When a writer says he hasn’t read any book till now, it leaves you stumped.
In Anuj Tiwari’s own words, “I am from those kinds of people who don’t believe in pre-requisites and pre-defined things, so there was no inspiration from any authors because I haven’t read even a single book till date, so for me writing just happened.”
Reaching to people who at least can read English is his purpose of writing. He writes about reality which readers can relate with. His first book ‘Journey Of Two Hearts’ was based on a diary (gifted to him by his girlfriend) he used to write when he was in the hospital. His recently released book, ‘It had to be You’ is again a reflection or rather the reality itself.
Anuj Tiwari, the reality romance writer, in an interview with Learning & Creativity (L&C) recalls his journey of becoming a writer, how it all started and what led to his recently released book, ‘It Had to be You’.
Here are the excerpts of the Interview:
L&C: Your journey as an author began with ‘Journey Of Two Hearts’. When did you first realize there is an author inside you?
Anuj: When I was a kid, I used to say to my mom that I want to do something different in my life but every time my mom slapped my face and I was back to my studies.
I grew up in joint family and my grandfather used to tell me about our culture and ancients stories. Those always touched my heart and that spark took air to spread in me with days.
I didn’t realize that time as I was a kid but after years that actually worked when I write today. I was never a writer but a crazy school boy who wanted to be different from crowd. I don’t consider myself as an author. I am just a messenger who aims to pass a message to readers in the form of story. Whenever I write, I treat every book as my first book.
L&C: ‘Journey Of Two Hearts’, as we know, is based on your real life incident, with a tragic climax. Do you feel Ravinder Singh has a role in inspiring people to tell their own tale to the world?
Anuj: I am one of those kinds of people who don’t believe in pre-requisites and pre-defined things. So there was no inspiration from any authors because I haven’t read even a single book till date, so for me writing just happened.
When you are alone and loneliness reaches an extent that you feel life is over, my journey started from there. When I was in depression, I tried to finish myself but then I got a purpose to write.
L&C: Of course, many have a story, mostly of their own. But not everyone is capable of expressing their emotions. How difficult was it to relive your pained past while writing your first book?
Anuj: That diary which was gifted by Pakhi still has those tears drops marks on those pages where I used to write when I was in the hospital. Those were difficult moments but everyone has to meet reality in life once in a while.
When my second book ‘It Had to Be You‘, came, situations were different, so I was prepared for that. Life was teaching and I was jotting down. Many times writing reached at that extent that I wrote something before and lived it later. It’s unbelievable but that happened with me.
L&C: Your latest book, ‘It Had to Be You’, is now available in the market. How much shades of realty this book bears?
Anuj: I always write reality as I believe that there is no need to write fiction if there are enough realities around. Both my books are based on real life incidents.
L&C: So many romance novels hit the stands every month. Why should readers pick ‘It Had to Be You’ from heaps?
Anuj: I always write to be reachable to people who at least can read English. I do not write to be literature artistic; there are many renowned names already.
As I only write realities, so readers can easily relate the story to their lives which encourages them to finish the book in just a few hours. Moreover, coming to the marketing term ‘USP’ and being a management guy, I never thought about it for my writings. But confidently I can say that my readers are my motivation.
L&C: The book blurb reads, “What if you don’t get what you want from your life? Do you learn to live life with its terms and conditions?” So can we expect another tragic tale after ‘Journey Of Two Hearts’?
Anuj: ‘It Had to Be You’ is a story of love, life, family and friendship and all of these have different flavors, sometimes sweet and sometimes sour. This book gives you a purpose to finish it and to get many things while reading. Readers can directly pick this book and read it.
L&C: A major chunk of Indian readers have easy-to-understand rom-com genre as their favorite flavor. Don’t you think this trend has commercialized creative writing as most publishers look for manuscripts based on romance and love stories?
Anuj: It’s a perception that publishers look for romance and love stories. That era is now gone when small publishers took the whole market by publishing love stories. Now readers are mature enough and they do read love stories. But a book should have some messages in it. Writing sex or fancy titles won’t make a book sell for long.
L&C: Who are your favorite authors?
Anuj: I haven’t read book till date, so hard to mention any name.
L&C: Do you have any future plans to become a full-time author?
Anuj: It won’t be correct to say that I am not a full time writer but yes, I work with Accenture as Analyst. From nine to six I work in office and six to nine my passion doesn’t allow me to sit idle. My dad used to say when I was a kid that one day we all have to sleep, so work till the day you breathe.
That time I ignored it. But those words actually motivate me whenever I feel low. One more important person came in my life just two years back, Rahim Chacha (character from ‘It Had to Be You’) who made me believe about my strengths.
L&C: Almost every author including the bestselling ones, Chetan Bhagat and Ravinder Singh, faced many rejections in the beginning. How difficult was it for you to hold your first paperback copy?
Anuj: About 18-22 publishers rejected my first book. I pleaded in front of almost every publisher to publish my work because I had a strong belief in its success. Only I needed a way to walk on. But as everyone salutes the rising sun and I was in dark those days, so for me it took some time to make my own identity. And now things are different.
L&C: Your words of advice for aspiring authors.
Anuj: A writer should respect the ideas which come into mind. Being an author, many times it happened during writing my second book ‘It Had to Be You’ that I lived in those moments by force and then jotted them down. It’s strange but when I write, I live with those characters around me. This might be the reason it connects to reader.
These are the excerpts of the interview given to Pankaj Sharma