Today I have here the three authors of Sirens Spell Danger. Please welcome Karthik L, Suresh Chandrasekaran and Radha Sawana. Let’s get to know them through this question and answer session.
Q:Tell us something about yourself and how you got into writing?
Karthik: Writing was farfetched considering that I am a management consultant. I tried it for the first time when a friend suggested it. Once I started my blog, I could experiment with different genres. Short stories and novellas were the next step.
Suresh: I have always wanted to write since childhood and, while at IIM-Bangalore, I planned to quit work at 40 (after saving enough) in order to write. I did quit at 41 but, because the thought of writing a book was daunting, I took to trekking instead. The urge to write would not be denied, however, and I first started blogging and, now, to writing fiction.
Radha: I am a 25-year-old chemist from BITS Pilani, working in Bangalore. While in BITS, I started my blog called ‘Entropy’. A couple of years ago, I joined the Indiblogger community, which brought me in touch with Karthik (The Fool) and through him, the Indifiction workshop. I decided to take part in the second edition of this workshop to test my fiction writing skills. After that, I couldn’t not write any more 🙂
Q: Your experience of writing a book – easy as pie or hard as nails?
Karthik: I would say hard as nails.
Suresh: I don’t sit to write unless I have the entire story clear in my mind. After that I feel too lazy to writeJ. I find that the process of actually typing it in – is hard as nails. The one thing that makes me absolutely shudder is the process of rewriting and editingJ.
Radha: Sometimes easy as pie, but mostly hard as nails. It was a dark story and more often not, writing it required a sombre mood.
Q: What motivates you to write?
Karthik: I define myself as a sum of my thoughts and ideas. Writing enables me to leave behind an essence of my personality that remains in the world long after I am gone. So in some ways I see writing as a route to immortality.
Suresh: Writing is a pleasure. The process of using language to bring people and settings live is like weaving magic. I think reading takes people out of their humdrum lives into a world of entertainment and I like to give it to them as a writer.
Radha: Stories. Some stories call to be written. They become a motivation in themselves.
Q: What inspired you to write this book?
Karthik: This book was more of an experiment for us to take a leap from the world of blogging to serious novel writing. Reading the history of Bellary inspired this story.
Suresh: This book came about as a journey of exploration – of finding how a story shapes itself better when one gets relevant criticism and rewrites to suit; and of finding out the efficacy of Kindle as a medium for publishing a book.
Radha: Ummm, the inspiration to write this particular story came from a word in Chanakya’s Chant. (And anything more than this will count as a spoiler!). And of course my teammates.
Q: Please describe your book briefly.
Karthik: The book is a thriller – an IB agent sets out to investigate ISI activity in Bellary. Even before he starts, he is swept into a whirlpool triggered by the two beautiful women he meets. What he discovers in Bellary is an altogether different ball game.
Suresh: My story ‘Femme Fatale’ is a roller-coaster ride of action. A naïve hero gets embroiled in a terrorist plot when he gets attracted to a beautiful woman. It’s a light read woven with some thrilling action.
Radha: I am bad at writing descriptions, even if it’s my own story. But since you asked…
The story begins with the discovery of an esteemed industrialist’s dead body in a dingy hotel. Beside the dead body lies a strange picture. As Inspector Shardul Reham starts investigating the bizarre circumstances, help comes unexpectedly from Rajinder Sharma, a forensic expert. While unravelling the mystery, Shardul gets more than what he bargained for.
Q: Tell us about the main characters in your book.
Karthik: The main character is Jay, a successful IB agent who is disgruntled with the functioning of government agencies. He has a bit of a complex about not being as successful as his foster brothers and not having a way with women.
Suresh: Vicky is the protagonist of the tale who gets sucked into a dangerous situation by Tanya. Tanya is the more important character even if the story is told by Vicky in first person.
Radha: There are two main characters visible in the story – Detective Inspector Shardul Reham – an uptight police officer, and Dr. Rajinder Sharma, a veteran forensic analyst.
Q: How do you overcome writer’s block?
Karthik: I apply brute force and whatever comes till I break through.
Suresh: I have not yet had a writer’s block. It’s more laziness than anything else that keeps me from writing.
Radha: By travelling or by experiencing something new
Q: Does writing get in your way of life?
Karthik: Actually it is the other way round. Often life comes in the way of writing.
Suresh: As I have said earlier, I quit with an intent to write though I did get side-tracked. Right now, writing IS my way of life.
Radha: It’s rather the other way round!
Q: What’s next in your writing plans?
Karthik: Have lot of projects in mind. But yet to decide what to start on first.
Suresh: I have a few ideas jostling for space in my mind. It seems likely that the next may be more in the Humour genre than in Crime.
Radha: Reviving my blog, writing many many short stories in several genres and then finishing a novel length sci-fi story.
And here comes our rapid-fire round:
Your favourite movie
Karthik: Lord of the Rings
Suresh: Ben Hur
Radha: Rang De Basanti
The worst movie you’ve seen
Suresh: Too many to pick from J
Radha: In recent times, Hobbit (II) – The Desolation of Smaug
Any secret habit?
Karthik: Can’t think of any.
Suresh: Never been able to keep secrets J
Radha: Whenever I am reading a book, I tend to eat whatever the characters in the book are eating.
Actor you’d fall for in a heartbeat
Karthik: Not really much into film stars.
Suresh: Had you asked this 20-30 years before, I could have readily answered J
Radha: Viggo Mortenson
Karthik: Dune Series
Suresh: Any of PG Wodehouse’s books.
Radha: Mistborn – The Hero of Ages
Fallback option when the fridge is empty
Suresh: Starve (Believe me, we wrote the answers independently. No wonder we get along well)
Radha: Cuppa Noodles
What comforts you when things go bad?
Karthik: My family, friends and some light reading like children and young adult’s fiction.
Suresh: Books, Music AND a sense of humour.
Your most comfortable outfit.
Karthik: T-shirt and shorts.
Suresh: Tracks and tees.
Radha: A loose kurti and churidaar
A very enjoyable chat getting to know you, authors! Karthik, applying brute force for writer’s block is something I hadn’t yet heard of 🙂 And starving? Really? Both you and Suresh need to be more resourceful, don’t you think 😉 I’d rather like cuppa noodles myself, Radha 🙂
This intriguing collaboration by this great team is available now.
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Thanks everyone and hope you enjoyed the interview 🙂