Our today’s author in spotlight is Ishaan Lalit. A young and vivacious lad who is fond of writing and who knows how to handle his readers well.
BNI: Tell us something about yourself and your publications till date?
Ishaan: I was a Gemmologist, Diamond Analyst and a Commercial Pilot before I began writing. I have written five books up until now. Three of them have been published, the fourth one is coming out soon via LiFi and the fifth one is a secret project of mine. It is the sequel to my award winning Sci-Fi novel, Hexagon. It is called Icarus and I think I want to release in a different medium when I am done with it.
BNI: What inspired you to write your first book?
Ishaan: I was in Philippines flying cargo planes in the dry spells between typhoons. I had written something and I sent it back here to my brother. When he read it, he practically forced me to take writing seriously.
BNI: A 30 word tagline for your book
Ishaan: Dinner Date is a book about lawyers, laughs, love, ladies and maybe law.
BNI: How did you come up with the title?
Ishaan: I believe that every book names itself. I don’t name them. It is like they have a mind of their own.
BNI: Who is your intended audience and why should they read your book?
Ishaan: I don’t write books for age groups or any other groups. I think my books but I suppose Dinner Date is more appreciated by the young adult audience.
BNI: Who is your favourite and least favourite character? What makes them so?
Ishaan: I love all my characters. They are all extensions of me. I think I like Sam Thomas the most in Dinner Date. The whole book is about him, so I guess I had no choice but to like him.
BNI: Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?
Ishaan: Sam Thomas starts out being a shy and confused character. I think he is special because he changes through the book. Not like a hero but a believable young man.
BNI: In your opinion, what was the hardest and easiest thing about your latest release?
Ishaan: Hardest things to contend with are delays. Easiest thing has always been writing the manuscript.
BNI: Please share some interesting story about the book writing/cover development.
Ishaan: The cover development was a contentious time. I remember being absolutely unhappy with the cover when the idea was sent to me. I was in Dubai and I actually went to different home stores to snap photos of a laid table to send it back to my publisher. I got some very weird looks. But then Kunal Marathe worked everything out by going in a completely different direction. Which was definitely the right one.
BNI: Is there a message in your book/novel that you want readers to grasp?
Ishaan: Chill out!
BNI: Do you meet your readers at book signings, conventions or similar events? Any plans in relation to this book?
Ishaan: My pen name was Recluse and I am still pretty reclusive, especially when I am plotting or writing a book. I would love to interact with my audience and when I meet them, I enjoy it. Unfortunately those time are few and far in between.
BNI: Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
Ishaan: Some of my fans are pretty die hard about my Science Fictions and they don’t like me shifting genres. They are very nice and are patiently waiting for me to finish work on its sequel. I love them. I am like them.
Others, who have just picked up Dinner Date, have wrote to me that they have loved it.
BNI: When and how did you decide to become a writer? Do you write full-time or part- time?<br />
Ishaan: I am a full time writer. I became a full time writer because of the Indian Aviation Industry and I would like to thank them for leaving me without a job.
BNI: Which writers inspire you?
Ishaan: John Scalzi, Frank Herbert, Isaac Asimov, Jesse Bering and Veronica Roth
BNI: What draws you to this genre?
Ishaan: To comedy, because it is fun and light hearted.
To Sci-Fi, because it is intensely challenging and fun in a different kind of way
BNI: According to you, What is the hardest thing about writing?
Ishaan: Starting! The first page is always the hardest for me. After which it is all cool. I’ll stop in the middle but I know it is temporary. The start kills me!
BNI: What are your ambitions for your writing career?
Ishaan: I don’t know, to be read and appreciated all over the world sounds like a nice ambition.
BNI: What has been the toughest criticism and best compliment to you, as an author?
Ishaan: The toughest criticism I have received is on Flipkart. I am not going to reel you what it is. You can go and check it out on your own. The best would be after Dinner Date, when a reader said ‘Ishaan Lalit I am waiting for your next book. So finish writing it.”
BNI: What will be your one favourite tip to get through the writer’s block
BNI: What are your thoughts on book series? Would you like to have one for your latest book?
Ishaan: I think book series works. Anybody who says it doesn’t hasn’t seen the 50 or more books Horus Heresy series or 35 or more from Star Wars and 3 from our own Immortals of Meluha series.
I don’t think I will doing a series for Dinner Date but I already told you that I am working on a sequel for Hexagon.
BNI: Any advice for writers budding or established?
Ishaan: Write fantasy, it pays better to write about Shiva.
BNI: Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?
Ishaan: It is extremely challenging to get yourself published and like everybody else I had a hard time getting published too. It is all part of the game I suppose.
BNI: Did you learn anything from writing your book? What was it?
Ishaan: Every time I write I learn something new about myself, the content and the language. I also learn new ways to implement my work. Think about a painter stroking a brush on canvas, every time he paints, he figures out the right pressure on the brush, the amount of colour to be used and the posture to hold. Similarly an author learns the right mix of elements to but on page.
BNI: Any amusing story about marketing this book, so far
Ishaan: None, what so ever. Marketing is not amusing.
BNI: What do you think about – What does your protagonist think about you?
Ishaan: Sam Thomas wants to represent me in court. He thinks that sooner or later my big mouth and my martial artist background will get me into trouble.
BNI: What are your expectations for the book?
Ishaan: I just hope people like it and appreciate it.
BNI: Do you think book cover an important role in sales?
Ishaan: Oh, it is one of the most important things for a book. They say don’t judge a book by its cover but everybody does.
BNI: According to you, what is the top most advantage / disadvantage of self publishing?
Ishaan: Advantage would be – You get the content just the way you want it.
Disadvantages are – You get the content just the way you want it. And also the lack of distribution hurts you.
BNI: ebook, pdf, mobi, kindle or printed hardcover book, what’s your pick?
Ishaan: Audiobooks from audible! They are faster, they are from amazon and the actors make it more intense. Other than that ebook from kindle is awesome. Love the whisper sync.
Thanks Ishaan for accepting to be interviewed on he blog. BNI wishes you luck for success.