I’m chatting up Hemanth Gorur, an ex-IBM-er and author of Aymaran Shadow, a paranormal thriller that has opened to enthusiastic response. A published author and fiction novelist, Hemanth’s recent work (Aymaran Shadow) promises to take the reading world by surprise.
Hi, Hemanth. Thank you for taking the time out for this interview. It’s great to be chatting. So, shall we begin?
Yes, pleasure. Nice to be talking to you too!
Tell us a little about yourself and your background.
Hmm . . . I’ve been a management professional all through. A decade and a half as a consultant and career strategist. I’ve taken to writing full-time only recently. Back then, I used to write when (and if) I got the time. Now, I sleep when I don’t write! I think that sums up the transition.
So, what were you like at school? Were you good at English?
I’m not really sure if I was “good”. I must’ve won the odd writing/language competition and things like that. What I do know is that I used to love reading. It started with that universal favorite – Archies! And I gradually moved on to novels and such.
Did you ever dream of being a writer during school or college?
Oh! So, do you wish you had found the writer in you much earlier in life?
Now that I’ve turned into one, I definitely wish I had. But things have their own time preordained. To paraphrase a situation in Kungfu Panda, the movie: “A peach will ripen when it has to. Not when we want it to. Not when the tree wants it to. Not any other time!”
Everything has its own time, I guess. So, moving on, what is your favorite book and why?
It has to be Robert Ludlum’s ‘The Bourne Identity’. For its super-solid plot. For its vivid imagery. For its depth in detail. For the credible and realistic story-line. Plus, it’s action-packed! What’s not to like!
That was one of my favorite too. So, tell us Hemanth, why do you write?
Oh, this one’s my personal favorite. And I never tire of saying this: I write, because if I personally did whatever my characters did, I’d be incarcerated on an island in the Pacific!
Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured? Do you write every day, 5 days a week, or as and when?
I used to think early mornings worked better for writers. But mornings for me are reserved for doing more creative stuff like flossing, pretending to read newspapers, pounding the living daylights out of our building’s security staff for allowing salesmen in the garb of relatives into our premises, . . . you get the idea! No, my mornings are between 4pm and 2am. The setting sun sets off something in me – I get this urge to start writing something new. Beats me why that happens. And yes, when I’ve finished outlining and start fleshing out chapters, I draw up “writing hours” and “word count targets” for every day.
Mornings at 4pm is quite some news! So, do you aim for a set amount of words or pages per day?
Oh, yes. I keep myself on a tight leash and I don’t nod off unless I’ve delivered the day’s word count. Helps keep your writing phase time-bound and eliminates unnecessary doodling-phases which can be quite dangerous because you may lose momentum.
Now, coming to Aymaran Shadow, give us an insight into your main character. Why is she so special?
Oh, that’s because she’s got a little bit of ‘me’ in her! Okay, seriously speaking, I think she’s a “thinking” individual and she’s quite feisty in her own way. She’s also a bit adorable because she’s got to watch out for those wolves behind her back and you feel like protecting her (not that she needs it!). What makes her really special is that she carries the legacy of a woman who stood up for something and was butchered for that – she carries the legacy of her own past life. And it’s not necessarily a pleasant legacy to carry.
A very strong theme! Which actresses would you like to see playing the lead character from this book?
Thanks. Oh, that’s a great question! If it were Hollywood, I’d have a young Halle Berry or even Zoe Saldanha (have you seen her in ‘Colombiana’ – mindblowing!) essay the part. On the other hand, in Indian cinema, I’d look no further than Kajol or Tabu. Great actresses, all! Of course, since the character is Indian, the Indian actresses may be able to carry off the role a wee bit better due to the physical similarities.
It would be great to see it come to life. What was the hardest thing about writing this book?
Well, that’s got to be the interweaving character depictions as seen by the main character (MC). She continuously finds herself deceived not just by the two “possible” antagonists, but also by her own psychological analysis at times. It really killed me drawing up these subplots because you had to watch for what you are telling the reader and what you are telling the MC.
Gosh! That must have been killing! So, how long did it take to write this book?
Yes, it was. But, loved every moment of it. It was a journey I took along with my MC. Or the other way around. 6 months from idea to publish-ready manuscript.
That was very quick for such a complex plot and so much research. So, what are your ambitions for your writing career?
Yes. I’m not one for long-drawn writing extravaganzas when you can plan your writing day everyday. Strangely, or not so strangely, a planned approach has never worked 100% in my previous career, as a management professional. There’s always a Plan C you should have factored in but you haven’t. Right now, I’m just living it by the day, and would like to see this book (Aymaran Shadow) resonate with my readers. Long-term, I think I’d just like to leave my mark in my genre as a writer who tells stories that linger.
What are your next plans?
The next book in the ETERNAL VISITATION SERIES is in the offing. I have to start working on that. Aymaran Shadow was the first book in the series.
So, the treat is not over! More on the way. For your own reading, do you prefer e-books or traditional paperback/hardcover books?
Yes, you can say that! Oh, I prefer paperbacks any day! Nothing like the smell and feel of freshly minted copy!!
Coming toward the end of this interview, I’m sure everyone would like to know: how can readers discover more about you and you work?
I’m not on too many platforms right now. Though, I can be reached on:
My personal website at: http://www.hemanthgorur.com
My official blog at: http://aymaranshadow.wordpress.com
My book’s official Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/AymaranShadow
The book itself can be found on:
Thank you for your time on such a hectic day, Hemanth. Wish you all success!
Thanks, Prathibha. Great questions, and it was fabulous chatting with you. Good luck for your upcoming short story collection!
The pleasure was mine, Hemanth!