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Interview- Akash Rathod | Important elements of writing | Inside a writer’s mind

An interview with Akash Rathod | Important elements of writing | Inside a writer’s mind

Akash Rathod

We recently got connected to an awesome author, Akash Rathod. And here’s what he has to say! You will hear him in his own voice soon! But until then, enjoy this article!

Akash Rathod’s “Ice town”

Akash rathod Ice town

 

Akash Rathod did his debut with a book named “Ice town“. A young aspiring writer who has got so much more to share! The book itself is a great mixture of romance, drama, adventure, politics and so much more!

Here we gathered some questions that made us curious and wanting to know more about him and his amazing book!

One day I thought what if a person wants two or three or more things at one time in life. What if one is confused or doesn’t even know what one wants? HOW THE UNIVERSE WORKS THEN?

In my attempt of seeking answers to these questions, I went on finding the story of Ice Town, a little by little, words after words.

–  @Akash Rathod on “Ice town”

Book- Ice town

Published by- Half Baked beans

Check it out! – Ice town by  Akash Rathod

The true stories: Akash Rathod

Tell me something about you?

I am currently doing my master’s in English literature. I am 23 and as confused as anybody of my age about love, career, life, etc.

Tell me something about your book?

The book is about a 19 years old engineering student who’s trying to figure out his life.  It takes you through the chaos of growing up – finding your dream, dealing with your love life, and above all finding your ‘own’ self.  The purpose of writing this book was to go beyond the well-known philosophy of Paulo Coelho and later these lines were used in Shah Rukh Khan’s movie om Shanti om.  The lines are “If you want something from bottom of your heart, the whole universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

One day I thought what if a person wants two or three or more things at one time in life. What if one is confused or doesn’t even know what one wants? HOW THE UNIVERSE WORKS THEN?

In my attempt of seeking answers to these questions, I went on finding the story of Ice Town, a little by little, words after words.

What is the first book that made you cry?

That would be The Diary of A Young Girl. The reason wasn’t just that it was emotional which of course it is but that at the age of 14, Anne Frank was that good at writing and she wanted to become a writer. I can’t ever stop thinking what a great writer she would have become if she had not been killed like that holocaust.

Does writing energize you or exhaust you?

I think it does both. But coffee does the trick every time and I drink it a lot while writing.

What are the common traps for aspiring writers?

Before they start writing, they think it’s just 200, 300 or so pages. That’s it. Well! That’s it, guys! Go for it. Hahaha.

Do you try more to be original or deliver what readers want?

I don’t try. I just am original. I have learned it the hard way. If you’re not honest about what you’re writing, your readers will never feel it. Also, you can’t figure out what readers want. There’s no one reader as such. Thus, it is best to stay original and hope that most people share your taste.

Do you think someone could be a writer if they don’t feel emotions strongly?

I think you don’t have to feel everything and anything. But you have to have a feeling or understanding of the topic you’re writing. Just like I had an emotional connection with Ganga river pollution and it motivated me throughout the writing of Ice Town in the right direction.

After publishing your first book, how did it help you to change the process of writing?

To be honest not much has changed. I have just got more organized now. Keeping the target and getting it done. That’s all.

What inspired you to start writing?

I think, like most people of 17 or 18, I was trying to find what I love or what I was good at, something that I can go on doing for life and not get bored of it. By that time, I was doing what everyone else was doing. I was preparing for the medical entrance exam.

During those days, I started reading novels to get off with all the thinking in my head. Every time I finished a book, I’d feel like I can write a book like this or even better than this one. This kept on happening with each book. Probably I was reading all the not so well written books but encouraged me nonetheless.

I then read The Alchemist and it hit me hard. Somewhere so deep. I kept on thinking about how this book might have touched and influenced many like me. I wanted to do the same. I wanted to entertain and influence people for the good and writing was something I felt like I could do it through.

After I finished reading that book, I took a decision. I wanted to become a novelist. That’s it. Never looked back since.  Most importantly, when I took that decision, I had no idea about writing or had written a page in life.

What, in your opinion, are the most important elements to start writing?

Honest motivation, consistency, and determination to finish the damn story!

What comes first, the plot or the character?

In my opinion, both are equally important. Like to make a perfect recipe, you need all the ingredients in the right amount.

What was the most difficult part of writing your book?

It was my first book. So the whole process of writing itself was difficult. It was a sort of a learning process for me. I was learning writing through writing. I had to learn how to stick to my schedule in spite of all the distractions out there – of social media, friends, some crazy addictive web series and movies, etc.

Do you hear from your readers much? What do they say?

Yeah, I do. Most of the time, their reaction is instant as they text me through social media right after they finish reading it. They go on praising books, character, and philosophy and tell me how the book has touched them personally and then they ask all those curious questions that you know only the author can answer such as – Whose life this story is based on? How much of it has been inspired by my own life?

I love the part when some of them act on all the philosophies I have explored in the book. Like one of my close friends who read the book and left him without telling his parents about it. His parents were worried and filed a missing complaint.

Twenty days later, after police and all, have given up the search for him, his sister finds my book in his room and reads it to pass her time as everything was emotionally exhausting at home. After she finishes it, she asks her father to go and search for him in Rishikesh. They found him in one of the Ashrams there.

Later on, he convinced his parents about him having no interest in studies and that he wanted to learn yoga and meditation and become the teacher of the same. Now, he runs one of the famous Yoga and Meditation studios in Delhi.

How do you do research for your books?

Of all the things about writing a book, doing research is my favorite one. First, I chose the subject I know nothing about but the one I am very curious about. I read all the books written on that subject, watch documentaries, read all the articles I could get on it from old newspapers, magazines, finish watching all the movies, everything written on the internet.

Then I make a list of the places I need to travel to for it. Sometimes actually, I could write about them without visiting them in person but just to fulfill my desire of traveling – I do visit each of them even when it’s not so necessary.  Above all, I sprinkle a lot of imagination and start writing – one word at a time.

Is writing your full-time career? Or would you like it to be?

Ah! That’s a weird question. I rarely think there is a writer who doesn’t wish writing to become his full-time career.

In my case, for now, I don’t do writing full time.

When you’re writing an emotionally draining (or sexy, or sad, etc) scene, how do you get in the mood?

I’m either writing the story or thinking about the story. Thus, I am always living the story. All it takes is – a quiet room, dead silence, no human in sight, and some music (depends on the scene).

What is the most surprising thing you discovered while writing your book?

I have written only one so far. This book taught me the core philosophy of the book. I had no idea about it until I wrote it on the pages and came to me very naturally out of the blue.  I will quote it from the book itself

Look around you. These buildings, cars, trees, and people – everything is made up of ice, even human emotions, and feelings.You know one day when the sun will rise high, all this is going to melt. But then make sure not to drown in this town. You must gather your things and go in search of another town, to another ice town. Always remember wherever you go – it will always be an ice town. And the thing about ice is it’s meant to melt.

Do you have a favorite character that you have written? If so, who? And what makes them so special.

I love Sagar’s character. Of many things, one is because he says, “I am not going to stay on this planet forever. So I might as well do what I love.”

What is the key theme and/or message in the book?

It helps one understand what is the cost of going for what you love and also it shows how worth it is. It motivates you to listen to your inner voice and go for it with a leap of faith.

Tell us about the process for coming up with the cover.

I had no role in it. My closest friend and very talented designer Jatin Meshram had designed it. He did all the work. It came out of his imagination. I owe him a lot for that. I don’t think he’s ever getting anything from me. HAHA!

I met Akash Rathod / @akash1rathod1 in very strange circumstances as a neighbor in a dream city. Two artists on their journey- though for a different destination. I could see his longing to create and celebrate art. One fine day, he was stuck on his way. With great hope, he asks for help. For some reason, I already knew he’ll need help and how ready I was to do my part to be a part of his journey and help him grow up – that’s how I designed this cover – for an artist, for a friend, for this amazing story.
Come and be a part of this book. Be a part of Ice Town.

Jatin Meshram on meeting Akash Rathod and the cover of Ice town (Via Instagram)

If your book was to be made into a movie, who are the celebrities that would star in it?

Actually, we have finished writing the movie screenplay and now are on talking terms with different studios. I can’t say anything about the actors. I’d leave that one to the director. One of my friends suggested once that Imtiaz Ali can give justification to the original story of the book. Let’s see. I hope Imtiaz sir reads this blog. (Actually, Amen to that!)

Where do you draw inspiration from?

Just the people around me, their life, and the awesomeness of life itself.

Who is your favorite author and why?

I don’t think I can come up with just one. Got so many.  To name the few – Haruki Murakami, Stephen King, F.Scott. Fitzgerald, George Orwell, Agatha Christie, Rohinton Mistry, Khaled Husseini, Shivaji Sawant, John Green, Alber Camus, Markus Zusak, Arundhati Roy, John Grisham, Dan Brown and sure among others. I think I admire the kind of stories they write and the way they write them.

If you could choose three people to invite for a dinner party, who would they be?

If the dead are included, I’d invite Mahatma Gandhi, Adolf Hitler, and Ellen Degeneres. I would just sit there and listen to what they talk about.

If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?

Dreamer, Believer, and Crazy.

What message will you give to our young aspiring writers?

Stop thinking and start writing. Simple as that.

Where can our readers find your book?

Ice Town is available on Amazon and Flipkart. You can order it from there anytime you wish. If you do, see you in the book!

Hear Akash Rathod live soon on our about to launch podcast “The true stories”. The podcast will go live on Spotify on 30th December 2020. Both me and @thetruestories is waiting for you, and so is Akash Rathod and many more authors!

 

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Janhvi Suchakhttps://screeninsuits.com/
A big weirdo introvert. Talks in written. Dreams in films. A part-time human spreading confetti.
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