My sole quest as an author is to entertain my readers says Author Raviraj R. who is ready with his debut novel HANDCUFFS, a sinful romantic thriller. The book releases 13th April’17 on all e-book platforms.
Raviraj R. was born and brought up in a small town of Jharkhand, called Sahibganj. Studying till 5th class in St. Xavier’s, Sahibganj, he later moved to Andhra Pradesh and completed his 10th from Sainik School Korukonda, under the Ministry of Defence and 12th from Guru Gobind Singh Public School, Bokaro. He later joined Netaji Subhash Engineering College, Kolkata but switched the very next year to English Honours after realizing his interest towards storytelling and writing. He has completed his graduation in English Honours under the University of Calcutta and presently resides in Kolkata. He has contributed a short story “SHE” to an anthology named A Phase Unknown, Woman – A Tribute published by Sanmati Publishers on the occasion of International Woman’s Day. He has also contributed a short story “RAPED” to an anthology named Myriad Tales published by Half Baked Beans Publishing. He has written seven articles based on the problems the youth of India face or are presently dealing with and how to overcome them. Recently our team had a heart to heart chat with the author and here is the highlight of the interaction.
Q. How it feels to finally see the light of the day as an author of a proper novel?
A. It feels incredible, exciting, anxious and nervous!
Q. Tell us something about your upcoming novel HANDCUFFS, a sinful romantic thriller?
A. My book, HANDCUFFS, is based on a short story I wrote in 2014. It is a story surrounding three central characters- Kairav Nag, who is a very successful psychiatrist. Tashi Mitra- Kairav’s live in girlfriend and a woman you could only dream to exist. And Vaid- Kairav’s mysterious big brother. The story deals with the choices Kairav has to make keeping in mind his girlfriend and brother. There is more to the book than what the blurb reveals. It is sinful because Tashi’s way of making love to Kairav is not very conventional. Hah!
Q. Which genre you enjoy writing the most and why?
A. This question, I think, can be answered some few years from now after I have extensively explored myself as a writer.
Q. What is your quest as an author? Where you want to see yourself in 10 years from now?
A. My sole quest as an author is to entertain my readers. It is to take them to a realm where things don’t happen the way they are supposed to happen. It is to make them experience the feelings and sensations which they don’t feel in their day to day life, or maybe they do, but cannot express to anyone. To give them something they cannot have in reality.
I haven’t yet imagined myself 10 years from now. I don’t want to keep a fixed image of myself, but just want to focus on being better than what I was yesterday. Moreover, if I already frame an image of what I want to be 10 years from now, I am getting satisfied, and not giving myself a chance to grow further. And as an artist, I don’t want to be satisfied!
Q. Where the launch of your debut novel will take place? What are your plans for the promotions?
A. The launch of my debut novel will take place on all the e-book stores, i.e. Amazon Kindle, Google Play Books, Juggernaut, Kobo, and Readify.
Promotions are a very vital part of the selling books now. Nowadays, people are skeptic about picking up books by new authors. Because once you are out in the market you are competing with the seasonal players of this game. The people won’t pity you and pick up your book. You have to compel them to do so. While reviewers enjoy it a lot as they get to bang them in their reviews (pun intended). Here promotions come into play. Social media, as my publisher Arup Bose says, is the strongest platform to market the books. As of now I am sending out snippets about the book, few enticing quotes and my character’s verbal interactions and sharing them on facebook, Instagram and twitter.
Q. We heard that you ghost written a novel in the past? When and why?
A. When I was in my first year of Engineering, I had written a novel, which is crap as I know it. Haha! But the very thing that I could sit patiently and type 60,000 words over a course of two months excited me. And that motivated me to turn to writing and pursue literature. When I was in my second year I published two short stories. Seeing that I was approached by my close friend and editor cum reviewer Sharanya Bhattacharya, to transcript her client’s work with a team of few more people. The client used to tell me what his characters were doing or feeling over a call, and I used to pen down the book listening to his recordings. It was a great learning experience for me. It gave me an idea of how to approach writing, a free workshop, you can say. I wrote it because I wanted to write. To write anything I could get my hands on. So when this opportunity came to me, I didn’t think twice. It was then I actually explored my potential as a writer. Moreover, the feedback the client gave was always encouraging. I was doing things right.
Q. Is finding a publisher was a challenge? How is your experience so far of working with Srishti Publishers?
A. Finding a publisher has always been a challenge for debutants. Even picking up the right book to debut with is crucial. I still remember, when I wrote my first novel, I sent it to everyone along with Srishti. They rejected it. I saw sad then, but I am happy now that they did.
And then, after I completed ghostwriting, I revamped my old novel into a new one. Few accepted it, but they asked me to pay them to publish it. I didn’t go for it. Meanwhile, Srishti rejected me again for that book. I am, again, thankful to them for doing so. The biggest takeaway for me was that my writing style was good according to few publishers.
And recently, after I completed writing, HANDCUFFS, I sent the proposal to the same set of people. Surprisingly, the first call I got was from a very reputed literary agency and the next was from Srishti. I was on cloud nine. This was the first time I was going forward rather than being rejected at the very beginning. The literary agency took their time to respond, while Srishti offered me an e-book contract. So I went ahead with them, moreover debuting with Srishti has been my dream since last four years. After I signed the contract, I got an e-mail from another reputed publishing house asking to send my next work. This made me feel loved and happy. I then knew this was the right book to debut with.
Working with Srishti has been a tremendous experience, especially with my publisher Arup Bose, who very patiently listened and clarified my doubts and guided me smoothly through the process of publishing my debut novel.
Q. Who are your favorite writers and also tell us about your favorite books?
A. My first book was Five Point Someone by Chetan Bhagat. I loved that book along with Two States and Revolution 20-20. I still remember writing a fan mail to his facebook page about how I was going to write a book and that he was my inspiration.
I loved to read John Green’s The Fault In Our Stars, Sidney Sheldon’s The Master Of The Game, Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children and Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Lowland.
If there is a writer who I follow and look up to, it’s Novoneel Chakraborty. He has been a very down to earth person to interact with. His books have been amazing, and whenever I read them I feel of writing something of my own. The title of my book HANDCUFFS is also inspired from his book Black Suits You, where the protagonist is the author of Handcuffs erotic trilogy.
Q. Who or what is your inspiration to write?
A. The bug of writing was implanted in me by my friend Sayantan Chatterjee when I was in my first year of Engineering. And my family supported my decision to shift from Engineering to literature where hell breaks loose in other houses.
Not everyone gets to know what their talents are or that particular thing that they are good at. For me, I love writing. And fortunately, I know this. I just don’t know how good or bad I am, yet. The very idea to not use my potential and let it rot in the garb of daily affairs is the very thing that inspires me to keep writing.
Q. What else you do apart from writing?
A. I love spending time with my family and friends. They give me positivity. I read books. I do write blogs once in a while. I watch all superhero and fantasy flicks, be it movies or television series. And Game of Thrones, I just love that.
Q. Tell us about your personal life a bit and your interests?
A. My personal life is all about my family and friends. They form a proper circle and my life is all within that. And now, it is beginning to be about discovering and exploring my potential. This is just a start and at this moment of beginning, I have nothing much to say.
Q. Any message for the readers and budding writers you want to give?
A. “Whatever happens, it happens for our own good,” I believe this strongly. If you face a rejection, it might just be an opportunity that can give you better future prospect; all it takes is to not give up at that moment.