We in collaboration with @kitabikeedaofficial interviewed the Author of ‘That Thing About You’. Here’s his introduction –
1. How and why do you choose this pen name? Is there a story behind it?
The name ‘Abhaidev’ means one who is free of fear. I am not ‘Abhaidev.’ Not yet. But it is what I aspire to be. Hence I chose this pen name.
2. What was the inspiration for writing this story? Do you believe in something supernatural like that?
The inspiration for writing this story was a long lost friend in my college and me myself. So you can say that the book is semi-autobiographical. I was a lot like Subodh a decade back. I wanted to write a story from the perspective of an immature man. As a result, the idea of ‘That Thing About You’ was born. As far as supernatural is concerned, I will not be loath to accept that I do believe in it a little. There are a lot of things in this world that we have no idea about. I believe that science offers an explanation for everything. And what we call supernatural is nothing but a scientific phenomenon beyond our current grasping level.
3. Was it hard to come into writing after Investment banking? What major changes did you face at that time? Did your family support your decision?
No. Not at all. In fact, the reason I left my job is that my mind was plagued with plots and stories. The characters were speaking to me all the time. So I mustered courage and took the plunge to pursue my dreams. Yes, my family supports me no matter what. And they supported me back when I was about to take this giant leap of faith. There were no significant changes, per se. But leaving my job was a tough decision, indeed.
4. Your book clearly is loved by everyone, but what are the major problems that you face at the time of publishing?
Let’s be honest. First-time authors have to face rejections by the publishers. No matter how good your book is, publishers are wary of giving you a break. I faced rejections too. My book reached the last evaluation round in many of the publishers. Still, it got rejected. It was a painful experience. You spend months writing a book, but no one is ready to take the risk. But the bad days didn’t last for long. Ultimately, I got the thumbs up from Write India. And here it is, my book, in print.
5. What were your initial thoughts while writing the book?
My initial thoughts were to create a character who is not only different but also believable. The major theme in my mind was – “Maturity is not about thoughts but one’s deeds.” And I wanted to write a story which conveyed precisely that. I was a little nervous and doubtful, for it was my first attempt at writing a full-blown novel. I had written short stories in the past. But writing a book exceeding 50000 words is a different thing altogether. Thankfully it turned out all okay. And I am happy and content with the results.
6. How did you want people to perceive the book? Do you feel successful?
I would, of course, be glad if people find my book fresh and different. And if they find something worth learning from it, that would be a plus. As far success is concerned, I believe it is more of a state of mind. I think that there are no unsuccessful writers. Commercial performance of a book is a different thing altogether. So, yeah, I feel content.
7. What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?
The book that first made me realize the power of language was ‘Smriti Ek Prem Ki’ by Krishan Khatwani. I was 15 years then. The ending was so moving that I almost cried. From that day, I started wishing to write a book of my own. And now my dream has finally come true.
8. Being a writer myself, I understand we all have writer’s block. Do you have any suggestion on how to deal with it?
I think the best way to deal with it by going on a reading spree. Start reading so many books that the itch to write words of your own materializes again.
9. Are you connected to any buddy writers group? If yes, how that group helped you? And should aspiring writers also join one of these groups?
I am not connected to any local get together group. But on Facebook, there are a lot of groups I am a member of. These groups are beneficial as fellow writers post their queries about almost anything. You learn a lot from the questions and answers. And the group members are from all over the world. I would, therefore, suggest every budding writer to join Facebook writing groups. It is very helpful, indeed.
10. Please share anything from your end!
I want to thank you for giving me the opportunity to connect with the readers. Also, I would like to request everyone to read as many books as they can. It is readers who become future leaders. And books have this transformative power which no other thing can match upto.
‘That Thing About You’ is a unique novel with a twisted story and it’s a must read. Read the review of the book here.