The Author, Vikas Sinha decided one day that he would like to pen down the stories that he kept thinking about, that he kept dreaming about. He soon found that writing a story is quite difficult and that writing a novel is an arduous task. It took a lot of time to finally complete this story and it was very difficult to work on the novel while working on games development and meeting deadlines during the day. It is truly a labour of love and the author wishes its readers to enjoy the story.
Welcome to The Literature Today, Vikas. First of all, I would like to congratulate you for the release of your book “The Case of the Missing Brother”. The book is being loved by all; how do you enjoy this success?
Vikas Sinha: Honestly, it has not sinked in yet. But every time someone tells me that they loved the book, it leaves a deeply satisfying feeling, like a job well done getting its due appreciation. I must add here that I am very happy with the reception of the book.
I would love to know if you could describe your journey as a writer so far. How you started writing and from there, journey till today?
Vikas Sinha: I have been writing short stories since my school days. I kept working on my language and how to properly articulate an idea. I grew serious as a writer about eight years back when one of my stories “The Fog” was liked by many people. Then I began to believe in myself as a writer. The very first novel that I attempted was about reincarnation and honestly it was not that good. I was still elated on writing such a long story and on being able to tie all the threads of the story. That gave me a lot of confidence. The novel “Case of the missing brother” took me around a year to finish. I am still learning on how to convey my idea in a succint manner and yet keep the words simple so that anyone and everyone can read my work.
As many people from literary circles have noticed a change in the literary practice of the day, do you also notice a change, Vikas? Do you feel that the profession of writing has changed its course with the times?
Vikas Sinha: Yes, I do believe that the profession of writing has changed and it is a good thing actually. People have changed, their reading habits have changed and to meet the new demands, the profession of writing has to evolve and it did. When I was in college, I read “Lorna Doone”. It is a beautiful story but it is written in a leisurely pace and it took me about a month to finish for I read it slowly. In those days, people used to have lot of time at their hands and the writer could really work on gradually creating a world. The novel “Count of Monte Cristo” is more than 1000 pages long and it is exquisite. If I try to write a tome like that, I would be mocked at my attempt for these days, no one has that kind of time available. So the writers create a world quickly, introduce chracters quickly, make things happen quickly. Readers get bored if the first action takes place on page 100. They want it on page 1 itself so that they could get hooked on to the story.
What do you think is the best time to write? Does the writer need any specific time or situation to write or they just need to let it go randomly?
Vikas Sinha: I write on weekends, preferably after breakfast and before lunch but that is just me. If someone wants to write, he/she can write at whatever time is suitable for them. The key is discipline. One has to keep writing. Even if it is just one page or one paragraph or even a single line, one has to write regularly.
The readers might be interested to know about your taste in literature. What kind of books do you like? Apart from novels, do you also like to write motivational books or other genres?
Vikas Sinha: I am very interested in reading spiritual books though I don’t really understand most of the things stated in those books. Still to read a paragraph and then to reflect upon it is an activity I enjoy. There is a book “In search of the miraculous” by P.D. Ouspensky and it made me think a lot about the kind of different experiences that disciples of esoteric cults undergo. Other than these, I like to explore the horror and supernatural genre. I also love reading manga like “One Piece” and “Full Metal Alchemist”. The comic “Bone” by Jeff Smith is one of my favourite comic.
What advice would you give to those who are finding it difficult to stay positive in times of the current Covid-19 crisis?
Vikas Sinha: The Covid-19 pandemic and the consequent lockdown has been brutal and it has impacted everyone. There are people who have lost their loved ones and then there are people who have lost their jobs. It has been one bad news after another that has marked the year of 2020. Still, we have to find ways to stay positive and to look ahead optimistically for what is done is done and obsessing over the past events is not going to help. Making future plans and then breaking them down to items that can be implemented one at a time is a time tested way to carry one ahead during trying times. One step at a time is still a lot better than doing nothing at all.
Many writers and readers will come across this interview. What advice would you like to offer to them who are new to book writing?
Vikas Sinha: I don’t think I have earned the right to give advice to anyone for I still have a lot to learn but for new authors, it is mandatory to keep writing and then to keep on revisiting the written words to improve them. There are very good authors who would first create a structure and then start writing and then there are other very good authors who know only the starting point and the finishing point and then they write in a meandering manner to reach the finishing point. So there really is not one proper way of writing a book. Experiment and find out what works best for you. Be ever ready to discard what is not good or what does not work in your story. If you are not satisfied with what you have written, most likely your readers would reject that portion too. Language is important but the story is what the readers are invested in so work more on the development of characters and on proper pacing of the story.