“If you love writing, read a lot, write a lot, and just don’t quit writing.” Says Vikrant Khanna, author of ‘Love Lasts Forever.”
Q. Tell us your journey as a writer – the start, the inspiration and the hurdles encountered on the way.
Vikrant: Being a sailor, I have all the time in the world, both literally and metaphorically. Once during a long voyage crossing the Pacific, I thought of giving a shot at writing, since I have always admired the art of good storytelling. The first draft of my first book was completed in that one month voyage. That is what fuelled my interest in writing. But those days I never thought of getting the book published, it just happened!
Q. How much has your career as a sailor influenced the plot of the story?
Vikrant: I wanted to write a story of a sailor with the piracy element. But that in itself wasn’t a concrete plot.
And then I knew I got my idea!
Q. A few authors whose works have influenced your style of writing.
Vikrant: Agatha Christie, Sidney Sheldon, Stephen King, John Green, Nicholas Sparks.
Q. Your wife’s first reaction when she heard the plot/read the manuscript of ‘Love Lasts
Vikrant: Honestly, she could relate to every part of it, and she loved it.
Q. Have you ever experienced the fear of pirates on your journey over the waters?
Vikrant: Yes, once. While passing Gulf of Aden, we’d heard gun shots sometime late evening. In the morning we came to know the ship ahead of us in the convoy got hijacked. We were lucky we narrowly escaped it.
Q. How did you feel on the day your first book was launched: elated, nervous, edgy…?
Vikrant: Utterly satisfied, not at all nervous.
Q. Your greatest critic.
Vikrant: My wife.
Q. Do you read your reviews and respond to them, good or bad? Do you take the negative reviews with a pinch of salt?
Vikrant: Good reviews don’t help much; it’s the bad, constructive ones that actually help me to improve my writing. But I respond to all of them.
Q. Given a chance, with which author would you like to co-author a book?
Vikrant: Perhaps Sidney Sheldon or Agatha Christie. I know they are not alive, but hey…even if they were, I wouldn’t have got a chance to work with them.
Q. And to wind up -“Do you think your love can last forever…..?” Any message for budding writers?
Vikrant: Absolutely, love can definitely last forever.
My advice for budding writers would be to not get into this field if you do not completely love writing and if you cannot dedicate 3-4 hours every day to reading and writing. But if you love writing, then read a lot, write a lot, and just don’t quit.