Author Interview: Arvind Rishi

1. Are there any books or authors that inspired you to become a writer?

I would definitely start this list with Rabindranath Tagore. His writings are rooted in the heartland of India and touch the emotional string every single time. Stephen King and Mark Z Danielewski are also great inspirations. They are the masters of the psychological thriller genre, and rightly so.  I would also like to mention Dostoevsky as one of my favourite writers. His take on a human psyche and their reactions to the environment around them are unparalleled.  

2. Do you play music while you write — and, if so, what’s your favorite?

I Absolutely do play music, it helps me set up a mood for the scene by putting my mind into that state. Say, if the scene is set in a cold breezy forest, I try matching the setting with atmospheric audio. It helps me feel it a lot better and hence brings out vivid descriptions for the scenes.

3. Does writing energize or exhaust you? Or both?

I would say, writing the Brown Sunshine was actually kind of both. It is a pretty detailed novel with a lot of strings that need to be tied up, so I had a lot of tracking to do. Pairing it with writing the chapters was a tiring effort, but we do know that everything sweet comes out of hardships and struggle. There is absolutely no more happiness than to see your book being published and climbing the charts. We are currently trending at #1 in Amazon India, and like they say – a thing of beauty is a joy forever.

4. Have you ever tried to write a novel for a genre you rarely or never read?

Oh, I would love to write a comedy genre novel, and I rarely read that genre. Something like ‘Three men in a boat.’ Comedy is subjective and is a difficult genre to get right, but yeah, if you ask me, that is one book – I would definitely be interested in writing.

5. How did you come up with the title for your book?

So, there’s an interesting story behind the title. I had written a blog on Quora with the same name, and a similar plot, quite a few years ago. I had never come around, to finish it and it was called – The Brown Sunshine. The reason was that the protagonist sees sunshine that is of a different color, a new hue. For lack of a name, he terms it looks like ‘brown.’ So that’s where the name comes from. In the book, this stands true as well. 

6. How do you develop your plot and characters?

This book is a psychological thriller. I would like to say that a lot of effort has gone into structuring the plot and character progressions in a manner that is ‘enagaging.’ The prime rule of thrillers, is to stay one step ahead of the audience, is to be unpredictable, while still maintaining a form and flow. This is where I believe The Brown Sunshine stands out. Also, I would like to add a second point – that it fuses mythology with fiction and philosophy in a manner that serves the story, which I would want to believe is a standout quality.

7. How do you process and deal with negative book reviews?

I deal with negative reviews exactly as I deal with positive reviews. This is important that we treat them objectively. They are part and parcel of the business. In both scenarios, I try to see if there are any significant takeaways, If so, and if I feel they’re right, it obviously becomes a point to note.

8. What do you do to get inside your character’s heads?

That is the tricky part right, I mean the character should be fleshed enough that each of them have a separate perspective, a separate driving force and a unique motivation. Once this and their backstory gets framed, it is obvious as to how they would react to situations and how they would frame their actions.

9. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

While I was writing the Brown Sunshine, I had a full time career as a software engineer, and it was a hectic schedule. I used to work in the mornings and write at night, that’s how the story came to be. Currently I am pursuing my masters, so it is a separate set of challenges. Beyond work, I listen to music, a lot of podcasts and directing (and writing) short films. I also spend a lot of time reading research papers on topics such as quantum physics. 

10. What inspired the idea for your book?

The inspirations were mostly from a seed of thought that came to me a few years ago. It was the theme of how memories, and perspectives shape different men uniquely. People can go through the same set of events and come out taking different learnings from it. I also wanted to bring the genre of psychological thrillers to the forefront in the context of fiction novels in India. I genuinely believe there is a huge range of audience for every type of content, until it is ‘engaging’ and there are ‘takeaways.’ Additionally, I have spent quite a few years writing screenplays and directing short films, so those experiences also gave impetus to the command I had over my skill set.

Author name – ARVIND RISHI
Book Amazon Link –
Goodreads link –{%22workId%22:%22kca://work/,%22after%22:%22NTYsMTY4ODc0MjA2OTYxOQ%22}

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