Physicists explain creation by telling us that the universe began with the Big Bang, an intense energy singularity that continued expanding. But who created the singularity?
Writing is a intensely personal activity. I can pen down my best thoughts when I'm alone. But when one is elevated into the stature of an author, you have to think about your books in terms of their business angle.
I love fiction that sounds like fact. As a matter of fact, I also like fact that sounds like fiction.
When working on a period, it is the finer details that evoke imagery that helps in cinematic adaptations.
The first thriller ever? It was probably one from 1697. It was called 'Little Red Riding Hood.'
Mythopoeia has taken off in the Indian diaspora because there has been a change in readership from a mature audience to a younger one. This lot has a desperate yearning to reconnect. They want to consume mythology but in a well-packaged and easily digestible way.
The reality of the writer's world is that you set yourself up for future disappointment with every success that you deliver because you end up raising your audience's expectations.
There is one person who can help solve 'writer's block'. His name is Mr. Johnnie Walker.
That freedom of writing you don't get in other formats, I'd rather leave it to someone else to deal with the headache of drafting my book into a screenplay.
My wife is troubled by the things I forget. I am troubled by the things she recollects.
I must admit that i am fascinated by the glories of ancient India. But when will the purveyors of Indian culture realise that not everything about our past was glorious?
Oral storytelling goes back so long ago, and those stories that were told orally were always layered and changed with time.
Take the first A out of Abraham and put it at the end. You get Brahama. There's the ancient connection right there.
I was passionate about reading from an early age, and I would always be carrying a different book each week.
I have always been a bit of an introvert. In fact, my dad used to force me to meet people so that my interpersonal skills improve. As an individual, I was happiest when left alone.
The decision to use a pen name was nothing more than a desire to compartmentalise my life. However, I had not thought about an appropriate pseudonym, and since there's an abundance of anagrams in the novel, the idea struck me: why not use an anagram of my name? Hence, Shawn Haigins.
In Kolkata is a temple where the deity worshipped is Amitabh Bachchan. The daily aarti is performed to the chanting of the Amitabh Chaleesa. And people still ask, 'Could our mythological heroes be based on actual people who once lived?'
'Rozabal' was theological while 'Chanakya' is political. Unlike 'Rozabal,' which was about research, the aim of 'Chanakya' is plot, plot, plot, which carries the character. The common DNA, of course, is history.
I was told that Ganesha sat between Lakshmi and Saraswati. My quest to attain the blessings of both goddesses explains my physique.
It is easy to club people together, but there are bound to be influences of authors you've read. I grew up reading fast paced authors such as Sidney Sheldon and Jeffrey Archer, but to say I'm one of them isn't true; my style is intrinsically my own.
My life is ruled by four W's: my writing, my work, my wife, and my whisky. Not necessarily in that order.
Unlike a typical professional, I can't quit my job to become a full-time author; I don't have that luxury. For me, writing is therapy; if I choose to write full-time, it might start feeling like work.
The cleanest book on a dusty bookshelf is usually a dirty one.
It may sound very strange, but I love the freedom that writing a novel gives me. It is an unhindered experience. If I come after a bad day, I can decide that my protagonist will die on page 100 of my novel in a 350-page story.
An author entices the readers with their words, and it is painful for them to even lose a sentence. But films and books are two different mediums and should be dealt differently. What works in a book might not work for a film. When I saw 'Anna Karenina' on screen, I didn't like it at all, whereas 'The Godfather' was legendary.
After writing each novel, I would spend days poring over suggestions from my editor.
Writing a mystery is like drawing a picture and then cutting it into little pieces that you offer to your readers one piece at a time, thus allowing them the chance to put the jigsaw puzzle together by the end of the book.
After preliminary research, I zero in on an idea, and then I spend at least four months exploring the topic and in plot-building. I jot down every single detail of the plot as bullet points per chapter, and only when the skeleton is complete do I start writing.
I was learning book-keeping at the age of 12, but it never stopped me from pursuing literature. Over the years, I grew to love the written word.
Mythology is like a game of Chinese Whispers. What goes in at one end of the human circle is rarely what emerges at the other end.
Mythology is a set of primitive lies that people rarely believe. This is rather different from history, which is a set of lies that people actually believe.
If there is one city apart from Mumbai where I would love to settle down, it has to be Chennai.
I remember how a man once got in touch with me to tell me that he was so engrossed in my book that he had to take a day off from work just so that he could finish reading it. Such kind of responses from my readers is extremely endearing, and it keeps me going.
Did God create man, or did man create God? Either way, the decision needs to be reviewed.
I want to be remembered as a storyteller more than someone who had something meaningful to say.
Conspiracies fascinate me. When I visited the Rozabal shrine in Srinagar before writing my first book, I remember thinking that the person enshrined there was no ordinary mortal. History is rife with mysteries, and that visit ignited a fire to unveil some of them.
Omniscient, omnipotent, omnivorous and omnipresent all begin with Om.
Though it is very easy to do valuations, eyeballs and brand prominence surveys, you should never allow any of them to influence the balance sheet.
My self-publishing adventure led to my work being picked up by a traditional publisher and eventually hitting the bestseller lists. That led to two more bestselling novels.
I was always taught that book keeping was more relevant than book reading. The only thing worth reading was meant to be a balance sheet.
Writing is incidental to my primary objective, which is spinning a good yarn. I view myself as a storyteller more than a writer. The story - and hence the extensive research that goes into each one of my books - is much more important than the words that I use to narrate it.
Our country has the oldest tradition of storytelling, and this was much before writing stories even became a norm.
Writing helps me create a different world that I can escape to.
What is divine? Simply that which man has not yet been able to understand. Once understood, it ceases to be divine.
We can't deny that films have a bigger reach. After the popularity of the 'Slumdog Millionaire,' a lot of people started reading Vikas Swarup's 'Q & A'. From a business sense, films are a good tool to increase the number of readers.
There has to be a protagonist who has to overcome challenges, and there will be a race to finish.
I believe that patterns tend to repeat themselves and there are connections between the past and the present. There is the old proverb that reads, 'You can't know where you're going if you don't know where you've been'. For me, history is like that. When you take history and combine it with myth, then you get mystery.
I am a part of the old school where I feel that purity of the language should be retained. But English is a constantly evolving language where new words are being added to the dictionary, so I don't see any harm in experimenting with the language. Only poor editing standards need to be improved.
What I would not like is to be ignored. I write from the heart. I don't write for me. I write for my readers.