BLW: Let’s welcome the new and sensational Indian author Raj Singh to Book Lover’s World. Raj Singh born in Gaya, Bihar, is fond of reading and writing. He graduated in Spanish Language from The English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad. He is also a graduate in Tourism Studies. In his first book, Anna Hazare “Adhoorji jeet ke nayak”, he has the life of Anna Hazare and his movements for the Jan Lokpal Bill. And now he is back with his first fiction “Breakup Before Love”.
Raj Singh: Thank you BLW for the warm welcome.
BLW: Firstly, congratulations on the grand success of your first fiction "Breakup Before Love". Tell us a little about yourself.
Raj Singh: I did my schooling in my home town, Gaya. Later, I moved to Hyderabad and completed my graduation in Spanish language. Writing poems and blogs have always been important activities during my leisure time; in fact, it helped me a lot in my journey to become a writer. Currently, I’m working with Amazon India as a Spanish language resource.
BLW: We know that you are one awesome writer. Tell us about your book Breakup Before Love, what it means to you, and how did you conceive the idea of writing on the most trending genre? How long did it take to write this book?
Raj Singh: Basically, it’s a story of Ritu and Anoop. Anoop loves Ritu but never dares to propose her and when he decides to propose her, he got to know that she loves Samuel, one of her classmates. But, soon Ritu breaks up with Samuel and come back to Anoop life, who still has hope that one day he will propose her about his love. But all of sudden, one day something happens which changes their life. They become complete strangers for each other. They completes their studies and left the university forever. After three years, Anoop accidently sees her in a market in Kolkata. But he is confused whether she will recognize him or not. But will Ritu come back into his life again? Will she forgive him? And, will their life start over again? To know all these, one must read this book.
As far as idea of writing a romantic fiction is concerned, I have read many books of this genre but I witnessed that there are many stories which are being repeated, adding few masala and still people like them. And since during my college days, I witnessed love-shuv and breakup stories therefore I picked up one from those ones. As I’m a working person I don’t usually write everyday so It took around one and half year to write this book.
BLW: reakup Before Love runs on a realistic line with well-developed characters. We would like to know the homework you did to write this book.
Raj Singh: Breakup Before Love is inspired from a real story of a student I met during my college days but most of the characters and incidents are fictional. So, to give this book a proper shape and make a realistic story that anybody can relate to his/her life, I had to work a lot - from developing the idea of characters to the flow of the story, till end.
BLW: Anoop and Ritu, the protagonists of the story are the most loved character among the readers. Is it a character from your real life or just a piece of imagination?
Raj Singh: Both characters (Anoop and Ritu) are inspired from real life but the way the story ends in this book, is my imagination.
BLW: What were your biggest learning experience(s) or surprise(s) throughout the publishing process?
Raj Singh: As of now, what I have learnt is, don’t be in hurry as one cannot become a writer overnight. It takes time so it’s very important for a writer to be patient. Let the publishers do their jobs. Don’t follow up again and again, else they might get annoyed and reject your manuscript.
BLW: What inspired you to write this book?
Raj Singh: Love and breakup.
BLW: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Raj Singh: Yes, I learnt few things which are very important for a writer while writing a book. First, I had to understand what young readers want to read and how the response are. Then, how to get connected with people who want to read because a large number of people still don’t want to read. They prefer to watch movie rather than holding a book.
BLW: Breakup Before Love is a romantic - fictional love story and your first book is inspired by Anna Hazare. Would you be sticking to one preferred style and genre in future or toggle between all?
Raj Singh: To be honest, I don’t want to be a chick lit author and therefore, I want to write books in different genres. My first book, Anna Hazare –Adhoori jeet ke nayak is a biography, Breakup before love is a romantic fictional love story and my next book, I’m working upon, is on social issues.
BLW: When do you write the most? Is there a favorite place at your home or office where you write the most? Any props that you feel lucky to keep with you when writing?
Raj Singh: Night is best time for me to write. And, I can write anywhere and I don’t get distracted until I am done with. Sometimes if something very important pops up in my mind and I don’t have pen and paper, I note it down in my mobile so that I can’t forget what was playing inside my mind.
BLW: As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
Raj Singh: Like others, I just wanted to complete my studies and get a job in Government sector. But, when I was a child and I read stories of Munsi Premchand and other writers and I kept wondering how they would have written such a long stories and how they would have got it published. I was really very curious to know all these things but never planned to be a writer. Yes, I had started writing poems when I was in seventh standard, however, becoming a writer was not my dream.
BLW: What are your inspirations in life?
Raj Singh: Life is a precious gift and it is full of miracles. I have seen many people whose lives were not as we see now. But they are successful now, why? Because they struggled and fought against all the odds. People like them are my inspirations. They are my role models.
BLW: What books have inspired or influenced you as a writer?
Raj Singh: Yes! Premchand, Dharamveer Bharti, Paulo Coelho, Khalid Hosseini and Gabriel García Márquez are my favourite authors and their works (books) have influenced me a lot.
BLW: We would be happy to know about any future projects that you are currently working on?
Raj Singh: Right now my full focus is on my latest book but I have already started working on my next book which is based on social issues.
BLW: What other secret skills do you have?
Raj Singh: I don’t have any secret skill. People know me what I am.
BLW: To be a good writer, one should be a good reader. We know you enjoy reading books. What are the best books you have ever read? Name any five.
Raj Singh: There are many books I really enjoyed reading and want to read those books again and again. Like – Godan, The blind watchmaker, The alchemist, Gunahon ka devta and One hundred years of solitude.
BLW: What advice would you give to all those aspiring authors who consider you as an ideal?
Raj Singh: To be very honest, I’m not a well-known writer who can give any suggestion or advice to other but I would like to share what I have learnt in my writing career. Never ever give up. Sometimes many obstacles would come in your way but you have to have belief in yourself then only you can reach your destiny. If you ever get frustrated, take a sabbatical, visit some places and then, again, sit with a pen and papers.
BLW: Message for the book lovers in this world!
Raj Singh: My book is available in all leading offline and online book stores, please read and let me know how it is. I hope it won’t disappoint you.
Thank you so much for your time. It's our pleasure to chat with you...