1. You are represented by a lit agent. In your opinion is it worthwhile for an author to seek an agent? How does having an agent help? Should a debut author try to get an agent?
KY: Indian publishing industry is haphazard. We often lament that India is a nation of non-readers. But my experience tells me that this is a smaller problem. The bigger problem is that almost everyone associated with this trade is a non-reader. That not just includes publishers, distributors, and retailers, but often, and I was surprised when I found this out, the editors and agents too. That said, it really doesn't matter whether a debut writer has an agent or not. However, publishers might be more inclined to consider a book that has come through an agent.
2. You have sincerely worked on your craft. Could you share a bit about your journey and how you did it.
KY: I've been a reader from an early age, thanks to my dad. That was a big plus for me. Over the years, reading, coupled with traveling to different places due to my Armed Forces job, enriched my experience. When I first started to write, it was only short stories in English and some poetry in Hindi. Strange combination, yes, but it was all for fun in the beginning. I was married by then and I was trying to impress my wife, I think. LOL. Subsequently, I faced so many rejections that I worked harder on my writing. It has taken me almost ten years to convince a major international publisher to publish my book. My latest spy novel MURDER IN PAHARGANJ is being published by Bloomsbury India in Oct 17.
3. You have recently self-published a book of short stories. Why did you self-publish it?
KY: Yes, I've published a book of short stories on Kindle but that is just for the sake of experience. These are the best seven short stories that I've written in my life out of the two hundred odd. I wanted to be in control of the sales and see how people are reacting. The response has been good so far.
4. What's your understanding of the self-publishing industry in India?
KY: No much, I'm afraid.
5. Would you recommend self-publishing to an author? Y/N...why?
KY: No. One of my friends who self-published some time back told me that this is a sure-shot recipe for disaster. I trust him.
6. Many authors often say, it's my job to write, why do I have to market my book? What's your take on this.
KY: Sadly, stories don't connect with readers anymore, only people do. Therefore, marketing is very important.
7. How should a new author go about promoting their book?
KY: By getting five things right to the extent he/she can: Right cover, right price, right publisher, right availability, and finally, and the most important, right content.
8. About Open Road Review. How did that come about?
KY: Open Road Review is an online magazine that thrives on high-quality content and we are proud of the fact that we have published more than 400 writers from 24+ countries in five years.
9. You have written spy series. Then short stories. Recently you told me you've written a romance. Do you like experimenting with various genres? How & why did you write a romance?
KY: I think my strength lies in writing stories based on relationships. Thanks for your appreciation. Yes, I would like to see how the readers react to my romance novel. But that's for later. At the moment, I have the spy novel slated for an Oct release, which, by the way, has a very important relationship angle too.
10. Name a book that's there in the market that you would like to write. Would you change it...your take on it.
KY: Can't think of any. But yes, I would like to push the boundaries of imagination as I write more and more. The world has seen thousands of amazing writers. I want to do my bit and hope to be known as an original writer who wrote stuff that made us rethink about life itself.