I recently got an opportunity to interview the Author of ‘Signboard at Dholavira’, CA Nishith S. Parikh. Following are his answers to my questions.
1) When did you start writing? Given the fact that you are a CA, how did the writing began?
Ans: Since my college days I used to write articles which were regularly published in College Magazines, again I love travelling to historical places which urges me to undertake research every time. Every time the story associated with those places fascinates me. So, this habit combined with my passion for reading led me to become a Writer.
2) Are you interested in Mythology? Do you always feel an impact of it while writing?
Ans: Well am very deeply attached to the Ancient Indian History and archaeology. Places and stories of historical importance always attract me. Rather I would like to say that I will prefer to spend my holidays at archaeological and historical places instead of spending my buck at hill stations.
Since my childhood I grew up reading the Ramayana, the Mahabharata and other books of historical importance as also the thrillers and fictions. The messages and incidents therein always fascinated and inspired me. And this reading habit gave a kick to my passion i.e. writing my own book in “Mythology” genre.
3) How do you balance out your profession and passion for writing?
Ans: Balancing well that’s what a CA is supposed to do, balance the balance sheets J, after my office hours and on holidays my most of the time get spent reading articles and undertaking research. And for writing you have to read as much as you can, so reading and writing goes hand to hand. And being CA you have to manage a fraction of second.
4) How were you as a kid? Did you read books? What is your favourite childhood book?
Ans: Frankly speaking as a kid I was not much social, I always fond the company of nature and history. Since my childhood I was fascinated towards reading and this habit helped me a lot to develop my character and personality. My favourite childhood books are the Mahabharata, the Ramayana, the adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Byomkesh Bakshi and many others.
5) What kind of research do you do and how long do you spend before beginning a book?
Ans: When you are writing a book that is relating to your history, you have to be precise and have to undertake a vast research.
First of all I read the Mahabharata to find out that are those weapons mentioned therein actually? Then I read various articles that elaborated about the futuristic weapons used during the war. Again I came across Mundak upanisad and Vimanika Shashtra. Also I watched some documentaries and videos wherein those divine astras are explained. And after two and half years of research I was able to complete the whole book.
6) Do you plan to become a full time writer?
Ans: I don’t want to say a lie so my answer will be yes.
7) What are the ethics of writing about historical figures?
Ans: My simple funda is to write and tell people about ancient legends without manipulating the true nature and character of those historical figures. I don’t want to manipulate history for myself ends. Yes few incidents might be here and there but the core will remain untouched.
8) Do you read book reviews? How do they affect you?
Ans: Yes I do read. For good ones I feel really happy that my work is getting admired while for average and bad reviews, I take it as a constructive criticism.
9) Which is the most difficult part of writing and publishing a book?
Ans: The utmost difficulty I faced while writing this book is to spare time from my busy work schedule. Being finance professional you have to work for hours completing assignments and ensure compliance by end of various so called “Due Dates”. In between this tight schedule I always find it difficult to devote time for my passion about writing.
Again when you are writing a book that is relating to your history, you have to be precise and have to undertake a vast research which demands a lot of time and visit distant places.
For book publishing I send manuscripts to various publishing houses since mid of 2018 but never heard from them that was so disappointing but then thanks a lot to Storymirror for providing me the platform.
10) Do you believe in Writer’s block?
Ans: But there’s no such thing. We say that we have this thing called “writer’s block” and it’s the reason why we’ll never achieve our dreams. As if it’s a contracted disease.
But it doesn’t exist.
11) Tell me something about your book, “Signboard at Dholavira”.
Ans: Basically, It is an archaeological cum mythological thriller. The adventure and information covered in this work will surely enhance the anxiety of the audience who love to read about Ancient India. Each chapter will grasp them tightly.
The story will uncover the false myths and will present the scientific view. It’s a story of Professor Gaekwad, the protagonist and the legend of Drona Parva Astras. The book is all about his journey from fighting the evil force, to finding ways to deal with the secret and eventually finding safeguard the same.
12) Any manuscripts in pipeline? When can we expect your next novel?
Ans: At present am busy with Part-2 of the Signboard Series, then the next might be a Paranormal Thriller or Suspense Thriller