People who follow me, know that I Loved Shadows Lie by Biju Anthony. And I surely recommend it to everyone. In spotlight today is author Biju Anthony himself, talking to us of how the Shadows Lie came into existence and about himself as a writer.
Do check the review here Shadows Lie
Thanks to author for being part of the blog by agreeing to get interviewed.
Biju Anthony is a banker turned film producer based in the Middle East. He cofounded one of the first Equity Crowdfunded film production company in India – FineCut Entertainments. Currently on sabbatical from corporate life, he spends time writing, travelling and managing film projects. Currently Biju lives in Dubai
Q. A Banker turned into a writer that too a thriller novel, now that’s interesting. Tell us something about it?
Life cannot be planned just like the stories we write. My stories have no ending when I begin to write. It’s an organic process. Likewise it just so happened that one day in 2010 I decided to write a longer version of a short story I had written in 2001. I was based in Kuwait then and wrote a few chapters and left it. Later, I quit banking and got into film production. That’s when I completed the book. The story is set in a quaint village in Kerala where I grew up and is loosely based on an incident that happened in my family. It was interesting and a challenge to fit in a thriller genre in a story that unfolds in an island home inhabited by ordinary people.
Q. What is the greatest challenge in writing a book?
When I started, the biggest challenge was to write; to keep writing every day. It is a discipline you acquire over time. Now I am into my third book and writing whenever I want to; it is not a challenge anymore.
Q. Ever had Writer’s block? How do you deal with writer’s block?
I have not faced any so-called ‘blocks’ till now. Shadows Lie was a lot personal to me. It was about the places and people I kind of knew. So the writing process was without any real interruptions. My second work, which is completed now is a fictionalized account of a character’s life from Mahabharata. Even that was completed as per plan. May be when you keep writing, there might be a point when you struggle not to be repetitive in style and also to keep your story telling techniques relevant.
Q. Shadows Lie give a beautiful description of Plackal Bungalow with water coast and other unique things. How such location did came into your mind for this novel?
The house and the island that plays a crucial character in the story is actually real. The island was owned by my great grand father and the house had its walls polished with hundred’s of egg whites, as told in the story. It’s a beautiful island surrounded by green waters. The world of Bhadra was my creation though and it was a conscious attempt to create a realm that was so different from that of the island.
Q. Do you Read? Who are your favorite author, or books?
I am a slow reader and take a lot of time to finish a book. I keep buying a lot of books but read very few. My all time favourite writer is Gabriel Marques. I also admire Arundhathi Roy a lot.
Q. Do you prefer old ways for handwriting your stories or new generation writing on laptop?
I type them away on my laptop. I find it quite practical when it comes to editing and redrafting. It’s nothing to do with old way or new way – it’s convenient.
Q. A birdie told me that novel is in talks to be made into a movie, if you had the choice to pick, whom would you pick to play the role of Edward, Bhadra & Ely?
It’s still in the planning stages and too early to talk about casting. A lot of factors come into play when you consider casting – availability, suitability and budgets. It’s a murder mystery set in the 1950s. The cast should fit in the period too. Hope to do justice to the story and get an ensemble cast too.
Q. How did you come up with the title of your book? (I kind off know this as I have read book, but for my followers)
Shadows Lie was the working title when I began writing and I had plans to find another name. But then I couldn’t come up with a better name and so decided to keep it. The title “Shadows Lie” encapsulates the essence of the story and narrative style. There are too many lies, beautiful and mysterious lies that masks the past of the characters. And these lies like shadows follow the truth almost camouflaging it.
Q. Give some advantages/disadvantages of being an Indian writer? (in respect of writing, getting published, or getting large audience)
The market for English writing in India is big now. We have a large market for English books but of course not as big as that for books published in UK or US. There are no disadvantages being an Indian writer in English. It’s an opportunity to connect with a larger audience within India.
Q. If you got to rewrite one specific thing in your novel, what would that be?
I would perhaps write more about Bhadra. I feel Bhadra didn’t get enough chapter space. Or may be it’s a good thing. Her mystery lingers on, because of that – I would never know.
Q. What does your writing space look like? (A photo, if possible)
I have a writing-table. But I hardly write there. In fact I don’t have a specific writing place. I like busy places like café’s or malls. I can’t be alone while writing. Even if am in the company of strangers, it helps.
Q. Working on something currently? If yes, will it thriller too?
My second work is a fictionalized account of a female character’s life from Mahabharata. It’s a mixture of genres – mythology, erotica and thriller.
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