Today at PonderingTwo we have Mr. S.V.Divvaakar who writes under the pen name Dee Walker and is out with this latest thriller ‘The Winner’s Curse’ . You can read my review here.
He is an alumnus of IIT Delhi and a self employed professional assisting international companies to invest, set up, and grow their businesses in India and also serves on board as a professional Director. He alos works closely with international agencies in Pro Poor Policy and Programme Development, Monitoring and Evaluation. Through his writing and storytelling, he yearns to connect with young people who he believes are the key to a better world, a better tomorrow.
In conversation with Dee Walker on his latest book and writing…
PonderingTwo welcomes you. It is a pleasure to host you on the blog and thank you so much for the interview.
1) How did the transition happen from being a business consultant to an author?
It is not a transition; these remain two parallel tracks, one has been running for a longer time. I believe I will always remain an evaluator and business observer, for my professional work not only enriches my writing in many ways – source of interesting plots, characters, and settings- which you can feel at several places in The Winner’s Curse, but also funds the luxury of being able to write and promote the writing until one might get a critical threshold of recognition.
2) How different and challenging it is for you sitting in a room penning your thoughts than being in a corporate suit?
Being self employed and travelling/ working across three time zones gives me the liberty of working business deals in pyjamas and equally writing manuscript texts in suits inside airport lounges. However, I write best early morning or late night, invariably therefore in my night clothes. But the most challenging part is when I am stuck or grappling with a plot point calling for resolution and the day is lined up with meetings – then I really wish I could take the day off. Interestingly, when I give up looking for it, the answer pops up miraculously, rather soon.
3) What was your inspiration to pen ‘The Winner’s Curse’ ?
I came across this Nobel Prize winning theory called the Winner’s Curse, which says that the winner in an auction is the one who pays the highest price, betting on the uncertain future value of his purchase. He then tries to preserve its image and value at times even by deceit and deception. I have seen this curse play in many people’s lives, including those of some illustrious persons. Besides that, my professional and first hand knowledge of some of the tech stuff mentioned in the book.
4) How different was the journey penning the thriller compared to your previous books?
My attempt is to write thrillers, I have my next two books coming out in end 2015. The other book I wrote (BBB) is more a memoir about the travails of getting a book published and sold. It is a kind of key, a reality check for aspiring authors.
5) According to you how difficult it is to market a book especially when we see thousands of books coming out each year?
It is not only difficult; it is indeterminate. There is no sure-fire formula to crack the market. No one knows what makes a book connect. I believe there is an ethereal force that gathers momentum when many readers begin to feel good about a book. It can be catalysed a bit by marketing/promo tricks but never faked or engineered. So, having done all, we must eventually surrender to the Cosmic Will to give us our due retribution and accept the verdict humbly, and gather enough resolve to pick up the tools once again to chisel our next works.
6) Do you see yourself bidding the corporate world goodbye and penning only novels?
Never. I am fortunate to have the luxury of being in the corporate world on my own terms, i.e., working with the best, but not as an employee. I have discovered that it is possible to devote quality time to writing, if one cuts off other distractions or obligations that are a drag. For me, TV alone has given way to a lot of writing time. And I have been lucky to be able to junk some less paying work for more productive, high-end work or for writing.
7) Who are your favourite authors?
Many. All time inspirations (fiction): Enid Blyton, Agatha Christie, Jeffrey Archer, Sidney Sheldon, Frederic Forsyth, and Arthur Hailey. I have read all their books; several of them more than once.
Among contemporary Indian thriller writers, @Ashwin Sanghi (I loved Rozabal Line most) and @RaviSubramanian (loved Incredible Banker and Devil in Pin Stripes most). Both are fine human beings too as I discovered in person.
8) Any advice that you would like to give to young and upcoming authors?
Know clearly why you wish to write. Writing is and should be its own reward; don’t get trapped by the glitz and glitter, the lure of fame and fortune, which, as Ashwin Sanghi says in his latest book, is 99% good luck and 1% bloody good luck. And write with loyalty, seek to give the reader her time and money’s worth, a book is a sacred pact, a seal of trust. You may fail to delight, but your intent should shine through.
Beyond that, it is a play of stars. In the beautiful sky above there are a million stars, but only one Sun and one Moon that loom so large.
That is the hard truth for writers too: a hundred thousand writers but only one CB, one AS, and one- oops- two RS. Alas, how many suns can the sky hold? But we can all be twinkling little stars, adding to the grandeur of the sky. It can be a very depressing or enlightening thought, depending how one takes it. I vacillate between both emotions.
9) Describe yourself in a sentence?
Inspired by the Sun, I seek to spread happiness and light, fully aware that for the light and warmth to shine through something of me has to burn within incessantly.
10) One thing that comes to your mind when I say:
a) Author – pain and pleasure, in relentless turns
b) Books – windows to an inner magical world
c) Life – intractable if you order, indulging if you surrender
A huge thank you for sharing some interesting things on writing and I must say the answers to the questions are straight from the heart and can connect with readers easily. And here’s wishing you all the very best for your future endeavours!!