I LIKE TO GIVE IN TO MY CHILDISH TEMPTATIONS LIKE EATING A CHOCOLATE- AUTHOR VIRAG DHULIA

My Journey till date as an Author:

I have authored 3 books in total so far. 2 of them are non-fiction and deal with the social issues and biases faced by men, titled as “The Secrets of Manhood” – Vol 1 and 2. My third book is a fiction novel titled “Chess Without a Queen”. It’s a political thriller based in Uttar Pradesh and talks about various contemporary issues in Indian politics and the role played by media, the law & order, the bureaucracy, and the common citizen along with the politicians in our everyday lives and politics.

Can you describe about your Book in a few lines?

My latest book “Chess Without a Queen” deals with the issue of hi-conflict personalities and how it shapes up their psychology in dealing with a life full of conspiracies and games. The story is a fictional tale of politics, which is based in Uttar Pradesh with Lucknow being the centre-stage, between 2 rival political parties. The games they play upon each other to either grab power or to retain it and the price they pay for it. It also talks about how the common citizen is affected by those games and how politics affects every area of our life. 

 

Briefly, what led up to this Book?

I have spent a good part of my life trying to create awareness about the misuse of the Indian legal system to seek vengeance or to affect vindication by individuals – powerful or otherwise. And to that effect, I have worked closely to understand the legal system of India and the law-making process and also the general “System” as we know it. It was all this experience and knowledge which helped me come up with the story.

The Authors you admire & Why?

Dan Brown and Anand Neelkanthan. Both Dan and Anand rely a lot on history to write their work. Which means, they do extensive research. While, Dan gives a really dramatic flavour to the history as we know it, Anand, offers a fresh perspective at the tales we already know about, like the story of the Mahabharata, the Ramayana, Ravana, etc. And it is this creativity of theirs that inspires me.

What was your own journey to publishing like?

It’s been a bumpy ride. I had a tough time getting publishers for my first book – “The Secrets of Manhood”, principally due to two reasons – it was my first book and the subject was sensitive, politically incorrect. For almost 2.5 years, I did not get a publisher, and was tired after trying with multiple publishers across Bangalore, Mumbai and Delhi. Finally, I got a reference from a friend and a publisher in Delhi agreed to print my book if I shared 50% cost of publication of the first 500 copies. I agreed for that and got published. And that is why, when I came up with my novel, I went for self-publication because, it was less time consuming and gave me decided visibility to promote my book as well. 

If you could do it again, what might you have done differently?

Probably everything. I am working on my next book, but due to other projects going on, currently the work is on a backburner. So I am yet to formulate a strategy for publication of my next book.

 

What would be your favourite pass time and hobby?

Watching films, reading, and at times, hanging out with friends.

Something personal about you people may be surprised to know?

Answer: At times, I like to give in to my childish temptations like eating a chocolate.

What are you working on now?

I am currently working as a screenwriter with Pushkar Films and alongside also working on a webseries of my own titled “Jai Ram Ji Ki Neta Ji” which will be released on the YouTube Channel “Chai Pakoda”. This webseries is a political satire about how politicians and bureaucrats talk to each other behind closed doors. I’m also working on a couple of short films on various social issues which would be released soon on my personal YouTube channel. 

Any suggestions to the upcoming writers?

Do not be afraid of breaking the clichés. For, what’s the cliché of today, was the niche of the past at one point of time. A lot of seasoned advisors will ask you to be apprehensive of “not following the norm”, but then think about it – what would it make me of a writer, if I bind myself by the shackles of those who cannot imagine? Ask this question to yourself and follow the answer. You will be on the right path.

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