Recipient of the prestigious Ramnath Goenka Indian Express Award, Abhisar Sharma is a TV journalist currently working for ABP News, whose previous roles have included positions at the BBC, NDTV and Zee TV. Abhisar is also a bestselling novelist and recently had his latest book entitled A Hundred Lives For You published. We interviewed the man himself to find out more about his work as an author, about his books, and how his work as a TV journalist feeds into his writing work. Read on to find out what Abhisar had to say.
Can you please tell us how you got into writing novels and what genres you like to write in?
I am and have always been quite an AfPak enthusiast. This was the time when Baitullah Mehsud, the chief of the Pakistani Taliban had died in a drone attack. The interesting bit of information about this death was he was engaged in an act of fornification with his wife. I wrote a small story based on my own inputs and pasted it on Facebook. Somewhere down the line, the 2000 word short story expanded into a 1 lakh plus full-fledged novel. This started my journey as a novelist where I got interesting bits of information on the story behind his death. As you know, writing can be addictive and when I finished writing The Eye of Predator, I started writing another thriller set in the AfPak region, called The Edge of The Machete. This is how it all started. But I have been a story teller and I don’t bind myself into genres. My latest one, A Hundred Lives For You, is a coming of age, emotional saga, radically different from the previous two published novels. At present I am working on a love story called Forbidden and a film script called STING, a political thriller. So, I don’t believe in genres. I believe in telling stories. Genre and categorisation is just incidental.
How much does your work as a television journalist inform and inspire your novels? Can you please give us any example of how your professional work has fed into your stories?
TV is a visual medium and as you read my novels, you shall discover that they are descriptive visually. That comes out of years of training in the audio visual medium. Apart from this, I have vast experience of working in the field. My characters and even incidents that make up a story are borrowed from a lot of real life incidents, many of whom I have experienced personally. The ideal example is my first novel, The Eye of The Predator. I had an interesting bit of information on who could have planned the conspiracy behind the death of the man who wanted to rule Pakistan. But it was a conspiracy theory that could not be reproduced in news. So, I reproduced the brilliant theory in the format of fiction.
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Your latest novel has been published recently and is intriguingly entitled A Hundred Lives for You. Can you please tell us a bit about the story and about any key messages you wanted to convey through it?
As I said earlier, A Hundred Lives for You is an emotional saga, the most personal story that I have written so far. It’s the tale of a 13 year old boy who writes a story and that story gets buried in the sands of time, only to reveal itself two decades later to another 12 year old. It’s a story about relations and an effort by my protagonist to redefine them, at times with disastrous consequences. It’s a story of rediscovery, about love, friendship, betrayal, revenge served cold and the consequences. There is so much that this story says, I guess it’s for the reader to discover the message, if there is indeed one. But to quote one of the reviews, ‘it leaves the reader satiated and healed’.
I think one message that the story conveys is for the parents. It begs to ask the question that do we, as parents, tend to impose our will on our children, whether it is ambitions or the person that they want their kids to be. It also conveys that loves heals, and revenge no matter how desperate or urgent, always leaves scars on the seeker and the victim.
Can you please tell us about your proudest moment in your career as an author so far?
I am still waiting for that big moment. But the one moment that stands out is when my mother read her first English novel, in one go, her very first one, and it was A Hundred Lives For You. What more could a son ask for?
Are you working on any other novel(s) at the moment? If so, can you please give us a sneak preview of your activities?
Writing is an addiction, so you will never find me in a situation when I am not writing. My next novel is a love story, with religious and political undertones, about a Hindu boy in a Muslim dominated area, who falls in love with a, yes you guessed it right, a Muslim girl. No, it’s not about love Jihad, but hopefully something that you might find interesting. The title of the book is Forbidden.
Can you please share 3 top tips with budding authors who are working towards creating a career as an author?
I don’t think there can be a career purely as a writer, unless you books sell in the lakhs , but one tip that I wish to offer to my friends who wish to become writers is that , DON’T let anything stop you from expressing yourself. Forget about the grammar or your hesitation about the fears of being judged, just write. There is no such thing as writers block, it can be countered by writing more, by just scribbling. Imagination is a writer’s most powerful ally. Drown and drench yourself in imagination when you write the story. You should be possessive about your protagonists. That’s how your characters make a mark amongst your readers.
How can people find out more about you?
I guess through my work, my novels and also through my avatar as a TV Journalist on ABP news by tuning in at 8pm daily Monday through to Saturday. I am not very active on Twitter, but I do respond to people when I have the time. I love interacting with people and I never forget to respond to people who read my novels.
Getting a copy of A Hundred Lives For You
We would like to express our deep thanks to Abhisar for answering our questions. If you would like to get a copy of his latest novel A Hundred Lives For You, it is available from major stores including Amazon, Crossword and Flipkart.
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://writingtipsoasis.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/hv1.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Hiten Vyas is the Founder and Managing Editor of eBooks India. He is also a prolific eBook writer with over 25 titles to his name.[/author_info] [/author]