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An Interesting Author Interview With Manoj V. Jain

Hi Friends,
Allow me to introduce Mr. Manoj V. Jain – the author of more than 5 books from which we’ve got a chance to read the latest two. Both of these books are thoughtful and talk about something really important. Here are quick links to our unbiased reviews for both these books.

His books prove that he loves to observe and analyze the way the human psyche functions. He runs a garment business. When he travel across the world, he put his observation skills into an act to find new stories and situations and anticipate human behavior in respective situations.

Reading his books made us curious to know him better. And, what could have been a better option than an author interview? So we approached his team. Fortunately, the things worked out positively and from our team, I got a chance to have a small Q/A session with him. Let me present it to you all without any delay :).

Manoj Jain | Author Of - A Man From Mandu

Manoj Jain | Author Of – A Man From Mandu

Greetings from team ThinkerViews…!
We are glad to have a conversation with you. Thank you for sparing some time to have a Q/A session with us. Your latest book “The Man From Mandu” 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).

It is a kind of cliché question; obviously, you are feeling joyous, accomplished and happy. Of course, neither this is your debut book, nor it is warmly welcomed by the readers for the first time. But, each time we are able to follow our passions the way we want to and getting a positive response on the course, we feel, inching more towards completeness. Do you think so?

As soon as a book is published, I have felt a kind of a “post partum” low which I did experience when A MAN FROM MANDU released.

I am surprised at your question, because oddly enough its very relevant – I do not know why, but after the publication of this book, I feel a sense of accomplishment, a feeling that I have completed the journey. I do not know whether there are more books ahead or not, but I am satisfied on fulfilling a dream, a passion- it took me my 6th book to feel this sense of completeness.

Can you tell us more about yourself, your background, your profession, and your passions?

By profession, I am a businessman running my own export company, a business I started after I completed my studies at IIM Ahmedabad. I have always wanted to write and I finally made the plunge, writing during my business travels. Besides my business and travels, I keep busy with my on-going psychology studies as well as learning Spanish. I believe that a person should constantly learn and grow oneself.

What draws your interest in writing?

I had always wanted to be an author since I was 8 years old but I gave up on that dream in my thirties as I was working hard on my newly founded business and was working hard and travelling a lot and spending time with my children. I was always reading a lot especially literature from all countries and genres. In my late forties, I did my masters in Psychology and the dream to write re-surfaced but I was unconfident because the writing of today was slicker, faster and I was nervous. My nephew suggested I keep a blog and I thought that was the first step- but while trying to write a blog, my first novel (and my books are quite short, too large for a Novella, and not a conventionally thick book) got written. After the first book, I thought I have done it, lived my childhood dream- but once the bug has bitten you, you cannot stop, and more stories came gushing forth

You have shared details about how the character of Avishkar Baba and his sermons came to your mind, worked upon, and got a body of words. Can you tell us something about it?

My son suggested that I should venture into short stories- I am not a big fan of short stories but love parables and fables. I decided to write a novel using parables – and who better than a Sadhu to sprout short stories that get a reader thinking and introspecting.

Can you tell us how the idea of writing “A Man from Mandu” conceived?

The idea of small esoteric stories emerged last year in June 2018 and I actually wrote two short stories that were worked into sermons later in the book.

Manoj Jain | Author Of - A Man From Mandu

Manoj Jain | Author Of – A Man From Mandu

The actual book came together in March 2019 when I was travelling to Mexico for meetings. One week before my trip, the novel started forming in my head and I started on the first three chapters. The balance I finished during my travels and I was writing furiously at night after work and during long plane journeys.

The purpose was more to narrate the short stories so the Baba worked as a perfect setting.

You’ve mentioned in the book that finding the title for “A Man From Mandu” was a tough exercise for you. Can you tell us more about it? (By the way, “The Man From Mandu” is definitely the perfect title for it).

When I started writing the book, I decided to call the book THE BABA…but as I kept writing, I thought I would change the title to THE SADHU OF STORIES. As the book progressed, I decided to call it THE WAGER (I’m glad I did not as it already exists on Amazon). I asked a couple of people and a friend said, “Wait, the title will come to you as you keep writing the story.” Sure enough by the time I reached the later chapters, I was sure I wanted to call the book “A MAN FROM MANDU”. I am glad I did.

The nature of your book is so that you must be devoting a good amount of time for the research work. Can you spill beans about it?

I did have to do a lot of research for this book for various reasons… I needed information but at the same time did not want to offend anyone. So I had to choose the names, Baba practises carefully. I also needed to go through many of the videos and quotes put up by the Gurus, follow them on Social Media as well as speak to many devotees. I also had to study the ways of Con men, of marketing principles that a modern-day consultant like Tarini would use.

Can you tell us about your choice of the genre? Actually, we’ve often seen authors mostly go with something related to their jobs, especially when it comes to their debut work. Ravi Subramanian, for example, writes banking thrillers. John Grisham explores legal thrillers and so on. Of course, there are authors who write fantasy fictions or mythology retelling which are far from their area of profession. We just want to know about the reasons behind your choices.

Understanding people and how they function, why they act and behave the way they do has always been of my interest. To some level, it has become instinctive to understand a person, without judging them. My studies, travels also have helped me with this. My books revolve around human interest, spirituality and seeking oneself but with a backbone of psychology. I keep my work life very distinct from my literary world.

Can you tell us more about your writing regime? Are you a method writer or an impulsive one?

I am a method writer for sure. When I write about a character, I am in their brains and thinking and emoting like they do and so it gets difficult to distinguish myself and the character on those days

Regarding a regime, I don’t have a fixed time for writing – I do not do it during office hours. I often can see the picture of the scene in my head when I am taking a walk. At night, I write down what I saw. I also usually write when I am traveling, in flights, airports and hotel rooms. I type away on my phone or on the laptop.

Can we see Manoj writing a book/books in other genres? Is there a book already in writing? Can you tell us something about it, if so?

I do not think I will write another genre. After every book, I say that this was the last book and I will not publish any more. I believe that when I say it … but a few months down the line, and I again start.

I am writing a continuum to A MAN FROM MANDU, to be posted on my webpage (basically not for publication) because Tarini has not yet left my brain.

he book cover plays an important role in bookselling, were you involved in the book cover designing process? How much?

I do get involved with the book covers. Finally, I am left with two or three options that I send out to about 20 friends and family – I listen to their choices but eventually follow my gut feeling.

This is a little irrelevant question now. But, can you share your journey to get your first book published?

I was extremely excited when my first book was released…with each successive book, I am yet excited but am little more patient regarding feedback, sales, reviews. I must admit, I yet read every review that is written on Amazon, Goodreads, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook that is posted as eagerly now as when my first book was released. The difference is that I am more realistic about the feedback, critiques, and process of publishing

Every author has a different way to deal with his/her creations. Some leave the characters behind and get engaged with new stories and new characters, while others remain connected to the content and the characters. Can you share how you deal with it?

The characters of the book talk to me and engulf me when I write the book- soon after the book is published, they refuse to leave. But then I get involved in other things, especially work and they quickly vanish.

Who are your favourite authors whom you love to read?

I have grown up reading and it is impossible to mention one author as a favourite author. Different authors were favourites at different times of one’s life. During my teenage years, I devoured Ayn Rand and Richard Bach, and as an adult enjoyed Gore Vidal and Alexander McCall Smith. Of course, one always loved Maugham, Hesse, Wodehouse and there are just too many. Each author has its own place in my life.

Which are the book(s) you are reading currently?

I have recently been introduced to the Graphic novel and I am really enjoying reading them. I just finished “Y the last man and SAGA” and planning to start on BEAUTY. My daughter recommended SOPHIE’S WORLD to me and I have just started on that now.

What are your hobbies apart from writing?

I enjoy Reading and travelling, fantasizing and making love.

What do you think about video trailers of the book(s) which are an almost inevitable part of marketing these days?

I really like video trailers for books- as the times change, authors and publishers need to generate interest and I think video trailers are an interesting way – I am not so sure they are very successful as people associate the trailers as video trailers.

What is your opinion about EBook readers and their impact on the generation overall?

EBook readers fulfil a lot of needs for a reader- they allow a reader (esp a traveller) to carry many books around at the same time. There are a lot of books available for free, others are lower priced. They lack the charm of actual books, flicking pages and the smell of the book but in a modern world in which everyone is used to gadgets, EBooks form a good option. It also encourages the habit of reading which would otherwise slowly fade away

Do you love to read traditional printed books more or EBooks?

Although I have a kindle, I yet prefer the traditional printed book over the E Book… I like the feel and smell of the pages, I like seeing them on my bedside table or on the book shelf (they feel like friends), I like my children thumbing through the same pages that I did. An E-book is more practical as you can enlarge the font, carry many books with you etc but at this point of time, it’s yet printed books for me.

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