India is a country that loves and worships the game of cricket, almost to the point of fanaticism. To capture that spirit in words is next to impossible because the extent to which it stretches is limitless. Author Sathish’s book, Life in the Sunshine – Autobiography of an Unknown Cricketer tries to do this exact same thing, with positive results.
In this candid interview with Writers Melon author T. Sathish opens up about writing, his latest book, and inspirations.
Sathish – What Makes My Writing Mine:
The most important part of writing is the way an author brings their own spirit into it. Sathish talks about how he has brought his intended emotions to this newest story.
“I am a fairly easy going person in general, but can be very introspective when faced with a question or a problem. I have always looked to books or the written word anywhere on the internet to help me in this philosophical quest. This part of me is what might have turned me into an avid reader of books on eclectic subjects. The natural progression in this quest is to become a writer, who can express his/her views through the stories they narrate.”
The Beginning of the Writing:
An author’s writing journey culminating in their stories making an impact is always encouraging for them. Sathish tells us about his journey and the beginning of it all.
“I started writing formally in 2018. But the urge to write had been there for long. Funny story, my close friends continue to pull my leg to this day for a Hardy Boys short story, Yokohama Mystery that I had written as 12-year-old. On a serious note, I used to be a regular blogger on Cricket. So, I had this thought in my mind to write a book or do something substantive related to Cricket. My favourite fictional character is Sherlock Holmes. I wanted to be like Watson, admiring and chronicling my favourite sport, Cricket. Thus, I started to write my first book, which started off as a book on Cricket.”
Writing – Finding the Fine Balance:
Finding the right point of balance between writing and handling day jobs is what every author is after. Sathish tells us how he finds the time to write amidst handing his day job.
“I have a day job, that too in a leadership role at a large global firm. My responsibilities are multiple and stakeholders are located across the globe. So, I had to find time to write the novel at odd hours, early in the morning or late at night. Sometimes, even during my lunch break. I remember my housemaid asking me what I was doing, writing in a notebook early in the morning. She had never seen me do this before. Only after I released the book, did I ask her to connect the dots.”
About ‘Life in the Sunshine – Autobiography of an Unknown Cricketer’:
“Life in the Sunshine – Autobiography of an Unknown Cricketer is a humorous, slice of a life story that traces the journey of three young boys (Sat, Sam, and Trib) who dream to make their living, playing cricket for India. They often put on their thinking caps and come up with alternate universe parodic versions of important matches. However, Fate intervenes in their idyllic life, when Javed Miandad hits that last ball six in Sharjah. Additionally, Sat fails to make the cut in his state team selections. How the boys overcome these fateful events, forms the rest of this coming of age story.
Just like how the sitcom ‘The Big Bang Theory’ is not about science, but about lives of some science geeks, Life in the Sunshine is not about cricket but narrates the life of some young cricket geeks and the impact of cricket on their lives. People from all backgrounds have enjoyed the sitcom, as the characters are quirky and their exchanges are witty. I hope and am sure, that given a chance, people from different interests will like Life in the Sunshine for very similar reasons.”
‘Life in the Sunshine’ and its USP:
Without a USP, every book in a particular genre seems repetitive. But unlike those cricketing books, Sathish makes sure that his book, Life in the Sunshine combined emotions and a story of ambitious youth to make it unique.
“I realized that there were lots and lots of books on cricket written by former cricket players, commentators and officials. With me being a non-entity, my book on cricket, cannot be only about cricket. To stand out from the crowd, I decided to narrate a story of young boys, just like my friends and I were, who grew up watching and playing cricket. I did not want it to be autobiographical and bring in real people into the picture. So, I kept the settings the same as what I had grown up in, but sketched fictional characters and incidents to build up my story. Thus, Life in the Sunshine was born. It is dedicated to the ‘unknown cricketer’, whose love and passion for the game drives the sport in our country.”
Life in the Sunshine – The Reception:
“Reading the initial reviews on Goodreads, I feel that the story has hit the right chords with its readers. The book seems to have taken them on a nostalgic trip through their childhood or youth. They have enjoyed the fast paced narration, the humor and the creative descriptions of the cricketing incidents. The readers have been able to relate to all the characters, as these character are life like. Even those who are not into cricket have also enjoyed the story, as they have grown up with cricket crazy folks around them. They are able to relate to the characters and able to grasp their coming of age story.”
Sathish – Previous Works:
“Apart from this novel, I have written and published two short stories on Juggernaut’s digital platform. ‘Hang in there’ is the name of the first story. The story is about young Prasad, who loves body building. He falls in love and tries to woo his lady. ‘Ami Free?’ is the other story. The story is about middle aged Ragu, who is trapped in a train along with a young man with an agenda. It is a mini thriller.”
Taking Inspiration from the World:
“My inspirations are from various fields. Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli are my inspirations for their pursuit for excellence. RK Narayan for simple writing about simple subjects. Sherlock Holmes and Watson are my favorite fictional characters. Bill Bryson for his ability to combine real life with his adventures in his book. Frankenstein, the book. I keep asking ‘How did a 19 year-old manage to write a book that deals with the emotional tussle between a monster and its creator?’ The list of geniuses can go on forever!”
Advice for Aspiring Authors:
“Sujatha, the famous Tamil writer, said that everyone has a story, which is their own life story. We have our own experiences and views of the World. If you like to write, start from here. Put pen to paper, that is the way to get started. In this digital world, we have many avenues to display our skills. There are no more middlepersons blocking your access to the wider World. Get out there.
Do take the help of professionals to edit, market and publish your book. Every major thing in this World has been achieved by teams. So, build your team.”
Author(s): T Sathish
Publisher: Notion Press
Release: February 2019
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