Life is all about learning. You can learn from your own experiences or by reading others. Interviews are just a medium to learn and dig out something from the other person’s experiences and try to improve our lives. Today we have ‘Jasper’ with us who recently came up with a novel named ‘And He Wanted Me Dead’. Let’s have a little chat with him.
- Let’s start with a formal introduction. Tell us something about your daily schedule and the things which define you and your lifestyle.
The Almighty has really been kind to me; sometimes I wonder as to what I have done to deserve this preferential treatment from Him. I think I am one of His favorite ones J.
I have been happily married for the last 18 years now with the most amazing and tolerant woman on this planet; Shipra. We are blessed with 2 extremely talented sons; Jazer and Jeruel, both studying at Montfort School, Delhi. In fact, Jazer has designed the cover of the novel and Jeruel is a budding artist/ actor. We all live with my mother; Regina, at Sonepat.
I work at Personnel Search Services, a premier executive search firm as a Regional Business Head….basically I sell & hunt heads for a living J. Every day is very hectic and at times, we also have to work on holidays, if required. Daily I drive a minimum of 120 kms to & fro work (the time when I think the most, including the plots of my stories) and then there are meetings, internal, external, telecons etc. that’s the daily work routine…whatever it takes to keep getting you closer to your targets. Therefore, I qualify to be called a lazy writer as I don’t get enough time, however whenever I can, I write mostly on holidays.
I used to be an avid reader earlier but honestly due to the paucity of time I hardly read these days. The last one I finished was Brian Tracy’s GOALS (Non-Fiction). I am lazy by nature and if I am not writing or reading then I love to be indulging in good food and TV (You lock me up with these two things along with my laptop and I can live there, locked-in for the rest of my life). I love to watch thrillers and comedies. I am also a roadie as I love to be out on the road….metaled or non-metaled, it hardly is of any concern to me for as long as I am discovering new destinations and things. I used to sing and was good at most of the sports, especially Cricket and Football but these are all passions of the past now as with age catching up I, at times have to even struggle navigating a high pavement now.
- ‘AND HE WANTED ME DEAD’, tell us something about it.
The Novel is about….
Inspector Raj who is an honest and hardworking cop. His dedication toward work is outstanding and his career record unblemished….until now!
His entire reputation is at stake when he is called in to investigate an accident. What looks like a road accident, is it really a simple accident or is there something more ghastly to it? The inspector is flummoxed as he tries to dig deeper to realize what the truth really is. His frustrations rise sky high as the investigations head nowhere but straight into dead ends every time he thinks he has a solid lead. His personal life is already in shambles and now his professional life is also crumbling right in front of his eyes because of this case and a series of other killings which occur in his jurisdiction.
Will he be able to solve these mysteries? Will he be able to keep his reputation of a brilliant investigator intact?
The Novel is about the discovery of the answers to all of this. It’s a fast paced crime thriller. A story of loyalty, friendship and deception….
- Why thriller/suspense?
During my growing years, I was an ardent fan of THE HARDY BOYS and the NANCY DREW series; I reckon that is where I get my inspiration from. Further, I have seen the crime world from slightly close quarters, having grown up at Bara Hindu Rao & Azad Market; I know some of the people from both sides of the law. I grew up on their stories and was always intrigued by and drawn toward them. So what I have tried to do is that I have served a good concoction of those real life experiences and fiction by weaving the plot around thrill and suspense. The excitement that lurks in the “un-known” has always given me the adrenaline rush and I guess it’s the same with everybody as well. I think that the proof of the pudding lies in the fact that so many books, TV serials and movies in this genre are appreciated by the masses. Talking of the “un-known”, I am also very attracted toward the Super-Natural and the Outer Space/ Aliens…..so who knows what the future writings might hold.
- Your book’s title is pretty different, how you came up with it?
I guess that’s our family tradition, to have different names….I was christened Jasper; I christened my sons Jazer & Jeruel respectively. Therefore, it was imperative for me to christen my third baby differently as wellJ. Further, the name (AND HE WANTED ME DEAD) has a sense of intrigue around it which I thought was an apt title for a suspense/ crime thriller which has a string of killings….so it’s a question of who wanted whom dead?
- ‘Writing’, what is the importance of this word in your life?
‘Writing’ is like a stress buster to me. I can sit and keep writing non-stop for hours and hours if that’s possible. I credit my school, St. Xavier’s (Delhi) for inculcating this habit in me. Very early in our school we were inducted into the creative writing world. We were encouraged to write and originality was given extra points in elocutions, scripts, poems etc. It was there that I picked up this good habit and wrote prose and poetry for our school paper along with writing scripts for my house for the “One-Act Plays’ Competitions”. Later, I realized how assertive I was when I wrote, not that I am not a good orator but I feel I express myself much better while I am writing.
For a long time now, due to the professional commitments my writing skills were reduced to mere mails’ writing, however it was due the consistent nagging of my family that I wrote creatively once again when I started AND HE WANTED ME DEAD. Now, after having this novel published I have taken a decision to keep following my dream of writing. I will continue writing for the rest of my life and maybe even….after life.
- How’s the response from the readers and what were your expectations?
Frankly, when I had written the novel I did not have any expectations. I just wanted it to be published as a legacy and a reminder of who I was after I am gone but the kind of response that I am getting from my readers is really amazing and has really egged me on to write more. Some of the readers’ reviews are published on my blog: http://www.jaspertheauthor.wordpress.com.
I have some readers telling me how much they loved the story telling and the plot that they were compelled to finish my novel in just one sitting – start to finish….what more can I say about the response of my readers.
- Are you currently working on a new book? Would you like to share something about that?
I have started working on my next novel, the working title for which is: DO YOU REALLY REAP WHAT YOU SOW?
It a thriller once again and is a story set against the back drop of the Tihar Jail. It is about a man, the protagonist who is conned into a con, hence lands up behind the bars. It is a story of his ordeals before and after he is imprisoned.
- According to you, what’s the most difficult part of writing?
My personal struggle has been with taking time out for writing, really; nothing else, I reckon.
If one is determined, well read and well prepared, I do not think writing would be difficult. I always write the summary of the story the moment I conceive it. Then I bounce it off my family and some friends and take their feedback and improve. Once I have locked in the final story I start my research and draw out a flow-chart of the series of events in the story to get a water-tight plot (imperative for thrillers). I also write the character-sketches of all my characters in advance. Post this exercise I start writing and keep using all this material as a reference point whenever I deem fit. If one is well read then apt words and sentences keep flowing into one’s mind as one keeps writing. Therefore, writing is all about how much you read and write….the more the better.
- Do you read? Who’s your favorite author? And your favorite book?
Of course, I do. I can’t imagine myself surviving without reading. However, honestly speaking it has reduced a lot over the last couple of years due to work pressure and most of it has been restricted to non-fiction, the last one being Goals by Brian Tracy. However, having said that, I ensure that I get my daily dosage of newspaper reading (which runs into a minimum of at least 2 publications).
My favourite author….umm….well…. can’t say that I am fond of just one but some of my favourites are Enid Blyton, F W Dixon, Carolyn Keene, Louis L’Amour, Agatha Chritie, John Grisham, Robert Ludlum, James Hadley Chase, Dan Brown, Ayn Rand and our very own Amish Tripathi.
My favourite Book….there is not one but several but the two that I can very prominently recall are: The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand and The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown.
- What is your advice for young and budding authors
Read a lot & write a lot to improve and have a lot of patience and perseverance as almost every writer has had his or her own share of struggle before penning THAT Bestseller….even Dan Brown got recognition after 3 failures.
Never write to strike it rich but for the love of the art.
- Your view about us, i.e., “The Author’s Blog”.
I find The Author’s Blog a very solid bridge between the writers and the readers. The critiques on the blog are very candid. The blog covers a lot of new and old writers. It covers mostly all forms of creative writing in prose and poetry, unlike some who focus only on one or two.
That’s it for today. Will meet you again soon with some other personality and give you the chance to hear from them about their journey.
You can buy ‘And he wanted me dead’ from the links given below.
To read our review on the book follow this link.