Dear readers, we are featuring another author on The Bibulous Bibliobiuli today. The author we are featuring today is Mayur Patel. He is here to tell us about him, his writing and his books. He has authored a couple of novels in English – Vivek and I and Scarlet Nights. Recently, I got a chance to read Scarlet Nights. It is a riveting psycho-thriller and leaves you with a feeling of wanting more. The story starts slowly but soon pulls you in. The book tells you a heartbreaking, fascinating and absorbing story of a young and beautiful woman. You can read my comprehensive review of the same here.
Dear Mayur, first of all I would like to thank you for giving us time for this interview. We really appreciate that. So, let us start this interview by telling us something about you.
I live in Valsad, a small town in Gujarat. I have studied Civil Engineering and have worked in the field of Interior designing for some years. At present I am associated with a media firm in Surat, Gujarat. My first novel ‘Vivek and I’ was published by Penguin Books India. ‘Scarlet nights’ is my second novel. I write novels and columns in Gujarati, my mother tongue, too. My first Gujarati novel ‘Tarpan Yatra’ will be published within a few weeks. I am a free-spirited, liberal person who believes in doing everything with the utmost passion.
So, you write in Gujarati too. Wow! Ok, let us move to the next question. What was that point in your life that you realized that being an author was no longer going to be just a dream but a career you were going to turn into reality?
I am a born storyteller. My neighboring kids and classmates loved to listen to the stories I used to tell them. Loaded with exaggerations and animated sounds, my stories were quite popular. I started reading novels in Gujarati at the age of 10 and tried to pen the first novel of my life when I was 12. Though it was a crap attempt, accomplishing a full-length novel bore in me the confidence that I can become a professional writer. So I can say that I had determined to become a professional writer at an early stage of life. I knew that I had to read a lot of novels to be able to write a better one, so I plunged into this beautiful ocean of books and here I am today with two published novels.
Could you describe your process of writing? Do you follow a regular routine or your writing is chaotic?
My writing process is nothing unique. First is finding an inspiration. It can come from a real-life event, a movie or a short story. Sometimes it just erupts from my brain cells. Then I conceptualize it in detail. This is the best part- the weaving of a novel! All the details regarding the period, the atmosphere, the events, the seasons is decided roughly… everything is put on paper or in a hard disk. Simultaneously, I etch the characters, their traits, their age, body-types, and hobbies etc. For me, the story and the characters flow together because they complement each other and create more substance. Google Maharaj comes to my help every time because I want every detail in my novel to be authentic and as close to reality as possible.Then begins the important process of writing. Prepared thus is the first draft. Rough and scattered. Then, polishing. Linguistic corrections. Second draft. Then comes trimming and editing- the toughest part. Third draft. The editing goes on, bringing me closer to what I really want.
I am a moody writer. I don’t follow any particular schedule. I simply can’t because writing is something that just happens to me. I don’t drive my pen, my pen drives me. (Should I say fingers on keyboard?) If I force myself to sit and write, I won’t be able to bring the best out of me. I can force myself for editing, not for the major part- writing. The good thing is that I seldom have a day when I am off. Writing, means writing anything, brings me joy and that’s the best part of being a writer.
Is there any interesting quirk that only happens when you are writing? There must be something that you can share with the readers.
Not really. As I said, writing happens very naturally and I don’t think there is anything extraordinary about it. Writing a good piece does fill me with a lot of excitement but there actually is nothing quirky. Reading and writing are inseparable parts of my life.As necessary as Food and Sleep.
Was there anything surprising that you learned while writing your book?
I do learn a lot while researching for the plot. I love to be familiar with new information and Google surprises me every now and then. I like to go deep into the psyche of the characters of my novels. For that, I have to keep exploring human psychology, which educates me a lot. And, I find it very exciting.
What, according to you, is a good story?
A good story should have a strong unpredictable plot, believable characters, unexpected twists and pace. It should also have a tinge of reality.
What do you like to do when you are not writing?
Besides reading and writing, I like watching movies, playing badminton, gardening and cooking. I am a travel freak. Whenever situation permits I set out for an expedition. Of all traveling alternatives, trekking enthralls me the most.
Tell us some “Good-to-know” fun-facts about you. What’s the most amusing thing that happened to you?
I don’t know if these are fun-facts or not but let me confess that I am good at singing and average at dancing. I was a part of an orchestra as a singer for five years when I was in college. It was fun. I did earn my pocket money from it. I went for the auditions for ‘Indian Idol season 2’ but withdrew my chance for some reasons I can’t discuss here.
A lot of things (including myself) amuse me every day but I don’t think any of them is extraordinary.
I had started writing a Gujarati novel which also was a psychological thriller. I had finished some six chapters when I hit upon a better idea, which later resulted into ‘Scarlet Nights’. Since the new idea was stronger than the original, I dropped that novel and started to work on ‘Scarlet Nights’. I wish to finish that original story someday.
What do you think make this book only one of its kind book?
‘Scarlet Nights’ is a psychological thriller. How many psychological thrillers do we have in India so far? Very few! So it is the genre that makes this book special. Another unique element about this book is that it takes the readers deep into human psyche where they get to learn a lot about the hidden traits of human psychology. Almost all the reviewers have specifically mentioned in the reviews that they liked this aspect of the novel very much.
Yes, I completely agree with you. Is there anything else that you would like your readers to know about ‘Scarlet Nights’?
All I want to say to the readers is that my book deals with something which has hardly been attempted by Indian authors. Please go through the reviews of my book and you won’t resist buying the book.
Did you do any kind of research for writing this book?
As I told you earlier, there was a lot of research that I had to go through. Even after finishing the book, I had to keep checking for the updates and make necessary corrections in the story. There was a hell lot of research done for this book. Thanks to Google!
Give us an interesting fun fact about ‘Scarlet Nights’. We would love to hear that.
I wish I could give you more details but I can’t for it’s a suspense story. The story holds many interesting facts which readers would connect with. When you read the book, the dilemmas the characters face and the characteristics they have would become your own to some extent. This psychological thriller deals with some bizarre facts about human mind that every one of us has within our psyche. The story gives you a chance to peep into your own psychological traits which have remained hidden hitherto. It educates the reader about himself, which is the most interesting fact about this book.
What question do you wish that someone would ask you about your works, but nobody has so far?
Many reviewers and readers said that reading my book was like watching a movie.They said it’s a ‘perfect movie material’. Nobody asked me whether it was a deliberate attempt to write the novel in such ‘movie-like’ fashion or not. I wish someone had asked me so. My answer would be, yes, it was a deliberate attempt. And it was Priyanka Chopra from whom I took inspiration for creating my protagonist, Malvika Chauhan’s character.
You have created so many characters in this book. Is there one particular character who speaks the loudest to you? Does any of these clamours to be heard over others?
I think it is Margrita’s character who speaks the loudest to me. It’s an eccentric character which demands a lot of attention from the author. She is capable of doing a lot more than what I have allowed her to do. She would have been bolder had she been born in USA. Her deeds (or should I say, misdeeds!) would have been limitless had she been created in the western world. I had to keep her in control considering the Indian mentality. She still talks to me in my mind. She is limitless. I would like to create a male version of Margrita someday. That would enable her try a lot many things. Things she, being a woman, couldn’t do in ‘Scarlet Nights’. He would be more daring and dangerous!
What are your future plans?
My next release is a Gujarati novel ‘TarpanYatra’, which is the first ‘Travel Novel’ written in Gujarati. It will be released within a few weeks.
In English, I am writing an Epic Fantasy Saga which is a mixture of Fantasy, Indian Mythology and Science Fiction. Loaded with action, it’ll have interesting subplots and a lot of characters.
A lot of short stories want to jump out of my mind. My busy schedule doesn’t permit me pen them down. I would like to write a film-script, too.
I can’t read Gujarati but will definetly wait for your Epic Fantasy Saga. Do you have anything else to say to your readers?
Buy original books, not pirated. Support aspiring authors. And read at least one book in a month. Someday you too would start writing your own book.
Do you have any suggestion to help others become better writers?
Read a lot of books of the genre you are writing in. Understand your story fully before giving it a final touch. Make sure you come up with a proofread and edited version. And remember, readers are not fool. Don’t expect them to accept a clichéd story.
Rapid Fire questions:
Favourite Colour: Sky Blue (it reflects my personality)
Favourite Cuisine: Pineapple Pastries
Favourite Book: ‘The winner stands alone’ by Paulo Coelho
Favourite Author: Sidney Sheldon
Favourite Quote: ‘Life doesn’t end with the end of one relationship, no matter how strong it is.’ From my book ‘Vivek and I’
Favourite Movie: Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon (it was poetic! Even the action sequences had poetry in them!)
Favourite Actor: Farhan Akhtar (I love the honesty he brings to the characters he plays)
Favourite Actress: Nicole Kidman (I love the mystery she holds in her bewitching eyes!)
Dog or Cats: Dog. (My pet ‘Shirley’ gave my family a tremendous amount of unconditional love until she died two years ago.)
Light or Dark: Grey (is better! If you have the eyes, the whole world is painted in Grey!)
Tea or Coffee: Tea (anytime!)
E-reader or Print book: Print book (forever!)
Ball point or Fountain pen: Ball point pen
You can buy ‘Scarlet Nights’ on Amazon, Flipkart and Pustakmandi.