He was born Suraj Prasad and grew up to be a pharmacist who holds a management degree. His alter ego Clark Prasad makes him write brilliant books. I read his book, Baramulla Bomber, as a part of the BlogAdda Review Program and loved it, just a few pages in. A health care management consultant based out of Bengaluru, Prasad wrote because he wanted to be immortalise his name. In conversation with Clark Prasad:
Congratulations on such a huge success of the book! It was unputdownable from the first few pages itself. How did you manage this!?
Sheer doggedness determination and not taking a no for an answer. Wanted to be immortal and that was the motivation of keep pushing myself.
Did you frame the characters based on your friends and yourself, or built them on a fresh mould?
Most character were built on fresh mould. But some of the characteristics were developed based my different moods. Some past stories were given shape on how things would have turned, if different chain of events would have happened.
Why this genre? Was writing to get published pre-planned, or you started looking for publishers after you had a draft with you?
I wanted to write something which i would want to read. I felt the need for a thriller of international proportion was missing in the Indian market. Globally the Techno Thrillers genre - Tom Clancy, Matthew Reilley have a great number of readers. I wanted to develop a Techno Thriller with a mythology aspect - so the world's first TMT - Techno Mythology Thriller.
I started looking for publisher after i got the first draft done.
Tell us something about your struggle with getting published. We have a fair idea that it isn’t a cake walk. But how was the real deal for you?
Some 20+ rejections or no call returns. No agent wanted to represent me, or those who talked adviced me wrongly. I waited and ensured the book is edited and flow done, and then self-published it. Within a week Niyogi books came and offered a 3 book contract. In short it was painful.
How and when did you decide to be a published author? Was it always a plan, or did you start thinking on the lines when you thought you had a plot with you.
2009. I started writing after seeing Shawshank Redemption. - the movie changed my life and I wanted to by Andy. The words from the movie - fear holds your prisoner and hope sets you free. I wanted to be free so started writing.
I then thought i need to write something big... with a big idea. The idea - How to find peace in Kashmir. And the big question where did Humanity come from?
Any brickbats which really hurt, yet?
Many. The biggest pain, the book not been available across the country in shops. The pain of doing every thing on one's own with no/very low guidance or help.
What next? New genre; or you would want to stick to the current genre?
Same Genre for the next two parts. Part two touches a bit of para-normal also. Post the three books - will do something different.
Who do you read, who are your favourites?
I read thrillers or suspense mostly. Robin Cook, Mathew Riley, James, Rollins, Sir Conan Doyle.
People pass snide remarks saying anyone can be a reader now. True to an extent, because there is a lot of average and below average reading material out there, but one cannot deny that there are some really talented writers. Does this perception affect writers in any way?
Every reader is important and have their choices. My book is a book which only an intellectual mind will understand. No harm... Svastiki trilogy is not for everyone, and i do not know everyone and anyone to read it. If one has a intellectual stimulating mind. A mind which is inquisitive, then the book is for you. Such books are absent in the market now, and i wanted fill this void.
Is it as easy to be a writer as it seems, with publishing houses mushrooming and more titles on the racks than eyes to read them?
Sholay syndrome.... when Sholay got it - boom - movies with horses needed. Similar there was a time in Hindi cinema when an Heroine needed to be in rain dance/wet sari.... so if book with kissing and sex is doing good - package it like a romantic book and BAM BAM! Publish in such numbers, that it spreads like a virus. Result - numbing of the minds with the same kind of genre coming out.So its not easy for a write who wants to be something different.
Any to-dos for wannabe authors?
Keep writing and motivate other writers. Follow your heart, write what you want and not what the market wants. Remember a good book can not only last a generation but civilization. So invest time in a good book, a book which can re-define you. After all, you will die - but your words will live on.