Having here today, Ashutosh Garg, the author of Eye For An Eye
Let’s start with a traditional question – As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
I grew up in a middle class home. My father was an Army officer and my mother was a teacher. I loved English Literature but like most Indian families, the pressure was to get a good job which is why I completed my MBA and worked in the corporate sector for 25 years before becoming an entrepreneur.
Did you have any goals for this book when you wrote it — to get published, or just to finish, or bring up some new topic, etc.?
I have always enjoyed writing and my latest book “An Eye for an Eye” is my fifth book. I wanted to write a story that would span a period in India that I have lived through.
How did you begin writing? Did you intend to become an author, or do you have a specific reason or reasons for writing each book?
I used to write for magazines when I was 16 years old. I have always written for magazines and newspapers but it was only in 2010 when I published my first book. The reason I write on diverse subjects is because I believe I am addressing some of the questions that society is facing. My latest book “An Eye for an Eye” is a work of fiction but takes the reader through 7 decades of progress in India.
What authors do you like to read? What book or books have had a strong influence on you?
I enjoy reading a diverse range of authors like Jeffery Archer, Wilbur Smith, Robert Ludlum, John Grisham etc. in addition I also enjoy historical and corporate biographies. I am currently reading Mao, Arthashastra and Mein Kampf.
Could you describe the mundane details of writing: How many hours a day to you devote to writing? Do you write a draft on paper or at a keyboard (typewriter or computer)?
There is no pattern that I follow to write. When I am in the mood to write, then I wake up at 2 am and write! I write directly on my computer though I do have a draft and the chapter outlines that I make in a diary along with my notes for the books.
Do you write every single day? Now that you are published, any upcoming book from your side?
When I am in the writing mode, I write every day. An Eye for an Eye is my fifth book. I am working on a couple of other books at the moment and hope to complete these in 2016.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I have a full time job as the Chairman of Guardian, a company I had founded 13 years ago. I sit on the boards of several companies. In addition, I read, play golf and also play the Indian flute.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned while writing your book?
My learning from writing my book was my ability to introspect about my own life. Most authors draw upon their own learnings and experiences to write and develop their characters and I too did the same.
Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
I hear a lot from readers. I am in touch with them on Twitter, Quora and Instagram. Comments range from questions on startups to appreciation or criticism about the book.
What message would you like to give to the young generation and aspiring writers?
Everyone has at least one story waiting to be told. The challenge is always to take the first step. Once you have decided to write, don’t give up. You will face challenges but when you see your work published, that will be your greatest reward.