Friday, February 14, 2014

Author Interview: Howard Roark: A Big Admirer of Ayn Rand and Ferdinand Alexander Porsche

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Howard Roark is a graduate engineer who started out working for a multinational firm as a Network Engineer, a very brief stint, after which he joined a software company to work on products in the Artificial Intelligence / Neural Networks domain and later on in the Finance domain, for about 12 years. And, since 2010, he's been working for Cisco Systems in Chennai, for their products in the Digital Video Broadcasting domain. It's been a career of many a learning, joyous times, moments of achievement, all combined to give him a thoroughly satisfying 15 years of experience.

His interests include psychology, philosophy, spirituality, reading, writing, conversations and of course, Ayn Rand's books. He's a qualified hypnotherapist from the California Hypnosis Institute of India. He restricts himself to offering therapeutic help to his near and dear.

Welcome Howard on board!

Your real name and pen name?
I’d like to known as my pen name, Howard Roark, to my readers as that’s how I identify the writing dimension of mine.

Please share some of the best memories of your childhood
Playing cricket with friends, doing homework together, stealing raw limes from neighbour’s tree.

About your education
A graduate engineer from Madras University in Electronics and Communication. And, currently pursuing an M.Sc. in Psychology.

What career did you plan during your education days
Bus driver.

What languages you can speak and write?
Speak & Write: Tamil, Hindi, English

What is your biggest source of inspiration in life
The doers of the world, who do regardless of the results and who do because they have something to give.

What hurts you most in this world
Apathy and intolerance to differences.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced? How did you overcome it?
Stage fear; Overcame it by facing it head-on and shoving myself on the stage several times, to the extent of loving the flutter of butterflies in my stomach.

If you had to live a day of your life as one of the living or dead personality, who would it be and why?
I’d like to live a day in the life of Ferdinand Alexander Porsche to understand how his mind worked.

What is your favorite genre and why?
Humour, because I like to loosen up and laugh

When did you start writing? What is the purpose of your writing?
We had two dogs, Caesar and Lizzy, which we had to give away much to our displeasure due to coercing circumstances, on account of which I garnered deep hurt and guilt. In order to let go of the negative feelings, I wrote a short story in which I expressed the guilt and hurt but twisted the end to comfort myself. From then on, I have been writing to express/vent my emotions.

Which of your work has been published so far? Would you like to share a synopsis of your work?
My first novel, “Newton’s law reversed”, taglined: “Conflict: Some evade, some efface, while most embrace”.
On a trip to meet an ailing relative in Gangaikondacholapuram, Akash is introduced to conflict when a simple village girl, Ganga, trespasses his thoughts. His mind fails to elude Ganga and, being overwhelmed by the new found emotion, his attempts to free himself of his battles only grip him tighter. As his mind flits between Ganga and Ganesan, another tormented soul, Akash's only reprieve could have been a banter with his father, when unexpectedly he hears the news of his father's expiry. Little did he know that his father's demise and the ensuing trip to the village would alter his cynical view of the world. In this journey from boyhood to manhood, Akash derives profound meaning through his retrospective deliberations on his dead father’s words.

What are your forthcoming writings?
I’m working on a collection of short stories, 5 of mine and 5 each from two of my friends. And, working on my second novel which is still in the concept stage.

What are your future plans?
I’d like to keep writing, mostly fiction, as many as I can.

What four top most things you take care of while writing a book?
Proper grammar, Ease of reading, Punch and Crispness

Your dream destination on Earth?

Your origin of birth and other countries you have visited/ stayed. What best things you liked in these countries around the globe?
Indian by birth. Visited Thailand. The thing I liked most about Thailand is the people. There’s order, friendliness and straightforwardness.

Your favorite time of the day?
The night intoxicates me.

Your zodiac/ sunsign?

Your favorite color and why?
Black, the colour of the night resonates with me.

Your favorite book and why?
The fountainhead, by Ayn Rand, because it opened my eyes to the virtues of selfishness.

Your favorite celebrity and why?
A.R. Rahman for his talents and humility

Your favorite food?
Rice/eggs in any form.

Some quickies: Sun or Moon, Laughter or Smile, Morning or Evening, Coffee or Tea, Mountain or Sea, Long Drive or Short Drive, Silence or Conversation, Water or Fire, Air or Earth, Mars or Jupiter, Moon or Sun, Tulip or Rose, Red or Blue, Left or Right, Glance or Stare
Sun for being the giver
Laughter for being contagious
Evening for being relaxing
Neither, whiskey rather
Both, mountain in the early mornings, sea by the evenings
Long drives with good company
Silence when am alone; Conversation when with good company
Mars or Jupiter, doesn’t make a difference
Sun. Is this a trick question?
Tulip or Rose, doesn’t make a difference
Red for the expression
Glance should be enough

What three words come to your mind for each – Technology, Life, God, Humanity, Terrorism, Racism, Childhood Abuse, Love, Parenting, Old age
Technology – Necessity, Improvement, Luxury
Life – Mystery, Tempering, Unforgiving
God – Supreme, Sarcasm, Indifference
Humanity – Mercy, Unity, Love
Terrorism – Decadence, Death, Unjustness
Racism – Intolerance, Rudeness, Injustice
Childhood – Immaturity, Stumbling, Learning
Abuse – Power, Cowardice, Crime
Parenting – Burden, Burden, Burden
Old age – Senility, Crankiness, Forgetfulness

State your signature line/ tagline/ best quote
“Communication is redundant”, one of the pillar statements of NLP.

The last line of your autobiography would be…
If I could, I would rewrite most parts of this book.

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