I like to joke that I probably hold the world record for rejection letters. Yes, the truth is that I was fed up of being rejected repeatedly, and self-publication was an act of defiance at traditional publishing. But life works in strange ways.
I must admit that i am fascinated by the glories of ancient India. But when will the purveyors of Indian culture realise that not everything about our past was glorious?
I remember how a man once got in touch with me to tell me that he was so engrossed in my book that he had to take a day off from work just so that he could finish reading it. Such kind of responses from my readers is extremely endearing, and it keeps me going.
I want my writing to reach people. I don't write for a market. I write from my heart, something that appeals to me. The marketing, segmenting etc., can be done by your publisher, not you.
I want to be remembered as a storyteller more than someone who had something meaningful to say.
I want to make sure that my writing grips the reader from the word 'go.'
I was a businessman for 16 years of my life, so when I started writing, I wanted to keep my literary identity separate.
I was learning book-keeping at the age of 12, but it never stopped me from pursuing literature. Over the years, I grew to love the written word.
I was passionate about reading from an early age, and I would always be carrying a different book each week.
I work in a business environment forty hours a week, and writing is what I do to unwind. It allows me to transport myself to a happy place where I can indulge my hopes, beliefs, aspirations and fantasies. It also allows me to live and breathe a topic for eighteen months while I'm researching and writing.
I would imagine that anyone picking up a book written by me would expect a fast-paced story that requires minimal effort to turn the pages. The reader would also be looking for some out-of-the-ordinary revelations along the way. At the end of the day, I'm a writer who simply loves revealing stuff that is out-of-the-ordinary.
I've always been fascinated by books. When I was young, my grandfather used to hand out a book - which would be anything from a biography to a classic - to me every week and ask me to write a piece on what I thought about it. On the other hand, my mother used to love reading thrillers and bestsellers.
If I use the word 'khichdi' in my novel, I don't have to get into the trouble of explaining that it is a dish of rice and lentils. My Indian readers know it.
If there is one city apart from Mumbai where I would love to settle down, it has to be Chennai.
In the Sanghi family, there is no one who has undertaken intellectual pursuits.
Initial work is on period research where the historical markers are absolutely non-negotiable. Once that is established, a writer can take creative liberties in terms of chronology to suit the story.
It is easy to club people together, but there are bound to be influences of authors you've read. I grew up reading fast paced authors such as Sidney Sheldon and Jeffrey Archer, but to say I'm one of them isn't true; my style is intrinsically my own.
It is no secret that I have read 'The Da Vinci Code' several times. I genuinely believe that 'The Da Vinci Code' and 'Angels And Demons' are, by far, Brown's best works.
It is not history, theology or mythology that interest me. It is the fact that history, theology or mythology could have alternative interpretations or explanations. I try to connect the dots between the past and the present.
It may sound very strange, but I love the freedom that writing a novel gives me. It is an unhindered experience. If I come after a bad day, I can decide that my protagonist will die on page 100 of my novel in a 350-page story.
Ashwin Sanghi Profile
January 25, 1969
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