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Interview with Arvind Rishi

He is currently pursuing his master's at Cornell University, New York. He was born in Jamshedpur, Jharkhand, and completed his undergrad from RV College, Bangalore. With experience as a software developer, Arvind has an impressive repertoire of technical blogs where he captivates his audience with his ability to navigate complex concepts with grace. 

A talented filmmaker, he has written and directed a host of critically acclaimed short films. The Brown Sunshine is a poignant tale of love, loss, and redemption where he delves into the depths of the human psyche through the pages of this psychological thriller. Prepare to be immersed in a world where mythology, fiction, and philosophy intertwine, guided by the brilliance of this multi-faceted author.

Q.1 Tell us a little about yourself that not many people know?
I am an avid music enthusiast. Music helps me deal with situations of all type and are also a key component of my writing.

Q.2 When should we expect your next book? What will it be about?
Hmm, I wish it was that easy. I am working on a few interesting ideas right now. There are a few styles and genres I am exploring with respect to my fiction writing. A non-fiction book is definitely on the cards. Nothing is solid yet.

Q.3 What made you write The Brown Sunshine?
It was the idea of the core story I had developed that asked some poignant questions. What is a man without memories? What is the collective and the individual? Are choices important? Can we write a character-driven story while exploring trauma in the modern setting while telling a thrilling narrative? This book tries to meaningfully answer these questions.

Q.4 Were there any obstacles you faced while writing this book?
Probably, the complexity of the story was a tough nut to keep up with. There are layers to the narrative that un-peel themselves through certain stylistic choices. Determining and executing them purposefully, in a manner that adheres to an engaging read, was the main obstacle that I wanted to tackle efficiently.

Q.5 What’s the most challenging part about writing a thriller as opposed to any other genre?
That it should be engaging while staying a step ahead of the readers. These pivots should be purposeful and serve the story. An atmospheric background is a welcome addition. These things are unique to the thriller genre.

Q.6 Why should other writers want to write a thriller?
Thriller is a genre that has one of the highest sections of the genre market. The most memorable stories are the ones that make you feel a core emotion, and this aspect is constant in all of these popular genres. Hence, a lot of author interest has always been maintained in this genre, and I believe always will be.

Q.7 What is the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?
The most difficult thing was the same with all sexes actually - it was to maintain their conviction while having a multi-faceted personality. I wanted every character to be memorable in a unique way, like different flavors in one dish.

Q.8 How do you develop your plots and characters? Do you use any set formula?
For characters, there is an arc. For stories, I like to approach them a bit organically while maintaining a few critical story points. Also, I believe in editing and re-writing processes a lot since they help me bring fresh ideas and perspectives.

Q.9 How do you select the names of your characters?
I develop a persona of a character and just pick from a host of names that pop up in my head randomly.

Q.10 Will there be a sequel to The Brown Sunshine?
A sequel to The Brown Sunshine is something that is always on my mind. The entire story is planned like a three-part trilogy. The world is Brown Sunshine is a huge one, especially since we can extend the story, both forwards and backward in time. The journey of Anthony Biswas has just begun. There are many worlds to explore.

Q.11 Outside of your family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author?
I would say it is my friend Yash. He is a childhood buddy who helped me with a lot of insights and story points.

Q.12 Do you believe in writer’s block? If yes, how do you deal with it?
I do believe in writer’s block. It is more of a mental phase than skill-related. As with every other job, one has to keep consistently putting in effort, irrespective of what one feels about the said situation. That is the key.

Q.13 What were the most surprising things you learned while writing this book?
Haha, that are many! I extensively read about Indus Valley civilizations, the history of Darjeeling, and a lot of Dostoevsky. There are a few articles I read about the final phases of the Indus valley civilization where they mention their roads, drainage systems, currency, public infrastructure like pools and gathering halls, and other similar infrastructure. The fact that such an advanced civilization existed in our land, along with the mystery of the Saraswati River, can be an interesting correlation.

Q.14 Do you have any unique and quirky writing habits?
Quirky, in the sense of weird, yes! I prefer to write in a room with minimal lighting and windows. It is a requirement.

Q.15 Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
I would probably be trying to be a better swimmer and train every day.

Q.16 What three things readers should expect from your book?
Engagement, a bit of self-introspection, and a dash of insanity.

Q.17 What advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Writing is just like any other job that requires creativity and consistency.

Q.18 Which famous person, living or dead, would you like to meet and why?
A. Rabindranath Tagore
, for sure. His life, creativity, and achievements inspire me. I would definitely like to understand his thought process.

Q.19 What is your favorite book and why?
A. The House of Leaves
by Mark Z Danielewski is an absolute gem. It is, in my opinion, the one book that pushes the boundaries of fiction writing.

Q.20 Share the experience of your journey so far?
Amazing. I feel immense gratitude for the amount of love The Brown Sunshine is getting amongst readers.

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