Hi folks, please welcome today on my blog, Ravi Bedi. Ravi is an author published with Rupa Publications and currently venturing into self publishing. Let us get to know him through this question and answer session.
How did you become a writer, by chance or by choice? Tell us something about yourself.
I did Chemical Engineering from BHU in 1962, joined the Air Force more for the lure of its blue uniform than for any patriotic fervor, and retired blissfully in 1989 to live with my wife of fifty years at Par-three distance from my golf course in Jodhpur. I run a small hotel in town to put meat on the table, and enjoy all good things of life, including Laal Maans and Fish-fry.
Way back in 1965, I got an outrageous idea during a sea-side picnic and thought I could build a fascinating story on it. It took various twists and turns while remaining in my mind for twenty-five years until I retired from the Air Force. I took to painting with a vengeance. When my basement started filling up with a lot of trash (read paintings), I decided to browse through some of the leather-bound volumes, all classics, dating back to my grandfather’s time (1930s). Then I read some of the ‘best-sellers’ doing the rounds and seriously thought I could do better. That’s how my first novel “Lovers’ Rock” took shape in 2014.
There was no stopping after that. I love and enjoy writing stories even if there are no takers. I wouldn’t give up on account of receiving rejections. I can’t say whether it was chance or choice. Perhaps it was a combination of the two. I may not be a great writer (learned more abuses in school than English prose), but I can tell a good story.
Are you a genre writer? Why (or why not)? Which genre appeals to you the most?
I like to write romantic thrillers and crime stories with plenty of surprises to keep a reader guessing till the end. And also some human interest stories for diversion. I might try a HEA type story someday, but not in a great hurry.
What makes this book special to you?
“Lovers’ Rock” is my favorite for its unpredictability and stupendous twists and turns. I worked on it passionately for a good eight years before sending the 50th draft to Rupa Publications. My other books: “Seven Stories” and “Mail Order Bride” should not be disappointing either. The one coming up shortly in paperback—“Perfect Imperfect” should also keep a reader engaged till the last line.
A brief description of the book and its main characters.
“Lovers’ Rock” is a story of obsessive love that drives Mani Shanker, a fighter pilot, on an outrageous mission to get rich quick, only to discover that his ambitious and incredibly beautiful wife, Grace Wilson, has ditched him for good. She walks away from his life with all the ill-acquired money to join Mark Braganza, a suave and crafty resort owner, who takes her for a ride, squandering all the money.
Mani starts all over again as a painter and succeeds in his new avatar as John Abraham. During one of his shows he spots Grace and, in collision with his mentor, Mr Pestonji, decides to take revenge. Destiny, however, catches up with them in strange ways, culminating into disastrous results, even though Mark Breganza, the crafty man that he is, gets away unscathed.
What are your writing fads or quirks?
None, but it’s the marketing which gets on my nerves.
How do you find inspiration to write?
My answer to this will surprise you, but I’m being very honest about it. I’m inspired by a lot of trash I get to read, and believe I can tell better stories with solid plots. My principle aim is to surprise and entertain a reader with something fresh, in a language understood by all without the use of a dictionary. And yes, I’ve a fertile mind and wild imagination to build stories from strayl observations. For example, the idea for “Lovers’ Rock” came on an isolated beach totally cut off from human habitation. And “Perfect Imperfect” was born while waiting for my suitcase at the arrival lounge of an airport.
What’s your take on these writing dilemmas? (Please specify the reason for your choice)
(i)Fads or Quirks: First and foremost, the plot has to be original and believable. It should convince me before I go public.
ii) self-publish or traditional: Traditional publishing is more respectable for obvious reasons, but if the ‘traditionals’ do not find your stuff favorable, the alternative is better than endless waiting.
iii) Polished first draft or sloppy one? Polished, there’s no question about that.
iv) Deadline or family/friends time. There are no deadlines for me. I spend my time equally between family, music, golf, and writing. I don’t watch much TV. Instead of switching channels on the idiot box, I work on my plots in my mind before hitting the keyboard.
v) Writing a certain target every day or in floods and droughts. Setting up a fixed schedule doesn’t make sense to me. A creative mind has many diversions, and many choices. Writing a page could take more time than doing a painting…or composing a tune. Everything depends upon the mood.
8) Something about your interests and tastes.
i) Movies or sports?
I prefer to compose tunes on my Roland FP-50 digital piano or Korg synthesizer than watching movies or cricket.
ii) Bollywood or Hollywood?
Bollywood song-n-dance is a clear no-no for me…well almost, unless Deepika Padukone is gyrating on the screen. Hollywood is also not as interesting as it used to be…unless a Halle Berry is thrown in somewhere! Oh yes, I’d have loved to see Kangana Ranaut as Grace Wilson in “Lovers’ Rock”, Naseeruddin Shah as Mr Pestonji, and Saif Ali… wishful thinking?
iii) Chess or flying kites?
That reminds me of my younger days. I indulged a lot in both, but you couldn’t be seen flying kites at 77, for god’s sake. And writing stories is a lot more stimulating than chess.
iv) Reading fiction or newspaper?
Fiction, if done well. ‘Best-sellers’ only if there are no negative reviews.
v) Hot coffee or cold?
Cold. Beer preferred…or Vodka with juice.
vi) Fruits or junk food?
Laal Maans, please.
Thanks for being here, Ravi.
Here’s something about Ravi’s book, Lovers’ Rock
Mani Shankar Varadharajan, is a flight Lieutenant who vanishes without a trace on one cold winter’s night. Was it a sinister plan framed with the help of his beautiful wife, Grace, or did his aircraft really crash? After a few years, Grace embarks on an unexpected journey to unravel the mysteries of the past and to find out what exactly happened to the Lieutenant. Will Grace be able to find out the truth or will this journey prove disastrous for her?
Amazon.com buy link: