Prateek Yadav is the enigmatic author of the psychological thriller The Doppelgänger, a book on an unusual topic and a narrative that does full justice to it. I have read the book and found it intriguing and intense.
I welcome Prateek to the blog as I pick his brain about the process, path and progress of his writing journey.
- When did you decide to become a writer? Why do you write?
I think the answer best lies in the fatal flaw of our capitalist society. A search for meaning in what you do. If a carpenter makes a chair, at the end of the day he can look back at it and feel accomplished that ‘HE’ made it. Working as a cog in an MNC (for me) often creates a feeling of a lack purposefulness.
That being said, I realised that I was a decent storyteller and was often fascinated by the idea of being a creator of an entire universe, where I could be the God, the nature, the people. To be able to create and fashion things that I could never experience in real life.
- Give us three “Good to Know” facts about you. Be creative.
I don’t think I’ve have had such an exciting life to give a good answer for this one. Off the top of my head, I like to sketch…mostly pencil and charcoal sketching. Also, I majored in economics from IIT Kanpur and work as a data scientist. So, literature is regrettably not where I am spending most of my time these days.
- What has been your motivation for writing this book, “The Doppelgänger”?
I wanted to explore the themes of identity and memory and how one works in the absence of the other. Also, when you read something… the reader is always catching up. There is a lot on page one that the characters on page one know but the readers do not. I wanted to create an experience that the readers can actually latch themselves with the character. The amnesia and the first person narrative, I think, worked pretty well in that regard.
- The cover is worth a thousand words, how much of the cover designs for the books did you choose or were they designed by someone else?
The cover is a pictorial representation of schizophrenia. I had created a non-professional version of it, and it was finished to great perfection Sebastian Eriksson.
- How important are names of the characters in your books? Do you choose the names etc based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning?
The story, as the name suggests, has a pair of Doppelgangers. I chose a very similar sounding name for the two of them, to add to the confusion that the plot creates.
- What can your readers look forward to next? Share some details about your WIP?
I’ve been preparing two books, both novellas. One of them is just a conversation of a psychiatrist with his patient and the other is a story of a single mother. However, very less of each of these is tangible right now.
- Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?
Yes, obviously I read my reviews. This is my first novel and so I don’t think I would be the right person for catering advice about them, but yes I do read each and every line. People and critics have different standpoints…different perspectives. It’s often amazing how people can point out connections in your own book that you didn’t realise!
- Where do you see publishing going in the future? How do you think we can promote and increase diversity within the literary industry?
This being my first published novel, I can say with certainty that the literary industry needs to be more streamlined and explore more genres. The literary industry in India much like the movie business is booming only in the romantic comedies while most of the genres remain unexplored. In my experience, the fault lies on both the supply and demand side and now it’s a vicious circle!
Thank you for these candid answers, Prateek. It was a wonderful chat. I wish you all the best for your future books.
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