Suchitra S Rao

 

 

 

QUESTIONS:

  1. Take us through the journey of writing your book.

Answer: I was hoping to write a book some day since childhood but eventually, as I progressed into higher studies my dreams were forgotten in the marathon for gaining Higher Marks and hustle for Campus Placements. I wrote my prologue , one Friday afternoon at my office, sitting in my cubicle during my Coffee break in August 2015. I sent it a close friend and my parents, they read it and applauded me. This motivated me. However, in 2016 I had the time, a good topic, and resources to write a book. I titled the book initially ‘The Midnight Mafia’ then , But slowly as the book progressed I re-named it to ‘The Highway Mafia’ since ‘cattle trafficking’ as a crime, essentially happens throughout the day.

2.Tell us something about your book.

Answer: The book revolves around the life of a young business man ‘Arjun Krishnan’ , who is a young activist and a ultimate ‘Blue Eyed Boy’ who locks horn with ‘Thirumaran Brothers’, who is the Mafia lord, who smuggles cattle. The Highway Mafia is a story that revolves around the battle of one man ‘Arjun Krishnan’ vs the Syndicate of Cattle Traffickers. The book is essentially of Political Crime Thriller Genre. However, there are sub plots of Romance, Mystery, etc.
3. It’s a saying that writers are another creators. Do you agree with it?

Answer: Agreed! Writers have a power to create their own small universe. For this reason they can be termed as another creators.
4. Your inspiration besides your family?

Answer: I have always been inspired by Novelist, Patriot and Freedom Fighter Chinnaswami Subramania Bharati , I am a big fan of his literary works. He was one among the first wave feminist in India and I adore him for raising voice for women rights. A recent inspiration has been Sundar Pichai – CEO of Google Inc. He was born in my native Madurai and raised in a modest house in Chennai and now heading a fortune 500 company is US. I did my schooling in Madurai and moved into Chennai and lived in a modest house during my school and college days. Thus, It is natural to feel inspired when someone from your native with such humble beginnings has made it so big in life.

5. In the creative front , If not a writer, what are the other career options you would have considered as an alternative? 

Answer: I think I would have loved to become a stand up comedian. I think it is a very powerful medium to send the message across to the community. Most of my peers and close family know that I have a good sense of humor. I can crack jokes even in serious moments , if the situation demands a lighter moment.

6.By holding your own book is a special feelings always. For you, how was that feeling?

Answer: It was an unforgettable experience, I guess my hands were shivering a lot when I was about to hold. I was clearly nervous , but I acted just fine , while collecting the book. Came home to my family and showed the excitement. I will never forget the day in my life. I had my whole family with me and they were cheering and wishing me for my first book.

7.Who is your favorite author and what is your favorite book?

Answer: My favourite author is J.K.Rowling and book is Harry Potter. Apart from that I am a big fan of Bronte Sisters. I love Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights.

8.Share some memories (good and bad both) of your reader’s response.

Answer: Good one is definitely when they liked the subject. When I started writing , I had suggestions to change the topic, as it is a politicized topic and not apt for a first book. I was advised to choose a lighter topic. But, I was obstinate about the subject and I was glad it worked out. As far as bad response is concerned , I do not or never will consider a reader’s response as bad. First of all they have taken time and money out for my creation. I respect the fact that out of so many books in the shelves they chose to pick up mine. Therefore, any response from a reader is according to me a good one. I will take their responses to improvise my next book.
9.What are your other hobbies?

Answer: I work in an organization during the weekdays, weekends I usually spend doing community welfare work or writing. I love reading and travelling. I am an ambivert. I socialize very less. Recently , I have resorted to the concept of self-care and self-love and for this reason. I have ear-marked one Sunday a month, unapologetically for myself. I retreat alone on this day , it gives me a lot of clarity and focus to my life.

10. What is your next plan of writing?

Answer: My next plan of writing is also on the similar subject , It’s a sequel of my first book. But it’s a different subject altogether. I am currently in the process of doing some research work for the book. Apart from that , some of my readers have requested me to come up with Coffee Tales. As they are busy and would like quick and lighter reads. I might work on that in few months too.
11.Do you ever feel like writing is tough?

Answer: I have never for once felt that way , writing comes naturally to me. Well I have had my share of writers block , but even then I have never felt that way. But I always feel, the responsibility that comes with writing is tough. I sometimes feel my writing is God’s gift to me. For this reason I always want to make sure I use my writing for constructive purpose only.

12.When did you first realize that language has some power to bind hearts?

Answer : Actually, I think it was when I was in high school, when once I got low marks in an exam I was really hopeful to get high marks. I was very upset , as I was getting back from school. I saw some quotes in an auto back that resonated with me and gave me the confidence. I had a good come back in the following monthly exams. That is when I realized the power words have to bind hearts and also to motivate.

13. Which genre you prefer the most for writing?

Answer: I think my most favorite genre is a much less explored genre of Environmental crimes. I think we are still not very conscious of what we are doing to the climatic change and are barely sensitive to the concept of global warming. I think the worst crime in today’s scenario will be an environment crime , as we have taken our ancestors have preserved and given a good environment to us and it is our duty to pass it on to future generations. However, we are stealing the joy of our future generations by abusing our environment. I do not understand how people deforest, pollute , damage environment to earn and hoard money and pass it on to their generations. When their future generations are going to suffer without basic amenities like pure water and air. I think there is a major lack of awareness in this area. I believe in the next ten years , my writing will focus as much as possible on environmental crimes , so that I can do my bit to save the environment.

14.What challenges did you face while writing and getting published ?

Answer: Actually , while writing I think I wrote with a full time job parallelly , so I was finding it difficult to manage time. I struggled a bit in the editing, as my original manuscript was 90,000 words, I had to chop off close to 30000 words to bring about the best in my script. This was a tough call, and I had to go with the editor’s suggestion of removing two sub-plots which didn’t serve the purpose of the book and rewrite a new plot. I think a good amount of time was spent in this and I used to get emotionally and physically drained. As it was not easy parting with 30000 words that was written with so much passion. However, I am glad I made the decision , when I read the final manuscript.
15.Few words for your lovely readers?

Answer: I think they are reason I keep going even when times are tough for me. When I get the readers feedback every time I feel very happy. I put my best efforts into ‘The Highway Mafia’ , was unsure of the results. The readers are the ones who made my book a big success and I am indebted to them.

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