Book Review Blog

Interview with author Sapan Saxena

In a conversation with Sapan Saxena, author of the book, Finders, KeepersFinders, Keepers is about sacred cynicism bundled with suspense, thrill and exploitation of human nature and behavioral instincts. The story is about people, many people, many emotions and multi-fold hesitation and acceptance. To read the complete review of the book, you can visit Book Review : Finders, Keepers - Sapan Saxena.


-- Interview with author Sapan Saxena --

Q: How did it feel, when you first hold a copy of your book “Finders, Keepers”?
A: The feeling to hold the product of all your hard work, efforts, sleepless nights and countless “I am gonna quit” is something that cannot be described in words. I spent one full year in writing this book and then a couple of another few in my blogs. Holding a copy of the book was like homecoming, long awaited yet a very personal bliss.

Q: Tell us about the support you received from your family and friends while you were writing the book?
A: You cant expect to write even a 2 page essay without the support of your family, specially your wife if you are married, and here I was going to end up writing a 640 page book. My wife was my pillar of strength. I couldn’t have expected to write the book had she not shown the confidence in me. My father has been equally involved in helping me promote and market the book. Its like the book is on his mind 24X7 and never leaves a chance to talk about me in his meetings, gatherings and office events. My mother and brother have been highly supportive as well. And friends, you ask? I consider myself really fortunate to have friends such passionate as mine who were so enthusiastic about the book and helped me reach out to people across all ages and geographies.

Q: Can you tell us something about your experience of getting the book published?
A: If some would-be author is reading this, sorry to break your heart a bit, but getting published in India is the toughest part of the entire journey, specially if you are a first time author. The process is still more of a black box, and with little or no presence of good literary agents, this gets even tougher. I was still fortunate that Frog Books liked my work and decided to publish, but it still was an uphill task, for sure.

Q: Apart from “Finders, Keepers”, have you written anything else?
A: My blog, “Rhythm Divine”(http://credibleindian.blogspot.com) is where I have been writing a lot of posts since three years. Finders, Keepers was my first book.

Q: What can we expect from you in the near future? Any other book lined up?
A: My second manuscript is completed and the required processing currently is in place. This time I have sought the help of The Book Bakers as my literary agent. After a hard core suspense/thriller tale ridden with heavy doses of mythology and history, this time I have decided to write an old school romance to test my limits as a story teller.

Q: When did you decide that you wanted to be a writer? Or you think that you were destined to become one?
A: Writing happened to me by accident, not by choice. Maybe, destiny had some role to play. I decided to write only when I cooked up what I could call a “great story”. My story compelled me to write itself, I merely played along.

Q: “Finders, Keepers”, revolves around Indian Mythology, how much do you personally believe in these stories?
A: That’s the beauty of it. You can believe as much as you can and you can decide not to believe at all, and still no one judges you. That’s Hinduism for you. Though, in Finders, Keepers its more about “history of mythology” than mythology itself, and I trust the history completely. You would notice whenever mythology comes into picture, its characters talking about it rather than me talking about it. But yes, I believe in God and believe that the stories must have some origins.

Q: Why did you weave the story around Indian Mythology? Was a specific reason?
A: Like, as I told, I had a story first and then I thought of writing it. My father is a great follower of Hindu mythology and Indian history and has loads of “little known facts” that he keeps telling me. He mentioned one such fact which I found highly intriguing and that was when I cooked up an entire story in my mind. That said, I do feel I can talk about mythology with much ease and clarity.

Q: Tell us about, how writing is a part of your daily life?
A: I try to shuffle between my regular job, family and writing, but I manage to squeeze out an hour or two out of my daily schedule(mostly towards the night). Though, now that there are a couple of topics that I would like to shape up as books, so my blog does get affected. With the support of my wife, I manage.
Interview with author Sapan Saxena
Interview with author Sapan Saxena
Q: How did you finalize the cover of the book? Did you have more options?
A: Wow that reminds me of the days I spent into visualizing the cover of the book. So, Frog Books’ Mishta Roy designed the beautiful cover, and as you mentioned as well, I have had people mention how intriguing the cover itself is. Most of the characters in my book, specially the “Keepers” are revealed as and when their story comes, but they are their since the very start, so Id decided to play with silhouettes. And then of course, Shiva plays the most important role in the book, hence it added up.

Q: Other than writing, what else do you do professionally?
A: I am a Software Engineer at a company called Kronos Incorporated. I am working in this company since Feb 2011.

Q: Your book, “Finders, Keepers” is a fiction? How much of it is real or inspired?
A: The central character of the author is inspired by me. OK I am kidding. But, that was mentioned to me b one reader on Facebook. I have taken care to keep the physical and geographical attributes of the places and monuments visited by the characters intact. Like, if they are visiting Kashi Vishwanath temple, or the Vulture Peak, I have made sure that my fiction is woven around the exact physical specifics of these  places. Apart from that, its all fiction and history.

Q: Do you read as much as you write? Which are your favorite books and authors?
A: I do read a lot of books, though these days, it gets a bit tough. But, I like to read many Indian authors like Ashwin Sanghi, Devdutt Patnaik, Sachin Garg, and Chetan Bhagat. I am a big fan of  Dan Brown and JK Rowling. I don’t have any genre as favorite, I like to read pretty much any genre that I can lay my hands on.

Q: If your book, “Finders, Keepers”, is made into a Bollywood movie, who do you think should be the lead characters?
A: Wow! That’s a very different and interesting question. I am a big SRK fan, so Shoumik Haldar, the tough Deputy Director, I.B. Ishan is more of an intellectual and is young, so Ranbir Kapoor would fit the bill. Mrityunjai Pradhan is a fatherly figure and has an enigma around him. Anupam Kher comes to my mind though I can also think of Pavan Malhotra. Finally, Markandey is tough, agile and super strong. Randeep Hooda is someone I had in my mind when I was writing the character of Markandey

Q: You prefer reading e-books or the traditional paper/hard back book?
A: Its strange, really. I like writing on my laptop, but definitely reading paper back book over e-books. I recently bought Batman’s “The Killing Joke” as hard back book, inspite of having seen the movie and having read the e-book.

Q: Two things that you like and dislike about “Mythology”?
A: Mythology, specially Hindu mythology is limitless. And the problem is that because there is not one single source of guidance or reference, various sects have come up with stories supporting the theme of their sects, Like, in Shiva Purana, Shiva is superior to Vishnu and in Vishnu Purana, Vishnu created Shiva. So, there is a lot of confusion and conflict, though, the central attributes remain same. Another thing I don’t like is, people start taking it to word. This is a problem across all religions of the world. When someone has killed some one else as per mythology, or if women are not given equal status, doesn’t mean you have to replicate them by word  in current times. Things that I like is that there Is a lot of symbolism and hidden messages and guidance in Hindu mythology. Simplest of stories like Krishna dancing on the head of snake, Kaaliya naag has so many hidden references and philosophies, if you try to grasp the psyche behind them, you will become altogether a better person. Another thing I like is how intriguing mythology is. There are tales, legends, magic, mysticism all woven together. Its fascinating and highly intriguing, worth exploring.

Q: If you have to give one reason to our readers to get hold of your book, “Finders, Keepers”, what would the reason be?
A: I think your review sums up the best for them. I will take a line from the review itself. “Finder, Keepers, throughout, is like a journey that questions you, puzzles you and makes you think and then rethink. It is also about the approach that one should take in life, curative or adaptive, believing or logical, goodness or greatness.” Wise words, those.

Q: Any message you would want to share with our readers?
A: Yeah, see, job is important. Specially, in India, a regular job is your bread and butter. Make it your passion, be workaholic, but don’t let that inner child and his hobbies die down. Not for me, not for the world, try to take out some time for your hobby, and in a few weeks, and you will always be thankful for that decision.

Q: How can our readers connect with you?
A: My page is on Facebook, And I am quite active on Twitter. You can fine me on Google plus as well. And do read, and if you like it, follow my blog.

-- End of Interview with author Sapan Saxena --
You can order a copy of the book from Amazon and Flipkart.

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