What inspired you to write?
I have been writing fiction since I was seven-years-old. There were several events that caused me to start writing. One reason I started writing was that when I was growing up in the mid-90s, although video games were becoming popular, I did not own any. Instead, when I was alone I would make up stories using all my action figures. This lead to me beginning to enjoy the art of crafting stories. The second reason that I became inspired to start writing was a novel I read, "The Choice" by Og Mandino. The novel is about the struggle and victory story of a writer. The catalyst for me to transition to writing was an assignment my 2nd Grade teacher gave me in which I discovered my passion for writing.
Did the inspiration to write come to you suddenly, or had you been thinking about it some time?
It depends on the project. Sometimes, within days the entire novel comes into place. Sometimes, it takes several months.
How did you tell your story? Did you use an outline, or just write your story from start to finish?
I always start out with the theme (main message) of the story. Why should I write this book? Why should the reader take the time to tread this book? What will they get out of it? Answering those questions gives you clarity and focus.
Next, I create the characters. I tend to write 3 or 4 page biographies over each character so that I understand everything from their thought process to their likes/dislikes. I fell like doing this helps me make the book character-driven, instead of plot-driven.
After that, the outline and everything else usually just falls into place.
Did you receive any encouragement from family and friends, or did you work on your book alone?
Yes, my immediate family (father, mother, brother) have always been very supportive!
What was the most difficult part of writing your book?
The most difficult part in writing a book is continuing to push forward when the initial excitement of the project has faded. That's the difference between a person who writes a book and a person who's been thinking about writing a book.
What was the most enjoyable aspect of writing your book?
There are a lot of enjoyable aspects in my opinion. I feel like the biggest one is the sense of accomplishment when you've taken a book from concept all the way to publication!
Did you experience any personal transformation after the book was published?
I have had several books published and in the process of being published. You always seem to leave a part of yourself in each novel.
What’s something that gets in the way of your creativity?
Distractions are definitely a writer's biggest enemy. I think writers need to be able to prioritize their life. This helps with time management and getting the job done!
What strategies do you use to deal with criticism?
Take it all with a grain of salt! No opinion is a fact. As long as you are happy with your work, don't let the opinions of others drag you down!
Your book Memories of My Future has been named an Independent Press Award Winner. Can you tell me more about it?
The Independent Press Award is a national award based out of New Jersey. They have a lot of categories for both fiction and non-fiction. We submitted Memories of My Future for their Inspirational category and it ended up working out for the best!
How does it feel to be the winner? Any perks that come with winning this award?
It is definitely very humbling. I am thankful to God and all the real glory and honor goes to him. The biggest perk of this award is that it gives wider recognition and awareness about the book. In many ways, that is the most important thing for any author. They will advertise my book in the newsletter to their subscribers. Also, it gives my book more credibility which makes it easier to approach literary conventions and fairs about showcasing the novel.
You wrote your book with a co-author, Dr. Anil Sinha. How did you come with the idea to cooperate on this book?
Dr. Sinha used to live in our neighborhood when I was really young. His wife was acquaintances with my mom. When my first book, Dark Guardian, came out he got a copy and read it. He then called me and that's how we started back in 2014.
Tell us about Memories of My Future. What is the book about?
Dr. Avinash Singh, the main character, has the world in his hands until tragedy strikes. He has to take a glimpse into the past and begin a journey that will teach him where true strength comes from. Along the way, he will see the heroism in his bloodline. He will witness the story of the first nation to defeat Genghis Khan’s army. He will walk alongside the revolutionary whose love for his wife was so strong that even the mighty British Empire could not break it. But the true message Avinash will realize is that the greatest gift Man has is their mind. And once the mind is unlocked, all the answers to Man’s problems will be right before their eyes. The present day part of the book is fiction but the historical parts are based on real events. The main theme is about thinking to solve problems and about the power a nation has when different religions live in harmony.