Updated: Feb 19, 2021
For the next episode of the Author to Author segment, I am in conversation with the amazing Aryeman Raj - Author, Blogger, Actor & Social Media Influencer.
Our interviewee, author Aryeman Raj has been a media monkey and now dabbles as a social media influencer for brands. Donning multiple hats seems to be an easy task for him since he has the gift of the written word. In this free-wheeling interview, Aryeman shares some no-holds barred secrets which could not just inspire you but literally shake you up and forge ahead in life.
"A plethora of doubts seep into your mind as an author. Will my book be picked up by a publisher? Will it be a best-seller? Will I make enough money with the royalties to lead a cushy lifestyle? How do I market my book? Well, the best way to get forward in the writing business is to read this interview and soar high." Aryeman Raj
What does writing mean to you? Why do you write?
Writing for me is venting up my inner feelings and making people think. Unfortunately, most people are so shy to speak the truth that they submerge their opinions. Fortunately, with the influx of social media, everyone has become judgmental and got vociferous of their thoughts.
Well, I write coz it’s a pulsating passion. Having been a media monkey, my style borders more on the spice element. Audiences would rather click on a provocative headline than something related to a farmer’s death.
When did you start writing? Do you remember the first time you wrote something?
Reading novels was my all-time favourite pass-time when I was young. I started writing ‘letters to the editor’ for various print publications at the age of fourteen. Winning the hundred rupees best letter prize was enough motivation for me to continue. I started working with a film gossip magazine when I was seventeen. Although we were bullied (by our seniors) to ask the most scandalous questions from Bollywood actors, it opened my mind to get information out in a tricky way.
What was the source of your inspiration earlier? Did it change with the time?
Life changes your thoughts and mind-set with maturity. Earlier I was all out to expose and ridicule people or events. Now I have mellowed. In fact, it was actress Jaya Pradha (who was at her peak in those days) who sat me down and explained the karmic kickback theory to me. From then, I toned down my writing style. However the spice element continued and believe me, actors would literally vomit the juiciest gossip to me. Even in recent times, TV actor Divyanka Tripathi spoke openly in an exclusive to me about her break-up and the video went viral on my YouTube channel.
What is the most difficult part of your writing process?
Completion is the most difficult phase for me. I had almost 17 unfinished books with me when I relocated myself from Dubai to Mumbai. It was 2020 which paved the way for me as an author. I launched seven e-books, and there are some open ready but I haven’t released them yet.
Now also, my second series of 'Detective Atharvaa Investigates’ is almost ready but getting to complete the last three chapters (the flow is chalked out) never seems to happen since other projects take precedence.
My Amazon author link is: https://amzn.to/3iYyz7V
What comes first for you — the plot or the characters — and why?
I would hold weightage to the plot. For me, the characters make me dance literally. They create havoc and becoming menacing, mean and blossom with absolute weirdity. My story flow gets more engrossing and thrilling. As an author, I just love this drama and the magical trance which my characters evolve in. All these intricate traits weren’t planned in the initial stages of the story development. Isn’t that an amazing feat for an author to be remote-controlled by your characters?
What’s your favorite and least favorite part of publishing?
I have never done a submission to any publishing house for the innumerable, horrific stories I have come across. The mere thought of delays, umpteen draft changes is a put-off for me. I would rather publish an e-book than wait for three months for approval and later get paid peanuts as royalty.
How did you come up with the title for your book?
Being a media monkey, the title holds supreme importance to me just like doing an interview. It has to be spicy and yet not let the cat out of the bag for the readers. First is the plot and the mechanics of the story-telling, next would be the title.
What inspired the idea for your book?
Scandal, spice, exposes – these seem to titillate me for fiction writing. For non-fiction, it has been the problem solving technique which has worked wonders.
What part of the book did you have the hardest time writing?
I prefer writing short stories and fast reads. I doubt if I could complete 90k words for a paperback. However, writing for a screenplay or ghost-writing for a web series has been easier for me.
What do you need in your writing space to help you stay focused?
I prefer a silent environment which doesn’t seem to fit in while at home. I can write with speed if I am alone with certain other pre-requisites which work well for me.
If your book were made into a movie, which actors would play your characters?
For the Detective Atharvaa series, I already have a theatre actor in mind. In fact, I modulate my characters mannerisms with him in mind and then add my own flavours. I do have a role for a dear friend Jasveer, who has moved to Canada (Laughs). The producers have even agreed to shoot his scenes in Canada. (ROFl - Jasveer laughs)
What is the future for the characters? Will there be a sequel?
Oh, I have ten book ideas in place for my detective series.
What do you like to do when you are not writing?
Honestly, I never keep myself free. I make short films, learnt film editing on my own, create content for my Instagram and other social media platforms. The creative keeda has caught on big time to me.
Which writers have inspired you? Do you feel yourself ever influenced by the writing style of a writer?
Robin Sharma, Sidney Sheldon, James Hadley Chase.
How often do you write? People say writing needs time; best words come out in leisure. How do you manage your time to write and work?
I just need an empty room with no interferences. I could write twenty pages in three hours.
Please let the readers know about your projects for future? Are your working on any book?
The Detective Atharvaa series and some inspirational books are ready. I also dabble as a life coach so I have some clients whom I show the stick to, in case they don’t deliver the steps I have planned for their success.
What is your message to the young & aspiring authors who are willing to explore the new dimensions of creative writing?
Expose people and incidents, speak the truth, glorify your characters – after all they have to be larger-than-life and stand strong. A writer is here to change the world, our characters are the tools we flesh to make them the voice that brings about the change.
Continue writing regularly.
Work on different projects simultaneously.
Don’t think of earning money but do it for the passion.
Publish as many short stories as e-books on Kindle Unlimited. Authors even publish a ten-page short story book.
Do it for yourself. You never know which book of yours can get you that BIG BREAK!
If a full book is difficult to complete, work on short stories. Any new idea you get, write it down. Writing three books at the same time works wonders for me. Whichever inspires me the most gets completed faster. The sky is the limit for a writer coz you are that wizard who can mold, transform and entertain your readers. Be the voice, be the change, you are winner if you have the power of the pen. Flourish it, explode and become the game changer for the world.
Thank you taking time out to read my conversation with the amazing Aryeman
- Jasveer Singh Dangi
Disclaimer - All views & facts mentioned above are the sole responsibility of the respective author being interviewed. The Author, Aryeman, is solely responsible and liable for the information including but not limited to the views, representations, descriptions, statements, information, opinions and references.
Jasveer is an Author, Behavioral trainer, award -winning Health and Safety professional & Founder of The Cog Publication LLP, India. He is currently based in Canada. His Amazon Author Central profile is - https://www.amazon.com/~/e/B07M6KS48Q