Book of short stories and poems have some special charm, they have the ability to intrigue the reader by using less words. I recently read a book of short stories and some beautifully penned poems and loved it. It is the book “Curse of Shiva and other tales” by Abhishek Goswami. It was really refreshing & I thoroughly enjoyed it. Luckily I grabbed an opportunity to have a word with the Author of the book. Here by, presenting you an exclusive interview of the Author Abhishek Goswami, writer of the “The Lonely Drummer and Other Poems” and his latest release “Curse of Shiva and Other Tales”.
•Hi Sir, for those who don’t know, could you start off by telling us a little bit about you and your new book?
Hi, I am Abhishek Goswami and have around 18 years’ experience working in various MNC firms. I am a writer by interest. I have written 2 books. The first book was “The Lonely Drummer and Other Poems”, collection of 35 poems about Nature, Life, Philosophy, Spirituality and Science for which I was awarded the “Top 100 Inspiring Authors of India” in 2018 and “Swami Vivekananda Award for Excellence in Literature” in 2019.
My second and recent book, “Curse of Shiva and Other Tales” is a collection of 10 short stories and 23 poems, covering various themes like science fiction, nature, history, spirituality, struggles, achievements of young and old alike. I live in Noida. In my spare time, I like to read classic mysteries, historical/mythological fiction and follow cricket and music with passion.
•When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
Well, I love reading books since my childhood days. After reading so many genres like adventures, suspense, detective thriller, historical/mythological fiction, I thought of creating something of my own. I wrote a few slogans for my office cricket competition which was well received by everyone. From there on, I wrote a few poems about life, nature and human emotions which then got published as my first book, “The Lonely Drummer and Other Poems.”
•What inspired you to write this book?
This book, “Curse of Shiva and Other Tales” is a very different kind of book, in the sense that it has 10 short tales and 23 poems. So it is a mix of prose and poetry in the same book. This is an experiment which I wanted to do. I am happy to say that all the reviews till date of this book have applauded my effort.
•How long does it take you to write a book?
It depends on the genre of the book. The first book which was a pure collection of poetry took a long while. I never thought I will publish those creations as a book. Hence, I wrote at my own pace and in leisure. The second book has short stories as well which took a little lesser time. It actually also depends on the mental bandwidth you have at that point of time and the writing flow.
•Where did you get the idea to do a collection of short stories instead of a full-length novel?
A full length novel has a wider scope in terms of the storyline, characters and the plot. It requires lot more effort in the planning and execution steps of writing. Whereas a short story does not require full characterisation and is easier to start and finish. A lot is left to the reader to interpret and understand in the shorter tales. A full length novel does not have that luxury. Due to paucity of time, I decided to write the shorter tales for this book.
•How hard is it to establish and maintain a career in fiction writing?
In India and in the English language, they say we have now more writers than readers! It may be true and that creates much more competition than what is required. Also, the attention span of the reader in the 21st century is very less as compared to the reader even 20 years back. With huge technological and social changes in our country in the last 2 decades, being accepted as a fiction writer is tough. I write because I like to do so. It may or may not sustain me as a full-fledged career option. But that is ok. As long as my readers like my work, I am encouraged to write more.
The regional market however is better off because competition is lesser and the readership base is huge.
•What was your favorite part, and your least favorite part, of the publishing journey?
The overall publishing journey is tough but interesting. My favorite part was the cover design of this book in which I share a few ideas which I had. The designers did an excellent job in creating such a wonderful image for this book. Everyone has liked the cover image and are attracted to buy the book. I feel gratified that a few inputs from my side has enhanced the visual appeal of the book.
The least favorite part is the rejection and unwillingness of many publishers to publish. I understand they have their own concerns. But a few of them do not even care to revert which is sometimes very disheartening.
•How do you develop your plot & characters?
Different kind of ideas do emerge when I sit down to think about the story. At some point of time, some ideas converge and I start to jot down those pointers. After further thinking, I can then distill them into more solid ideas and then start writing the story. Frankly, when writing, I write what comes to my mind without thinking too much. Only after I have written a sizeable chunk, I do think about editing it. So overall, it is a mix of intuitive writing and thinking.
•How do you come up with the title of your book?
“Curse of Shiva” is one of the stories in this book and one of my favourite ones. It carries a very powerful message about one’s Karma and its effects on ourselves and others. Hence I decided to use it as a title for my book.
•Which is your favorite story and poem from your book?
Favorite Story – Curse of Shiva, Roses are Red
Favorite Poem – Void and Infinity, The Enchanted Forest
•What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?
First of all, I strongly believe that a good writer must be a reader as well. Only when you have read different kind of books for years will you be able to formulate ideas, characters and plots. Reading enhances your vocabulary and imagination to greater heights. Also, a good writer should be a keen observer of people and society around him/her. Being sensitive to other people’s thoughts and actions helps us to understand other viewpoints. All these virtues contribute to good writing.
•Are you on social media and can your readers interact with you?
Yes I am on social media. My website is http://www.abhigos.com and social media handles are:
Facebook – abhigos99
Instagram – abhigos
Twitter – abhigos99
•What does your family think of your writing?
They are very happy and proud that I have published 2 books. Without my parent’s blessings and the unconditional support of my wife, it would not have been possible for me to do this. I am thankful and blessed to have a lovely supportive family.
•Where can readers purchase your book?
Both my books are available online as paperback and e-book. Links are:
Readers can contact me on FB or Instagram directly if they wish to avail discount coupons for buying these books.
•Are you working on anything at the present you would like to share with your readers about?
I am working on another collection of short stories. This time it will have more adventures, thrills and human emotions in them and I expect readers will have a treat when they have the book in their hands.
•Your Favourite book?
It is difficult to say only one. A few of them would be:
ABC Murders – Agatha Christie
Alchemist – Paulo Coelho
Keepers of Kaalchakra – Ashwin Sanghi
•What’s your favourite food?
Chicken Biryani and Prawns
•What do you like to do when you are not writing?
Reading mystery, mythological, historical novels – English and Bengali
Playing with my little daughter
Listening to Kishore Kumar songs
•What was your dream job when you were younger?
I wanted to become an astrophysicist and discover a planet beyond Pluto. Alas, Pluto itself ceased to be a planet a few years back. I wrote a poem on the nine planets and the fate of Pluto, “Journey to the Nine’ and it is available in this book.
•If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?
I am Happy
Summer or winter
Morning or evening
Tea or coffee
Movie or book
Depends on the mood and what options are there. Cannot pick one.
Village or City
A small town with all modern facilities but not much pollution is ideal.
Twitter or Instagram
I post more on my FB page.
Paperback or e-book
The touch, feel and smell of the pages of the real book is far more intriguing and appealing than the cold lifeless screen of the pdf file.
Reading or Writing
Mostly reading, sometimes writing!
•And lastly, what advice would you like to give to aspiring authors?
I am too new to give advice to aspiring authors. What I can say is write what you want to express and do not think that you have to write whatever is the popular trend in the market going on now. Trends change over time and it is the innovative and unique touch of writers which bring about that change. Read a lot so that you can have better control over words and grammar. It also fuels your imagination and creativity. But do not read just because you have to write some day. Enjoy the process of reading and write only when you think you have enough ideas to play around with. Be observant about your surroundings and understand what other people are trying to say.
Thank You Sir for giving your time.
Best wishes for your future projects.