Author Interview : Upendra Namburi

One has to be creative to be competitive!  says Author Upendra Namburi.
Read the candid conversation below to know the Author in him.
1.    Congratulations on 60 minutes! Somebody once said, ‘All fiction comes from a grain of truth.’ What is the grain that inspired 60 Minutes?
There is no single grain, but perhaps more of a granary which has inspired and influenced 60 minutes. Rivalry and competition are as old as man himself, and corporate rivalry is one more battlefield for men to wage war. There have been several noteworthy feuds including Coke v/s Pepsi, Apple v/s IBM, Unilevers v/s P&G. The story captures the essence of these rivalries and presents them in a fictionalized format.
 2.    What has the corporate world taught you? Has it made you more competitive and less creative or imaginative? How do you straddle between the two worlds?
One has to be creative to be competitive! This is applicable in every walk of life. The workplace offers a rich canvas of interactions and great insights into human emotions. It’s all about people and same is the case for stories as well. Hence there isn’t as much straddling as one might imagine.

3.    Which is your favourite character in the book – Agastya, Maithili, Sailesh? Which of them do you identify yourself with and why?
I find myself in a strange predicament…..the characters inspire me! The book is set on a bedrock concept ‘Shades of Grey’.. and this is a reflection of the world we live in. I am however inclined towards Sailesh. He is calm, composed and a thinker. We could do with more people  such as him in our lives.
4.    What happens when your friends and colleagues read 60 Minutes and find bits and pieces of themselves in the book? How do they react?
 There are a myriad of emotions and situations we all experience in our daily lives. A reader connects with a story when they are able to relate to these elements in the book and it’s no different with my friends and colleagues as well. There can be amusing conversations and a whole set of theories and assumptions on who the characters were based on.  But in actual fact, none of the characters are based on people that I know.
5.    Did you face Writer’s Block while writing any segment of the book? How did you overcome the block? Which segment was particularly difficult to write?
Writer’s block is a plague which strikes quite often in the writing process. It can sap you and drag you down, but then that’s the case in every journey one undertakes. There are two approaches which work for
me for overcoming ‘writers block’. Take a break! More often than not, there would be some other aspect in life which is distracting you. It’s important to resolve that and then return to writing. The other approach is to go through the story in your mind again. Distill and simplify it. As writers, one tends to veer away and complicate the elements. Just sit back and figure out what’s important and then dive in again.
The relationship between Maithili and Agastya was a deep and intense experience. It is complex and yet quite real.
6.    Any plans to take up writing as a full-time job, considering your day job is occupying the driving seat at the moment? How do you motivate yourself to write?
I write at nights and odd hours, hence it’s better that I retain a day job! On a different note, writing is an extremely demanding and challenging art. It requires tremendous discipline. I find it important to move away from the writing process to refresh the perspective and the story concepts and hence currently the day job is just about ideal in this journey.
The sheer ecstasy of offering flights to one’s imagination is sufficient motivation. And then of course, when readers reach out with their thoughts and criticisms…it’s a different high. It just makes it all worth it!
7.    Any advice or message for budding writers?
I am a student of writing, and it’s a constantly learning and humbling experience. It’s important to remain true to the story and the readers, and that is the challenging aspect. Writers are often swayed and distracted by autobiographical streaks and it’s imperative that one stays the course. Seeking inspiration and perspectives from experiences and interactions is extremely important. For writing to reflect depth and honesty, it is important to constantly explore and challenge oneself. Objectivity with an intense sense of purpose would go a long way in producing compelling work, and then it’s for the readers to post their verdict thereafter.
Interviewed by Anusha
 Also blogs actively at DiaryoftheSundayVisitor
She is a proud iMelonite !
Upendra Namburi is a sales and marketing professional who has contributed to leading newspapers and online publications. He is on the passionate voyage of writing the numbers triumvirate of novels titled 31, 60 and 8. His debut novel 31, was a bestseller and also on the long list for the Tata First Book award. His second book titled ’60 minutes’ is a unique story that spans a pulsating 60 minutes.
60 Minutes is now available in all leading stores ; Amazon , Flipkart. 
You can read some raving reviews about this book : here , here & here ….
The Author also has an amazing Website  which has some 
 – An initiative to feature notable authors. 
60 MINUTES by Upendra Namburi is the book “In Focus”.


Aspiring author, frequent blogger, freelance editor, book critic, movie buff, mihidana fanatic. Lives in Pune. Before the above titles, I was a PhD dropout in Soil Science from the US of A, which rather coerced me into switching gears and professions. I work in both English and my mother tongue Bengali.

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