He may not be able to shake a leg on the dance floor, but Gaurav Sharma sure does know how to impress the world as an author with his literary and academic skills. Gaurav Sharma is the author of 4 books, of which, “Gone are the Days” is a fiction. The 3 other textbooks that make life easier for the students are “Photography Redefined“, “Design and Graphics Redefined“, and “Development and Communication Morphosis“. Let’s see what this handsome and straightforward author has in store for us!
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- Define WRITING in three words.
Expressing the inexplicable.
- Every writer remembers a book that opens up a new world to them; which one is yours?
My answer would seem a little weird here. I never read any books out of sheer interest and passion. Initially, when I started writing textbooks I had to read some books for my research on the subjects. Apart from that, I haven’t read any books as such. However, I still remember the joy and thrill I felt when I held my own book in hands for the first time. I knew I will never be able to give up on writing (primarily books). So, I can say that my first textbook ‘Design & Graphics Redefined’ which was published in 2011 opened a new world for me. I told you my answer would seem a little weird! *giggles*
- Which contemporary Indian author has inspired you the most?
I would not be able to name any. I think every author deserves to be acknowledged for their writing. Though it is hard for many writers to express themselves through written words yet, their thoughts and feelings attached to the theme and subject of their writing are pure and genuine. Besides, my own work inspires me to do more of it. Also, I would like to take this question as an opportunity to appreciate and acknowledge the works of Dr. Ravi Dhar, Priscilla Paul and Somaya Iqubal Khan. These are (rather, were) some of my ‘author’ friends with great potential and who are yet unknown in the literary universe. I believe they will prove themselves to be the vanguards of Indian literature soon.
- What makes a good writer – skill or experience?
Experience can make you a writer. Skill makes you good at it! To write something you must form an idea first. Either you recall your real-life experiences or you create one in your mind and then write it down. But to put some oomph and chutzpah in your writing, skills are paramount.
- If you could walk the red carpet one day, how would you want the world to recognize your effort? And, who would that lucky woman be by your side?
Haha! This imagination of walking the red carpet is delighting. I will feel good if the world would know me for my contributions in the field of literature and academics. I wish to induce something in the minds of my readers that could motivate them to fearlessly speak their minds out and to collaborate and share their wisdom with each other. Moreover, writing has always been a need for me. I write because I rarely speak. It’s like thinking and speaking with fingers.
Coming to the second part of your question, I think I should give credits to all my female friends whom I share a close relationship with. However, if I ever have a girlfriend, I think she will be the one who would be vital to my success. Nonetheless, Dadi Ma, Maa and sisters are always there for me.
- Usually, the authors who write textbooks rarely write a fiction. How do you strike a balance between the ‘NERD’ mode and the ‘CRAZY’ mode?
Well…I never had to balance both things as I did not pursue them simultaneously. I started writing textbooks when I was 19 and in the first semester of my bachelor degree programme. I was good in studies back then and wanted to create something for my fellow classmates and juniors that could help them with their university exams. I would see them underlining few lines from thick books and then mugging it up so that they could puke it in the answer sheet just to get passing marks. That, for me, was disheartening. Therefore, I picked up those subjects which I was a university topper in. I wrote three textbooks viz. Design and Graphics Redefined, Photography Redefined and Development and Communication Morphosis. After that, I realized my hard work was not fully utilized. Teachers and professors had their books published on the same subjects and students would buy their books for obvious reasons. Very few students would read my books as the majority of them could not digest the fact that someone among them wrote a book. Eventually, the NERD in me died a slow death. It was then when I decided to switch to fiction and non-fiction genre.
My first fiction (and fourth book overall) was Gone are the Days that came out in 2016. It is an autobiographical fiction and an experiment to see what it takes to become a novelist. I realized, writing textbooks is much easier than writing fiction. I hope this CRAZY me would live much longer!
- You’ve been away from India for a long time now. What do you miss the most about India?
It has been three years since I left India. Initially, I missed everything and everyone. But Canada has started to seem like a home away from home now. Still, I miss Indian food here. Indian restaurants in Vancouver are good, but not anywhere near the restaurants we have in India.
- How do you spend your weekends?
I usually write something, either an article, short story or continue working on my book(s). When not writing, I play video games on PlayStation 4. My virtual reality console takes me into another realm on the weekends. I think I would enjoy my weekends more if I had some cool friends here to hang out with.
- Some people call you ‘vulgar’ while some call you ‘bold’. How do you react to this?
I must not tell others about their opinion of me. It is their opinion and I should not have any reaction towards it. I am not in the favor of giving someone this privilege of making me angry or sad with their comments and the shallow preconceived notion of what Gaurav Sharma is. Moreover, life has become a mixture of busy and vacant moments, happy and sad instances, good and bad experiences, accomplished and skimped feelings. Who has the time for catering to all these things!
- We know that you love to take up challenges and you are also very straightforward. So, why don’t you share the most embarrassing incident from the days of your childhood?
Since my childhood, I have a habit of not sharing my food with anybody. I would rather buy or bring another meal for others but never give them anything from my plate. My childhood friends, college friends and even some teachers know about this strange habit of mine. I remember I was in grade sixth when I shared my tiffin with a fellow classmate who did not bring her lunch that day. The entire class began bugging me about the relationship I had with that girl. I had to tell everyone that there was nothing in between both of us, it was just a friendly and humane gesture of offering someone food. Nobody would agree with me though! I remember this instance so clear as I am still in touch with my school friends and that girl too. And now it all seems so childish and naïve, but worth cheering for.
- How many times did you visit the Principal’s Office in school?
I have been in many schools. I was born in Delhi but spent most of my childhood in Sitamarhi, Bihar with my grandparents. I studied in St. Joseph Mission School and then in N.S. D.A.V. Public School in Sitamarhi. I would often visit the Principal’s office in D.A.V. Public. Sometimes, it was due to my mischiefs, sometimes for bad grades and sometimes for not attending the classes. Then for my admission in grade tenth in a government school in Delhi, I had to be available in the office where the Principal had to interview me. I did not visit Principal’s office after that in any of the schools.
- As a mentor, how would you like to inspire the budding writers to make their debut?
I think I have gained enough experience to at least tell debut writers about what to expect from their writing career initially. I would suggest them to keep writing even after they face a thousand rejections. Budding writers should keep in mind that quitting will never get them anywhere for sure. However, if they keep creating religiously, they will surely reach somewhere remarkable in their career. It takes time unless you have a magic lamp that bestows damn good luck upon you.
Another big thing is marketing of the book or any written piece. Authors should try to reach out to various notable journalistic organizations to create a buzz around their audience. Book reviews and author interviews in newspapers, magazines, literary journals, online platforms etc. help a lot. And finally, writers should not write with an expectation of getting famous or rich. They better be focused on writing alone and that will give them the recognition they deserve.
- What have you got in store for the readers next? Would you like to tell your fans what they should be looking forward to?
I completed writing my second novel (and fifth book) in July this year. Since then I have been actively looking for some good publishers. This book is a historical fiction that runs in the eighteenth century Pataliputra. As I told you I never read any fiction, my books are uninfluenced with any other book or author’s writing style. And as there is still a lot more to learn for me, I don’t know what would be the response of my readers after reading it. *fingers crossed*
- Any take on StarWords India’s website and platform?
It is an amazing platform for young and budding writers to share their ideas with the world. StarWords India has an interactive layout and design which binds the readers to go deeper into its contents. Of course, there is always room for improvement and that is what you guys are doing with each passing day. I can see it growing as writers are contributing their stories on your website. It shall be an acclaimed website in all likelihood. My best wishes to you and your team. And thank you for giving me this opportunity to share my thoughts with you. I am delighted to be the very first author to be interviewed for StarWords India.
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Shreya Dutta is the Founder & Creative Head of StarWords India and the author of “Dance in the Rain”. She is an engineer by qualification and a writer by passion. Years ago, when little girls were jotting down their bucket list, Shreya was lost in her dreamland in which she was immortal. Dutta had started off writing at an early age because she believed that writing not only helped her to voice her opinion but also led her closer to immortality. With every write-up that gets published, Shreya believes that she gets embedded in the pages of history to inspire the youngsters who dream likewise. Writing is not just her passion; it is her way of taking the road less travelled.