Friday, March 24, 2017

Meet Crime Thriller Writer Salil Desai

Salil Desai master of crime thriller books is back with another novel "3 And A half Murders". Let's try to know Salil and his latest book.

Can you tell us about your educational background?
I am an alumnus of Symbiosis Institute of Mass Communications and Film & Television Institute of India (FTII).prior to that I did my graduation from BMCC, Pune and schooling from Loyola High School, Pune.
What were you like at school/college apart from studies?
In school, I was an average student and was part of the swimming and basket-ball teams, but did nothing remarkable. I came into my own in college (BMCC), winning several inter-college and state level awards in dramatics and theatre. I also represented my college in cricket as a wicket-keeper / batsman and played competitive club cricket in Pune.  Most importantly, I started writing for newspapers in my second year in senior college.
What are some day jobs you have held?
I was a corporate communications executive for 10 years and then became a management film-maker and entrepreneur. In my 27 year old career, I have been an author, newspaper columnist, creative writing and media trainer and lecturer, communication consultant as also executive editor of a business magazine.
Which author inspire you the most? 
I read almost continuously, both fiction and non-fiction. Many times I read two books simultaneously, at different times of the day. Many different books and authors have inspired me in many ways. 
When did you start writing?
My first article was published in 1987 in a newspaper called The Indian Post, edited by the Late Vinod Mehta. So I have been writing articles for 30 years now. I started writing fiction and short stories around the same time, or even slightly earlier.
When did you decide to become a writer? 
I decided to become a writer in college itself, but my early attempts at fiction were rejected by publishers. Then as I pursued by corporate career and entrepreneurship I continued writing short stories intermittently but not very seriously. Finally when I branched out on my own as a management film-maker, I decided to start writing fiction again. My short stories started getting published in various anthologies. So finally in 2008, I started working on my first novel, which was published in 2011 and since then there has been no looking back. As of now I have written 4 novels and one collection of short stories. I am now working on my 6th novel.
What are your ambitions for your writing career? 
My plan is to write one book a year. I have so far written murder mysteries and love the genre so will continue to write crime novels. But I also am working on a novel in a different genre. My ambition is to write as many books as I can in different genres and themes and become a path-breaking, best-selling author some day, known as someone who writes engaging, entertaining and meaningful books.
Do you have a special time to write? 
I write fiction manuscripts mostly in the morning. Afternoons are for articles and other work. But I write something every single day.

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Can you tell us about previous books you wrote?
3 and a Half Murders is my 5th book. It is the 3rd book in my Inspector Saralkar Mystery Series. The other two are Killing Ashish Karve (published earlier as The Body in the Back Seat) and The Murder of Sonia Raikkonen. Besides these three, I have written another murder mystery called Murder on a Side Street and a short story collection, Lost Libido and Other Gulp Fiction.
What genre are your books? 
As mentioned above, I have written 4 crime novels and a collection of short stories belonging to different genres.
Can you describe your current book in few lines? What’s it about? 
3 and a Half Murders in the 3rd book of my Inspector Saralkar Mystery Series. Two murders in Pune lead to a seven year old, unsolved murder in Bangalore. Senior Inspector Saralkar and PSI Motkar find themselves investigating shady secrets, bitter grudges, carnal desires, sinister obsessions. And then the killer resurfaces again. Will Saralkar and Motkar get to the bottom of the unimaginably shocking motive and stop the malevolent killer from committing the 4th murder…?
Give us an insight into your main characters.
Senior Inspector Saralkar and PSI Motkar began as two typical, contrasting Puneites – Saralkar the quirky, no-nonsense, idealistic, unconventional cop, while Motkar is the straightforward, going by the book, non-imaginative but sincere assistant. Most readers tell me that their relationship and interaction is the best part of all my books. I think I have successfully managed to create a real, equal partnership between the cops. 
Where did you get idea for this book? 
My ideas are always a complex combination of imagination, real life incidents and different kind of strange and bizarre happenings in the society around us. 
How much research did you do for this book? 
As always, plenty of research.
What was the toughest thing about writing your latest book? 
I think the most challenging part of writing my books including 3 and a Half Murders is getting into the mind of the antagonist, the criminal, the murderer. Imagining the inner life and conflict of the character of the murderer was the most fascinating part of this book too. Also, getting the plot and twists right always takes a lot of hard work and ingenuity.
Release date.  
February 2017
What are you working on at the minute? 
My 6th book, which is about rage, psychological damage and violence, can be categorised as dramatic, literary fiction but is also a poignant thriller.
What are your thoughts on writing a book series? 
I have already written 3 books of my Inspector Saralkar Mystery Series and I simply love writing it. It’s been developed as a police procedural series. I hope to write many more books in the series, because I think I have found an excellent literary vehicle to look at society and comment upon it.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers? 
Read a lot. Understand that writing is ‘crafted imagination’ and so you need to work on your craft every day. Try and develop an original style and point of view.
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