Author Praful Shah’s successful stint as a screenwriter for OTT platforms and films.

By Aryeman


A brief about author Praful Shah:What makes this interview special is the fact, that the author has actually done the concept and research development for two web films which were streamed on the OTT platform of Zee5.

Praful Shah has come a long way from his stint of being a journalist with a reputed Gujurati newspaper ‘Mumbai Samachar’. He fondly remembers the prize money he got for his first story being published in a newspaper was a magnanimous twenty rupees. It was more the joy of seeing his name in print than the money which ushered in an influence to become a journalist.
From then on, there’s been no stopping. It was only recently that Praful has skydived into the arena of being an author and ushering in some great books in his regional language. From then on, there has been no stopping.

Read the interview to know more of Praful Shah’s inspiring journey.

How long did it take to get your first novel / book published?
Frankly, my first book was published quite late in life when I was 57 years old. Being in journalism, it meant I had to be constantly writing. It was sincerity about my job that kept me away from book writing.

My first book was published at the age of 57 years. My first book DRASHYAM ADRASHYAM was serialised as daily novel in Asia's oldest newspaper Mumbai Samachar. Its success was beyond everyone's imagination. With the resounding success, a novel was published along with other two books.

After this, there was an immediate spurt of my books being published in Marathi, Hindi and English also. I have recently ventured into the e-book category also to test the waters. A Hindi movie on this novel is announced n things are being worked out. It prompted me to write more and I never looked back after that.

What mistakes did you make with the publishing of your first book which you try not to repeat?
Frankly, there have been no mistakes or regrets. But somehow an elaborate marketing would have helped. It happens in Indian languages and especially with new writers. But this experience made me realise that my books should be published in more languages along with an English edition.

Can you focus on working on two books or stories at the same time?
Yes, I am a workaholic of sorts. I work on two to three book simultaneously. When I am stuck, confused or feel fatigued in one story, I move on to the other book for a change of mind.

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Is there a modus operandi you follow and formulate before you actually start writing your next book?
There is no rocket science to writing a book. I think of the plot which has to be unique and a fascinating one. With the rough plot in mind, I start jotting down important characters and start fleshing them out. Post that the writer in me takes charge with great gusto and soars high with creativity and imagination. My latest completed novel DADALO is best example of this pattern. It was loved so much by readers when serialised as daily novel. Post lockdown, book publication in three languages is on the cards.

Does the writer’s block actually exist? Any tips you would give to come out of it.
Fortunately, there has never been any writer’s block for me. I understand there are situations when one is not able to write or concentrate. But instead of being frustrated or down, I move to something else. It could be some reading, watching movie or TV. If possible, instead of writing further, I read whatever I have written earlier to improve it or plan further graph of story.

What was the book that most influenced your life, and why?
Being a journalist, reading has always taken precedence over writing. It’s an inspiration seeking process. I have read a lot. The list has been endless - famous Gujarati writer Gunvantrai Acharya, Harkishen Mehta, James Hadely Chase, Jeffery Archer, Osho, and Jethalal Somaiya. I read many books by Swami Vivekananda also.

The travails of finding the right publisher, some solutions. Click HERE to read.

How often do you read other novels? Who are your favourite authors?
Once I used to finish two novel a day in vacation time. It is stress buster for me. My favourite writers include Gunvantrai Acharya who has contributed a lot in sea adventure. I love to read Zaverchand Meghani, a stalwart of Gujarati literary writing.

Do authors, writers and novelists make a lot of money?
For a regional Indian language writer, there is not much money in writing. This privilege is available to very few and more to an English writer. Personally, my earning are from selling the rights of my book for movie, web film or web series.
I had a beautiful novel in mind but before I could write it, a film called THE WHITELAND was ready with my screenplay. In August, 2019, two web films BAROT HOUSE and POSHAM PA with my concept and research were released on Zee5 and garnered loads of appreciation.

You can buy the books at the below mentioned links:
Hardcopy:FATHER'S DAY in En​g​lish 👇

हिन्दी फादर्स-डे के लिए ...👇

E-book:English FATHER'S DAY 👇
हिंदी 'फादर्स डे'👇

The author's books:

DRASHYAM ADRASHYAM (a Gujarati docu-novel). It is story of common man who is out to find his kidnapped son and punish the et culprit. It is very unusual real life story.

It deals with the valour and sacrifice of our armed forces. This book got an award from the State Sahitya Akademi.

SARNAMA ZINDADILI (Addresses of bravehearts).

FATHERS DAY (English, Hindi and Marathi), these books are version of Gujarati DRASHYAM ADRASHYAM.

AGNIJA (Gujarati docu-novel)
The title roughly means ‘daughter of fire’. It is again real life story of struggle, survival & success of Ketaki Jani, an alopecia patient.

There are many other books written by this author.