After more than twenty years of working in a highly successful family business and owning a popular brand in the interiors industry, Karan decided it was time to get into self publishing—an idea that came to mind when he saw his son having so much fun reading books. It rekindled a latent passion for writing that he had developed after his college days, leading to his first book. It Happens, along with two others books that will come out in due course, will be a testament to his storytelling and creative skills. Karan has a beautiful family with two young boys, Aakash and Aayansh, and Aarti as his lovely life companion. He is a commerce graduate and a battle-hardened businessman. His other passions include both playing and watching cricket and football, as well as being an avid traveller. His work in this creative field will continue along with his business management—seeing as he has actively made the company grow manifolds over the past twenty years.
1. Who is Your Favorite writer and which books are your favorite?
John Grisham…Pelican Brief was the first book I read of his and still remains my favourite. Though I have been a writer in the romance genre so far, I personally love reading crime thrillers and mystery books.
2. When are you planning for your next book?
I am currently working on a romantic thriller which is titled What If. I have completed one draft of it of around 12000 words. However, the final book will be around 45-50000 words. Hoping to release the book by April or May 2018.
3. What are your interests other than writing?
I am a big football fan and London based Chelsea is the club I follow passionately….even stay awake until 3am to watch their matches. Cricket is the sport I love playing and continue to do so even now. Love watching engaging television series like Homeland, Prison Break, Lost among others.
4. What inspires you in life?
Honesty, sincerity, and dedication by people in whatever they do inspire me. I have great respect for People who have done things differently, who have come out of their comfort zones and started something new. Inspiration need not come only from the world leaders but even from the office boy who works for you.
5. How long does it take you to write a book?
I work in phases. In the first phase, I write the story in approx 10-12000 words which generally takes 4-6 weeks to write. This helps me to complete the story with the beginning, central theme and the ending all penned down with proper logic and the main characters. The 2nd phase which takes 6-8 weeks is about filling up the book with detailing about everything in the story. Each chapter is read and redone 3-4 times to complete it. Once the second phase is over I give the book to 1-2 people to read and let me know their views. Once their views come in, I will rewrite certain portions of the story which I feel need working on. The third phase takes 2-3 weeks to complete. Then comes the editing process which again takes 5-7 weeks.
So overall from starting to write the book until the time it gets published is approximately 5-6 months.
6. How long it took to finish your novel It Happens?
It was in June that I came across the idea of self-publishing when I accidentally picked up a book on that topic. The research on publishing, writing length etc took a couple of weeks before I started with the phase 2 of my book. Phase 1 was done 12 years back which helped quicken the pace. I was very excited about the aspect of releasing my first book and hence put in 4-6 hours daily to ensure the book finishes quickly and is released. So the time from when the bug of turning an author hit me to the release of the book it took me approximately 4 months.
7. What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
I am not a full-time writer with my own business being a big part of my daily routine. However since the time I have started writing I have reserved 2 hours for either writing or marketing activities of the book. Though these 2 hours are not fixed…it may happen in the evening or at night. Sometimes when I am really in the flow and enjoying writing a particular portion of the story, I might go on for even 4 hours at a stretch.
8. Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
As an author, you have to be a good observer of things around you. Stories of so many people can become a part of your book. I recently wrote the outline for my 4th book on a 2-hour flight from Lucknow to Mumbai with the initial part of the story being inspired by the things which happened in my cousin’s life. Even certain parts of It Happens have been drawn from real life. For eg, the part of international placements as part of management training happened to my friend Gautam (after whom the main protagonist is also named) while working in Citibank and he was placed in Singapore.
I truly believe that stories have to be real and logical for the reader to feel the connection and the writer can make that happen only if he or she observes that in real life.
9. How did you feel when your very first novel got published?
It was one of the happiest moments in my life…a project which started 12 years back finally saw daylight…my creative work was out in the open…one of my close relatives told me a very interesting thing when my book came out…It is one thing writing for your own satisfaction and feeling good about it but it is a big risk that one takes by publishing it and then being open to all kinds of feedback. I was personally elated that I took this step and confidence was one thing I was not lacking in my work which is very important.
10.The story in the novel is connected to your real life too?
Many people have asked me this question and I have disappointed all of them by saying No.
I follow the famous tagline coined by Apple back in the late 90s…Think Different.
I want to write about unique and different topics. Thus when I decided to work on a love story, I wanted it to be different rather than the usual boy meets girl, followed by some complications etc. In the early 2000s, I had developed a big crush on Meg Ryan and I believe if ever there was a contest for the cutest female in the world, she would have won it hands down.
That is when it struck me. What if I ever got the opportunity to be in a long-term relationship with Meg Ryan would I let go of it just because she was elder to me? This became the crux of my story…falling in love with the elder woman….this was the easier part but taking this relationship to its logical conclusion of a marriage was the difficult part especially with the Indian sensibility. This storyline really excited me a lot and hence the book It Happens.
11. Which character of a story did you like the most? And why?
Every reader of the book has absolutely loved the character of Rohit, the witty, smart ass, and suave Delhi ka launda. Rohit is the character I wish I was whereas Gautam is the character who I am…strong on the outside but emotional and sensitive on the inside. I guess everyone wishes they are as funny and outspoken as Rohit and hence the fondness for that character, even for me.
Every character I write definitely has my touch especially when it comes to what I would do or how I would react to different situations…it brings out your best as well as the grey shades in your personality.
12. A Message for all Aspiring writers.
I am too new at this to have a message for the aspiring writers. I am however sharing my experience of the whole writing process on my blog www.thekaransharma.blogspot.com The aspiring authors can pick up a lot of things through my own experience which can help them when they decide to take the plunge. I feel proud that I personally did all the research on publishing, writing, marketing which has made my experience very enriching and helped me learn a lot of things.
If you decide to take up writing or anything in life do it with Honesty, sincerity, and dedication and you are bound to succeed. Be confident in what you do but never overconfident. Keep doing the right things and right things will keep happening to you.
Blog by Vidhya Thakkar