I have couple of friends who write well too. K Harikumar is one among them. Surprisingly, unlike others, he started his blog after writing his debut book ' When strangers meet'. I will review his book soon in this blog.You can know more about from his blog http://www.thetimesofhari.blogspot.in/ Apart from writing the book, Harikumar has also come up with trailers for his book with live characters. Perhaps, such an attempt is first of its kind in the country. He himself acted as one of the characters of his book for the trailer. He was kind enough to answer some of my questions.
What kind of a person is Harikumar?
Simple, at times arrogant, loner on most occasions, always weaving a tale or two in my mind.
Your debut book has just hit the markets. How was your experience while writing them and also about books and its characters?
To be honest, I was bed ridden during the writing process. However, I had created my own world and was living in it, as the One who created it and as each everything created. The World of my story...
How did writing occur to you?
By pure fascination. My mother used to read me stories from Balarama & Muthashi ( children story books in Malayalam, the language of Kerala, a state in India ) back in the 90s when I was a 6 year old Dillivala (from Delhi, the capital of India )(since I could not read Malayalam). Later on, when I started reading (which was quite late as I did not have a solid base in any language due to my dad's transferable job) I was even more fascinated, especially by the stories of Sherlock Holmes & novels of Roald Dahl.
What were your struggles in becoming a writer and also the person you are today?
My greatest struggle was to overcome the writer's block which was the direct result of my laziness. One should have a beginning and an ending, rest can be weaved in between. After years of sitting down and trying to write something, I finally had a short story which had a beginning and an ending, which I first prepared as a short film. The struggle evolves phase by phase, first it was writing, then finding a publisher and then it was marketing the book (which I am still doing). The experience was amazing, since I was the one who did everything right from writing to drawing to filming the trailer to distributing the books in local markets (esp in Kerala) to online marketing to PR to giving talk sessions in schools in the North etc etc etc.
Which is your favourite genre that you would like to write a book on?
Tell us about your new blog?
It's more like a journal where I put up all my thoughts, and yea, my new craze 'doodles'. Since, many people do not have accounts on facebook, so having a personal blog makes it easier for everyone to join in.
Are you a voracious reader. Do you have a special liking for any particular genre to read?
I am an occasional reader and my favorite genre being Thriller. I simply love reading Dan Brown, Conan Doyle & Roald Dahl. I also love to read Paulo Coelho and Khalid Hosseini.
What are your tips for writing?
I can give one simple suggestion. When I write, I try to put on a situational soundtrack to go with the mood of the chapter/story.
Share some of your beautiful moments associated with writing?
The time I was finishing the climax and the soundtrack from The Da Vinci Code was raising it's tempo in my jukebox. I could actually feel myself in the shoes of Robert Langdon inside the Westminster Abbey (Tom Hanks from the movie) and all I had to do was swap places and people.
Have your ever thought of any other job other than writing? What are your other passions?
I have made three documentaries, filmmaking completes my passion of storytelling. I have worked as an Assistant Director and Screenwriter in over 25 ad films and directed 8 short films. Just to keep things neatly wound, I am assisting my dad in his farm too and that's his passion- Farming.
Do you write a book with both the readers of east and west in your mind?
While writing I try to place myself as a ordinary reader, nothing above or below that mark. When I like it and can connect with the particular emotions, then every reader (the majority) would like it because I am myself an ordinary reader.
Your 10 favourite books and 10 favourite movies?
In the decreasing order:
The Da Vinci Code, Alchemist, Deception Point, Fifth Mountain, Witches, The Study in Scarlet, The Kite Runner, The Lost Symbol, Pet Sematory, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. And well of course, a new addition WHEN STRANGERS MEET ;)
GURU, Delhi 6 , Vinnaithandi Varuvaaya , Transformers Trilogy, The Dark Knight series, The Da Vinci Code, Rab ne Banadi Jodi, Raavanan, Jab tak Hai Jaan, Dasavatharam.
How would you like to see you after five years?
Lets take one thing at a time, the present moment.
PS How many books you have in your library?
I guess over 100, have only read a dozen or more.