At times, we come across people who chose to follow their inner callings and do what they always love to do. One such person Sanjay Grover – the author of The Ideal Wife is available among us. The author has shared the interesting things about how he come to write is his debut book. I hope you will also find this interview resourceful and actionable.
Anant – How did you reach to this idea of writing a book on the quest of an ideal wife? Was it somewhere related to your personal life?
Sanjay – No, it isn’t related to my personal life. Idea of An Ideal Wife struck me while one day I was casually surfing through 100s of TV channels. My eyes got hooked to a TV program in which a machine changed the shape of an object that went in the machine. For a simple explanation – corn changes its shape and structure after getting popped in a popcorn machine.
That movement, I got a thought what if instead of an object we want to control the shape, size and qualities of a person as per our wishes. And Voila! An Ideal Wife was born.
Later I did a survey of my friends and colleagues to zero down on the qualities of An Ideal Wife which I wanted to present in my book.
Anant – Arrival of a God on earth in a romcom story makes an amusing read but share the interesting creative process that brought a dwarf god into picture?
Sanjay – Drapaudi had to marry five Pandavas to get all the qualities she wanted in her husband then how could a mere mortal get his Ideal Wife so easily. This thought marked the entry of God. Bringing in God threw another challenge to me as a writer, since no Goddess or Apsara possessed the qualities this mere mortal wanted in his Ideal Wife then how could God get him An Ideal Wife? So, God had to be someone with no experience of dealing with unending wishes of human. That’s how a dwarf God, once driver of the biggest God, took shape in my book. He was not fit to become God initially but got promoted due to his closeness with the biggest God. Just like car drivers of many politicians in Mrityulok became Directors of companies floated by these politicians.
Anant – What was the concept behind using Hphone, Hpade, LED light illuminated Swarglok?
Sanjay – I wanted to show Swarglok is much more advanced than Mrityulok but at the same time making sure people understand its advancement. I mean I didn’t want to use the terms which could confuse the readers. So I chose some of the worldly things which we consider advanced such as iPhone, iPad etc and replaced them with Hphone, Hpad (means Heaven’s phone, Heaven’s pad etc). Who is better than Steve Jobs, once he reached heaven, to develop these J?
Anant – The price and length of the book is ideal for a speedy read. Was this a strategic move before writing the book?
Sanjay – I have barely read 4-5 English fiction in my entire life but I read newspaper, articles etc almost 3-4 hours every day. I have always preferred reading something which can be finished in a quick time due to two main reasons; first due to nature of my work I have to juggle many things at the same time and second my attention span is not very good while reading. So I wanted to write something which I, myself as a reader, would take very less time to finish.
I, being a marketer myself, very well knew that book connoisseur will not be my target audience as I was going to write in a very simple language. I was more interested in reaching to general reading population. That is the main reason we opted for a price point which would encourage even the not-so-avid reader to pick up my book.
Anant – You talked about your love for cinema in preface of the book. Now you are a published author. Will you move on to make films or we will have more books from you?
Sanjay – I am writing my second book currently and at the same time pitching my film stories to producers. Let’s see what happens first J
Anant – You are a new author in the town. Please share your experience in getting this book published? It will surely help the wannabes.
Sanjay – There are four major steps which every author needs to go through; writing, publishing, distribution and marketing. The easiest among these is writing, as the author has full control over what he/she wants to write. The biggest challenge is to find a good publisher to publish your work. In my case, most of the big publishers didn’t even reply. After struggling to get to reach them for more than six months, I opted for a small but good publisher who was convinced with my story. I got offers from few other small publishers but went with Good Times as they allowed me full freedom not only in creative process (such as cover design, font size, font type etc) but also in marketing (including deciding the price point). Due to this freedom, I was able to negotiate a promotional deal with www.shaadi.com.
A word of advice to all aspiring authors, book writing is not a very lucrative career till you are very successful. I would suggest them to continue working in some alternate field which can keep their kitchen running.
Anant – Describe your book in a sentence of five words.
Sanjay – It’s funny, gripping and interesting.
Anant – Have you adopted writing as a fulltime career? If not then how do you manage to allocate your energy in both directions?
Sanjay – I was a corporate guy for many years in USA but shifted to filmmaking in 2007. Today, I am a writer and short film director in Hindi film industry. I made a career shift knowing most of the challenges so I was physically, mentally and financial prepared. I spend my time in writing books and film scripts, producing corporate films and directing short films. I thoroughly enjoy what I do so allocating energies in many directions is never an issue.
Anant – Tell us something about influence of Indian literary market on the creative process of writing a book and making a movie?
Sanjay – Not sure if I am competent enough to talk about it. It’s my first book and I still need to grow a lot.
Anant – Would you like to say a few words to the young readers, who are now reading your wonderful book?
Just read with a flow and let your imaginations go wild.
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