Exclusive interview with Ruchir Saxena where he takes us through his journey of writing his debut novel 'A life beyond Love'

Crossword launched debut author Ruchir Saxena's 'A life beyond love' on February 12, 2019; A beautifully woven story by the celebrity manager-turned-author which won't fail to strike a chord with its readers.

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Are you afraid to share your story with the world? Do you secretly worry if you created something that mattered, people wouldn’t like it? That’s what art is all about — and the reason I wanted to interview Ruchir Saxena, who has beautifully penned down his thoughts and life in his debut novel - A Life Beyond Love.

In this conversation with Ruchir Saxena, I got to do just that. For an hour, we discussed art, fear, life, unrequited love, publishing, other authors and how unapologetically he’s expressed his feelings. 

In my interview with Ruchir, he mentions writers like Durjoy Datta, who inspired him to write and even reached out to help him in the marketing of the book and therefore being an epitome of generosity, creativity and how the world rewards art.

Ruchir has written stories that have captured the hearts of his audience, both on digital platforms and on the page. During our conversation, he was at his candid best: humorous and brutally honest by turns. Here’s what we spoke about:

Tell us something about the book

The book clearly defines my journey as a writer. I evolved as a writer as the character evolved in the book. The central characters of the book are Rihan and Riya where she has, what the French call, joie de vivre ( joy of living ). She is a force of nature and plays herself to perfection. Riya revels in her energy, her giddy effervescence and her aching vulnerability. How do you take your book? If you like a book to do what a really strong shot of tequila does – basically scorch your insides - then ‘A life Beyond Love’ is right for you. It won’t fail to be relatable as its mostly based on my life.

What has been your inspiration and who is your favourite author?

It was Durjoy Datta’s first book ‘Of course I love you, till I find someone better’ that inspired me to write and since then I have always been a huge fan of him. It was his debut book that crossed all the boundaries of a writer and instilled that confidence in me. He was kind enough to even help me out with the marketing of the book. What could be better than your idol promoting your book?

Apart from him, the tragic events in my life stirred the writer inside me and I had no other option than to put it in words. I have explained it perfectly in my book’s Prologue - ‘When you’re on the verge of losing something you seem shit scared but when you lose it nothing scares you anymore because you have already lost what you value the most.’

Apart from Durjoy Datta, I like Paulo Coelho’s writing, which is beautifully poetic but his message is what counts. His books have had a life-enhancing impact on millions of people and ‘The Alchemist’ will always be my go-to book whenever I’m feeling low.  J.K.Rowling- I've yet to meet a ten-year-old who hasn't been entranced by her witty, complex plot and the character of the eponymous Harry Potter world and Nicholas Sparks, the one who has had record-breaking adaptations of his books in movies.

How did the process of publication go?

I had submitted to 4-5 publishers out of which 2 major publishers rejected. A major publication which has been a major publication to launch Durjoy and Ravinder Singh accepted my draft but the project din’t move forward as I was not in the time frame to complete it. I found the right place with Crossword’s Write Place. Everything went very smooth with the publishers as well as the editor that I plan to publish all my next books with them.

How did the process of writing it go?

Read, read, read. I read everything — classics, love stories, good and bad, and saw how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. I read and absorbed it. Reading helped me to set up the mood or tone that goes into writing. I have been largely inspired by whatever I read. For instance, while I was reading Paulo Coelho’s The Winner Stands Alone  I was stuck on the last chapters second paragraph when I had my eureka moment and wrote one of the most important scenes of the book which actually defines the book title.

What does literary success look like to you?

Well, for me it's not about the number of copies being sold, the biggest paradigm shift for me was that my book got published! I had just completed 2 chapters of the novel and randomly sent it to publishers and to my surprise, they wanted more and that compelled me to take my work more seriously and I completed the next 150 pages of my book in 20 days! As this book is based on true events and the majority of the events took place in Amity University they literally brand it as ‘an unofficial Amity University love story’. I’m currently working on my next book which will be out in December. I’ve been number 2 in new best selling Indian writing on Amazon so I guess all these literally defines my literary success.

Which was your hardest scene to write?

There are some letters written in the book and those were the original letters written by me. Writing those was really very emotionally overwhelming. The chapter bloody love in the book exactly describes all the scenes that have actually happened with me.

How do you market your books?

Luckily I have got immense support from my publisher in promoting the book and the book started making a buzz after I got celebs to promote it and I feel very privileged to have Meet Bros at my book launch, being a celebrity manager definitely comes with certain perks. Crossword being a bookstore themselves made my book available at Tekson bookstore in Delhi.

There’s going to be a huge announcement soon through a big celeb which I cannot reveal now, hint: It's a rapper. 

Which is your favorite chapter in the book and why?

The verge is my favorite chapter because that clearly portrays the dilemma of my thoughts. It even has the climax of the story where the protagonist’s life goes downhill and he decides to take a stand.

What are you currently reading and according to you which is the most underappreciated novel?

I am currently reading ‘Sometimes it happens’ by Karan Sharma, it's a book which describes the orthodox society which still doesn’t accept a boy falling in love with someone older to him. The most understated novel according to me would be Rahul Saini’s ‘Those small things in life’ as the protagonist in the book is flamboyant and I find those characteristics totally relatable.

Any for aspiring authors?

Don’t lose hope as it would be a cumbersome process. Out of all the drafts submitted to the publisher only two percent are asked for the further manuscript and out of that, only two per cent actually get published. If you wish to write a book you need to start writing it today. The hardest part of writing a book isn’t getting it published, It’s the actual process of writing and in this beautifully chaotic process, embrace failure. As you approach the end of the project, know that this will be hard and you will most certainly screw up. Just be okay with failing, and give yourself decorum. That’s what will strengthen you — the determination to continue, not your elusive standards of perfection.

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