Saturday, September 21, 2013

Author Interview: Rohit Gore: Who Gets Hurt By Suffering Of Children Through Abuse And Bullying

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Rohit Gore is a well known name in the arena of writing. He has four books to his credit. The first two – A Darker Dawn, and Focus Sam got published in 2011. In 2012 he released Circle of Three that was a big hit. The Guardian Angels was released early this year and is doing quite well. Rohit’s work touches hearts of his readers and the reason for this is that he writes with his heart. A very warm welcome Rohit on behalf of all your readers and fans.

Please share some of the best memories of your childhood

Rohit: Undoubtedly, it has to be the immense fascination I had with books. My father worked with a centralized bank and as a result we relocated several times in my childhood because of his transfers. So every city or town we went to, my parents used to make sure that they found all the nearest libraries for me to spend countless hours there. My love for books comes from parents. I, along with a childhood friend of mine, also started a library from my house. We used to charge two rupees for a book and one rupee for a comic. Not very commercially savvy, I know! But we were ten and didn’t have the budget to hire a price strategist! This is all just too geeky, but those are the most cherished memories of my life.

About your education?

Rohit: I did my Chemical Engineering from probably the oldest Chemical Engineering Government college in India, Laxminarayan Institute of Technology (established in 1942). I did my MBA from S P Jain Institute of Management and Research (class of 2003).

What career did you plan during your education days?

Rohit: During various stages of my life I wanted to be one thing or the other. I wanted to be a bookshop owner when I was in my early teens. This dream has survived till today! In my late teens I wanted to be an Architect. In my college days I was a pretty good stage actor and did a lot of amateur drama. It led to many late nights of rehearsals and ignoring studies. And so, I wanted to be a dramatist and theater director. None of these dreams amounted to much, unfortunately.

What is your biggest source of inspiration in life?

Rohit: I think it has to be the lives of great human beings in various fields. You would’ve guessed by now that I am a voracious reader (what gave it away? J) and so I read a lot about people doing incredible things in so many spheres of life. It is this desire to do something significant in my life that probably gives me inspiration.

What hurts you most in this world?

Rohit: It has to be undoubtedly the suffering of children through abuse and bullying. I think this aspect of our lives, when we are so vulnerable during our childhood, in our pre-teens and early teens, is largely ignored. The terrible effects of bullying are long lasting and in many cases horrifyingly tragic. Although, thankfully, I was never bullied when I was a child, but equally thankfully, I wasn’t a bully either. The tragic memories of adolescence when we are discovering this world, when we are also discovering new emotions, have forever haunted me because I saw several of my childhood friends bullied relentlessly. I have tried to address this in each of my novels.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced? Were you able to overcome it? How?

Rohit: It has to be that of transposing and transforming myself from being a really small town person to a sort of world citizen. I think today that’s the biggest challenge we Indians from hinterland face. I wonder if I have been able to overcome it, but maybe people who interact with me are the best judges of this.

If you had to live a day of your life as one of the living or dead personality, who would it be and why?

Rohit: I would love to spend a day comprehending the enormity of the decision Abraham Lincoln had to make when he was faced with the choice of either saving his countrymen who were fighting a terrible war or saving the future of mankind by eradicating the blight of slavery. I wonder if I would have the courage, fortitude and belief he had to make the right choice.

What is your favorite genre and why?

Rohit: Oh, this is such a tough question! I would have to choose between so many as I love reading across genres and across eras. Probably, I am a little partial towards crime fiction, especially the genre of detective/gumshoe fiction. From Dashiell Hammett to Lawrence Block to Michael Connelly to our very own Surendra Mohan Pathak, I feel I have read all the detective fiction novelists worth reading.

What is the purpose of your writing?

Rohit: I feel writing fiction doesn’t have any intellectual purpose. I feel it is more of an emotional and psychological pursuit. If I am able to engage my reader emotionally and make them invest in the characters and plot psychologically, I would say I have achieved my purpose in writing.

Which of your work published so far?

Rohit: I have four published novels. Thankfully, all of them have done well critically. Eminent reviewers of India like Saaz Aggarwal and Arunima Mazumdar have praised my novels, which gives me immense satisfaction. They have done reasonably well commercially, too. My last novel entitled CIRCLE OF THREE has sold 10,000 copies in one year, which, I have been told, makes it a bestseller in India.

What are your forthcoming writings?

Rohit: I am currently in the middle of the first draft of my fifth novel. I haven’t really settled down on the genre that I would love to keep writing in. This one is a slightly paranormal story.

What are your future plans?

Rohit: Haven’t thought too much about the future I have in the literary world. As long as I have a few readers who want to read what I write, and my publishers want to invest their hard earned money in my books, I would be alright. If any of these two things cease, then I guess I would have no future in the world of literature.

What four top most things you take care of while writing a book?

Rohit: That’s a great question! I would say the following:
1.        I motor on when I have an idea. When I am in the middle of writing the first draft of the novel, I tend to not stop and self edit too much. I punch out the first draft till I reach the end. After that I allow the draft to rest for 6-7 weeks before beginning the second draft. What it does is gives me a perspective while writing next drafts. I typically do 4 drafts.
2.    I pay close attention to style. I feel it is important to develop your own style as a novelist.
3.    I invest as much time and effort as I can on making sure that I treat the language with respect. English is a wonderful language and it is a truly global language. By that I mean, the language spoken in every country is called English, but there is a unique flavor that every country brings to it. However underneath it, the technique of writing a story in English needs to be sacrosanct and I make every effort that I don’t break that technique.
4.       I pay close attention to characters. I have always believed that situations come first, a story evolves from the situations and ultimately characters drive it. Although in any novel, the story is the boss, the characters bring the story alive.

Your dream destination on Earth?

Rohit: I have always loved the Scottish Highlands! I fell in love with that place when I stayed there.

Your origin of birth and other countries you have visited/ stayed.

Rohit: I was born in India. I have travelled across many countries due to my job – several countries in Europe and Asia. I have lived in UK for several years.

What best things you liked in these countries around the globe?

Rohit:  It is fascinating to know that human relationships all over the world are built upon the same tenets of humanity. Whether it is London or Tokyo, I have learned that we all care about the same things, we all have similar fears and we all want quite similar things in our lives. But there is also a lot of diversity in the way we go about it. 

What is your zodiac?

Rohit: I am a Piscean.

One thing in your life you wish had not happened?

Rohit: We all have regrets in life. There are a few people I have met, who truly have no regrets, but generally we all have some events that haunt us all the time. There are quite a few things I wish hadn’t happened in my life, but then I wouldn’t be the person I am today. All the good things and the bad things have added up to what I am today. So I can’t really wish for something to not have happened. The person you see today is a composite of tiny building blocks of great and unpleasant things. If I were to wish one of those blocks weren’t there, then I am afraid the entire structure would fall apart and maybe I would end up being someone completely unknown.

What is your definition of fear and how to overcome it?

Rohit: I think fear has its kernel in the ‘unknown’. Whenever I have entered into something that I didn’t know much about, I have experienced fear. I feel one can never overcome fear. You have to take it in your stride, keep it at bay and work with it.

How would you define God in your words?

Rohit: This is a question where words would fail me, but I will try my best! I have always believed in Godliness. It is the sum total of all that is good in this world. I know, one man’s good is another man’s evil, but I feel having Godliness in you is all about having that essence of all that is good at your heart. It can shape your beliefs, your actions and, for lack of better word, your destiny.

What is your definition of love?

Rohit: I think it is the most powerful human emotion, and thankfully it is a positive one. It has a great impact on our lives and I feel it has the most transformative ability amongst all the positive emotions we can have. This might sound a bit clichéd but I truly do believe that love can make mountains move!
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