Friday, July 6, 2018

Meet Vinay Capila, the author of Riding A Tiger

We have reviewed "Riding a Tiger" by Vinay Capila few days back. Today we got chance to inteview Mr Vinay Capila. Highlight of the conversation as below.

Can you brief us about your educational and professional life? What were you like at school/college apart from studies?
I am not sure what you mean by that question, however, apart from studies I participated in sports activities and in the NCC contingent. I was in the middle rung in studies. 
What are some day jobs you have held?
I started work in the Marketing Department of Indianoil Corpn. After eight years I shifted to the private sector and worked with a couple firms. Then, for 30 years, I worked in the Commercial section of the Danish Embassy in New Delhi. For my final two years I worked as CEO of a Danish firm that wanted to establish their production facility in India.
Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors? Which author inspires you most?
I am an avid reader of books – reading at least two books per month. I read whatever appeals to me, but my collection includes Jeffrey Archer, Robert Ludlum, Sydney Sheldon, John Grisham and a host of other English novel writers; which does not mean that I do not read more serious writers. Having done English Honours in college I have the whole collection of English literature on my shelves. I am unable to pinpoint any single author who inspires me. I find P G Woodhouse very entertaining.

 When did you start writing?
All I can remember is that sometime towards the end of my school years (I was about 15 years old), I started writing short poems – quite childish and immature obviously – but I seem to recollect that there was an undercurrent of loneliness.  
When did you decide to become a writer?
I never decided to become a writer – there was no conscious decision on that. I just wrote what came to mind naturally, as an expression of my feelings at that point of time. Except for my two novels – which were both year-long projects – I have always written on impulse. 
What are your ambitions for your writing career?
Obviously, I would like the maximum number of people to read what I have written, but I have no conscious ambitions for a writing career. I am now 75 years old, and though I was writing throughout my life, I only made the effort to publish after I retired – at the age of 65. 
Do you have a special time to write, or how is your day structured to accommodate your writing?
I do not have any specific time for writing. I was working all my life, so writing was like a hobby and when the time and mood struck. Now, I normally write in the mornings, when there are minimum distractions and the brain is fresh.
Prior to this book, what have you written?
Prior to this book I have published five books. The first one was a collection of short-stories written over a lifetime: from college days to the last years before I retired. This was followed by a collection of poems – also written over a lifetime. In 2014 I published my first novel – based on the tragic exodus of the Kashmiri Pandits from the valley. The following year i published another collection of short-stories, followed by a short book for children. I then rehashed a collection of some earlier stories for a book for Amazon. And now, finally, I have published “Riding a Tiger”, written during 2017.
What genre are your books?
My short stories follow a wide range of subjects, but my two novels have been based on socio-political issues of current interest.
Can you describe your current book in a few lines? What’s it about?
The book has as its background the ideology of a right wing party in India and how it can lead to extremism as a means of gaining and retaining power. I have used the fictional format, but towards the end of the book the reader can discern what I am writing about.
Give us an insight into your main character(s)
The two main characters start off as very young boys, in the era just after the independence of the country. As the only male child in their respective families, they grow up feeling especially privileged. However, their exposure to the outside world, once they join school, bursts their mythical bubble. Though they live in different towns, they come into contact with the socialist arm of a right wing political party as they grow up. Because of their aggressive ambitions they gain access to the political party and slowly manoeuvre themselves into positions of power. The end result is irrational arrogance that sweeps aside any contrary views. 
How much research did you do for this book?
The beginning was an accidental reading of a book by a young journalist who had conducted a sting operation on a State political party responsible for communal riots and genocide. Intrigued by the contents, I read another book authored by a senior ex-police officer in a responsible position during that period. That book corroborated what the journalist had written. After this I started reading a few books providing the history and ideology of the right wing party and their affiliated offshoots. So what I have put in my fictional story is based on a lot of research, and reveals in detail the modus operandi of the Party for attaining and retaining power.
What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?
The hardest part was, perhaps, separating the facts revealed as a result of my research, from the fiction I was creating. I feel that I have not been totally successful in this endeavour.  
Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your own book? 
I do not have any trailer for the book, nor any plans for creating one. So no release date.
What kind of response have you been receiving for the book?
I have had a fairly good response from those who have read the book – and quite a few very complimentary comments.
What are you working on at the minute?
At present I am concentrating on promoting my latest book. I always have a few opening ideas logged on my computer for possible future use/inspiration. However, I have not looked at them so that I do not lose my current focus. 
What are your thoughts on writing a book series?
I have no ideas on writing a book series – considering my advanced age.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
My advice to aspiring writers would be to write what comes from your heart. Do not force the issue; do not write with the idea of becoming a famous author. When you are not distracted by such issues your mind and your pen flows. Otherwise you are seized by writing “formula” books that only skim the surface of ground realities. 
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Do not get disheartened by lack of success in the beginning. There are thousands of “books” being churned out every month. It is difficult for new authors to sell unless it is something sensational. If you are happy with what you have written, that’s what matters.
Links for your book readers:
Book can be found at Amazon and Flipkart
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads


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