Having here, an exclusive interview with Rohan Govenkar, the author of 1000 Kilograms of Goa
1. Hello Mr. Rohan Govenkar, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a bit about yourself and your background.
I am a natural storyteller, and I wished to hone the craft of it always. I believed the best route for getting my stories out to the world was by the medium of books. Although I have received no formal education in Literature, the learning has always been there by means of plenty of reading, and referring to dozens of books on creative writing. Writing is something I do at leisure, as I toggle between family and business.
2. If you were to describe your book “Thousand kilograms of Goa” to someone who has yet to read it , then how would you do it?
1000 Kilograms of Goa is a thriller with a lot of information and emotions interspersed within it. It is a fictional story of friends on a college reunion, but this reunion doesn’t end up like it typically does. This is a reunion like no other, and it involves a lot of mystery, surprises and adventure, which ends up changing the friends’ lives. And this book is a story of such a life-changing experience.
3.Is Ashwin Shirodkar and the treasure hunt real?
None of the characters and incidents are real, although a lot of character traits are picked from friends I know in real life. The treasure hunt is obviously not real, but stories about a treasure present in Divar island is much spoken about among the natives. To find out more about this treasure, I did a lot of research, visited Divar, spoke to locals, referred to history books and tried to obtain more such relevant information. The historical mentions are entirely true, and readers are welcome to visit the locations and verify the authenticity.
In fact, CMYK academy of photography had organized a photo-walk sessions which followed the trail of the treasure as mentioned in the book. In fact, I have tried to take the entire experience a real feel by organizing a photography contest. You will find more details on www.rohangovenkar.com/contest
4. Did you all always want to write a book since your childhood?
I have always been a reader since childhood. But writing a book was something that I never dreamt about, leave alone wanting to. But I did write poems as a child, and maybe a couple of short stories too. But that was just another activity which was never aimed at getting published.
5. Can you say something about your journey from being a guy with a manuscript to an author of a published book? How was the struggle?
Writing the first draft of my book was probably the easiest part of the journey. Also, the primary editing which I did on my own was fun too, even though the step was repeated at least twenty times. Hunting for publishers was the struggle, since the response time is pretty long, and it keeps one wondering if there’s going to be any response at all. However, like every other field calls for a struggle, in order to achieve success, writing has its own challenges too.
6. Can you share with the readers, the names of some books and writers that inspired you? I have always been a fan of Sidney Sheldon, Jeffrey Arches, Dan Brown. My favorite has been James Hadley Chase, and I can say that James Hadley Chase has subconsciously inspired me to write this genre. Other thriller authors that interested me were David Baldacci, Robert Ludlum and James Patterson. I have read other genres with equal interest too, and have enjoyed the work of John Irving, Khaled Hosseini, Rohinton Mistry, George Orwell, Arundhati Roy, Aravind Adiga and many many more.
7. Apart from the writers, who are the people and what are the things in your life that inspired you to write the book? When did the idea strike?
I can’t remember any one instance or idea that led to the journey of writing a book. The factors leading to inspiring me to write cannot be summed down, as it was a culmination of simultaneous mental processes, at various junctures, I never attempted to define. The idea for this book struck me at different moments in life, but it took a definite form only when I picked the pen with determination. 8. What was your family’s reaction to find their son engrossed in writing? Any incidents you would like to share with us? My family was clueless about my writing… as in, they knew I spent a lot of time by my desk, but it never occurred to them that I could be writing a book, and getting it published. I never declared anything at home until the book was in print. When I came home with a copy of my book and showed it to my mother, she was pleasantly surprised. “Rohan, when did you turn into a writer?” 9. A question whose answer everyone would like to know. When will we be getting another book from you? Will Ashwin Shirodkar be featured in it? I am currently working on the second book. But personally, I dislike sequels, so the story of the ‘1000 Kilograms of Goa’ remains completed. The following book will be a fresh story, and totally unrelated to the debut. Next, I will be experimenting with a different style, for instance, my second book will be in third person narrative, and may not be related to history, and it be a very unique kind of love story.
10. Any message for your young readers and the aspiring authors? My message to young readers is read more, try different genres, pick something which has a message, where you could learn something and enrich your knowledge, either in terms of content or literature value, something that also offer you maturity in your thought process. Aspiring authors should also take that same bit of advice, since reading does sharpen one’s writing skills. It’s important to read different authors, and do a personal assessment of their writing styles. Devote less time to TV, and more time to books. I practice that myself.