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A Conversation With Rajeev Nanda Author of Conversations
http://www.bookpleasures.com/websitepublisher/articles/5429/1/A-Conversation-With-Rajeev-Nanda-Author-of-Conversations/Page1.html
Norm Goldman


Reviewer & Author Interviewer, Norm Goldman. Norm is the Publisher & Editor of Bookpleasures.com.

He has been reviewing books for the past fifteen years when he retired from the legal profession.

To read more about Norm Follow Here






 
By Norm Goldman
Published on October 3, 2012
 


Norm Goldman, Publisher & Editor of Bookpleasures.com Interviews Rajeev Nanda Author of Conversations

                                                                                                                                                     


Today, Norm Goldman Publisher & Editor of Bookpleasures.com is pleased to have as our guest Rajeev Nanda author of Conversations.

Good day Rajeev and thanks for participating in our interview

Norm:

Could you tell our readers something about yourself, how you got started in writing, and do you write from your own experiences?

Rajeev:

Good day to you too Norm and thank you for having me on Bookpleasure.com platform that reaches out to book lovers across the world!

I was born and brought up in India and migrated to the US in 1992 because of my job. I work in the hi-tech industry and have had the opportunity to travel to many countries around the world. Writing developed more as a hobby at a very young age. I think it happened because, as a child, I was extremely introverted and shy. Books, pen and paper became my safe haven. Books would give me fodder to think and pen and paper became my platform for sharing my thoughts and ideas. My friends have played a pivotal role in this hobby of mine. Each time any of my article or story was published, whether in the school magazine or a local magazine, it was because one of them got a hold of my writing and pushed me to submit it to the editor.

I write mostly from observing people and events around me. I am an avid reader of multiple genres. This helps me connect the dots. If I observe a certain trend in the conversations at social gatherings I pick that thread and write about it.

Norm:

What is your philosophy of writing?

Rajeev:

I want my writing to be thought provoking. I would consider my story or poem to be successful if it generates some discussion and soul searching in the readers.

Norm:

How has your environment/upbringing colored your writing?

Rajeev:

I don’t know. I think the readers may be able to call it out better than I can. For each of us our social environment and upbringing creates a fog of relevance that shapes our values. This becomes our world-view and the context of everything we say or do. In order to truly say what has colored my writing I will need to step outside of my world-view, which would be very difficult.

On the other hand, having lived across India and US, two very different cultures, and travelled across many countries has helped broaden my world-view. This I think does reflect in some of my stories and poems.

Norm:

Why have you been drawn to the short story? As a follow up, are there aesthetic advantages and disadvantages peculiar to the short story?

Rajeev:

Short stories happened by chance. As I mentioned earlier, writing has been my hobby and I used to pen down my thoughts, more or less in a couple of paragraphs. When Internet came along I created a web-page with the thought of sharing my writings with close friends. In order to make them a little interesting I converted them to very short stories, more like one pagers. The stories in the book were evolved much later when I started working with the editor from the publisher.

I found short story format to be advantageous. I wanted to tackle each topic of the story a little deeper but not too deep that is starts sounding like a lecture or discourse. A lot is left to the reader to introspect, think and draw their own conversations to explore. That was my intent and the format helped me.

Norm:

Do you worry about the human race?

Rajeev:

Absolutely not! To the contrary, I am a big believer in human race. We may be seen as stumbling now-and-then but overall we are moving to a brighter future. If you look at the pace of development, improving the quality of life around the world and medical advancements, they are mind boggling!

Yes, we have global warming, terrorism, poverty and many other social ills; but no one ever said that we’ll have a perfect world by now. Heck, I don’t think we’ll ever have one. Human race will continue to strive towards it and therein lays the adventure.

Norm:

Conversations has a broader mission than simply entertaining or storytelling. Can you talk more about that mission and what you hope readers will take away after reading the book?

Rajeev:

I am glad that you asked and happy that you were able to identify the underlying theme. This collection of stories and poems are primarily based on two themes – life and relationships. Within relationships, I focus on marriage. This is because marriage is the only relationship that changes with social norms.

The definition, expectations and protocol of relationship between siblings, parent and child, relatives and even friends have remained fairly consistent over time. Now consider how much marriage, as a relationship, has evolved and changed over the course of time; even in just last fifty years? In my view, marriage is the one relationship that truly tests your moral boundaries. That’s why in all of those stories I bring up a different situation and its corresponding moral dilemma.

The questions I bring forth in other stories are more to do with how much we blame others for the choices we make and do not make that shape our life. Each of us is a product of our own making!

Norm:

What was the most difficult part of writing Conversations? As a follow up, did you learn anything from writing Conversations and what was it?

Rajeev:

Initially, it was reading the critical analysis of my editor of my earlier drafts and having to rework the entire story to make it more consistent. Once I got over the ego trip and internalized that the feedback is to make my writing better, the only challenge I faced was with language. English is my second language. Working in hi-tech and almost always on technical subjects further limits my writing skills. This is where I wish I had paid more attention to my language classes in school.

For your follow up question – Yes! Each of the story and poem evolved based on my observation of real people around me. When I started working on these stories I had to take each topic to at least the level that’ll do justice to the characters and the situation. This meant being consistent even when I was uncomfortable; because I personally would behave in a different way than what I write what the characters do in the situation. The biggest learning was to detach myself from my writing and be true to the character and the plot of the story. It was difficult at first.

Norm:

It is sometimes said that people in times of need turn to poetry. Is this true and if so, why?

Rajeev:

I have never thought about it but now that you ask I think it is because poetry seeds a thought or an emotion and lets the reader germinate it in her own mind and enjoy its fruit. It gives a very personal and very fulfilling feeling. Although, I can say the same about some novels and stories I’ve read; but I guess poetry tickles our brains in a different way.

Norm:

Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?

Rajeev:

Conversations is my first fiction book and I am an unknown author. I do get occasional e-mail from someone who’s read my work but not much. I’m told that almost 800 books get published every day just in US alone. My publisher wanted me to set aside some budget for aggressive marketing and promotion of the book but I didn’t like that idea. I know my publisher did not like to hear it but I want Conversations to succeed or fail on its merit or lack of it. That is the only way I can know what my writing is worth. It may be old fashioned to think this way in highly connected social networking world but I’ve been selective of where I promote my book and if it’ll reach the audience I want to reach. Bookpleasures seemed like the right platform for my book so I sent you a copy for review.

On the occasions where readers have connected with me they have been mostly positive comments about the book or a story. Couple of them objected to the way I handled some character. One was honest enough to tell me that the story ‘The Truth Club’ didn’t make much sense.

Norm:

Where can our readers find out more about you and Conversations?

Rajeev:

I have a WEBSITE that readers are welcome to visit.

Norm:

Is there anything else you wish to add that we have not covered?

Rajeev:

We’ve covered most of it already. I would like the readers to check out my web-site for more information. For the readers I’d like to say – if you decide to read the book, I’d love to hear your comments and insights; and if you liked what you read then I’ll appreciate word-of-mouth recommendation to your friends and family.

Norm:

Thanks once again and good luck with all of your future endeavors

Rajeev:

Thank you Norm! It was my pleasure.

Follow Here To Read Norm`s Review of Conversations

Follow Here To Purchase Conversations