I feel glad to introduce you to a bestselling author and a gem of a person at heart – Pulkit Gupta. He is a CA student. However, his stories are centred on protagonist, who are also CA students but you could never make it out through his writing style.
This is because as per my perception that they just know how to play with numbers but after connecting with him, my perception has changed. Now I presume that they can tweak with numbers and words alike.
BNI: Tell us something about yourself and your background?
PG: Well professionally I am a CA Final and CS Professional student and also studying LAW from Rohilkhand University, Bareilly. I am a passionate writer which is due to my homeland Bijnor, which gave our country “Dushyant Kumar”, one of the foremost Hindustani Ghazal Poet during the 20th Century.
Just like any other guy of my age I love listening to Hindi music, watch all kind of Hindi movies and follows Cricket and Tennis very closely. I have participated in debates and plays at school level.
BNI: So, what have you written/published till date?
PG: I started writing with a diary and some random poems, but CA gave a professional look to my writing skills. I got associated with CAclubindia in 2008 – India’s no. 1 Interactive Platform for Finance Professionals with over 11 Lac Members and soon got popular among its members due to my unique genre, where I used to link current life situations with CA life, which proved to be inspiring for students as well as professionals. I was voted “Favourite of the Club” in 2011.
My first published work came in the form of “Life and Promises,” which was published by Moments Publishers. It was followed by a love anthology, “Moonlit Matinee” which was compiled by me. I also contributed in “You, me n Zindagi” and it second edition of “Life and Promises” which was published by Authors Empire.
BNI: What inspired you to write your first book as well as Moonlit Matinee? When and how did you decide to become a writer?
PG: My father has been organizing Kavi Sammelans for decade at my hometown, Bijnor. This gave me an opportunity to spend quality time with legendary poets and writers like Neeraj ji and Santosh Anand ji. They encouraged me to write and rest of the work was done by the inspirational comments of my readers at CAclubindia.
‘Life and Promises’ is very close to me. It relates to my life in parts. I have lived a life as an engineering as well as a CA aspirant both. So this novel is all about that journey. It makes me cherish the time I had as an engineering student. Though the story is fictional and may be the only similarity that one can find is that Rachit, the protagonist is an engineer turned CA aspirant, just like me. All rest is fictional yet it is imbedded with true emotions.
‘Moonlit Matinee’ was done randomly without any planning. One night I was chatting with my friend about Valentines Day and anthologies, and suddenly I came up with the idea of a love anthology on V-Day. I asked for her opinion, and she replied, “Let’s give it a shot.” We were lucky that we got such a talented team in such a short span of time, and finally we did it.
BNI: A 30 word tagline for your book?
PG: Cheer the feeling of love with ‘Moonlit Matinee,’ which is a blend of Prose, Sonnet, Ballad and Poetry. It contains tales of Love, Emotions, Lust, Passion and Relationship.
BNI: How did you come up with the title?
PG: Well as the title suggests, “Life and Promises” is all about Life and the promises as well as the challenges it brings along with. Life is very simple, but it is we who makes it complicated. Love yourself first so that you can live your life fully. Communicate with others and you will have most your problems solved.
BNI: Who is your intended audience and why should they read your book?
PG: For “Life and Promises,” my target readers are mainly students such as IIT, CA, CS and CMA aspirants. “Moonlit Matinee” is for those who cherish romance. It is different from other anthologies as it has a unique combination of prose and poetry which has been written by experienced authors.
BNI: What was the hardest and easiest thing about your latest release? PG: Well the hardest thing about “Moonlit Matinee” was the kind of competition it faced from all the anthologies floating in the market. Anthologies is the latest trending topic in the literary word and almost all the publishers were coming out with love anthologies in Feb due to 2 reasons, one was V-week and other was International Book Fair.
The easiest thing was to get yourself noticed due to quality content and experienced team. It gave me an edge over other anthologies, and it also reflected in critic’s reviews.
BNI: Is there a message in your book/novel that you want readers to grasp?
PG: Life and Promises is an inspirational tale, which compels you to think what matters more: dreams or people who love you. It is about tackling dilemmas and emerging as a hero or regretting some unchangeable decisions. It is must for young people who make hasty decisions in life and finally suffers coz of that. This story tell us that it is not necessary that everything goes as per you have planned. But to survive you need to adapt. If you failed to do so you have to pay in terms of cost which you can never recover. But in the end, “Life goes on”.
BNI: Do you meet your readers at book signings, conventions or similar events? Any plans in relation to this book? Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
PG: Yes, I love to interact with my readers, as they are my inspiration. I write for them and whatever I am is due to them. Well as I am a CA aspirant, which is considered to be a tough line, so most of their queries are about time-management. They want to know the process to get published and how I managed to write along with my profession.
We are planning to organize writing workshops at various colleges to promote our work. We conducted book launch of Life and Promises at various CA classes and promoted it at World Book Fair. This time we will target Lucknow Book Fair for Moonlit Matinee.
BNI: Which writers inspire you?
PG: Rhonda Byrne, Rashmi Bansal, Robin Sharma, Sudeep Nagarkar, Tuhin Sinha, Preeti Shenoy and Varun Agarwal.
BNI: According to you, what is the hardest thing about writing?
PG: Editing. One needs to edit and proofread his work 3-4 times before submission.
BNI: What are your ambitions for your writing career?
PG: I have four projects in the pipeline. My most ambitious project is Hum Tum, which is a romantic tale travelling decades and it will be released next year. I want to establish Moonlit Matinee as a brand and will come up with it is second volume. Similarly, I want to write something for my CA fraternity and have a self-help book in my mind.
BNI: What has been the toughest criticism and best compliment to you, as an author?
PG: During my initial days, I was told that I can’t go into commercial writing and is only good at writing inspirational articles and I broke that myth with “Life and Promises”.
The best compliment which I have received was from an unknown person who told me that he dropped the idea of committing suicide and rejoined CA after reading my book.
BNI: What are your thoughts on book series? Would you like to have one for your latest book?
PG: It is good to have one as it helps you to capitalise on the existing reader base of the previous book of that series like we have in films – Dhoom series, Krish Series or Golmaal Series.
BNI: Any advice for writers budding or established?
PG: I would advise them to write what they like and not what others want to read. Don’t follow the trend and it is a big myth that only college romance and sex sell.
BNI: What was your favourite chapter (or part) to write and why?
PG: There is a chapter named, “Ami Tomake Bhalobashi (I love you)” in Life and Promises which is the best write-up of my life till date. It was very difficult for me to portray the feelings of a girl, and I loved writing it.
BNI: Any amusing story about marketing this book, so far?
PG: Well I addressed a group of 400 CA final students in a coaching class, and it was indeed a memorable experience. I have always been on the other side of the podium, and it was awesome sharing your story with someone from your profession and future CEOs of companies.
BNI: Do you think book cover an important role in sales?
PG: Yes, it does as this the only medium through which the author communicates with his readers and tells about his book. This gives the first impression about the book.
BNI: According to you, what is the top most advantage / disadvantage of self publishing?
PG: You can have more control in the internal matters and will have the last say in case of quality of the book.
BNI: eBook, pdf, mobile, kindle or printed hardcover book, what’s your pick?
PG: Printed hardcover as nothing can beat the excitement of seeing your book in the paper form although I prefer kindle for reading.
BNI: Thank you dear Pulkit for sharing your thoughts with us. Your’s is truly an enriching and inspiring experience.