There are people who chose very cliché or easy topics when they are planning to write their first book. But then, there are also people like Author Vineet Pandey, who think of exploring the untouched territories and write about topics that have never been written on before.
Let us find out more about Vineet’s journey of getting his first book “The End- Ketu’s Era” published by Leadstart publishing, which is based on Astrological fiction.
Qwerty Thoughts (QT) : This is your debut novel. How does it feel?
Vineet Pandey (VP) : It’s already three months now. So the best feeling now is that it’s done and out now. It definitely feels good, for sure, but eagerly awaiting proudness out of the work.
QT : Some of our readers might not know much about your book. Can you tell us a bit about it and your thought process behind choosing to write on this topic?
VP : It’s a story of a dystopian future world. The story starts immediately after the great War between Man and Machine. The Planets are the lowest most Gods in the hierarchy of Gods, responsible to take care of Life on Planet Earth. There has been a divide in the group of planets. One segment wants the life to end and the other wants a natural End, without interfering anything. In fact the Man-Machine War was the first failed attempt from the other group with the intent to wipe out Life from Planet Earth. Hence Ketu, the devil lord has arrived on the planet again to attain the so called Perfect End for the Planet.
I started with astrology in first place. While working in Pune, one of my school Friend Jay Chakraborty, wrote a book on Numerology. That was when my interest grew in the occult sciences. I, being a science student, started making tangible conclusions from the foundations of occult and my understandings and observations of science and the real world. I started reading, exploring and experimenting. And that was when I started looking at the planets in astrology from a third person point of view, as characters, fascinated by their nature, characteristics, powers and effect. And those observations made me realize the potential of the story of the world of these characters.
QT : How did you begin writing?
VP : Frankly, I started writing in order to fill in pages for my summer vacation pages. I remember I was in my village and fortunately happen to read Pooski Ek Raat by Munshi Premchand. And that story, clubbed with the scenic impressions of my village, tuned my sub-conscious in such a way that I didn’t realize when I started describing the scenery of the village to fill pages for a Social study project. Later when I was appreciated by my teacher for the piece, I read and re-read it to understand what I have done.
QT : Tell us about the most memorable memory as well as the most frustrating memory of your journey as a writer?
VP : The most memorable memories are of the nights spent in developing the plots and finishing them, sitting alone in my cubicle post work in my office. The most frustrating part frankly is not during writing. It’s actually once the writing was done, the regular struggle to get the work out in best possible way.
QT : What’s the most moving or affecting thing a reader has said to you?
VP : So I met this guy in train. I told him about the book. One month later he mails me that he has got the book. Two weeks later he sent me a big thanking mail on how the book made him believe on astrology (surprisingly there is nothing relating to astrology except the planet and their characteristics) and how astrology has changed his and his family’s life. I got amazed and a little worried at the same time after reading that mail.
QT : Talk to us about your writing routine; what’s a typical writing day for you?
VP : I finished this book while I was working in Pune, with a 3 pm to 12 am shift. So I started writing in midnight and worked till 4-5 am in the morning. I never worked on weekends. Usually, a typical writing day involves a lot of brainstorming and open-eyed dreaming for me.
QT : Apart from writing, what goals do you want to achieve in life?
VP : I want to do something in the education world. Do something which involves teaching and nurtures curiosity, questioning and inculcate the philosophy of healthy progressive growth. It all sounds too vague now, but have started working on it and trying to utilize the skill set I have to achieve these targets.
QT : What’s the last book you read that you loved?
VP : The night train at Deoli.
QT : What was your approach to marketing and how did you go about it?
VP : Being first-timer in that aspect as well, hence frankly, still learning. Have tried almost all that I knew, get a teaser, an FB page, pitching the book in festivals and events. Reaching out to newspapers and radio stations etc. Also starting a new FB channel, where I will be creating videos and will try to market the book through that.
QT : What message do you want to share with budding writers?
VP : The only piece of advice I think I have for aspiring writers, primarily the storytellers, is to try to write in that point of the day, when you are the most YOU, when you are closest to your real self. Fix that hour, maintain a strict discipline and keep experimenting with life, stories will flow automatically.
QT : Please tell us something about your publishing journey with Leadstart and how did they help you in fulfilling your dreams of becoming a published author?
VP : I was a non-commissioned author till my entire manuscript was finished. Hence by the time I was in my last few chapters the fear of how to get the right publisher started haunting me. Fortunately, I came across the submission page of Leadstart Publishing. While I was still shuffling emails between literary agents and other publishing companies, Leadstart responded. And with a step by step scrutiny, going from synopsis to submitting first few chapters and then to meet the group, all went smooth and easy. It was an overwhelming moment for me. Leadstart helped me with all necessary stages of the book, from pre-production to post-production. The team is efficient, apt and responsive. I am glad to be an author of Leadstart Publishing.