Monday, August 8, 2011

Perspiration versus Inspiration…..

I have been maintaining radio silence on my blog for a while now- and for a very good reason. As far as my writing goes, I have been very busy- though not in writing alone (as in the inspiration of the creative process most people associate with writing) but in the hard slog of getting ideas to readers through the publishing process- the perspiration that most readers will never see.

Now it’s all pretty much sorted out for the next 18 months or so, and I can once again focus on writing some new stuff- and also take a bit of a breather from writing. The total time I devote to writing is roughly 30-45 minutes each day (With a full-time day job and a family, that’s all I want to take away for my writing) and when I’m traveling on work roughly twice a month when I get a flurry of writing done in flights, hotels and airports. It may not sound like much, but if one sticks to it in a disciplined way, it all adds up. 45 mins each day, every day, writing on average 600-750 words a day means I can write more than 250000 words a year (or more since I get much more written on holidays and when I’m traveling)- at roughly 70000 words a novel- that’s three books a year.

That’s the core insight behind this post- about how, as in many things in life- work, relationships, losing weight etc- discipline and perspiration is sometimes more important than one isolated stroke of genius. No idea, no matter how brilliant, counts for much unless a writer can slog away day by day, page by page, to bring it to life in the form of a book. Then of course, comes the perspiration that goes into putting all that inspiration into a masterplan of what gets published when, and by whom. So I’ve spent the last two months polishing off some ongoing novels, and closing open loops on all my projects on hand that will be published for the next 12-18 months. A friend messaged me on Facebook yesterday asking which book of mine was next. To her, and to all of you, here’s the calendar of what you can expect to see.

OND11: Hindustaan, a historical thriller published by Vitasta Publishing. A sneak peek:

Till the 17th century, one superpower accounted for almost a quarter of the world’s income- the same share as the United States today. That superpower was what we know today as India under the Mughal Empire. Years of internal strife, attacks by Afghan raiders and finally conquest by the British led to the decline and destruction of this mighty empire.

But what if India had never been conquered by the British? What if it remained a mighty and prosperous nation under the rule of the Mughal Empire?

A nation known as Hindustaan.

Dilli, 1857. The Mughal Empire is at the peak of its power and is gearing up to celebrate the hundredth anniversary of its victory over the British, an occasion where the popular Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar is widely expected to announce his successor.

The Empire is thrown into sudden chaos when the Emperor is assassinated and a new regime seizes power in a bloody coup.

In this maelstrom, three unlikely companions find themselves thrown together by fate. Ranveer, a young officer in the elite Mughal cavalry, who is now hunted by the very Empire he served; Theo, a rakish English traveller with a mysterious past and Maya, a beautiful and spirited Princess they rescue.

Together, they embark on a series of dramatic adventures across Hindustaan. A journey that takes them from bloody skirmishes with Afghan raiders, rescue missions in remote forts, joining a coalition of rulers who band together against the new despotic regime to protect their independence, and finally back into the heart of Dilli for a dramatic final mission.

The stage is set for a monumental struggle that will decide not just their fate, but that of the whole of Hindustaan.

JFM12: Vimana, a science fiction thriller published by Penguin India. A sneak peek:

'Gods' fought a terrible war in our skies 15,000 years ago. They have returned to finish it.

Ancient texts refer to 'Gods' flying in craft called vimanas and waging war with what sound like nuclear weapons. These accounts are today classified as myth or legend.

What if they turned out to be real?

Vimana is an edge-of your seat sci-fi technothriller about a young college student who stumbles upon an ancient war between good and evil. A war that we thought was merely a part of our ancient myths and legends, but unknown to us, is still being waged everyday in our skies. He discovers his hidden destiny is to join the forces of light in bringing this war to a conclusion. At stake will be the continued existence of the human race.

Star Wars meets Transformers in this exciting new thriller that will keep all science fiction fans satisfied.

AMJ12 (or perhaps earlier): Zombiestan, a thriller published by Severed Press, a cool Australian publisher specializing in horror. A brief summary:

The War on Terror just took a terrifying new turn.

It began with stories of undead Taliban rampaging through Afghan villages, and faster than anyone could have anticipated; the darkness spreads through the world.
In a world laid waste by this new terror, four unlikely companions have been thrown together- a seventeen year old boy dealing with the loss of his family, a US Navy SEAL trying to get back home, an aging, lonely writer with nobody to live for, and a young girl trying to keep her three year old brother safe.

When they discover that the smallest amongst them holds the key to removing the scourge that threatens to destroy their world, they begin an epic journey to a rumoured safe zone high in the Himalayas. A journey that will pit them against their own worst fears and the most terrible dangers- both human and undead.

A journey through a wasteland now known as Zombiestan.

In addition to these, there is a non-fiction title which I am about to sign with Random House, which should be released in 2012. Again, it’s early in the process so will share details later.

In case you can’t wait or don’t want to kill any trees by buying the paperbacks when they come our, thanks to the wonders of ebooks, all three titles are already up on the Kindle store (the cool process of e-publishing is huge fun- and the way books are increasingly reaching readers through the web and ebooks deserves another post all of it's own). Just click on the covers below:

So, that’s it- over the next 12-18 months, the perspiration of the last couple of months will see four new books out. Sounds like a lot, but remember the 45 minutes each day add up- that’s the power of perspiration!

Now for a well-deserved (at least I think so) break from writing for a week- when I will polish up my website which is way out of date. Then back to my keyboard- because I do have another flash of inspiration I need to get perspiring on!

Keep reading, and I’ll keep writing.