1. Describe yourself in three sentences. Each sentence can only contain six words. One of these sentences must contain alliteration.
Bookstore’s my Disneyland, stories, my ride.
Love laughingly lamenting lilting leads.
Drink, travel, live like its Yuletide.
2. What in God’s name made you want to be a writer?
I ask myself this very question every day. My father gave me a queer look when I said I wanted to pursue literature, instead of commerce or science, like he did. But he came around. I have always loved stories and can’t imagine being away from them. Not everyone has the time to listen to you speak your mind; Not everyone has the patience to keep quiet while you’re talking; Not everyone has the depth or maturity to unravel your mind, or the sensitivity to alleviate your anguish. Hence, I picked up a pen and started writing. Haven’t stopped since. Only now I use a laptop.
3. Literary protagonist you would most like to …
Have a beer with: James Bond. To try and become cool like him.
Share a bed with: Karla, from Shantaram, a badass, elusive, green-eyed Swiss-American goddess. I can’t even begin to imagine how she would be in bed.
Travel with: Augusten Burroughs (Running with Scissors – an autobiography). Man, this guy has grown amidst the most bizarre, extraordinary circumstances ever. Imagine the material that is waiting to be explored.
Say ‘I love you’ to: Hermione Granger, for her quick wit, encyclopedic memory and knowledge, but at the same time for her vulnerability and insecurities.
4. Name a pet from literary history you would have liked to call your own.
The Albatross from The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, for how from an omen of good luck, he allegedly turns into a curse. What a powerful metaphor for burden it has become today. And these lines:
Ah ! well a-day ! what evil looks
Had I from old and young !
Instead of the cross, the Albatross
About my neck was hung.
5. What is the smartest thing anyone has ever said to you about being a writer?
That they can be who they want to be: demented, eccentric, passionate, affluent, a superstar, and there isn’t a darned thing anyone can do about it.
6. What is the dumbest thing anyone has ever said to you about being a writer?
That it is a hobby.
7. Where is your favourite place to write?
Mornings, in my room, at my desk at six thirty. There’s a window to my right, through which I can see children playing cricket, couples exercising together, young mothers pushing their new Mothercare prams. Then I pull the curtains shut and get back to writing. Wouldn’t mind writing in a cottage, close to a beach, and surrounded by hills.
8. What will be on your tombstone?
He wrote like Carver, looked like William Faulkner, and was as funny as Wodehouse.
9. Favourite literary technique?
Imagery – breathes life into a drab paragraph. Arouses the reader. Stirs every possible emotion inside of him. Makes him the hero.
10. Favourite adjective?
Melancholic. There’s melody to be found in it.
11. What one piece of advice can you share with other writers?
Do we cease breathing when we catch a cold? Do we abstain from falling in love because of past heartbreaks? So why let a darn rejection letter knock you out? Forget about it. File it, but forget about it. Start breathing, start loving, start writing, all over again, and keep writing till the receptionist says, ‘The publisher will see you now.’
12. What is your writing motto?
Get all your words on paper before the voices in your head drive you insane.
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