Millennium Post

The great Indian thriller

To start with, how does it feel to be a published author?
It’s been a strange yet fulfilling journey so far. I wrote a story that I <g data-gr-id="96">though</g> was fun and different and that readers would hopefully enjoy. Obviously the first step to reaching them was getting published, so it was something that really pleased me.

But being published is a bit like getting into a really good college. Everyone around you says you’ve made it and even you believe that to an extent. Once in, you <g data-gr-id="104">realise</g> there are a lot of people there already and now you need to work that much harder to stand out.

Your book release, as we hear, turned out to be <g data-gr-id="94">huge</g> success. How did you come up with such an engrossing idea?
The Debt Collector’s Due is a crime thriller and we wanted to mirror the energy and pace of the story in the way we launched the book. So the guests at my launch were invited to play detectives and help solve a 
murder. Although the crime itself didn’t bear any connection with the plots in my novel, it did resonate with the same themes and this was something that the guests really enjoyed. <g data-gr-id="110">It therefore</g> set the pace for the launch and helped create excitement around the book through word of mouth. 

There are not many established Indian writers when it comes to English crime fiction. Why did you choose to centre your debut collection around this genre?
For me, this was a great story that was unique and offered plenty of opportunities to develop really interesting characters. I didn’t really 
consider the genre when writing the book. Only once it was published did it did strike me that this was a relatively unexplored area in Indian fiction.

What/Who inspired you to write such a mature book?
I wouldn’t necessarily call The Debt Collector’s Due mature. I always imagined it as a light fun read that held the readers’ attention and kept them engrossed until the end. As for inspiration, I enjoy creating plot lines and allowing them to collide with one another until a really exciting story emerged. The Debt Collector’s Due has been created in the same manner.

You are young and yet you managed to write so deeply. Would you like to quote any personal incident that made you think on the same line?
It’s great that that the quality of my writing has been well received. I want my reader to feel smart for being able to appreciate the simplicity of my language. Growing up in boarding school, we had to send a letter home every week. It became a habit, and therefore writing became a very comfortable way to express myself.

Balancing your job and writing would have been tough. How did you manage to extract time?
For certain parts of the book, I guiltily avoided work – such as Raka’s back-story and the relationship between Amrita and the police commissioner. This was because I really enjoyed the thought of writing these parts and could not wait for free time to present itself. Otherwise, writing is what I do when business is slow. It helps me manage the anxiety of waiting for something to happen; so it has been a great way to stay productive even during lean times in business. 

How differently does the book deal with the problem of the underworld?
The Debt Collector’s Due deals with a number of different aspects of crime – hit men, cartels, drug racketeering, extortion, murder and, of course, debt collection. The protagonist, Samay, is escaping the mob after having taken their money while at the same time trying to save his estranged college sweetheart from the same men. The way that Pande, the underworld don, behaves is how one might expect a violent, deviant man to react, given what Samay has put him through.

Does diverse education help in writing?
Certainly. I had the most incredible teachers growing up so that’s 
something to be thankful for. But writing well and being a storyteller are two separate things. I’d like to think that going forward my style of 
creating intertwining plot lines and building strong, three-dimensional characters is something that will keep improving.

Would you like to give any message to aspiring writers?
Live and breathe your characters. Once you know them really well, 
they might surprise you and take your story down completely 
unexpected paths.

What next?
It would be nice to have more books published, but my immediate task is to support the book that’s already out there.
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