Today I welcome the debut award-winning author, Santhosh Komaraju. His short story collection is the Winner of the National Indie Excellence Award in the Short Story Category.
Walks Through Life: Stories is set in medieval times contains spiritual stories that can change lives, involving Indian kings, mystics, princes, and farmers.
I welcome Santhosh to Eloquent Articulation.
- This book Walks Through Life: Stories, what is different about this one that sets it apart from the others? What inspired this book?
“All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.” —Ernest Hemingway.
When I read this statement for the first time, I could resonate with it instantly. Mr. Hemingway had articulated a great deal of wisdom through this phenomenal statement. This became the core principle as I wrote stories in the book. Additionally, the knowledge I could gain so far from Hindu mythological texts and scholarly commentaries on Hindu dharmic philosophies played a vital role in bringing this book out from me. That is the sole inspiration behind this debut writing project.
When I wrote these stories, I did not want to conclude it with just another happy ending. My intention was to highlight events and characters that moved the story besides the overall concept of the story. I positioned myself in every character, and that gave me a good connection to describe their interactions as lively as I could feel. That way I was able to construct set of simple and effective stories, which is the type of content readers would expect in this book.
2. Clichéd but still; what is your advice to struggling writers who find it difficult to strike a balance between their love for writing and the daily grind putting up obstacles to their success?
One sentence advice – “Burn down the expectations. Light up the honesty.”
I am not a legendary writer (yet) to give authoritative advice. But, in my limited experience, I found that the best amusement I get in writing is when the content touched my core. If I am satisfied, that is the end of the story. No expectations as such from the external views. That will be possible only if I write about what I truly believe in.
A writer when writing fiction should walk side by side with the characters, making conversations, hearing their complaints, and experiencing their misery. If they cry, we shed tears. If they do a happy dance, we feel ecstatic. That is the best direction a writer can go.
Definition of success, I feel is subjective. As far as writing goes, if the writer does not halt writing even if it is not being published, I believe they are on the pathway of success.
3.Can you give one line to describe your book, Walks Through Life: Stories?
A reminder of who we actually are, and the duty we have been assigned to deserve the life on this planet.
4. What inspires you to write and do you have a writing routine?
Ancient wisdom from Hindu Puranic texts and scholarly commentaries about them in the new age is the sole inspiration for every writing I do. I believe the knowledge inscribed in them is comparable to infinite. I would hope that I will be allowed to assimilate this knowledge as much as I can in this lifetime either through textual sources or personal spiritual experiences.
At this time, I am not a full-time writer and with two kids (2-year and 4-year old boys), parenting is the priority. So, there is no set writing routine. Whenever the time permits and my mind accepts it, I pick my chrome book. There are several writing projects I have in my mind that have to be realized. I must see how my destiny unfolds them.
“Burn down the expectations. Light up the honesty.”~ Santhosh Komaraju
5. Give us three “Good to Know” facts about you. Be creative.
Well, here comes the first one – I dabble with paintbrush on canvas and boast myself as an extraordinary painter. These days I started using a stylus instead of an art brush to experiment electronically. Maybe a masterpiece can come out one day.
I fantasize about mythical worlds and characters sometimes so deep that I have to demotivate myself to come out of it. A warning – interactions with those worlds may be revealed as part of my future writing projects!
My 4-year old said, “Dad, you look cool with the beard!” So, the plan is to keep it. The challenge is to see how long I can tolerate the weight hanging down my chin! 5 months so far, and still going with it.
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- How long on average does it take you to write a book?
My debut book began with a two-page story. It was just a writing experiment I did sometime in 2015 for myself. Several stories followed after that. There was no plan until 2018 to bring them out as one unit. When I heard about self-publishing for the first time and got educated about it, I decided to give it a try. Stories were revamped to give additional depth. And finally, my first book was released in Feb’2019 on Amazon platform.
I would say that it’s not a full 4-year timeline for this book. Considering it is my first, there was a lot of learning and thought revisioning process in between that did not involve the book directly. Also, as these are individual stories, I took one at a time. There was no continuous flow, and the gaps were common as I prepared to move on to the next story.
- Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
Yes, I do. Whenever the reader brings about a certain point about a story or a character, it brings out a perspective that I never thought while I wrote that story. Some comments reminded me of the feelings that I experienced during the creation of these stories. It was a wholesome satisfaction.
Regarding criticism, so far with just one book with my name, I didn’t have too many to handle. But when I got the soft advice contradicting my writing, it made me think further to take the positive aspect of it. That’s how I learn, I thought. For example, one reader scrutinized me on how draggy sentences cutoff her mood while reading (yet she was nice enough to assume that was my style at the end). I am now prepared for short sentences in my next book. I must say that I am liking that version of it. It felt much more involved. The long sentences will still be in the play, but will be reserved for necessary.
- Where can readers find your books and connect with you?
The book is available on all notable online platforms like Amazon, Flipkart, Google Play, iBooks and Kobo in both Paperback & eBook formats. Readers can connect me socially on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.
I would encourage readers to join the mailing list on my website so as to get news about my writings, giveaways and promotions. It’s just not about my future books but there will be more insights to share as I continue in my writing journey.
The most personal way to get in touch is through the contact form on my website at SanthoshKomaraju.com
Links to Follow My Writing Journey:
Join Mailing list: https://www.santhoshkomaraju.com/follow
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Book Video: https://youtu.be/WE9sSmJB6Hg
My best wishes to Santhosh for many wonderful books ahead and definitely many more awards!
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