An amazing fan-talk cum interview with Priyank Aryan author of I am dead but my heart beats. An amazing person and a down to earth personality.
Nikhil: Tell me a little about yourself.
Priyank: I come from the steel city Jamshedpur, pursued my B.Tech in Electrical Engineering from BIT Sindri (Dhanbad) in June 2015. Then I joined TCS but found it as a waste of time for me and recently resigned from my job and will now be working full time within the Indian start-up ecosystem from February 2015.
Apart from my professional front, I am also into writing. I recently finished completing my second book titled “God and his girl-friend”, expected to be out in stores in the second half of 2016. My debut novel “I am dead but my heart beats” was released in summers of 2014 and is doing well, six editions have been sold out so far.
Nikhil: What were you like at school?
Priyank: At school, I was a completely studious kid. I spent less hours studying but was fast enough to cover up my studies in less time. Nothing else was there in my heart and ambitions list apart from studies while I was in school. My school days saw my immense participation in extra curricular activities like debates, extempore, quizzes and science cum mathematics talent hunt exams. And yes, during my school days, I preferred staying away from girls and believed that love and relationships are not good, hahaha ! Well, after some years I found myself in love with a girl and ended up writing a romance fiction.
Nikhil: Did you always wanted to be an author?
Priyank: No. I never liked to read books, nor had any interest in writing. Never ever in my wildest dreams I knew that one day I will be an author.
Nikhil: What genre are your books? What draws you to this genre?
Priyank: My writing is actually a mix of fiction and non fiction. I prefer writing on non fiction topics inspired from real life but present it with a story which has fiction elements in it. Also, because this step to come into writing is inspired from my own real life love story, so that faith in love makes me excited to keep romance an essential element in my writing. So, my genre is actually romance/fiction on a non-fiction topic, looks little complex but that’s my forte and has attracted readers to it as well.
I am drawn to this genre because of two reasons. Firstly, my writing is inspired from real life incidents with which we all can connect with and secondly my belief and understanding of love. So, I made this genre, a combination of romance/fiction and non fiction for my writing.
Nikhil: Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?
Priyank: I mostly prefer writing late night. Daytime gets consumed in my work and day to day activities, also I have regular traveling involved, so for me the best time to write is during the serene late hours of night.
Nikhil: What is the hardest thing about writing?
Priyank: For me, the tough part is to link a non-fiction topic with a fiction story. I mean, it is not that easy to combine a real life incident with something of your thoughts and imaginations. This at times brings a halt in writing also. While, if you talk in general, I feel toughest part for a writer is to write in a way which will directly strike with the chord of a reader’s heart, because that’s what writers are for. A writer’s credibility depends on how well your work connects to a reader’s mind, heart, emotions and thoughts, all at the same time.
Nikhil: How long on average does it take you to write a book?
Priyank: On an average it takes me almost 12 – 18 months to complete a full book from my end before I send it to the publishers.
Nikhil: You must read a lot! Who are your favorite authors?
Priyank: No, this might look surprising to you. I never liked reading. Today also I don’t read much, but yes some books I have read, especially after coming to this writing and publishing industry. I prefer reading on social issues and books on romance. I like Nicholas Sparks, Erich Segal and Chetan Bhagat.
Nikhil: Any specific book which left a great impact on you?
Priyank: Love Story by Erich Segal, amongst foreign authors and amongst Indian I liked 2 States by Chetan Bhagat.
Nikhil: For your own reading, do you prefer eBooks or traditional paper/hard back books?
Priyank: I always prefer traditional paper/hardback books. The pleasure of reading those paper/hardback books gives is missing in ebooks. That great feel of paper, the different pleasing smell of ink on those papers, it’s truly magical. I don’t get that intensity with ebooks.
Nikhil: “Every person has a writer inside him” Do you agree?
Priyank: Everybody has a story inside him/her, but not exactly a writer or story-teller. Because writing and story-telling needs a different approach, but yes everyone has a story within them.
Nikhil: Which project are you currently working on?
Priyank: I recently completed my second book “God and his Girl-friend”, it is currently with the editorial team of the publishers and by March we will be finalizing its month of release. So, this year will go behind this book’s launch and promotions.
Nikhil: Is there anything else you would like to add for aspiring authors?
Priyank: Just a suggestion to aspiring authors, that don’t go with any new / less recognized publishers because they don’t have a market for your book. Always choose a publisher who has a book’s distribution links in market and will give you a visibility. Also write what you like to, don’t think while writing what is a reader’s choice or what publishers ask for. Never compromise for your thoughts.
List of best publishers according to my experience for Indian commercial fiction readers:
Tier 1 Publishers: Penguin Random house, Rupa Publications, Westland, Jaico, Harper Collins and Srishti Publishers (Srishti Publishers is a great publishing house for debut authors)
Tier 2 Publishers: Fingerprint publishing, Teenage Publishers, Leadstart Publishing, Grapevine India, Black Ink, Cedar Books (Pustak Mahal)
You can give it a go : I Am Dead but My Heart Beats