Author Shivendra Kapoor, a Vedic astrology enthusiast checks planetary aspects that influence his mind while writing.





by Aryeman

#LondonGoodTimes
#AryemanSaysSo

Brief Introduction about the author: Shivendra Kapoor is a Sagittarian by birth, an instrumentation and controls system engineer by profession, a Vedic astrology enthusiast and writer at heart. He is also an invited guest speaker at various technical/ non-technical forums, colleges, association and he conducts free guest lectures for any group of people interested in the topic: ‘Creativity is the need of the hour and how to move ahead in this journey.’ He resides and works as a Functional Safety Professional in Mumbai, India. His short stories have been featured in many anthology books and he has won critical acclaim for some of them.


    THE INTERVIEW

How long did it take to get your first novel / book published?

To decide to write, conceptualise, put thoughts to paper, write, edit and repeat (The repeat cycle was a whopping 19 times), attend a writing workshop to hone my skills, pull myself out of writer’s blocks, seek a publisher, get the manuscript edited by a professional editor and the book cover design by a professional artist, participate with the publisher to make it ready for release. All this and many more ups and downs – all inclusive took me +4 years.

Do tell us something about your book which is scheduled for release in 2020.

The book is titled: Answers and Beyond and is being released post lockdown by ‘The Write Place Publishing’ (Crosswords Bookstores publishing arm). The book’s foreword is written by Dr. Radhakrishnan Pillai (Bestselling author of +15 books on Chanakya Series) and the book has already received a special appreciation letter (that’s a part of the book) from the Union Ministry, Government of India.         
         
                                    
To everyone’s surprise the book was scheduled to be released on 16th March 2020 but due to some personal exigencies it was postponed to 25th March 2020. It is still not out in the market due to Covid-19. There is a wait destined and I believe it is happening for my good and here’s why?
The book’s major plot happens around, inside and beyond a crematorium (and that’s what the world is seeing now). Also, the entire world is grappling to find an answer to the most bothering question, “When will Corona virus die? And the book’s basic premise is: Do you have a bothering question in your life and are desperately looking for an answer?

My life at times has been quite like the above; it drags something from the universe and pulls me along and during the thought process I am given hints about what will happen though I am required to thoroughly read between the lines.

I can remember that around 4 years ago, while traveling in a public transport (bus) to office, there was a pyre lit in the crematorium that’s on the way to my office. The bus stopped near the bus stop and as I stared at the burning pyre, the flames (or something) injected the thought of writing this story (it was in a flash) that is now being released as my debut book. There are a few instances that were written years back but they came true as I was writing the story; especially when the story was near completion. It is strange but it has happened and it happens with me (but I can’t reveal everything).



And yes, the Prologue is a must read. In that, I share a unique and strange method that I developed (maybe accidentally) that helped me in my mysterious journey to find the most bothering question of my life and the answer to it.

What mistakes did you make with the publishing of your first     book which you try not to repeat?
   
   I won’t call them as mistakes but it was over enthusiasm that led  
   to certain delays and as a result frustrations. Here, is a short list:

·       Procrastination – I will write this today, tomorrow, next week, Sunday morning, when my child is asleep, when I get my month’s salary,
·       Being soaked in emotional sinusoids and constantly dreaming rather than working on the plot
·       Being consumed by others’ comments that book writing is not easy and it doesn’t generate any income and that there are thousands of books published every year, so who would read your book?
·       At times, not planning well, despite being aware of my professional work requirements.
·       Hunting for a publisher best suitable for my genre
·       Trying to work on multiple manuscripts due to variety of thoughts popping-up constantly while working on the main manuscript.
·       Sometimes getting mixed-up with different styles of writing (like: using UK English and US English in different sections of the book).
·       Sometimes being too harsh with myself and sometimes very easy going- Consistency is the key to success.



 Can you focus on working on two books or stories at the same time?

 As said above, it invariably happens with me that while writing a story/       article/ content and especially when I am deeply involved in it, I do get        ideas for a fraction of a second and many times they enter and exit my          brain at lightning speed. For a long time, I never bothered to record these      thoughts and develop them into a story but later I realised that it becomes      impossible to revisit these thoughts and that they were high potential story    candidates.

I now record such random thoughts instantly in my diary with date and    time – Hope you got the hint; I am a Vedic astrology enthusiast and  using date, time, place details I construct a horoscope to check                  planetary aspects that influence my mind.

Is there a modus operandi you follow and formulate before you actually start writing your next book?
Yes. Being an engineer by profession, following a particular way to BEGIN a task is very important. I do allow relaxations in my approach once the beginning is done as being rigid doesn’t help much in a creative field.

When I begin writing, I have to be sure that the day I officially start writing, I have an elated mood and the burning desire to write. I do refer to the Panchang (Almanac) to see what the planets have to say; especially: Rahu Kaal, Gulika Kaal, Yam Kaal (Kaal means Time and Rahu, Gulika, Yam are/can be considered as planetary bodies that influence our lives).



Most preferred time slot for writing is at Night – I am a night person and need pin drop silence to write when I am at home. But this doesn’t apply when I am on official travel. I have no problems with the surrounding distractions at airports, Mumbai railways stations, public transport, etc. Quite often I can develop sentences looking at people and situations around me. It motivates me.

How often do you read other novels? Who are your favourite authors?
During my school days, it was an impossible task to read any novels. By force from my parents, I got a book: ‘The Emerald Eyed Cat’ from my school library and read just one page and felt asleep. The book was there with me for 1 week and though I extended the hold duration I was not able to read any further.

To be honest, after that till I completed engineering in 2002, I had never read any fiction, non-fiction, articles, newspapers, stories, etc. (Except for astrology/palmistry books that I began reading somewhere from 1998).

Like many other strange incidents in my life, one fine day (and it was in 2004) I wanted to write and be published (due to some reason). From that point onwards the journey to read so as to write to be published actually started.

I love reading astrology/occult, spirituality, self-help, abstract type of books. I enjoy reading paperback books that are not thick and especially from roadside booksellers. It gives me a kick to buy books standing on the roadside and turning a few pages and observing what others are buying.