Our final call for today is for Dr. Deepak Kripal; who is a doctor by profession, one who realized that writing goes much beyond prescriptions! His latest book hitting the stores is – The Devil’s Gate, a book that I enjoyed reading a lot.
BNI: Tell us something about yourself and your background.
DK: I am a curious soul, sort of an adventurer, a proud doctor, an admirer of friendship, and a huge story lover.
BNI: So, What all you have written/published till date?
DK: It started with my blog (theoriginalpoetry.blogspot.in) where I write poetry, short stories, articles, etc. ‘The Devils Gate’ is my first published work.
BNI: What inspired you to write your first book and or this book?
DK: I had this dream of writing a book in my lifetime, which got a boost due to the amazing response I received from my blog readers. And when the idea of this book happened to me, I got drawn into penning it into a story.
BNI: How would you be interested in introducing your book to the readers?
DK: This book is based on the idea that what happens if one day animals decide that since we are falling short of a habitat, and humans will never listen to us, why not negotiate a deal with the demons to let
the animal community cohabit with them. So, animals send a team to the dead with the intention to negotiate a truce. This is the base of story, and the mystery builds over that.
BNI: How did you come up with the title?
DK: The Devils Gate is a sophisticated, intricately designed gate that animals will need to open during the course of their fateful journey. It is central to the story in more ways than one, hence the title.
BNI: Who is your intended audience and why should they read your book?
DK: My intended audience is anyone who readily lends her curious ear for an innovative and good story. She will get both intellectual and emotional satisfaction through this 6 hour journey.
BNI: Who is your favourite and least favourite character? What makes them so?
DK: They are all my babies so it’s hard to choose, or not to love them. I like Dug for his innocence, Katy for her courage, and Billy for some strange reasons!
BNI: Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?
DK: Katy, a cat and Dug, a dog are the central characters. Katy is someone who would do anything for her larger goal i.e. survival of her kind. She has a tragic past, and hence, a hardened heart. Dug is driven by little pleasures of life rather than big ambitions, and he is game for a talk! Both of them have their weaknesses, more so when they are required to lead a campaign for negotiation with the dead. The fact that they undertake this journey, for different reasons, is just one of the many special things about them.
BNI: What was the hardest and easiest thing about your latest release?
DK: Easiest part, in the sense that it was very fulfilling, was writing.
Hardest was marketing. I am still learning it!
BNI: Share some interesting story about the book writing/cover development.
DK: While writing the book, one of the character that I didn’t plan to be there in the story emerged on the paper spontaneously while I was writing. I felt like I was not writing the story, rather, the story
was writing itself! That character is very important now in the context of story.
BNI: Is there a message in your book/novel that you want readers to grasp?
DK: I just intended to tell an exciting and innovative story. There are little messages, but they are more between the lines. It was my conscious effort not to resort to overt preaching.
BNI: Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
DK: I get messages on Facebook and my blog from my readers and the joy that I derive from hearing that they loved the story is priceless! Mostly, they talk about uniqueness and innovation of the story.
BNI: When and how did you decide to become a writer? Do you write full-time or part-time?
DK: It just happened. I didn’t plan much, to be honest. I am instinctive writer, and not a methodical one. I write only when I am brimming with ideas.
BNI: Which writers inspire you?
DK: Oscar Wilde, Amitav Ghosh, Paulo Coelho, Erich Segal, Dan Brown…the list is endless!
BNI: What draws you to this genre?
DK: I don’t believe much in genres. I just see good stories!
BNI: According to you, What is the hardest thing about writing?
BNI: What are your ambitions for your writing career?
DK: I just want to tell good stories. Nothing more, nothing less!
BNI: What will be your one favourite tip to get through the writer’s block!DK: If you ever overcame one, please tell me how you did that!
BNI: What are your thoughts on book series? Would you like to have one for your latest book?
DK: Series’ are cool. It builds a brand, and a legacy. I haven’t planned any series yet. I’ll love to write one, provided I have a story to tell. I’ll never write it just for the heck of it.
BNI: Any advice for writers budding or established?
DK: Be patient as you develop and edit the story. And take rejections by publishers in your stride. Your time will come!
BNI: Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?
DK: Six publishers rejected me citing reason that my story didn’t fit into their publishing program. But I was only expecting it, considering it was an unusual story, and I was a debut author. Fortunately,
Leadstart Corp. said the magical ‘yes’.
BNI: Did you learn anything from writing your book? What was it?
DK: I learnt that I love stories more than I thought I do! It was the most fulfilling experience of my life.
BNI: What do you think about – What does your protagonist think about you?
DK: I wish he was not human!
BNI: How about a snippet from your book that is meant to intrigue and tantalize us?
DK: Bravery without sword is like slavery without lord!
BNI: What are your expectations for the book?
DK: That it gives six hours of exciting edge of the seat entertainment to its readers.
BNI: Do you think book cover an important role in sales?
BNI: According to you, what is the top most advantage / disadvantage of self publishing?
DK: I am not qualified to comment.
BNI: ebook, pdf, mobi, kindle or printed hardcover book, what’s your pick?
DK: Physical printed copy
BNI: Thank you so much Dr. Deepak Kripal. I hope the readers out there also enjoy your book as much I enjoyed reading it. An important question that springs up in my mind whenever I recall your book is: Are we worth being humans?
For those, who would like to introspect about this question, I would suggest, please have a chance first to read the book and then reconsider your answers and valuable feedbacks. J