Let us welcome, Mr. R.V. Raman, author – Fraudster to the spotlight podium. He has been the modest person I have come across in my stint as a book reviewer. I am hopeful that you will have a lot to gain from him.
Let us start with our today’s session.
BNI: Tell us something about yourself and your background.
R.V.R: Tired of extensive physical travel over three decades and across four continents, I now prefer less punishing mental excursions into fictional worlds of my own creation.
BNI: So, what all you have written / published till date?
R.V.R: One corporate thriller as RV Raman (titled Fraudster), and two epic fantasy novels as Kevan Dinn (titled Dark Pursuit: The Lost Shinmahs and Assassin’s Tribute).
BNI: What inspired you to write your first book and or this book?
R.V.R: I have always been fascinated by the fictional worlds I entered as a reader – Middle-Earth, Malgudi, Sherlock Holmes’ and Poirot’s London, Asimov’s universe, etc. I’ve had a strong desire to create new worlds of my own.
BNI: A 30-word tagline for your book
R.V.R: White-collar fraud is not new to India, but the scale is.
BNI: How did you come up with the title?
R.V.R: In the 1970s, I was taken up with the title of an Edgar Wallace’s novel – The Forger. And in general, I like short, pithy titles. The title that came to mind in early 2012 was Fraudster. The publisher liked it too, and we stuck with it.
BNI: Who is your intended audience and why should they read your book?
R.V.R: The current, past and future citizens of corporate India. I don’t see many books that realistically portray life in corporate India, especially the ethical challenges and the many shades of grey it has. Except for some dramatization (which is essential in fiction), I have tried to paint corporate India as it is.
BNI: Who is your favourite and least favourite character? What makes them so?
R.V.R: I am fond of Varsha. If I had a daughter, I would have liked her to be like Varsha. I also find aspects of myself reflected in the characters of Visht & Subbu.
BNI: Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?
R.V.R: Although he dies early in the book, the pivotal character in my mind is Visht. He battles with the shades of grey I mentioned above, and lives with conflicts – between law and natural justice; and between loyalty and responsibility. It is his actions (and inactions) that drive the events.
BNI: Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
R.V.R: They say a wide variety of things. But the main takeaway for me is the encouragement to write more.
BNI: When and how did you decide to become a writer? Do you write full-time or part-time?
R.V.R: About 3 years back. Writing is one of the several things I do; it’s part time.
BNI: Which writers inspire you?
R.V.R: Conan Doyle, Asimov, Tolkien and Wodehouse.
BNI: What draws you to this genre?
R.V.R: Mysteries are clinical and cerebral, and don’t have to be mushy. Thrillers are fast – paced and take you on a rollercoaster ride. The great thing about this genre is that it doesn’t require romance or gore to succeed.
BNI: According to you, what is the hardest thing about writing?
R.V.R: At what level do I pitch the novel? Some readers are very good at comprehension, but others are not. The former group grasps quickly, likes nuanced writing, and is impatient with long explanations. The latter group is quite the opposite.
BNI: What are your ambitions for your writing career?
R.V.R: Nothing specific. I’ll continue writing in both genres.
BNI: What are your thoughts on book series? Would you like to have one for your latest book?
R.V.R: The epic fantasy books that I write are a part of a 4-book series – the Shinmahs. Two have been published on Amazon, and the remaining two are in the making.
BNI: Did you learn anything from writing your book? What was it?
R.V.R: There is nothing called a perfect book. Any book you write, however well, will not go down well with a sizable chunk of readers. Some want deep characterization, while others want racy action. Some prefer clean books; other expect sex & sleaze. Some are impressed with shallow plots; others look for credibility. So, it’s best to write what you write best.
BNI: Do you think book cover an important role in sales?
R.V.R: As a reader, I’ve always considered the cover irrelevant. But I am in the minority. That said, the cover is the first thing that catches a potential buyer’s eye. It is therefore as important in enabling sales as the wrapper is for biscuits or soap.
BNI: According to you, what is the top most advantage / disadvantage of self publishing?
R.V.R: The biggest disadvantage is not getting the chance to work with a good editor.
BNI: ebook, pdf, mobi, kindle or printed hardcover book, what’s your pick?
Books News India thanks you for chalking out time to address the questions posed. We wish you luck for the success of the book.