1. How did you come up with the concept for your debut novel?
I had covered the topics of politics, spies, terrorism and military warfare in my prior nonfiction novels, so I combined some ideas from those and mixed them up into a fiction story inspired by a make-believe “what if” scenario (an alternate reality) of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
2. Your genre is class apart as also quite niche. What were the first few reviews that you received for your debut book?
“An innovative and engrossing piece of fiction which is so realistic and pragmatic that you start feeling it is actually happening. The author has researched regional geopolitics extremely well to come out with a strategic plan to solve the dispute with our neighbour, once and for all. The imaginary political vacuum is narrated in a lucid manner to highlight how it can be detrimental to our national security. The book also brings out the apolitical character of our armed forces which can go to any length to protect national interest. The spies add colour to the book, which is a visionary piece of art so tastefully written, it will leave a reader richer and amused and propel him or her to read it again and again.”
Lt. General RN Kapur, PVSM, AVSM and BAR Retired as Deputy Chief of Integrated Defence Staff, India
“Bagaria’s first fiction novel is quite a page turner. It was like being engrossed in a vibrant virtual reality, where one waited with bated breath for characters and themes to evolve. Intrigue and curiosity kept me rivetted through ingenious powerplay by the characters, as the plot represented an almost tangible space that felt like an alternate truth.” Sreela Mitra, Communication Skills Professional, Kolkata
“I devoured the book without pause. The idea is incredible. I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants a thoroughly researched read that has a refreshingly fresh story.”
Archana Samtani, Entrepreneur, Vancouver, Canada
3. Which authors are your role model in your genre of writing?
As you yourself said, the genre for “SPIES, LIES & RED TAPE” is niche, so there was no role model in penning this book.
4. How much time does penning one novel take?
As I’ve only written one fiction novel, and it’s short by international standards (33,600 words), it took me only about three and a half months.
5. How much research does it involve? Do you go speak to people for research purposes? What the process like?
All my books – including my fiction novel – have involved research, some to lesser degrees and some to more. My 11th book (nonfiction), which is yet to come out, has taken the most amount of research and that’s why it took me almost 14 months to write it. The research process is a mix of finding facts, reading and speaking with people.
6. What are writing disciplines that you ardently follow?
Although I did not follow this lldiscipline in my first four books, since then, I re-read the manuscript at least twice, get at least two other people to read it, and double-check all the facts.
7. Aspiring authors who enter the market often come with misconceptions that they are going to hit the bestsellers list overnight. What message do you have for them?
DO NOT COPY. Most new Indian authors end up copying famous/successful authors. Though I don’t read romance novels, I have flipped through some and have also read many reviews. The stories by new/budding authors are mostly a rejig of a famous Chetan Bhagat or Durjoy Datta or Ravinder Singh or Preeti Shenoy or Sudeep Nagarkar novel. You need to be original as copies can never be as good as the originals. Besides, there are so many other genres to write on other than romance or self-help, where there are very few Indian books available. Why don’t Indian authors pick subjects like I have covered in “SPIES, LIES & RED TAPE”? Movies / web series with similar plots do well – I don’t see why books shouldn’t. Even children’s fiction is an unexplored genre in India.
8. What’s your book marketing/promotions secret? Easiest way to make your book reach the readers.
I would like to keep this a secret.
9. Which is your favourite book from all the books that you have penned till date?
My new book, which is yet to come out, with the title “MODI 2.0” and subtitle “Is it THE END of the 135-year-old Congress party”. I am sure this gives you an idea what this book is all about.
10. Ever plan to send in your books for screen adaptation? Is anything of the sort in pipeline?
Talks are on with several producers for a web series adaptation of “SPIES, LIES & RED TAPE”.
11. Tell us about your upcoming ventures.
After taking a short break having just completed a marathon 14 months in writing “Modi 2.0”, I will start a sequel to “SPIES, LIES & RED TAPE”.
You can read more about Amit Bagaria on his website – https://amitbagariabooks.com/