Interview of Nitin Sawant - Author of Lucifer's Lungi

I had reviewed Lucifer's Lungi on SFTH, the review can be read here.
Recently, I had the opportunity to Interview the author of the book. Before we start with the Interview, a little about the author and details of the book:

About the Author:

Nitin Sawant has tried to make a living by being a software programmer, engineer, stock market analyst, copywriter, journalist, tele-shopping expert and jewellery designer at various stages in his life. He's travelled far and wide across the world, and has led a nomadic life for past 20 years. This gives a unique perspective to all his tall tales and offers a distinctive colour to his writing.

Firstly, he doesn't believe that a good story can be written purely through imagination or by adhering to a set formula. Great stories always come from within, from moments that we've lived and experienced. This tale - 'Lucifer's Lungi' also happens to be an amped up version of what he has experienced himself.

Secondly, he doesn't believe in genres and patterns. Real life, which he believes can be stranger than any fiction, can't be classified in any single genre. There's usually a tinge of sadness to every joke he's experienced. And he's always ended up laughing, whenever he's lived through a horror moment, like in the 'Lucifer's Lungi'.

About the Book:

Author: Nitin Sawant
ISBN: 978-8192893709
Publisher: Fablery
Language: English
No. of pages: 111
Year of Publication: 2014
Buy from | Flipkart

An atheist city-slicker unleashed on a medieval holy village...

A simpleton village priest's boy who blindly worships and guards a pantheon of Gods and Their traditions...
Strange things happen when their worlds collide!
This is a tale of that turmoil on a lonely night in a jungle, when the ghosts you never knew till a few hours ago are let loose on the ghosts that you always carried within, unknowingly.
Welcome to the unholy clash of beliefs, fears and frailties with unknown Gods and demons. A clash that will test your convictions. A clash that will rabidly claw and unmask your subconscious, leaving you naked and paralyzed in front of your demons - in a climax that is as ambiguous as it is certain...
Welcome to the madness of 'Lucifer's Lungi'... where What-You-See-Is-NOT-What-You-Get...

Now, the Interview -

1. A warm welcome to you, talking about your debut novel Lucifer’s Lungi – how did this whole idea get conceptualized?
Blame social media for that… Me and Nethra got friendly on Facebook and she conned me into an online writing contest which she was judging. Honestly, I was not too keen as I was working onsite on a temple refurbishing project in Mumbai. But as the deadline for the synopsis round came close, I was like ‘why not? Lemme see if they like my kinda stories.’ I cranked out the synopsis on the last day & voila… it qualified. Writing out the whole novella was an even bigger challenge as I’d moved onsite to another temple – this time on a mountain top & out of Mumbai. And when I came back to the civilization, my best friend died on me… So, you see, I’d just a few torturous days to churn out the whole story & it all came out extempore. There was no plan, pattern or structure to ‘Lucifer’s Lungi’ & probably that’s why it worked…

2. Why Lucifer’s Lungi?
It’s one of the many tall tales that I keep telling my captive audience, when I’m a few pegs down. And since this incident happened in my early roadie days, the experience has kinda stayed with me. Also, I couldn’t have gone with any other ‘pure’ English title as no word in the English dictionary aptly explains ‘Lungi’ best. And, mind you, the Lungi is an important character in my book…

3. It is always said that a writer breathes lives into the characters he/she writes about. Any such character from your book you feel very close to? If yes, why?
Naturally, I’m honour-bound to feel closest to the protagonist as it happens to be me. Yup; I, Me, Myself… This incident has a big part in my growing up. Looking back, I think this is where I started swinging between the extremes as far as my religious outlook is concerned – from a cold atheist to a rabid believer.

4. Can you take our readers through your journey of becoming a published author? Was it always a desire to be one that has got materialized now? When did you realize that THIS is what I want to be – an author?
My journey towards being a published author was actually the easiest one. Getting published means you gotta go all out to woo your publisher. Luckily in my case, Nethra – my publisher, took little to be wooed. Yeah, just 30000 words of my mad story… It was she who stuck her neck out, by betting on my kinda stuff. And, then again, I was not exactly dying to get published. Actually, I was not even dying to write this long a story either… But then, now that I’ve managed to become an author, I still dunno how am I supposed to feel about it. The tag came with no instructions. Am I supposed to be snooty? Can I put this on my LinkedIn profile? I’m still coming to terms with this author’s mindset.

5. The plot / genre that you have chosen for your debut novel is unique and one that not too many would opt for as a debut knowing that such genres have very limited readership base. Any specific reason that made you choose this one.
I’ll be candid when I say that I sorta don’t believe in genres at all. If a good story is a slice of somebody’s life, then there are bound to be a lot of disparate elements in it, beyond the so-called genre. Then again, I did not consciously set out to write a story, looking at the market demand. I reacted to a looming deadline by just narrating a tale that was on the top of my mind-stack of tall tales. And I’m sure, whatever is the market share of this ‘genre’, there’ll always be readership for an entertaining tale…

6. If given a chance would you like to go back and change anything in your book? If yes why and what and if no why?
I don’t think anything really needs changing. A lot of readers did feel that the book could’ve been longer or more descriptive. But, personally, that’s exactly how I want my readers to feel. Thirsting for more…

7. Off late thanks to many online writing contests being held there has been a sudden surge in newbie authors along with loads of new publishing houses as well. Your thoughts on this?
It’s a good thing. Without them online contests, I would still be just an entertainer at my in-house late night parties. Though I think, new publishing houses should be taking more risks in bringing out off-beat content. I think lots could be done by embracing the new technology. Like story-telling mobile apps etc & we newbie’s can take a few chances here. You know, work on something unknown without focusing on immediate revenues or royalties…

8. Getting published is supposed to be a mammoth task for any writer. How has experience been about it? Any specific incidents (good or bad) that you would like to share here with us.
Well, I got lucky with Nethra and Fablery. So I’ve only good things to say. But I’ve heard sorry tales of how gullible guys get fleeced by publishers who make authors pay big-time for publishing them. Personally, I think you should sign up with only that sorta publisher who madly, badly, gladly loves your story & your style of writing. In this line of business, sanity & logic counts for nothing. So, look out for someone who’s as much passionate as you are, about your book…

9. We would like to know about any future projects you are currently working on.
One tall tale that’s working me up right now is about witches. Hopefully that should be my second book. But it’s going to be darker than ‘Lucifer’s Lungi’. Hopefully y’all will love that too…

10. Some words for your readers.
Take the long road out. Travel randomly. Talk to unknown people. Live the story of your life !!!

Thank you very much for your time.

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