SOURABH: I am from India, born and brought up in the city of Kolkata. Kolkata is the capital of the state of West Bengal, located on the banks of the Hooghly river. It is the main educational, cultural and commercial center in the eastern part of the country. The Kolkata Port is the country’s oldest operating port. Kolkata was the capital of the British Government in India till 1911 when the capital was shifted to New Delhi.
RW: Let’s get right into your book today before we go into my other questions. Why the title Loves Lost for your book of short stories?
SOURABH: Loves Lost is a collection of three short stories in the Romance genre, all woven around the theme of lost love. There could be a variety of reasons why relationships do not work out but at the end of the day, as George Martin says, ‘When the sun has set, no candle can replace it’.
SOURABH: My own take on love and relationships and my keen interest in the workings of the human mind account for the manner in which love and its rituals are conducted in my stories.
The stories in the book deal with human emotions that I feel most readers can relate to. Many of us have nurtured unprofessed love in our hearts for years, have struggled to cope with lost love, have allowed our inner devils to ruin relationships, and have found love when we least expected to. My stories grow out of such experiences and observations.
RW: Tell us about the stories we’ll find.
SOURABH: Loves Lost is a collection of three love stories that go beyond conventional ‘happily ever after’ endings and offer realistic views of the variety of emotions one goes through when love comes calling.
The story ‘Mine Forever’ is about a young, successful entrepreneur nursing a broken heart and seeking refuge in alcohol and his work. The story takes the reader to the after-party of a corporate awards function when the protagonist in his drunken stupor finds the woman of his dreams drop in to congratulate him on his success and resolves to win her back.
‘The Thing About Memories’ is about a man recovering from a near fatal accident with no recollection of the past. A brisk read with a lasting impact, the story reveals how a billboard advertisement brings the man face-to-face with a past best forgotten.
The protagonist in the story ‘Love Came Calling Again’ has a highly romanticized vision of love that is often disengaged from reality. When the harsh realities of life take a toll on her relationship, she meets a stranger on the Internet.
As the blurb sums it up, Loves Lost is ‘a collection of three contemporary romantic short stories that take the reader on a whirlwind journey interspersed with betrayal, separation, heartbreak and a smile or two.’
RW: What message do you think your book delivers to the reader?
SOURABH: The stories deal with human emotions that most readers will relate to. While the collection of short stories is primarily meant to be a realistic and at the same time an entertaining depiction of the various facets of love, I would feel my efforts have been rewarded well if the stories in the book motivate readers to realize the value of the gift of love (which not everyone is blessed with), ensure the honesty and sanctity of their feelings, and never let their inner devils ruin their relationships.
RW: Describe your book in one word.
RW: Where can we get your book now?
RW: What is your background in writing, what makes you a writer?
SOURABH: I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. I have never really written for a purpose – it is just something I love to do. In my early childhood, I would spend hours writing (as well as making illustrations for my own stories). A number of my poems were published in children’s magazines back in the day. I continued to write through my teenage and later in college.
I kept writing in office magazines for a couple of years, but the demands of my career as an Information Technology professional and my travels across the world soon left me with very little time and creative energy to write fiction. I churned out technical whitepapers and non-fictional articles that got published in journals of repute like The Datawarehousing Institute (TDWI) Business Intelligence Journal Summer 2013 edition.
However, in the process, I grew as a person getting to observe people from widely varying cultural backgrounds and to study their emotions, their thoughts, their behavior from various perspectives. And stories began to grow all over again.
Also, writing is often a cathartic experience for me. It helps give vent to my emotions and create stories out of them. There is a bit of me in each one of my stories.
And a year back, I went back to writing fiction.
My first novella Nargis Through my Summers was published on Amazon Kindle in April 2014 and opened to 4-star reviews in Amazon and Goodreads. Loves Lost is my latest collection of short stories that was released on the 12th. of December, 2014.
SOURABH: I would like to take this opportunity to talk about my book Nargis Through my Summers. Recipient of the Golden Pen Award in the Monsoon Romance Contest organized by a popular website in India, the novella is about a woman who moves in and out of relationships over the years, and a man who remains a silent and distant witness to the course of her life, with unflinching faith in the honesty and sanctity of his feelings for her.
The following are some of the comments the book has received over the last 6 months of its release:
‘A story which evokes yearning in our hearts, pushing the hands of time. Sourabh is economic in his choice of words, and allows the reader’s imagination to play. His style is that of a master story-teller and the build-up is strong. The end has a twist that rhymes well with the elevated level of this story. This is just the beginning; we want many more from you. Readers: THIS IS A MUST READ.’ – Amazon
‘This book is a must read for all romantics and “cynics” in equal measure. It’s a beautiful story, written in an extremely simple, subtle and poignant style. The way the story unfolded was beautiful yet unexpected’ – Amazon
‘A lucid read. I really liked how the author articulated the inner feelings of the protagonist. Also, must appreciate the in-depth description of emotions. I could almost visualize the scenes opening up and enacting in front of my eyes. It also got me nostalgic and took me on a trip down memory lane. The suspense of the story has been well kept under wraps.’ – Amazon
‘Oh what a treat it was! Just the right amount of text and right amount of storytelling. The ending was unexpected, but it made so much sense.’ – Goodreads
‘Just finished reading the story and have to say the ending was astounding! Really impressed. The buildup was awesome and the last chapter breath taking.’ – Goodreads
RW: How do people connect with you through all forms of social media?
List links to all websites you have and social networks such as Twitter.
Google+ handle: thestoryteller1974
RW: Who are your favorite authors?
SOURABH: Jeffrey Archer is an all-time favourite. I think he is an institution when it comes to storytelling – whether it’s his novels or his short stories.
And then I have favourites by genres.
I have been a big fan of Agatha Christie – mainly because of Poirot’s methods of investigation, the witty repartees, the human emotions at the core of the crimes; and the laidback rural settings on the surface with undercurrents of malice and conspiracy in the Miss Marple stories. Among more recent authors, I like the Alex Cross stories by James Patterson – not just for the thrills, but also for the underlying human emotions. I loved Stieg Larsson’s works. I was floored by The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino.
I absolutely adore Koji Suzuki’s books. I wish I could read his works in Japanese.
In the Romance genre, I have gone back again and again to Eric Segal’s works. I have Nicholas Sparks and John Green in my shelves and am very eager to read them.
Over the last couple of years, I have discovered Haruki Murakami and Gabriel Garcia Marquez – albeit in English translations of their works. And what a revelation! More reasons why I regret my linguistic limitations.
RW: What is your favorite beverage to drink, any kind?
SOURABH: It’s always black coffee, without sugar.
SOURABH: I consider myself blessed to have a lot of empty space – parks, roads for pedestrians and trees – in my neighbourhood right in the middle of a busy city like Kolkata. Ditto for the surroundings of my office. A stroll in the evening with the wind in my hair makes all the difference. I also have a song for every mood, and music, for me, is a great stress-buster. I do manage to switch off when I want to and I consider myself lucky for being able to do that.
RW: What are you working on right now?
SOURABH: I am currently working on a novel which is a crime thriller on the surface but has a strong undercurrent of human emotions like love and betrayal at its core.
RW: What is your biggest tip for someone to getting published?
SOURABH: It is important to create real, identifiable characters in a story – unless of course one is writing a fantasy or a superhero story. Correct use of the language is essential. An author should ensure that a story progresses at a uniform pace – a story that slows down after an energetic start is a big let down. Finally, it is not about the length but always about the impact of a story. I have read 1-page stories that have left me thinking for days.
Recently, I wrote a guest blog for Elizabeth Grace on the motivation behind writing creativity that should also motivate someone getting published for the first time.
RW: What is your favorite word?
SOURABH: ‘Basically’ – I guess it comes from my inherent tendency to get to the bottom of matters.
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