In conversation with Vishwas Mudagal, author of Losing My Religion:
Congratulations!! That was a cracker of a book. How does it feel to be a published author now?
Thank you. I am glad you liked ‘Losing My Religion.’ It feels wonderful to be a published author. And the response from readers has been simply overwhelming, I didn’t expect it. They love my characters, my story and my narration. It’s a dream come true for me.
Tell our readers about your book, please?
‘Losing My Religion’ is essentially the story of a man who loses his faith in faith . . . his belief in belief, and things that happen after that. It is, more simply, a tale of three characters from different walks of life who come together on a journey that changes their lives forever.
It’s a roller-coaster ride that brings together adventure, travel, gaming, reality shows, and characters that are real, living, and breathing. Rishi, a fallen entrepreneur, is the epitome of today’s ambitious youth, and wants to change the world. Alex, a hippie, is the other end of the spectrum—the epitome of human evolution; this is where the human race will one day want to be—free from within.
And Kyra, a mysterious gamer, is the beauty, the passion, and the intellect, which are the core of being today’s woman.
How long did it take you to write this book?
It’s taken me 4 years to write the book and overall 5 years to bring it out to the market. Like the story, the book had its own ups and downs, twists and turns until it was published.
Have you always wanted to be an author? Or did this just happen?
I always knew I am going to write a book one day. But I didn’t know it would happen so early in my life. LMR struck me like a lightning. It was a story that had to be written; a story that had to be read… There was no escaping it.
Humour, romance, good vs evil – you have it all in your book, and written with the precision of a seasoned writer. How did that come about, the expertise?
It didn’t happen overnight. Remember I took 5 years to bring the book out, rewrote it n number of times. I have 14 versions of the story, 150+ drafts. A novel like LMR is a pure act of passion. Add to that the way I perceive the world, the way I look at things, my experiences, the people I have met in my life—that makes the difference.
I like to tell my story in such a way that the reader feels he is watching a movie, it has to be visual, fast, interesting and meaningful. Entertainment with meaning—is my style. When I wrote LMR, I was the writer and I was the audience. The writer in me had to entertain the audience in me. I don’t get entertained easily, so the writer in me had a herculean task.
Are Rishi, Kyra and Alex framed on real life people? Or purely imaginary?
The story of ‘Losing My Religion’ starts with Rishi being bankrupt, having failed in his business. Rishi’s character is influenced by one episode of my life, when I had to shut down my internet start-up in 2009. But the similarity ends there. Rishi became a character of his own later on. He is a character that everyone can identify himself/herself with; there is Rishi in each one of us.
Kyra and Alex are purely imaginary, clubbed with a lot of research. The specialty of my characters is that they are very real. They live, breathe and bleed. That’s the reason why readers are connecting with them so much and are unable to forget them even after they finish the book. They stick with you forever.
Who or what do you derive your inspiration from, to write and even otherwise?
I derive inspiration from everyone and everything around me. I pay attention to people’s stories, their experiences and views. I think the way I look at things makes the difference. I have always thought out of the box. I have an ability to question the status quo, so this quality of mine makes me innovative. LMR is all about innovation in storytelling.
What next, and how soon?
This is a great question! I seriously don’t know. I don’t plan these things. LMR was an idea that hit me like a lightning and woke me up. Unless that happens again, I am not going to write another novel.
But there is one idea that did hit me like a lightning, way back in 2011. It’s about a man set in the future. Whenever I think about it I get goosebumps. The story is gnawing at me to be written. Also, a majority of the readers have asked me to write a sequel to LMR. So lets see what comes next and when.
Who do you read?
Ayn Rand is my favorite author. I do read Dan Brown, Jeff Archer, Sydney Sheldon, James Hadley Chase, Micheal Crichton and a few others.
Any pointers for others wanting to be published authors?
Yes. Be passionate about what you write. Believe in your ideas and write only for yourself. If the audience in you is happy when you read your book, then the author in you is the most successful author ever. Leave the rest to life.
This is my philosophy – ‘When you follow your passions, the world will follow yours.’