Q.1 What has the experience of writing and publishing a book been for you? How has your Author journey been so far?
If I could say it in one sentence: It’s been a very up and down, from the idea and concept to finally publishing it. On more than 1 occasion, I came close to giving up; it seemed so difficult. Especially for a first time writer, it is like an endless obstacle course.
But I would definitely say: if I could, I would have done it in 10-15 years back. Writing a book is a truly memorable experience. Full of so many pitfalls and obstacles, but when you cross the finish line, it’s a wonderful feeling. Just to read your own book, see it on Amazon, autograph a copy, or see it being reviewed, a childhood dream comes true. At that time, the difficulties in the beginning seem to fade in your mind.
Q.2 When and how did you become interested in writing? Tell us a bit about your debut book “My Name is Cinnamon.”
From my childhood, I am always interested in writing. It is my hobby, passion and a way of escaping from many traumatic and unpleasant realities. I cannot say when. As for how, I am blessed to have parents and a brother who were avid readers themselves. Many excellent teachers also nurtured me. They always encouraged my reading habit by buying more and more books, until one day I decided to write my own.
About my book “My Name is Cinnamon”:
Both a captivating chronicle and an endeavor of remarkable depth and ambition, My Name Is Cinnamon provides a richly textured narrative of a boy trying to find his roots and place in the world. On each part of his journey, he encounters new people, new cuisines, and new adventures as he learns a lot about himself and the world around him.
While being a light-hearted and heart-warming read, the book also covers some difficult themes that are rarely explored in children’s and young adult literature. It is a deeply moving testament to the unceasing desire to know oneself, the unrelenting pull of familial bonds, and the power of hope, sacrifice, and love.
With his perceptive observations, vivid descriptions, and an authentic voice, the author, Vikas Prakash Joshi, weaves an immersive plot with fully realized environments and characters that are sure to stay with you for a long time. Above all, My Name Is Cinnamon is about finding your own people and accepting who you are.
Q.3 Tell us something about the short stories and articles you wrote that were translated into 30 languages and were published across 21 countries.
About the short stories, you will need to buy a copy of my book as my stories are from it. Cannot say more then, you will enjoy it.
Q.4 What are the challenges you faced while writing and how did you overcome them? From where do you get the ideas and inspiration for writing?
Ideas and inspiration are ever present in my mind, and I can definitely say, I never need to look for inspiration. The biggest challenges are first, translating ideas in your mind into concepts readers can read and understand. Second, keeping your motivation in times when things get tough.
Q.5 What factors are most important to you when choosing a book marketer? Any 3 practices that according to you are a must while marketing a book.
Important factor is book marketer must understand the USPs of your book and target audience. I believe writers must give more importance to outreach at a physical level, not restrict to online or social media efforts.
Q.6 What do you consider your greatest strength as a writer?
It is up to my readers to decide what is my greatest strength., I could hardly be a judge of it.
Q.7 When and how did this idea of running the first-ever literary podcast of Pune titled, “Literary Gupshup” come to your mind? Please tell us a little bit about your podcast.
I feel that as a writer, I always wanted to know about the stories of writers in their own words, and what better way than to start my own podcast? It interviewed many leading writers in Pune and other cities about how they became writers and their lives, both literary and non-literary.
Q.8 Apart from writing, what is that one thing that you are passionate about? What are your likes, dislikes and hobbies?
I enjoy public speaking, cooking and travelling—also sales is now becoming a new area of interest. I like a nice cup of tea, buttered railway toast and crisp chicken popcorn and I dislike a lot of things: crowded buses and airports, smelly books, airports and trains, karela, and people who smile too much, when they talk to you.
Q.9 How was your experience of working with leading Indian publications like Caravan, The Wire, The Hindu, and DNA? Do you find it helpful in your author journey?
Yes, it was a tremendous learning experience as you need to frame and weave a story, but at the same time, keep to their editorial standards. It is helpful because when you write a fiction book, one needs to research quite a bit.
Q.10 Which are the top 3 books you would highly recommend, and what’s your most favorite genre?
There are so many books I would recommend, so recommending 3 is not really an option. If you ask me to recommend writers, I can easily recommend Haruki Murakami, Ruskin Bond, John Updike, RK Narayan, Chitra Banerjee Divarakuni and Jhumpa Lahiri.
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