7 Days, 7 interviews
We hope you guys enjoyed the previous interview. And that was just the starting. So here we’re again to fulfill the promise. A today we’ve with us again a young author who’s creating a lot of buzz in the literary market right now. We present to you Priyank, author of I Am Dead but My Heart Beats.
So let’s see what Priyank discussed with TAB team. Enjoy the show!
- So Priyank, let’s start with a brief introduction of yours. Let’s start from the date and place when I took birth. This will look like an interview of some historian, mathematician or scientist but am none. I was born on 29th October, 1992 in the famous political and historical constituency – Amethi in Uttar Pradesh but brought up with my schooling done in a small but very beautiful and peaceful town GHATSILA, near the world famous steel city JAMSHEDPUR in Jharkhand. Currently, I am in my seventh semester of Electrical Engineering at B.I.T Sindri, in the Dhanbad district of Jharkhand. Unfortunately, I hate engineering a lot and still exploring what I like the most. I wish to mention that writing happened just because of an important incident in life, otherwise till date neither am fond of reading nor ever dreamt of writing till September 2011. Moreover, I love travelling, exploring new places, sleeping and eating are most important priorities and yeah I am inclined towards entrepreneurship a lot.
- You recently published your book ‘I Am Dead but My Heart Beats’. What inspired you to write it down in the first place?
As I mentioned in the introduction, I never thought of becoming a writer, never had any interest in writing or reading. But yes I fell in love on a cold winter evening and my love story fortunately began and continued perfectly for some time. However, destiny had something else in store. INTER-COMMUNITY LOVE – believed to be one of the biggest sins in our society and this issue ended my love. I lost my girlfriend in an accidental fall from the top floor of her house after some serious disputes against our love created a drama full of anger and hatred at her home. Her parents came to know of our love and they brought in very strict and rude actions against my girlfriend to separate us. However, she decided to convince them of our love and continued fighting to make her parents understand that our love was true, pure, it did not distract us from studies and so requested them to allow us to be together in future but Indian parents never understand this easily. They got physical in anger against her, she spent days locked in a room, without food and that affected her hypoglycemic problem and then one day she had an accidental fall, rolling down the stairs after her father hit her in anger of the convincing attempt she was strongly doing for our love to get accepted. Rest of the part is there in the book. Later, after her death one day I recalled that on our Valentine’s day she had asked me for a gift. She had told me to write a book in future on this inter community love which is not accepted in Indian society and seen as a sin but that time I ignored her wish saying that writing is not my cup of tea. So, this incident of life made me realize one day that my love story couldn’t end on a sad note and I decided to write on this theme of ‘inter community love’ on a serious note and share my story. Thereby fulfilling my girlfriend’s wish because completing her dream, which I once thought to be just a funny statement from her, was the best way to end my love story on a happy note by giving a tribute to my girlfriend. This was how writing happened.
- Any difficulties you faced while writing this book?Yeah, of course, too many difficulties were there and even now much more difficulties are with me when I am working on the distribution and promotion of my book. As I had no idea of how novels are written, no idea about sentence framing, language, getting published, so every step was unknown, completely unfamiliar for me. I began writing on paper initially. 6 months later, switched on to laptop with some polished writing and it took me 15 months to complete the manuscript. Later when I finished my story, 12 different publishers rejected me. Some publishers said they want happy ending stories, some wanted me not to write on inter community love on serious note, as people won’t take it seriously. Some said they feel it risky to publish me because I am not a celebrity to make my book sell like other authors who are established now, few publishers demanded money, which I couldn’t afford because I am a student right now. Finally, a small publisher “Teenage Publishers”, based in Daryaganj, New Delhi accepted my work and published it. But being a small publisher, right now, problems come in distribution and marketing. Being a student I cant invest into marketing and these days shopkeepers, bookstores in malls, distributors all of them are interested only in established writers and international books, so it’s a tough nut to make my book available everywhere but yeah, I am working with my publisher, both of us are giving our effort and working honestly. Lets see how it goes. Good news is that my book is now a national best seller at HOMESHOP18.com in just 4 months.
- Your favorite character from the book? Ofcourse, its Anshika. Her character is inspired from my girlfriend’s life, so she is always the best one for me. But I must say, when you read the book, all the 4 characters will look equally good to you because even Swati and Zahid have portrayed a very touching role in the book, that too inspired from real life characters.
- What’s the reaction from the readers? What were you expecting? I was expecting a positive response from DAY 1 , because I knew that this issue of inter community love in India is common in every Indian family and readers will easily get connected to my story. People never raise this issue of inter community love not being wrong in any book on a serious note, however bollywood movies have highlighted this issue strongly but impact wasn’t extreme on Indian society. So, I had that little belief that my book will be liked my readers and that’s happening. It’s already a national bestseller book on HOMESHOP18.com, surpassing the highest selling books like shiva trilogy and accidental prime minister since last 4 months. Even people can check the reviews on flipkart, homeshop18 and other online stores. Readers and some celebrities everyone has said a common thing which is very true about my book that “My book is a must read for everyone, of any age, youngsters, parents everyone. Writing may not be like international authors but yes the issue is connected with every single individual by one way or the other”. Reviews also clearly says that my book is clearly “A very different book from other fiction books in Indian market and is not at all like the normal chocolaty stuff books these days many are writing”. So, reviews are coming very good and I hope more and more people will love my story.
- Where does writing fit in your daily schedule? Since, I have written only a single book and I did most of its writing part after 10 pm at night and wrote in the silent hours of midnight till 3 in the morning.
- So which is your favorite book? And your favorite author? As I said, I don’t like reading at all. Still I guess, the first book I read was in 2011 only after I started working on my own book. It was Erich Segal’s ‘Love Story’. And I liked it. But after that slowly till now I have read some more books but all by Indian authors. Reading heavy stuff of international best sellers wasn’t ever possible for me and I wont be able to do that ever. Erich Segal’s Love story I read in 2 weeks only because it was a love story. Still, I will say it to be one of my favourite book which I wish to have on my shelf always but as an Indian writer, I like Chetan Bhagat, only because his writing connects well, nothing much.
- What lies in your writing carrier’s future? Any sequel or something? Yes, now I enjoy writing and will write in future. Currently for a year or so, no writing plan, as I need to promote ‘I am dead but my heart beats’ across India and it will take time. Hopefully, yes, a sequel to my first book will be there but it will have again many more issues in it just like my first book and will be very in different plot again.
- How do you balance your writing with engineering pressure? It happened somehow but was tough. Even during exams I couldn’t keep myself away from writing my story but yeah that desire to fulfill my girlfriend’s dream made me learn the way of managing two different tasks. And I guess I have done both of them decently well enough and now also I am working on both, I mean engineering and marketing, promotion, travelling for my book.
- If you’re left on a deserted island, what 3 things would you like to keep? Laptop and my cellphone (both of these need power connection, so please provide power supply) and I would love to have my great, sweet and very cute friend Nidhi with me. Reason behind why I want Nidhi with me can’t be revealed right now, you will get the answer in the sequel of my first book which will come sometime in future.
- Which famous person, living or dead, would you like to meet and why? I wish to meet my late girlfriend Payal for whom I have written this book. She passed away 3 and a half years back. Wish to meet her one last time just because I want to ask her why did she taught me the real meaning of love when she knew that love is just another name of sacrifice, it gives pain but yet its very pure? I want to say to her that now when I understand love, I feel very lonely, I miss the person I want in life. I want to ask her why didn’t she tell me that writing a book only won’t complete her dream but it involves so many different steps which I am learning now. I will request her to take me to my best friend Nidhi, forever and then will request her to join Nidhi and me for a party.
- How was your experience with your publisher? That’s very very great. There are many publishers in the industry and many new ones are coming up but “Teenage Publishers”, who has published my work, comprises a very honest team, completely genuine in working, hard working people and they have a distribution, which you can rank in the top 15 after the big publishers. Mr. Dilip Jha, the chief manager of my publishing house is a real good person, very honest, trustworthy and very supportive. I look forward to see my publishers doing well in the industry and rising to a good level. Their distribution under the name of “Vedi books private limited” has begun well. They now have a brand new office in Daryaganj, New Delhi, wish them great luck.
- Would you like to deliver a ‘word of advice’ for budding & emerging writers? Write whatever is there in your heart. Don’t think on what others say. “Dil ki karo, bahut satisfaction milegi”. And yes, only writing won’t serve the purpose in today’s competitive market of writing. Most important is to try to get accepted by honest publisher, doesn’t matter if it’s small but must be hard working and with a good distribution. Rest depends on your hard work.
- Any words for us, i.e, The Author’s Blog? Your blog looks good. Keep working hard and promote your blog to your best. Hope to see “The author’s blog” being recognized at the national level one day. Finally, thanks a lot for this interview and helping me in increasing the reach of my book.
So that was priyank in a chit-chat session with TAB. Hope you guys enjoyed the session. Priyank is a wonderful person. Connect with him on facebook and other social networking sites to know him better. The links to his profile and his book’s facebbok page are provided in the first paragraph. Have a nice day! 🙂
You can buy Priyank’s book online through the following links –