestseller’ from his publishing house? And what about his own life and love in office?

Did you carry out research for your book? If yes, then how did you go about it?

I didn’t need to do any research. I lived through some of these experiences, which are exaggerated in the situations in the book, and I let my imagination run wild on some of the other situations and experiences the characters go through. Again, a lot of my experiences as a writer and publisher has helped in etching the characters in this story.

What do the characters on the cover of ‘Bestseller’ represent? Who are these people and what are their motivations?

Those you see on the cover reflect some of the key characters who are writers in the book, and once you read the story, you’ll very quickly figure out the ones who are depicted on the cover. I feel that all four of them cover the spectrum of bestselling writers one sees in India today.

What does it take in your opinion to write a bestseller?

Certainly, the ingredients of bestseller include a well woven plot with an engaging narrative and nicely etched characters which has the reader turning pages and anticipating what is next. You also need a patient and intelligent editor, a publisher who believes in your work enough to go the extra mile, a lot of luck and truckloads of promotions and marketing, more so these days than ever before.

Tell us about your other books

My first book, a tale of love, life and relationships of four youngsters, Love, Life & all that Jazz did really well and became a national bestseller. This was followed by an intense love saga of a modern Indian woman called Another Chance.

Scammed, a corporate drama, followed the success of these two titles. Post Scammed’s success, I wrote a novella called The Graveyard Shift, which was the story of one night in Mumbai when the lives and fates of several characters intersect leading to love, death and other outcomes.

Apart from this I contributed and edited several Urban Shots collections which gained a lot of popularity and acceptance from readers across the country.

Publisher ‏ : ‎ Rupa Publications India (3 November 2018)
Language ‏ : ‎ English
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 196 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 9353332648
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-9353332648
Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 200 g
Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 12.95 x 1.14 x 19.79 cm
Country of Origin ‏ : ‎ India

Bestseller

225.75

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From the Publisher

What drew your interest to become a writer?

I wish I had a clear answer to this one. What drew my interest? I’m not sure if there was something specific, as I guess this happened organically over the years. As a child, I loved to be read to, and began reading voraciously devouring one classic after another from when I was 8 years old. I believe I always had a penchant to tell stories, and I had these different stories growing in my head till I decided to finally sit down and start typing away furiously. Some people like to skateboard, some like to paint, and I enjoy telling stories. Its been a rollercoaster ride as a writer since then, and mostly its been fun and I’m grateful to have been able to tell the stories I have and bring to life some of my dreams.

And why the comeback to writing after nearly 6 years?

I guess it was a combination of factors that led me to step back and not do what I enjoy. Partly it was the arrival of my children and being able to play an active role in their life, given that I’ve always had a day job and I needed more balance in my life to straddle work and family while giving due attention to both these aspects; and to some part it was driven by the need to rejuvenate and come back with stories I really believed in and stories I wanted to tell. I didn’t want to move breathlessly on from one story to another, as I had four back to back releases over four years along with several Urban Shots collections, and to be honest it was a slog; I was jaded at the end of it, and wanted to do other things I enjoy like travel or get back to playing tennis regularly.

I needed to live a little more and draw energy and inspiration from new experiences, and thus grow as a person and as a writer, and thus I decided to re-emerge with Bestseller, which I believe will standout among the releases in contemporary fiction.

Tell us about your main protagonist Akshay Mathur. How much of yourself do you see in him? What makes him relatable to the readers?

What makes Akshay very interesting and endearing in my opinion is that his journey begins with his back against the wall, and its do or die for him from the very beginning. He is no superhero, but instead he’s a flawed individual with some redeemable qualities that one would relate to easily. He epitomizes the lives we live in reality, as nothing is the same from one day to the next, and I’ve seen this from my life experience. You could be very successful in your work and at the same time go through difficult relationship or a bitter break up with your loved one. There are many dimensions that shape our life, and Akshay is a multi-faceted personality who is good at making lemonade when life throws lemons at you. He is resilient, cynical, witty and has an eye for a good story. In that respect perhaps, he’s a lot like me.

Were you apprehensive about writing a satire given that bestseller trends show that love stories and historical fiction drive the sales numbers?

Not at all, because I don’t follow these trends or let what I write be shaped by what is trending and I tend to remain dethatched from who is writing what within the set of contemporary writers. I believe if there is an interesting and well written story, and if enough readers know about it, the book will find its audience.

Besides, I do this because I enjoy telling stories, its one of the aspects of my life where the journey itself is self-rewarding, and I thus don’t have to slot myself into what sells to make a living from it.

Tell us about your book ‘Bestseller’. How did you get the idea for the book?

Bestseller is a comic satire on the publishing business in India, and the story is set in Mumbai. It has a love story in the backdrop, as well as a lot of drama, intrigue and behind the scenes politics which is depicted with a dash of humour. The book will appeal to readers across different age groups.

Akshay Mathur, an out of work editor of a defunct literary magazine in the UK, is told to move to India for a year to help shore up the value of Kalim, an ailing Indian publisher. He needs to work with books he would never publish or would never even read. To complicate things further, he has to contend with motley crew of has-beens and misfits working for the publishing house as well as wannabe writers, dealing with their follies and derisive tactics, and battle his own affections for Zorah Kalim, the impulsive daughter of his former boss.

Will he succeed in bringing out that one ‘bestseller’ from his publishing house? And what about his own life and love in office?

Did you carry out research for your book? If yes, then how did you go about it?

I didn’t need to do any research. I lived through some of these experiences, which are exaggerated in the situations in the book, and I let my imagination run wild on some of the other situations and experiences the characters go through. Again, a lot of my experiences as a writer and publisher has helped in etching the characters in this story.

What do the characters on the cover of ‘Bestseller’ represent? Who are these people and what are their motivations?

Those you see on the cover reflect some of the key characters who are writers in the book, and once you read the story, you’ll very quickly figure out the ones who are depicted on the cover. I feel that all four of them cover the spectrum of bestselling writers one sees in India today.

What does it take in your opinion to write a bestseller?

Certainly, the ingredients of bestseller include a well woven plot with an engaging narrative and nicely etched characters which has the reader turning pages and anticipating what is next. You also need a patient and intelligent editor, a publisher who believes in your work enough to go the extra mile, a lot of luck and truckloads of promotions and marketing, more so these days than ever before.

Tell us about your other books

My first book, a tale of love, life and relationships of four youngsters, Love, Life & all that Jazz did really well and became a national bestseller. This was followed by an intense love saga of a modern Indian woman called Another Chance.

Scammed, a corporate drama, followed the success of these two titles. Post Scammed’s success, I wrote a novella called The Graveyard Shift, which was the story of one night in Mumbai when the lives and fates of several characters intersect leading to love, death and other outcomes.

Apart from this I contributed and edited several Urban Shots collections which gained a lot of popularity and acceptance from readers across the country.

Publisher ‏ : ‎ Rupa Publications India (3 November 2018)
Language ‏ : ‎ English
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 196 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 9353332648
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-9353332648
Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 200 g
Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 12.95 x 1.14 x 19.79 cm
Country of Origin ‏ : ‎ India

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