An Interview with the author of “Divyastra”: NIMISH TANNA

Having authored his debut novel ‘Moments of Truth’ in 2014, Nimish has managed to juggle the pressures of his full-time work commitments, migrating to a new country and starting life all over again in order to find enough time to complete his second book – ‘Divyastra’.
Nimish has been invited at various colleges & institutions viz. IBS Mumbai, ITM Business School, K.J. Somaiya college of Engineering, Vidyalankar Institute of Technology, Ruia College of science, Fazlani Altius Business School etc. to interact with students and share his insights and experiences on motivation, leadership, presentation, communication and creative writing.
With active interests in, camping, hiking, movies, and herpetology; Nimish is currently learning the art of screenwriting.
He is happily married and currently works with a leading media giant in Auckland, New Zealand.
www.nimishtanna.com

In Conversation with the author

1. What does literary success look like to you?
To be able to tap into one’s deepest memories, identify and then craft stories that move the reader/audience. This may sound simpler that it really is but to be able to convey an idea through a perfectly possible story itself takes mastery of a lifetime for most of us.

2. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
Frankly, I never wanted to be a writer. The idea of a writer feels amusing even today. At best, I can summarize this question by calling myself an accidental writer. I used to write poetry during my school and early college days which then led to an article in a college magazine. Years later, I wrote my first novel purely as an innocent therapeutic exercise and now four years later, I have a second novel to my name.

3. What is the most important thing about a book in your opinion?
The ability and craft of the writer to not only convey his/her opinion but also compel readers to ponder on the subject. That, in my opinion, tells us a lot about the writer.

4. What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book “Divyastra”?
It took me four years to write this story and for almost three years, I perceived this story as the story of two friends in a mythological world. It was only during one of the rewrite exercises that I realised the real conflict was the father-son story. That is when I rewrote the entire book again keeping this at the heart and motivation for the lead characters. I was surprised with the difference it made to the entire story I was trying to tell and how near-sighted a writer can get.

5. Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
This is a classic conflict writers and storytellers have been facing for centuries. At the risk of sounding cliched, I strongly believe every writer should try to be as original as possible. We all, including readers, keep evolving every day. Our tastes, interests, beliefs, everything keeps changing constantly. So, judging a reader’s interest is a constantly moving goalpost making it almost impossible. Hence, it’s best to just write what you want to write keeping it completely authentic and original. Once writing is complete, then a writer needs to don the hat of marketing and see how to sell it.

6. Have you ever written a character based on the real you in some part?
Always. Every person has all shades of personalities inside. Depending on the upbringing and conditioning, a person clings on to a particular personality that seems most relatable and becomes that person and all other personalities inside fade out, but they are still very much present inside. All characters I have written is a sum total of me. Of course, the character would seem very different on the outside and inside. However, the seed of each one of them comes from the writer.

7. How liberal are you in terms of expressing ideas in your books?
A writer is nothing if not liberal, right? Having said that, it really depends on the story one is trying to write. One needs to stay true to the character and not try to force fit personal beliefs and values in them. I guess that is why, writing grey characters and villains is one of the most difficult jobs for a writer.

8. Do you think someone could be a writer if they don’t feel emotions strongly?
A writer, sure. A good writer, maybe not.

9. Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
Yes, I do try to read all my reviews. Whether it’s good or bad, I yearn to gain the reviewer’s perspective and interpretation. That is the takeaway I desire for.

10. What were your greatest failures and what did they teach you?
I wouldn’t call them failures because they do end up teaching you something valuable. Missed opportunities, for the lack of better words, seems like an appropriate substitute.

11. What advice would you give a new writer, someone just starting out?
Most aspiring writers I meet, and talk have this one common problem. They all want to write the perfect story, the perfect character and create the perfect world. I am all thumbs up for that. However, the problem is they probably don’t understand that writing is all about rewriting. The perfect story, character and the world doesn’t happen intuitively for almost all writers. One needs to start with the basic idea and then let it grow organically through writing. It’s like you buy a brand-new car but decide not to drive it until all the lights are green on the road. That’s nothing but another excuse for procrastination, a writer’s worst enemy.

12. ‎How can readers discover more about you and you work?
To know more about me, visit www.nimishtanna.com or follow me on
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/nimish_tanna/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/nimish.tanna.1

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