Subhashish is a 14-year-old student of Chinmaya Vidyalaya Anna Nagar. He has been regularly contributing short stories to his school magazine. An avid reader, Subhashish believes that books open the doors to some wonderful insights in life. A brilliant student, Subhashish loves to explore different places and spends time trying to understand the culture of the people there.
Subhashish lives in Chennai along with his parents and grandmother. This is his first attempt at writing a novel. Subhashish is passionate about music and loves singing and playing his piano. Incidentally, music forms the backbone of the story of his novel.
When did you first realize that you wanted to be a writer/a storyteller?
I only realized that I wanted to be a writer when I started working on my first manuscript. It was a strangely liberating experience to put all my thoughts into a piece of paper, and as I watched it taking shape, I just knew all of a sudden that I would never stop writing.
What motivates you to write and where does your inspiration come from?
Two things inspire me to write. One, all of the dramatic things I see happening to people around me, and two, the songs I listen to all the time.
How did you come up with the idea for your current story?
I had heard of a girl being bullied and couldn’t get it out of my mind. I went to sleep thinking about it, and woke up with a story in my mind of a girl who got bullied, whose mother just happened to be a popstar.
What is your writing process? Do you follow a regular routine or do you have any weird, funny, or unusual habits while writing and what are they?
I just knew where my story would start, and where it would end, but I never had the whole thing planned. I just went along with the flow as I was conjuring chapter after chapter, and maybe that is why I was satisfied only after five drafts. After every draft, I made some major changes to the plot itself. It was a tedious and time consuming process, and I will definitely spend more time finalizing my ideas hereafter. I never followed any semblance of a routine. Whenever I had any free time, I would go straight to the writing desk. I scream-sing a lot when I write. It helps make the dialogue natural.
What are your current/future projects?
I am currently planning a sequel to Fate’s Design, and after that I am going to write a post-apocalyptic fantasy book.
Are you traditional or self-published, and what process did you go through to get your book published?
As a young boy, I did not have any idea about publishing. I wrote the book, and then left it to my father to talk to publishers and get it published. From him I have come to know about Good Times Books Pvt. Ltd. and am thankful to them for seeing the spark in my writing and accepting my manuscript. I am very happy with the way the proof reading, typesetting and post publication promotions have been and are being done by the publisher.
What do you do if inspiration strikes in an inconvenient place like (car, restaurant, bathroom/shower, etc..) and how do you capture that moment before it gets away from you?
I have an app in which I can type notes, which I use all the time. It’s full of snippets of poetry, thoughts of characters, physical descriptions or even just names I see here and there.
If you had the chance to get one message out there to reach readers all over the world, what would that message be?
I feel like my book carries a message of hope, a message that dreams do come true and that bad things do happen, but there is always a silver lining. We live in an age when something called the quarter-life crisis exists, so I hope that people find my book to be an encouragement to live through the lows of their lives and work towards a better future.
What would you like to write about that you have never written about before?
I would like to write fantasy in the future. I love reading fantasy books, but didn’t have the courage to undertake such a huge project for a debut, however, I read somewhere that writers should write what they are afraid to write. That way they expand their horizons.
Were there any challenges (research, literary, psychological, or logistical) in bringing your book to life?
There were a few times when I lost patience with the book and wanted to give up. My father would then talk to me, and encourage me to go on. He has been instrumental in instilling patience in me to finish what I had taken upon myself.
Do you read? Who are your favourite authors and how have they influenced your writing style?
Yes, I love reading books. One of my favourite authors is George R.R. Martin, and through his books he has portrayed that the people we consider to be “evil” may not really be truly black. He has taught us writers that everyone falls into a grey area in the good or bad spectrum, and that it is possible to create empathy for supposedly antagonistic roles. One of my characters in the book also exhibits similar traits.
What is the best piece of advice you would give to someone that wants to get into writing?
Plan what you want to write, to the tiniest detail, and only then jump into the actual writing part. I find patience to be a very important factor too, as writing a book definitely is a tremendously laborious process.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with your readers?
I am fourteen years old and this is my first attempt at writing a novel. I have tried writing short stories before, but not a novel. I feel that I have given it my best effort and that people will find themselves emotionally invested in the novel. I would really love it if the people who read my book give me their honest feedback. That would help me grow as a writer.
When a kidnapper redeems his lost conscience and finds himself unable to murder the girl he has kidnapped, what does he do? Fate is cruel to him, and good intentions are never enough.
At the same time, a woman dissatisfied with her existence flees from her home, not knowing what lies ahead of her. But all things come at a price, and she has a hard path ahead through storms and fire.
Watch how fate has entwined these lives together, into a song through struggles of conscience and identity, through the deepest lows and greatest highs, and through the flame of madness and the stings of survival.
Thank you, Subhashish for this amazing interview! I wish you success for all your future works. Keep writing!