• What is the inspiration for “Neha – Yet Another Love Story”? Tell us more about the novel.

As far as I know writing is the easiest thing that I was able to do. That doesn’t have to do anything with the quality but I’ve always found it hard to limit my writings within a given space. Like how I’d be ‘over answering’ the questions here, greeting cards overflew with words, two mark answers became an essay in school and status messages ended being blog post. So I thought, “why not put this into something worthwhile” and thus “Neha – Yet Another Love Story Happened.” The book deals with the story of a confused youngster’s love/life. I marketed it as a, “love story without romance.” A lot of care has been taken to make the experience unique and I could confidently tell you that you wouldn’t have read a novel with this style.

Neha_cover 1_rev3.indd

  • From scribbles, as you call them, on your blog, to a full-length novel, how long did the journey take?

To boast, I could say 2 years, but all the gaps between writings shouldn’t be considered. So maybe five full days. But to sit for the five full days was the challenge. If I had locked myself in a room for a week like how Flaubert does, I could have completed it but if I get even more than a day’s holiday I plan for a trip so couldn’t do it in that way. Thus this book wasn’t written with any compromise between the cover as well as out of it. You don’t want to be liked or hated for what you are not.

  • There are many love stories being published almost every day. How would your book be different?

Very good question. To write a book ‘differently’ would mean being dishonest to the work. So I wanted to write it in a way which came to my mind without any compromises. In fact I even wanted to publish it with grammatical errors and spelling mistakes but it was way too much of an ask, so settled for this. I don’t claim it as a ‘different’ book but to give you an example. The title itself is a pun. When I talked about my book, many said, “Why would I read yet another love story?” That’s exactly the point in naming the book. It could have been easily named to prove my intellectual capability but wanted to give it an everyday tone and that’s why the title, “Neha” and subtext starts with, “yet”. It’s a sign of resignation, like, “duh!”

  • How has the response to your book been?

Extreme! Not only in a positive way. There were people who raved the book like anything, especially my best friends who were stuttering while talking and typing with mistakes overwhelmed with the experience of the book. There were people who equally hated the book. There were questions like, “why the intro is so long?”, “what are you trying to say by this?”, “why is the narration so confusing?”, “Is this really the climax?” Best compliment was by my mother who got completely upset with the book and didn’t talk throughout the dinner while serving food. I love it when people take my works personal. To talk about response let me tell you something my mother said when I was a child, “Leonardo da Vinci, hung a painting of Monalisa in the street nearby his place. On day 1 he asked people to mark which all places in the painting they didn’t like. He could see markings everywhere. He was disappointed. But the next day he placed the fresh painting and asked people to mark which all places they liked and he could again see every area marked.” So that’s how it is. You do your work and throw it to the audience. If they like it, they like it, otherwise not. Simple!

  • What made you choose Notionpress to publish your book? How easy/difficult was the process of getting published?

I wanted a self-publishing company as I was not ready to change the content of the book. As I would be paying them I’d be the boss. Notionpress happed to be one company which is Chennai based and few Infoscions prior to me had published their book under them. So I thought it’d be a decent choice.

  • You are a constant blogger and your blog shows your interest in travel and movies. What would you want to write about in your next novel?

I do love writing so I make it a point to write about every movie I watch and every place I go. Just to keep myself in flow. But I miss writing about everyday stuff like waiting in Sathyam Theatre for Rs. 10 ticket, struggling to collect change from bus conductor etc. And about my next book, I’ve already got the rough draft ready for my next novel and it’d need a certain bit of fine tuning as it’s going to be of a different style to that of “Neha.” My life is my inspiration – so needless to say my second novel too would be on that basis, sans love but.

  • Are there any recently-published love stories that you liked?

I myself am not a fan of love stories, like how many said when they didn’t want to buy my novel. But thanks to those numerous cheesy love stories that I read, I thought if these could sell, why not mine. In fact there isn’t a single love story in my top 10 list. But one film which changed my perspective in looking at love stories is ‘Before Sunrise’. One brilliant film!

  • How do you manage your work-writing balance?

I like keeping myself busy. If I’m not, I start to think. If I think I get depressed so I see to that I exhaust myself physically and mentally by the time I hit bed. So it isn’t even like work-writing balance, it’s like part of life.

  • What would be your ideal day off?

I’m an irritatingly meticulous planner, a cleanliness freak, preposterous thinker. I want to keep everything aside for a day. Get up, not think about my next move, next meal, go somewhere, eat something, be shabby, remain quiet, stop thinking, sleep in some dungeon and worry about it the next day.

  • A quote or a sentence that you heard/ read that you remember every day?

I don’t know from where he got this but my dad once said this quote. Little did he knew that I’d consider it so seriously, “The best way to get out of an addiction is to yield to it”

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