I, as a reader, rarely find an Indian author opting for sci-fi. There might be a few but the genre doesn’t click with the authors because they presume it won’t be a Bestseller. However, one book that’s breaking this stereotype is, Earth To Centauri book 1 by author Kumar L.
This blog is especially, for the sci-fi fans, authors who want to give this genre a try and how author Kumar L overcame the stereotype.
1. This story is unique and pleasing the readers already. What inspired you to write this story?
I’ve always been a sci-fi fan but there I’d a distinct lack of science fiction by Indian authors especially series. I mean there are some very good authors out there but a solid sci-fi has eluded me. I had a germ of an idea and one day just decided to develop it. Earth to Centauri was the result and the series now has a life of its own.
2. Any incident in particular that is been recreated from real life?
I have used the premise of individual privacy extensively in book 2 of the series and how governments and individuals would try to and can circumvent it. “Privacy has and will always be a myth.”
3. How long did it take to complete this novel? How many edits did it go through?
The first book was written in about 4 months and published in May 2017. It them went through two more complete overhauls till I was happy with it.
Book 2 took longer to write, almost 7 months. There were 14 edited versions before I published it including two beta reads. Also I had a two month hiatus where I was busy with personal commitments and went into a writers block for a couple of months.
4. You have managed to present an intricately woven, well researched novel for your readers. Tell us about your research process.
A lot of research or inputs are from my background as an engineer. But I also read a lot – almost a book every week sometimes two or three together. I focus on specific scientific principles and am definitely inspired by Stephen Hawking. I mark down passages from books and try to extend the principles to fit into my stories. I also read books by established and amateur authors to improve my own language.
5. What is your writing schedule like? How many hours do you put into writing?
This depends. I generally write late at night and 12 midnight to 2 am is my favourite time. I go weeks of committed writing interspersed with days when I do no writing at all. But the story keeps forming in my head.
8. How do you escape writer’s block?
You just have to buckle down and push yourself through. I try to find a good event in the story and just try and push it out. That’s gets me through mostly. Also good reviews push up my motivation.
9. What hurdles did you face while publishing the book?
Editing – finding a good editor at a reasonable cost is difficult. When I reread my drafts I am sometimes appalled by the quality of writing and end up redoing whole chapters.
Book marketing is most difficult for a indie author. Publishers have huge resources they can put behind books. I spend a lot of time on marketing across platforms.
10. Where did the insight for crafting your characters? Any particular actor or actress you kept in your thoughts while sketching the characters?
Not really. My characters are defined by their human emotions – strength of character interspersed with self doubt. There are no superheroines just people with strong willpower.
11. Just for fun, if this book was to be made into a movie, who would be the director and who would you want to be the lead star casts.
Konkana Sen or Deepika Padukone
Steven Spielberg or James Cameron.
12. What are the 5 things we can find on your work table?
Smartphone where I can take notes
Two to three books
A TV remote
13. Authors who inspire you?
14. Tell us about your upcoming ventures.
I’m currently writing the third book in the series Earth to Centauri- Black Hole: Oblivion
I am also working on a collection of short stories with suspense, humour, sci-fi elements.
15. What do you do in your leisure time?
Watch movies and TV. Spend some time exercising and travelling.
16. What message will you give to the budding authors like me?
Don’t give up on your stories. Start writing them down and edit edit edit. There are many self help platforms like KDP which can help you bring your work to life.