Allow me to Introduce Ajinkya Bhasme, the author of When The Devi Whispers.
To know more about the book you can read our detailed review for the same at:
Ajinkya is an alumnus of IIT Mumbai and a multi-talented artist who currently works in Human Resources. His passion for dancing is also worth taking a note about.
Reading the book made us curious to know more about and thus we approached him. Fortunately, the things worked out positively and from our team, I got a chance to have a small Q/A session with him. I would love to share it with you all.
We are glad to have a conversation with you. Thank you for sparing some time to have a Q/A session with us. Your debut book “When The Devi Whispers” is getting positive responses in both commercial and critical aspects. Please accepts our congratulations for the same and tell us something about it (the response to the book).
Thank you indeed. It is truly humbling how lovely the response has been. The book has already reached thousands of people and has gained the right attention. Over a 100 media houses have already covered my story and I could not ask for more.
Being new to this industry and being an original writer is very scary. I try to bring in a fresh perspective and a novel literary device, which is fast and coherent with our evolved language. I do not sound like other great authors which sometimes gets on the nerves of some avid readers, but, hey, Shakespeare was the inventor of slangs. I know they will come around.
I am grateful however to everyone for accepting my 4 years of efforts so warmly and giving my book the respect and the platform it deserves.
There is a popular story of how Einstein was upset with his “Theory of Relativity” even after it received several prestigious awards and accolades. Because it wasn’t truly understood by anyone. The only true happiness out of it that he received was when his chauffeur understood it. Every artist lives for the applause. There is no greater feeling than reading the review of a reader who captures the essence of your every single word correctly. But that feeling is momentary because the human mind always craves for more, doesn’t it?
Can you tell us more about yourself, your background, your profession, and your passions?
Oh God! I don’t know where to begin. Well, I am 27, mostly water and carbon. I am working as an HR in a company called UPL. I studied Chemical Engineering from IIT Bombay so I consult for some Chemical projects as well. I am a professional dancer and swimmer as well, so I compete quite often, in the former more than the latter. I can also speak about 7 languages. I talk to animals and inanimate objects more often than I talk to humans. I hate parties and clubbing. I am quite an uncool person really, I have no swag whatsoever, an average grandma could have better swag than I. So I compensate for it elsewhere. Which is why I think I am still single- wonderfully weird.
Story telling. That’s the simplest answer for you. I believe words have an aura and they speak to people. Authors are just a medium for these words to narrate a story.
When the words speak to me, I speak to my readers. I don’t just write; I immerse myself into it. When I am writing a story, I am no longer Ajinkya, I am the character.
WTDW is inspired by real events. My mother is a lawyer. When I was a wee little baby, she used to narrate bedtime stories to me. When the regulars got too boring for my interest and when I was over the typical “So jaa warna bhoot aayega” (सो जा वरना भूत आएगा), my mother thought it was a good idea to tell me the stories from her criminal trials. One of the stories was that of these sisters.
I was petrified of them and refused to step out of the house alone as a kid for a few days. That memory was etched somewhere. About 20 years later, I was in a cafe, wanting to tell a story among the millions in my head. I closed my eyes and my mind immediately returned to that very memory and my body was covered in chills. And the very first sentence in the book came naturally
To err is human; to forgive, divine. And then there are some crimes that are so harrowing and cold-blooded, that even the devil gets terrified to walk alone in the dark.
I love human psychology.
I was once bored and had nothing to do so I started to study a book on clinical psychology. And sooner than I realised, I ended up giving a few exams and getting certified in Clinical Psychology. I personally like horror and thrillers; and given that my education has taught me to think mathematically and intellectually, I device plots that are tricky to understand and blend them into a complex mix of psychological horror and thriller. Also, I worked as a scientist for almost 4.5 years, no one wants to read about what chemical reactions I did, or how I use Monte Carlo simulations, there is already an author for it- “Google”.
I am a complete method writer.
It took me 4 years to complete WTDW. And for my next book, I am already researching heavily to an extent where I have planned a visit to a notorious mental asylum as a patient. I plan to live there for a few days and hoping for 2 things.
- That they let me go after a few days
- That I still have my sanity
Like I mentioned above, the next one is a psychological thriller/horror. However, there are other 2 books planned that are in very different genres. One is a fantasy fiction and another is an emotional ensemble of an attachment to an inanimate object with life.
Fun fact, the entire cover is designed by me. And another fact, the biggest clue in solving the mystery of the book is right there on the front cover. I am going to assume you liked the cover and I am shamelessly going to flatter myself in the process.
That’s another horror story in itself.
The industry is cruel to new talent. Let’s just say that I am glad that I do not have care about money or being commercial about my writing because I already have a regular job. When any author asks me this question, it feels like the sky has overcast, the lights have been turned off and it is going to rain. Writing your book is the easiest part of the process. What is difficult is getting it out. It requires tremendous amounts of patience and perseverance. I remember, 2 nights before the launch of WTDW, my parents found me, as a full grown adult, crying (with actual genuine tears) in one corner of my house yelling burn the bloody book, I can’t do this anymore. But I survived, and possibly over reacted. Be prepared with Murphy’s law in mind, something that can go wrong, will go wrong :P.
We ask this question in almost every interview so that readers (and hopefully publishers too) understood the tough segment of the journey. Aspiring authors should be prepared for it. And probably publishers should think about crowd-curation of new works and selection of potential works from the same to publish. I see some such initiations are stopped midway. Bloody Good Book is one such venture.
Anyway, Every book affects its author in some way. How do you think writing “When The Devil Whispers” affected you?
It completely eliminated the fear of ghosts in me. During my research, I got so immersed into the character sketching of the criminals that I realised that the heaven made humans; humans made hell. What is to be feared is not something that possibly doesn’t even exist but someone who does. I have found myself to be more kind and helpful.
This is what our world needs, more kindness to wards all beings, before it is too late to mend.
None, to be honest. I cleanse myself during my writing process. I think the world already has a Rushdie, Brown and Archer; I do not wish to sound like any of them. Consciously or unconsciously. We need originality and the best way to generate new literary devices is to cleanse yourself to respect the work of these great authors. Sounding like them should also be a crime against their originality. Although I am reading academic textbooks on Psychology.
I don’t think writing is just a hobby. It is a profession now. Apart from that I dance (a lot), I paint and I watch TV.
Visuals are always helpful.
Avid readers have also started to prefer TV over books. But it’s evident. People have less time now and most authors have a descriptive style of narration which makes books long. So I highly recommend a book trailer. Did you know, the trailer of WTDW was made completely by me? The actors are my friends and family. I was running on a really low budget and I am pretty proud of the final product.
With the boom of digitization, Ebooks are pretty convenient. You can carry an entire library on just one tablet now. So it is lightweight, convenient, Eco-friendly and very cheap. So if it is enabling the younger people to read, why not.
I love a good old book whose papers are stained and generate that smell. I can never read a non-academic ebook.
I use social media very heavily. And frankly speaking, it is the best way to reach anyone around the globe. Keep promoting your material all THE TIME till you become a household name.
- Website: https://www.ajinkyabhasme.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bhasmewords/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bhasmeajinkya/
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ajinkya-bhasme/
- Twitter: @jinky22jan
To the new authors, just start writing, the world will fall in place. Find that one person who loves to read what you wrote, and write for them. Haters gonna hate, potatoes gonna potate. So just be yourself.
It is indeed one of the most interesting Author Interview we’ve got a chance to conduct. Hope you have enjoyed the Q/A session with him. And many of your questions might be already answered.
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