Wednesday, 16 October 2019 | By: Writing Buddha

Mayank Manohar:- "I was not confident about my writing and I was afraid of being judged by everyone." (Interview)

1798th BLOG POST -->>

I recently read the book named "Shadow of the Past" written by Mayank Manohar. I was very happy reading the book as it belongs to the Romance genre but it's writing is very matured unlike other cliche novels these days. This made me think about interviewing the author and for all you, please go through the small Question and Answer session that both of us did for this interview to happen:-

Hi Mayank, please let us know something about your background. 

Hi Abhilash. I am from Patna, Bihar. I was born in Bangalore and brought up in Patna. I finished my schooling from Patna Central School before moving to Hyderabad, where I completed my high school from Narayana Junior College. I am an engineer-turned-journalist and I have worked with The Times of India as a senior correspondent. This is a bit about my background. I am a dreamer and a keen observer. I spend most of my time travelling, reading and observing people when I am not working. 


How did you get into writing and since when you have been writing?

Like every other kid, the first ambition of my life was to join the Army. But as you grow up, you realize your potential. I was in 12th grade when the idea of becoming a writer struck me for the first time. It took me five years to finally decide what I wanted to do and take up writing as my profession.

I started writing in 2010 when I had dropped one year after my 12th grade to prepare for engineering entrance exams. I started as a blogger but didn't tell anyone in my circle about it. I was not confident about my writing and I was afraid of being judged by everyone. Only after a few random people started appreciating my blog, it gave me the confidence to showcase my writings to friends and family.


What motivated you to write your first book- Shadow of the Past?

I was going through a similar phase while growing up and I know how messed up it is to deal with your past. Especially, when your past has a habit of surprising you every now and then. I know how important it is to accept certain things and move ahead with life. Even if people don't tell you, everyone is raging a battle within their head. Some choose to ignore it, some fight it and some get consumed by it. This was my attempt to connect with people, who are going through similar situations and tell them that it is okay if you have messed up as long as you know that you want to get better and move ahead with life. Life is too short to regret about things we have no control over.


Is it somewhere inspired from your life?

It is a work of fiction but every story is inspired by some or the other life events. It is wrong to say it is entirely based on my experiences but it has some aspects of my life too.





Were you confident about the story you had chosen for your first book?

To be honest, I was suggested by a few people to write a story with a happy ending. But I wanted to write something which is dreamy yet close to reality. 

Shadow of the Past is technically my second book and officially my first. I wrote my first book "Life's Unpredictable" in 2012 but it never got published. It received 19 rejections and now when I look back, I feel I was not ready to become a writer back then. 

I didn't write for the next one and a half years as the rejections shattered me from within. It felt maybe people who told me I was wasting my time chasing the impossible were right. Nobody believed me initially when I told them I wanted to become a writer. But when I was in the final year of engineering and during the placement drive, I realized that I am not meant to be an engineer. It took me 20 back-to-back rejections to finally muster up the courage to tell my parents that I want to pursue journalism and not end up as an engineer.

I started this book (Shadow of the Past) in 2015 and completed it in 2017. It took me two years to plot and complete this book and there is a major difference in the first and final draft. And now when I look back, I know why everything happened. It happened for a reason.


Did you feel any doubt while writing a Love story that people won’t accept it or it would woo only a certain age-group?

While writing this book the only thing that kept me going was the idea behind it. If you look around, many people are struggling with their past. Some are even afraid to talk about it or they choose to ignore it. I wanted people to find solace in this book and maybe find some strength to deal with their past if they are going through a similar phase. I was nervous initially but after I finished writing, I knew I have managed to do a decent job. 


How did the idea of including letters in the book come to you? How difficult was to write each one of them differently than others?

I am a fan of old school romance. I wish I lived in an era, where love letters were still a thing. The idea of writing letters to your loved ones is something that always fascinated me and that's why I wanted to include those letters. These days the idea of romance has changed and I thought it will bring back some old memories. 

It was difficult to write each one of them as I had to put myself in their shoes and react emotionally. Writing a book is similar to method acting. You have to feel the emotions your characters are going through and only then you will be able to do justice with them. I used to watch movies and read books, which would trigger those emotions within in order to write. 



The book has an open-ending. Are we going to see its sequel in the near future? If yes, by when? And will it be the last book in the series?

I always wanted to write a book, which leaves the reader wondering and allow them to think. I wanted them to take something back and reflect at the same time. Yes, I am working on the next one and hopefully, we will see "A Glimpse of Future" soon. Yes, it is a two-part series. 


How has been your association with Fingerprint publications?

It has been wonderful. I cannot thank them enough for the effort the entire team of Fingerprint has put in and helped me to understand the entire process of getting published. I was told by many people many things based on their experiences but it has been a pleasure to be associated with Fingerprint Publishing. 

What would you like to say to your readers about your further plans. 

First of all, I want to thank each one of them for reading Shadow of the Past and posting their unbiased reviews. It feels great to see when people say they could connect with the book or it was their story. That's what matters to me more. A writer is incomplete without its readers. I am working on a sequel to Shadow of the Past and all I want to tell them is this is just a beginning of something new and hopefully, they are going to see me often. 



Thanks. 

WRITING BUDDHA 

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