Friday, August 25, 2017

Round of Q&A with Santhosh Gangadharan Author of What Next?

We are back with another interesting book interview. We have Santhosh Gangadharan with us to discuss his latest book "What Next".

Santhosh before we move towards the discussion on your book, please tell us about yourself first. So tell us about your educational background.
I have done M. Tech in Chemical Engineering. 
Tell us about your college life.
During college, I was easy going with lot of friends. I used to play cricket in the college. During the final year, I was the Captain of the Engineering college cricket team
Which author inspire you the most?
I keep reading novels in English and Malayalam. I like Jeffrey Archer, Sidney Sheldon and Arthur Hailey. I have never looked at any authors as models for inspiration. I get inspiration from my son who is an avid reader and also into writing. He likes to talk about writing stories and novels, which is a matter of inspiration.
When did you start writing?
When I was 11 years old. Had written short stories and verses of which some got published in weeklies. Also wrote 6 Detective novels in Malayalam, which were never published. It was only a hobby. In the school I had received first prize for short story writing for two consecutive years.
When did you decide to become a writer?
In 2013, when I started writing my first novel in English, I decided that it could be an interesting hobby.
What are your ambitions for your writing career?
I want to keep writing short stories and novels, both in English and my mother tongue. Even if a few of my relatives and friends appreciate my writing, I am very happy. I will keep writing for them.
Do you have a special time to write, or how is your day structured to accommodate your writing?
There is no special time for writing. When I feel I am absolutely free to think and put down my thoughts, I write. During daytime, normally I will be in office. So I utilize the evening time for writing. But I have found that early morning hours are apt for writing. That’s when the thoughts and writing coordinate with each other in the best way to give a very fluid flow of events for the novel.
What have you written so far?
“What Next?” is my second novel. The first one is “Spinning into Oblivion” which was published by Partridge India during May 2015.
What genre are your books?
It is fiction – more like mystic thrillers.
Can you describe your current book "What Next" in few lines?
It deals with my theory of Voyage of Souls. The core story is about a lady’s unbreakable love and the adventure of her son to retrace the steps back to her. The outer story relates to a futuristic aftermath of the core story due to the voyage of a soul. 
Can we know about main characters of your story?
Fatma – The main character of the book. A village girl who falls in love with a stranger and is forced to elope with him.  But her staunch love brings back her husband and son, who were lost to her in an alien country.
Abhay – The son of Fatma and Abdulla - the boy without fear who succeeds in uniting his parents and finding out his roots.
Abdulla – The stranger who steals the heart of Fatma and becomes the father of the boy Abhay.
Pedro – The villain, haunting Abdulla alias Glauber
Where did you get idea for this book?
During the creation of Sohar Free Zone in Oman, they had found ancient tombs in a line on top of the mountains. The skeletons found in some these tombs were carbon dated to almost 2000 years. The idea of a person being entombed alive in one of these tombs generated the spark for this novel. The story is set in the Liwa / Sohar region of Oman, later shifting to Calicut in Kerala, which had trade links with the Arabs centuries back. The fact that the Portuguese had invaded Oman at the same time as they had reached the shores of Kerala made me connect the two places.
How much research did you do for this book?
I had to search for details of the way people used to live during the 15th century in Oman and Kerala and also to know more about the temples and Kalari payattu in Kerala.
Who is your favorite character in your book and why? (If applicable)
Fatma, the mother of the hero Abhay. The novel started to go in full flow with the description I could use on Fatma and seeing others through her eyes. Once I could develop my Fatma, the novel opened up very well for me.
What was the difficult part about writing your latest book?
Recreating the village scenario in Liwa, Oman
When was "What Next" released?
The book was released on 15th October 2016
What are you working on at the minute?
I have already written two Malayalam novels, which are under the process of publishing and editing respectively. I am thinking of a sequel for my first novel Spinning into Oblivion.
What are your thoughts on writing a book series?
Never had thought of.
How was your publishing experience with Leadstart?
Leadstart is a very author-friendly publishing house. The process of editing, design of cover and publishing was done in a systematic way at a fast pace. Since I was happy with them I had introduced Leadstart to a friend of mine who got her first novel published by Leadstart. 
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Keep a book of TIN, where you should note down your Thoughts, Ideas and Notions. Many things could get interconnected when you start writing your book.
Don’t discard things you see in your dreams. These could be sparks, which may help you in elaborating your TIN. 
Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?
Reading hard copies of books is a passion, which every aspiring writer should develop. That makes you live with the smell of letters. That is the best way to get inspired to write yourself.
Links for your book readers
We would like to thank Leadstart Publishers (Frog Books) for providing this opportunity to connect the author. Readers can check their wonderful collection of books by going through this link - Leadstart Books

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