Hyderabad: Aditya Sudarshan describes his recently-released book, The Persecution of Madhav Tripathi, as a spiritual thriller which largely takes place in the mind of the protagonist, bureaucrat Madhav Tripathi, who is otherwise a success in every sense. But driving home one day, just before his thirtieth birthday, he is abducted by a group of assailants. Madhav manages to escape with his life, but the murderous threat persists.
The author says that when it comes to material for his novels, he is interested in exploring themes pertaining to the English-speaking elite, who are influential but also lack a distinct sense of personal identity. “Such people are often found to occupy positions of power, they lead organisations and are politically and socially engaged. But even then, an element of spirituality — moral discourse — remains missing in their lives,” he says.
Aditya, an alumnus of National Law University, Bengaluru, had started off as a practising criminal lawyer in 2008. But upon the release of his first book, A Nice Quiet Holiday, which was written during his final semester, he decided to pursue writing full-time. As a writer, whose all three books have been in the suspense genre, Aditya feels that more than deliberately resorting to a particular category, the kind of novel one writes has more to do with how a person’s mind works and how things get revealed to him or her.
He also adds, “These days, an element of research has started being associated with fiction, even though it has earlier mostly been the prerogative of a non-fiction author. For me personally, my books are also an extension of the experiences I have had. Like for instance, the fact that I have pursued law helps me in a way to establish a sense of right or wrong through the course of the story I wish to tell.”
But what about those times, when a narrative refuses to come alive on paper? Aditya says, “I think it is crucial for a writer to take stock of where a story is headed and whether it is going anywhere at all — 80 per cent of our work is just thinking and seeing whether a premise works out or not. False starts are often inevitable but one needs to keep starting over.”
Aditya, who has already started working on his fourth book, says that writers, who aspire to be published, should cross the bridge when they come to it. “Find out to what degree you are interested in pursuing writing because it is often just a creative inclination while we are in college. But if it stands the test of time, that’s when you know that you need to keep going at it and eventually get your work published,” he says....