An Interview with Author Gaurav Sharma


I take this opportunity to introduce you a great personality, a mathematics teacher, an author of Love @ Air Force Mr. Gaurav Sharma. He has been writing poems since he was eight. He trisects the age of his passion into cricket, mathematics and writing. As a school boy, he was madly in love with cricket, then, mathematics became his passion and lately the writer in him grew restless. Lunacy for his dreams, he claims, has helped him being a published writer. As a writer, he doesn’t want to be just a storyteller but yearns to create a stir.

Q. As you are a well-known writer now do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
A. No, I don’t remember that. I have been writing since the age of eight but I’m unable to recall how my interest aroused in writing.

Q. Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
A. Yes, Prem Chand, Shakespeare, Enid Blyton’s Famous Five series- I read all twenty one of them when I was in 7th and 8th grade and I have mentioned earlier also, Chitralekha by Bhagwati Sharan Gupt that I have read more than ten times all have influenced me.

Q. What inspired you to write your first book?
A. Three days before my father’s untimely demise, I was sitting with him, dejected. He told me that very soon everything would fall in place and that I would be able to get rid of all my problems. He passed away. However, his blessings proved true and things started getting better. I aspired to be a published author since childhood. So, when the time to realize the dream came, I thought the best way to touch my parent’s feet and thank them for their blessings is to write a book about the world my father belonged to. So I wrote Love @ Air Force. It’s a tribute to my parent from me.

Q. How did you come up with the title “Love @ Air Force”?
A. The book highlights harsh reality of rank discrimination that prevails in the Air Force. Though my friends advised against it, but I was adamant to keep ‘Air Force’ in the title to attract the attention of air force personnel.

 Q. Debuting with a book that boldly brings out the harsh reality of RANK discrimination and obsession and about an institution as prestigious as the Air Force, is a very bold thing to do? Did you have some fear of controversy?
A. No, I was aware what I was writing and about whom I was writing. Every non-commissioned airman has suffered from the arrogance of rank. It is exactly like the cast and racial discrimination in the society.

 Q. Do you have to travel much concerning your book as it is based on racial discrimination related to the society?
A. No. not at all. Writing is still a vocation. To spare time for writing was too much of asking when you’ve a hectic schedule already. And travelling for the sake of writing was no way possible. Frankly, if I would have to travel for writing the novel, it would not have happened.

 Q. If not Travelling then what was the hardest part of writing your first book?
A. Everything. I didn’t know how to use MS WORD, my typing speed was horrible, I had no spare time, I didn’t want to reveal to anybody that I was writing a novel. Even my wife got to know about it after I got confirmation from my publisher. I was a naïve enthusiastic person who just wanted to write a story and get it published. It was a tough journey...concluded successfully somehow.

Q. It’s really a tough journey in getting your first book published. What were the challenges you faced?
A. Not really. See, I knew my limitations. As a teacher, I understand the importance of learning. So when two publishers rejected the manuscript, I got it assessed before approaching others. After rectifying the minor flaws, it got nod from five publishers. I chose Blackbuck. I don’t really think that was much of a struggle for a debutante.

Q. What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author?
A. The toughest criticism I consider is a remark that I do not have any literary talent and technique. We got four bad reviews of Love @ Air Force. To be honest, I expected more. I would not name the reviewers but their reviews will always remain close to my heart. Criticism helps you to improve more than the accolades do.

Q. What has been the best compliment?
A. Every phrase of praise is encrypted in gold on my heart. However, two comments that I got from two reviewers revives me whenever I feel low. One is “Gaurav Sharma has an X-factor in his story telling” and another one is “Gaurav Sharma knows how to write”.

 Q. What advice you want to give to the new writers struggling to publish their work?
A. I will say that don’t be in a hurry, your day will come.

Q. How do you see self-publishing?
A. Self-publishing is a good option for those who are in a hurry to get published but it demands a lot of efforts from the author. You can’t depend on the publisher. Amish Tripathi has set the trend with his first book but still self-publishing has to prove itself.

Q. The writing industry is changing very fast. Earlier we have trailers only for movies and short films now we are seeing of books. How do you see it in improving book audience?
A. I don’t think it makes much of a difference. Genuine book lovers will read the good work.

 Q. It’s the dream of every writer to publish their work. How your life has changed after you published your first book?
A. It feels great when you realize your long cherished dream after a patient wait and struggle. I really applaud myself for following it through a very testing and enigmatic journey of life. Holding ‘Love @ Air Force’ in hands gives me confidence to carry on. It’s like a choked pipe has been cleared and the flow will not stop.

Q. How do you manage your writing time and other activities in day to day time?
A. I teach for ten hours a day and gets only one hour daily for writing however, the story weaving goes on in my mind throughout the day.

It was great talking to you about your journey to a successful writer. Hoping that many will learn from your experiences to set a goal in right direction.


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