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Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Author Interview: Ravi Subramanian, author of 'God is a Gamer'

Ravi Subramanian
Bitcoins were part of a topic, which has fascinated me for a long time. So, a book on the same subject made me sit up and read it, alright! Of course, there is a lot of stuff on the internet, but this ‘God is a Gamer’ was truly a treat for me.

'Writing for the right reasons' and making sure 'he promotes it well', is his tip. And some tip, it is. Ravi Subramanian sure took his time to give these fascinating answers…

You can read the Review, right here and You can also Buy the Book, right here. So read on, Folks…

How did ‘God is a Gamer’ happen?  

Bitcoins had been on my mind for over two years. I had been an ardent follower of Bitcoins from the time Wikileaks brought them into prominence (read the first chapter of the book to find out how).

So, when I sat down to write my next book, it had to be based in the world of Bitcoins. Once the backdrop was decided, then the other elements fell into place. I do not plot the entire story in the beginning. So, I started off writing the first chapter. And thereon, chapter by chapter, page by page, ‘God is a Gamer’ fell into place.

What kind of research did you put into the writing of this book?

None. This is in fact the first book of mine for which, I read six books on bitcoins, countless articles on the net and even spoke to a few journalists, who exposed certain bitcoin scandals worldwide.

However, every single bit was done because of my interest in Bitcoins and not with a specific intent of research for ‘God is a Gamer’. I would hesitate to call it research. It was fun.

What according to you is different about your book?

‘God is a Gamer’ is the first Bitcoin thriller to have ever been written. I am surprised no one really exploited this subject from a thriller standpoint.
How did you come up with the core idea and develop it?

I write a book very differently as compared to the manner in which many other writers write their books. I do not plot the book before beginning.

So, when I am writing the first chapter, I have no idea what the ending will be like.

For me, the journey of writing a book is as much a journey of learning and revelation, as it is for the reader. I learn along the way. I develop scenarios along the way. I build in twists along the way.

And that’s how the story leads to the climax. This method of storytelling means longer writing hours. But then, I end up enjoying the journey a lot more.

How would you relate the book and its characters to your day to day lives?

My stories are about fictional characters moving through a realistic landscape. Most of the incidents are borrowed from real life instances.

They are down to earth. Not extravagant. And as a consequence the relatability quotient of these stories is very, very high.

And that is what strikes a chord with the reader. You will not find any superhumans in my book - only real life people like you and me, inspired to do superhuman activities by a strange quirk of fate.

Which particular character did you feel most close to? Why?

In fact I think Swami, with his insecurities and worries. Caught within the battle of morals, values Vs organisational goals was a very realistic person.

He is my favourite character in the book. Not all favourite characters are heroes.

Could you tell the readers about your experiences and how it was related to what you wrote?

My experiences are there out in the open in my books. Most of the stories are inspired by things that have happened to me or to people I know of.

So, to know about my experiences, please read the books. Its all there.

What is the most fulfilling part of writing a book?

Reader appreciation. I am a big sucker for that. When a reader takes the effort of writing back to you with his feedback it is very fulfilling.

When he says that he could relate to a character in the book it strikes a chord. No amount of money can match the love and affection of a reader.

What is the next book that you have planned?

As of now I am busy promoting ‘God is a Gamer’. Once I am done with that, I will think about the next book.

Who was it that told you that you could become the author, you are today?

No one. Not even myself. I am a fairly grounded human being. All I wanted to write was one book. That’s how I wrote ‘If God was a Banker’.

But the book became successful and was well received. And success does make you aspire for more. And that’s what happened to me. I took on writing as a serious career only after ‘If God was a Banker’ became successful.

Any advice to writers that would like to be published today? How tough is it to be published?

Getting published is easy. Getting noticed and standing out in the crowd is very tough. The challenge starts after the book is published.

Discoverability of new talent is a huge ask. And the money in this business, unless you become a big name, is negligible. There are better ways of making that amount of money.

I would like to advice the newer authors to 1) Don’t shy away from promoting your books. You have put in the hard work in writing the book. Make sure that you promote it well. 2) Write for the right reasons. There is no money in this trade. So, don’t write to make money. Money is only a by-product.

John Grisham
Who are your favourite authors and why?

My favourite authors are Jeffrey Archer and John Grisham. The former for his style of storytelling which is lucid, crisp and intriguing.

And the latter for the manner, in which he has gone onto, won the space of legal thrillers. 

Which book are you currently reading?

I am reading ‘The Lightning Thief’ by Rick Riordan. I have a huge interest in the space of children’s books and hence I want to read the entire Percy Jackson series to understand what makes it click. :)

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