What inspires you to write?
I wrote a few poems and short stories in my teens but it was nothing substantial. However, I always knew that I wanted to write, the reason being very philosophical — the desire to be remembered after one’s death. Initially, I planned to write only one book but the success of If God was a Banker changed made me realise that there are people willing to publish and read my books. The resultant greed led to the following six books.
Writing a banking thriller is a less treaded path in the literary scene. What made you choose it?
It was somewhat of a personality trait that led me to write about banking. I am fundamentally a lazy person who did not want to spend too much time in research and wasn’t familiar with nuances of writing a book. Given my two decades of experience in banking, I decided to start with what I was familiar with. My wife and friends are all the bankers and we know the circle inside out.
What changes have you undergone as a writer?
I have improved and become more experimental, trying to incorporate different styles of writing. Reading a thriller is all about experience. A lot of authors make the mistake of believing that the plot is of paramount importance. But presentation is another key element. God is a Gamer has 99 chapters, each being not more than 3-4 pages. It makes the reader roll pages faster than he usually would.
How easy or difficult is it to infuse ethics and morality while writing about the financial sector?
Most of the incidents in my books are real life instances. When you write a realistic story, it is very difficult to draw the line between good or bad because in real life, Indians are not high on personal or professional integrity. Look at the corporates for instance; people don’t work their way up in an organisation any more. They prefer short-cuts. Corruption exists across levels not only in the public but the private sectors as well. So when I sit down to write, there is an intense conflict within myself — should I give a moral message through the book or paint the picture as it is. But I have chosen to depict the reality rather than go down the path of a moral crusader.