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Interview with Deepak Kripal

He is a practicing doctor who authored his debut novel, The Devil’s Gate: An Impossible Journey, under Leadstart Publishing in 2013 which was critically acclaimed and was one of its kind in the Indian writing landscape. 

His second novel Sense of a Quiet was released recently and is making waves in the market and is being appreciated by critics as well. Apart from being a doctor, author, and poet, he has deeply studied subjects like Psychology, Philosophy, and Sociology that have hugely influenced the stories and thoughts he chooses to tell. Both his novels are of totally contrasting genres (the first was a thriller and the second one is drama) and are polar opposites in terms of treatment and storytelling, which is a testament to his versatility and appetite for good stories. 

He likes to experiment yet stay true to real-life issues that concern human existence in varied aspects of life. He credits his love for stories to the bedtime stories told to the imaginative child in him by his late grandfather.

Q.1 Tell us something about yourself not many people know?
I pretend to be an extrovert.

Q.2 Are we going to read more from you shortly? Any new project you’re working on?
I have already started work on my next novel, something I am very excited about. And I plan to take 4 years this time. So yeah, this time, you can expect something relatively soon.

Q.3 When did you decide to write Sense of a Quiet?
This novel is a real-life drama inspired by real-life events that I have seen from close quarters. All the characters except Hoshiyar Singh are inspired by real people who exist in real life. 

Even the rickshaw-wala is someone I met in Haridwar. I then had tea at a tapri in a slum where rickshawa-walas used to have tea. Starting around 2017, it has been difficult but a memorable journey.

Q.4 It is vital to get exposure and target the right readers for your writing. Tell us about your marketing campaign?
Well, I have a decent network which was a huge help in getting the take-off I needed. My publisher left no stone unturned in promoting it through all possible mediums. There are multiple campaign partners who continue to promote it on social media, the internet, and other mediums. Print media has also been kind to me for which I am immensely grateful.

Q.5 How long does it typically take for you to write a book?
I wrote my first book in 3 months and the second one in 4 years. Well, that summarizes everything, I guess! In my humble view, it depends on the subject, the emotional or intellectual investment required for it, and a whole lot of other factors including time at your disposal.

Q.6 Were there any challenges you faced while writing this book?
My debut novel was a thriller while Sense of a Quiet is a drama. Since this was the first full-length drama I had set myself for, it took some time to work out ways how to go about it. So that was a challenge I think.

Q.7 Do you have a routine when it comes to editing your books?
No routines.

Q.8 What kind of advice would you give to aspiring authors?
There will be people who will tell you it isn’t happening. Don’t listen to them.

Q.9 Do you believe in writer’s block? If yes, how do you deal with it?
Well, I do. I just read when it happens. Sometimes, it stirs the creative juices and reignites the urge to write.

Q.10 What were your feelings when you first saw the cover of the finished product?
I still remember that my hands were trembling when I was unboxing my first book. I did slightly better this time, only just. Guess, that happy-nervous feeling never goes away. It’s like holding your baby for the first time.

Q.11 Does your family support your career as a writer?
Being a working doctor, I am secure financially. So, I didn’t have to face this problem.

Q.12 How did you select the name of your characters?
I didn’t think much about the names. The names just cropped up and felt natural.

Q.13 What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
I write whenever I feel like it, provided I am free as a doctor at that time. I don’t have the luxury to pick my choice of time.

Q.14 Do you have any unique and quirky writing habits?
None I can think of.

Q.15 How do you come up with the name of your books?
It came easily for the first book. This one came much later when I was about to finish the first draft.

Q.16 What is the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?
I don’t know, to be honest. I didn’t find any extra difficulty that I could think of. Both are human beings, I guess.

Q.17 Who designed your book cover? How did you select them?
The cover was relatively easier as we already had about 15 illustrations, designed by Aroash and Sajal Jugran, spread throughout the book. In many ways, the cover is the amalgamation of all the illustrations. 

We can see two friends having a chat under the night sky, and there is also a background of the landscape of Haridwar, all amalgamated very beautifully by Ashiwini Rane and R. Maharaja.

Q.18 Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with good or bad ones?
Yes, I do read book reviews of my book. Fortunately, most of them have been good. But being in the field for quite some time now, I am quite acclimatized to bad ones also. 

Even among the good ones, there are a few special ones that warm your heart and make you feel that all the hard work you put in was worth it. Having said that, reader's reviews still warm my heart the most.

Q.19 Which famous person, living or dead, would you like to meet and why?
A. Mahatma Gandhi
. He intrigues me.

Q.20 Share the experience of your writing journey so far?
I am only two books and 10 years old in this journey, and hell, haven’t I learned! There have been ups and downs, but it’s been a humbling and memorable journey of self-discovery. I want to tell 10 good stories before I sign off. Let’s see.

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