3 November 2013 | By: Writing Buddha

DIWALI SPECIAL: Ravi Subramanian speaks with us, ARB!!!

972nd BLOG POST -->>

    Diwali means something special and celebratory. The Blog would have looked incomplete if there would not have been a bit of lightning here. :-) So a Diwali Special for all of you- My Interview with one of the Top 5 Bestselling Authors of India- Mr. Ravi Subramanian. I think this is the only interview in the world where interviewer and interviewee has spoken almost the same number of words. Haha! Read the interview and do give your feedback about the author's thoughts. :-)

1. Starting with, a very Happy Diwali to you, Mr Ravi and also a hearty Congratulations from my side for the success of your latest book- Bankerupt. Can I ask you about your confidence at the writing stage regarding this book? Well, everyone knows that your book will sell 1,00,000 copies minimum but were you nervous about the expectations that your readers would be having with you?

Thanks a lot for your Diwali wishes which I heartily reciprocate. 

Well the nervousness and the anxiety is not about the sales numbers. With success comes the burden of expectations. I was tackling a subject which was alien to the Indian reader. Gun control in the US and the academia in the US were not subjects about which many had written in the past. I was also making a deviation from my comfort zone and writing something new. And this the first time I was working with Penguin. All put together made me anxious. 

2. How do you manage to write differently on the same topic of Bankers and banking industry every time? Don’t you feel scared each time that your book might get rejected because of getting stereotyped? 

While I write about bankers and banking, All my stories have a distinct flavour. They are very different from each other. Hence the fear of getting stereo typed doesn’t exist. I am very clear in my mind that they day I feel I am getting repetitive or that I am unable to churn out stuff which is fresh and interesting, I will stop writing about banking. 

3. After J.K.Rowling stepping into thriller and adult fiction, can we expect Mr. Ravi Subramanian to write something else in future than banking? 

Oh yes. In fact if you look at my new book – BANKERUPT, it’s a move away from banking. It is based in the backdrop of academia in the USA and is set amidst the raging gun control conflict in America. Yes the regular banking linkage is there, but it’s a lot less than my previous books. I will be exploring newer subjects as I evolve in my writing career.

4. Don’t your previous banks with which you have worked asks you to avoid writing the incidents or conditions that directly or indirectly hits upon their brand?

No one has ever asked me to do that. In fact many in the banking industry appreciate my writing about these issues and bringing them into limelight. 

5. In India, very few authors have actually done extremely well. Counting few, I can remember the names of Chetan Bhagat, Amish Tripathi, Ashwin Sanghi and you. Do you feel that being in Top 5 writers who are seen up to; you have a responsibility of being truthful and accurate in writing books and giving interviews?

I agree that I one has a responsibility of being truthful to readers ..irrespective of wether you are in the top 5 or top 10 or top 100. Being truthful to your readers makes you not worry about what you said in an earlier interview. That’s one thing I love about someone like Ravinder. He does not pretend to be what he is not, and this trait of his helps him connect very well with his readers. 

6. Also, the names that I have taken above write in a particular genre or topic including you. Do you think that this is a success formula of being a successfully and extensively read writer? 

No. I don’t think so. Initially it helps you define a genre and people remember you by it. But what is more important is the simplicity of the story telling and originality of the plot. That’s what makes you successful. If you write in a particular space and write badly, no one is going to read you. 

7. How do you end up releasing a book in a year time even when they have plots and sub plots that needs extensive researches because other authors take 2-4 years on the name of research and character-building?

I would not want to comment on other writers, but I use an extensive mix of research and creative licensing. This helps me mould my stories appropriately and take judicious creative calls on the storyline. If you focus on the story and give I the desired time, it is not very difficult t bring out a book a year. In fact in the west you have bestselling authors who don’t run a writing factory and yet bring out two books a year. 

8. Well, this question suits a guy in his 25th year but still I would ask you, does getting featured on television and seeing your books almost in every bookstore of India fascinates you even today?

Being recognized for your work and being talked about it fascinates and excites everyone – irrespective of age. Seeing my books piled up in every bookstore is a huge turn on for any author. Ask any author and he will tell you how upsetting it is to walk into a store and not see your books stacked up. 

9. You have published 6 books till now. That’s not the only thing; you have also made your daughter write a book when she was just 11 years old. Do you discuss your books with her while writing them? And how do you see her future as a writer?

Just a small correction. I did not make her write a book. She wrote it on her own … Yes she and I discuss a lot about books. In fact some interesting twists in my stories do find their genesis in my discussion with her. I am extremely proud of the fact that she wrote her first book at 12. She write well, communicates well. And this makes me believe that she has great future as an author. 

10. You are financially very stable as you are also in a job at a very senior position. You are also open to readers and aspiring authors. Do you ever think of establishing a Publishing company yourself for the sake of writers who write well but never gets published? You are also aware of some very good books in market but yet haven’t sold more than 1000 copies; hence I am asking this question to you. 

A few years back it was a dream for me, to run a publishing company. But it is not easy as it seems. Even if I set up a publishing house, I may not be able to give wings to aspirations of many authors. Commercial success, even in business is important. Hence this plan is on the backburner at this point in time. Who knows maybe the thought may be rekindled at a later date. In the interim, I am open to speaking to anyone who wants to leverage on my six year long journey and learning’s, as an author. 

With his wife and daughter!!!
11. Thanks a lot for the great interview sir. A last question- How do you see yourself after 15 years i.e. after retirement? Don’t skip this question saying that you have not thought for long. I know successful people have a plan diary with them always.  In the end, what would you like to tell your readers how grateful you are to them for the success of Bankerupt? 

I am extremely grateful to my readers, without whose love and support, I would not have reached where I have as an author. They have made me what I am. I owe every bit of success to them. And that’s the only reason why I value their feedback very strongly. As far as where I see myself after fifteen years… well.. let me think now for you haven’t given me the option of not answering the question. I don’t think fifteen years down the line, people will remember me as a banker. They will ‘hopefully’ remember me as an author, who  gave readers extremely interesting stories. 20 books down, I will be a retired banker, a satisfied author and the father of a dynamic author. If this becomes a reality, I will consider myself as having led a successful life. 

1 CoMMenTs !!! - U CaN aLSo CoMMenT !!!:

Soulmate said...

Perfect interview. The answer to question no 5 is interesting. About being truthful to the readers. A great inspiration for other writers.

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