Interviewed by Purvi Petal
Dr. Nitya Prakash is a versatile personality – a writer, a banker, a management expert, an investment consultant, software engineer, motivational speaker, media man, all rolled in one. He is the author of the much-hyped romantic novel ‘Dear, I Hate You’, thriller fiction ‘R.I.P. In the Name of Love’ and popular fiction ‘Little Lucknow’. He was born and brought up in the city of Nawabs – Lucknow, UP (India). He did his computer graduation from the University of Lucknow, Lucknow followed by an Executive Management Program from K.J.Somaiya Institute of Management & Research, Mumbai and also a Post Graduate Diploma in Banking Management from ICICI Manipal Academy, Bangalore. He is NSDL and AMFI certified, which enables him to work as an investment consultant. He is a ferocious reader and a prolific writer and has been regular in writing many youth awakening articles in TOI and many other reputed magazines. His fun one-liners are extremely popular amongst his ever growing reading populace. He is the Co-Founder of Creative Ecstasy, Dronacharya and The School on Wheels India. In fact, there is such a long list of his achievements, that this space feels threatened in running out in my attempt to cover him. Rather than go on about his past achievements, I had the man talk to me about the latest from his pen, an intriguing new book titled ‘Antinational’.
Why ‘antinational’? Just because it is the current buzzword?
Ever since I gathered the wisdom to think about the way people behave, I was always fascinated with the belief that I have something worth sharing about human psychology with the wider world around me. Antinational talks about human emotions while the story builds on the medical malpractices in our country.
Could you describe the reader you were writing for?
If you’re active on social media platforms, then it’s even easier to find out what readers like, provided you get some traffic. You can tell when your audience responds to a particular post because there will be comments and links that show that people thought that your content was worth reading. I find that a good technique for deciding on new content is to look at what readers’ interests are and write articles and books that cater to those interests. When writing a book, I look for books that got a good response, as well as for the questions that readers have asked. These provide a good starting point for thinking about new material.
What makes you tick as a writer?
Most writers claim they write only to entertain, and yet messages do creep into our books whether we will it or not. I don’t write just to entertain but to write the stories I want to read, stories that no one else has written. And still, the messages are there: nothing is as it seems, we are not necessarily who we think we are, history did not necessarily happen the way we think it did, and what we see is not necessarily the truth. But all that was more of a side effect. Mostly I just want to write good stories with good characters that I would have loved to read.
Did you find the characters changing as you wrote, or did they stay true to your early conception of them?
I always ensure that I do proper justice to my characters. I try my best to keep them who they are.
Your spin rate of your works is amazing. Is it that easy to write?
I am a compulsive writer. Writing is hard because we’re human. We’re scared, fragile beings who think of every single excuse to procrastinate that which we ought to be doing. This is what is hard about writing: it never ends. You can put your “game face” on for 24 hours or a week and succeed. But that’s not what makes a writer. That’s why we call it “the writing life” — it consumes who you are and what you do. The difficulty of writing has nothing to do with pen and paper, monitor and keyboard. It has to do with heart and soul and the mind behind the words. That’s the real hard part of writing, the part that will experience all kinds of internal resistance: convincing yourself that no excuse is good enough to not write.
So now that you know the hard part, the rest is easy. That’s how I write.
Any favorite genre? As a writer and as a reader?
My favorite genre is fantasy as a reader. Books like Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings I greatly enjoy and could read multiple times. The back story, history, names, fantasy elements, and story are unforgettable and resonate well after you’re finished putting it down. The way I would describe it is ‘completely delectable’. I tend to enjoy the philosophical genre most when writing. I think I like it because it generally includes many stories that touch on the functions of people and their roles in society. It covers much about ethics and morals and the experiences of many.
Which book inspired you the most (how) while which one impressed you the most (why) ?
Books are possibly my favorite thing ever. Looking at my bookshelf now is like looking at a little timeline. Each book reminds me of what was going on in my life at the time. When I was younger I fell in love with Fredrick Forsyth’s “The day of the Jackal” and that book really kicks started my love of reading. The conspiracy plot in the book was great. Oh no, I really want to list all the books on my shelf but that will just take forever. I have more than 4500 books in my personal library. I am a diehard fan of Fredrick Forsyth, Agatha Christie, and Ruskin Bond. The top five books, I would like to recommend from my bookshelf are: The day of the Jackal by Fredrick Forsyth, To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, The Unexpected Guest by Agatha Christie, The Sensualist by Ruskin Bond and Srimad Bhagwat Gita by Ved Vyasa.
You are into multiple occupations, or should I say, interests. How do you keep up with them and which one is closest to your real self?
I am good at multi-tasking. When I’m engaged at work, I fully engage myself for defined periods of time. When I’m renewing, I truly renew. Make waves. I don’t live my life in the gray zone. Training people is the best thing to undertake and it is the closest to my real self.
Funny but a regular question, which one is your favorite or the work dearest to you? Why?
One novel sits on my desk at all times: In the Name of Love, R.I.P. There are many other books by me that I adore, but this is my personal favorite book, the one I keep nearby for writing inspiration. ITNOL changed me in an unforgettable way.
A word or phrase you often use in your writing.
‘Let bygones be bygones!’
The last line of your autobiography will be…
‘It’s me being me, making you be you…’
Would like to hear from your own mouth, a precisely detailed account of your writing journey!
It’s been an incredible journey (and not always an easy one). Allah called my father to rest in peace when I was two years old. I never had any interest in what other boys of my age were into. No cars and no action men figures. It was all about the books for me. At the age of eleven, I wrote my first article for The Times of India. After completing my formal education I started my career with MicroSave (A Bill & Melinda Gates foundation company) and then I worked for a couple of years in ICICI Bank as an International Trade Finance Manager. But, I never found myself in the medium; it was too scattered for me. My professional writing journey started with writing research papers on microfinance and then Dear, I Hate You happened. My first novel was a tribute to my girlfriend who passed away in a car accident and it fetched immense love and respect from the readers and critics. I love experimenting with my life and also my books. It is assumed that an author understands that he is writing for his readers, not for his own fascination and every time my readers want new stuff from me. My first novel was a romantic fiction, the second one was a thriller, the third one was on child psychology and the fourth one is a paranormal research work. Fortunately for me, experimenting to explore the creative ideas I didn’t even know existed is easy. I just have to do something new.
This has been an amazing talk session! Thank you for being a guest on my blog.
Dr. Nitya Prakash, the award-winning bestselling author, trainer, and success coach interviewed here can be reached and his credentials further explored at these Links:
This interview was conducted in the context of Dr. Nitya Prakash’s upcoming novel, ANTINATIONAL . The Official Book Trailer of ANTI-NATIONAL is out now.
Youtube link : https://youtu.be/W0CJWK2U4i8
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