What made you write this story?
This story stemmed from a personal experience. In fact I had been toying with the idea for over 13 years. It is in essence a love story between a young girl and an older man. I did not want it to seem like Cheeni Kum or Nishabd since it is not that kind of a story. Then what kind of a story did I want it to be? It took me years to answer tha t question. The story revolves around a chance look, a coincidence that leads two worlds to change forever—that of an established entrepreneur and a young college student. A forbidden romance blossoms with passion, truth and belief in each other where age, stature and reason are of no consequence. Spanning England and India, it is a romantic story about the difficult distance between yesterday and today; between truth and reconciliation.
That sounds intriguing, how did the publishers respond to it?
Years ago when I approached publishers, I was told, “Why don’t you write a book on Accountancy?” I am a chartered accountant by profession but that does not mean I cannot write stories I feel for. Take my first book Seher for instance, it is the story of an empowered 21st century young girl, whose courageous, bold and patriotic character makes her an icon of, until now, rudderless Indian youth and changes the dynamics of their fight against terrorism. That is the kind of story I wanted to write and I did, without paying heed to what the publishers thought.
Being a successful self-published writer, do you see a change in the publishing industry?
I wish publishers were a bit more amenable. I find their attitude quite disappointing. At a recent panel discussion in Delhi, I suggested that the concerned publishing house conduct a contest to encourage budding authors since the publishing and distribution channels work hand in hand to get the kind of exposure a fresh author needs. Such ideas, if implemented, create a healthy, liberal environment for fine talent to emerge. I urge publishers to adopt that idea. Having said that, I am happy to say I have sold over 6000 copies of my first book Seher, which goes to show I could do it.
I hope they pay heed to that. What is in it for your readers in 2014?
I will be taking the protagonist of my first book Seher through her next challenge in 2014 in a sequel. This will be launched on 26/11 as a mark of respect for my protagonist and the survivors and victors of that terror attack.
Browse through www.aaliya-book.com for more books and short stories by Rajiv Soni.