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Interview with Anuj Tikku

Anuj Tikku

He is a forty-seven-year-old Bollywood actor who runs a successful travel blog and authored thirty books. He has acted in movies with actors like Shah Rukh Khan, Rani Mukherjee, John Abraham, Bipasha Basu, Emraan Hashmi, etc. He also has an MBA from IMT Ghaziabad and an Engineering degree from Manchester.

Q.1 Tell us something about yourself not many people know?
I was married once, but it ended in divorce after one year, in 2003.

Q.2 Do you have any upcoming books? What are you currently working on?
Yes, I am writing on one book called Shankaracharya. It is a thriller about murder, the politics of religion, and religious priests.

Q.3 When did you decide to write Airport Kabul?
I was inspired when I saw the current Taliban take over Afghanistan the story came from the plight of watching the Afghan’s escape.

Q.4 How do you come up with the name of your books?
Well, the title and subject have to match, and the title must tell the readers what the book is about. So it has to be catchy and crisp with an apt subtitle like your product's positing statement.

Q.5 If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Don’t be in a hurry to finish the book; take your time to ideate and let the story build within you naturally.

Q.6 How do you select the name of your characters?
I select them from real-life people I meet and see and from the names I hear in the news or in the papers.

Q.7 According to you, which is better, self-publishing or traditional publishing, and why?
I like self-publishing because it gives me total control and flexibility. I think it is a new way forward for publishing, the margins are lower, but one can get lot more books sold.

Q.8 How many books have you written? Which one is your favorite?
I have written thirty-two books so far, and my favorite is I also Slept with Rashmi Verma. This is a book inspired by my romance with a girl, its an erotica with a lot of fun, dirty humor, and jokes.

Q.9 What were your feelings when you first saw the cover of the finished product?
 I was elated and very proud.

Q.10 Who designed your book covers? How did you select them?
I use book bloggers to design my covers. A book blogger called Sankalpita and her husband Ravi designed my covers and did some of my book reviews.

Q.11 Do you have any unique and quirky writing habits?
I always write in bed, never on the table sitting on the chair it's always the bed for me with my laptop and some light music.

Q.12 Do you believe in writer’s block? If yes, how do you deal with it?
I go for long walks, shut myself completely for a few days, and distract myself for a while.

Q.13 Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with good or bad ones?
I read all my reviews and the bad ones are the best as they give me more insight into where I am going wrong.

Q.14 What is your favorite book from other authors and why?
I read Malcolm Gladwell, Amish, Khushwant Singh, Rushdie, Vikram Seth. In addition, I enjoyed reading Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck and Everything is Fucked.

Q.15 How do your family/friends feel about your book or writing venture in general?
I just have an ailing ninety-year-old grandmother who lives in Dehra Doon with an army of servants as my family. They are happy that I am doing something productive that I enjoy doing. The little money I make I spend on myself and my blog. I enjoy writing and will keep doing it till I enjoy it.

Q.16 How do you develop your plots and characters? Do you use any set formula?
No, I don’t. I get inspired by a story I hear or get a glimpse of in the news, and as I keep writing, the characters emerge from the blank digital sheets. It is like someone had put the characters and the plot by writing; I was just unearthing them. It's like they were always there somewhere.

Q.17 What advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Write more and write within a stipulated time. Try and observe your environment and pick up things from conversations and vague people who cross your life.

Q.18 What is the most difficult thing about writing characters of the opposite sex?
Nothing, I am comfortable writing and etching both female and male characters. For example, Yamini Kaul is the head of the company BioTech in my Novella Nineteen. She is a powerful female character, so is Kranti in my other novella. I find it easy to relate to female characters.

Q.19 What was one of the most surprising things you learned while writing this book?
That I am blessed to live in a country like India.

Q.20 Share the experience of your journey so far?
It has been an adventure, and I ride full of bumps, but it has gone on.

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1 comment:

  1. Interesting personality. Your interview kept me engaged to the last.