Books Will Become Shorter and Faster: Manoj Jain
Being bold and fearless is a virtue writers ought not shun but preserve.
We get inKonversation with an author who was fearless enough to go for self publishing because the traditional publishing system did not want to publish a book as bold as this. The BNO is his first literary baby and we are glad a courageous voice did not cow down nor did it back out. Author Manoj Jain talks about when he writes the most, how rejection did not deter him and how psychology & fiction is a powerful concitation:
By profession I am a businessman running my own export company, a business I started after I completed my studies at IIM Ahmedabad. I have always wanted to write and I finally made the plunge, writing during my business travels. Besides my business and travels, I keep busy with my ongoing psychology studies as well as learning Spanish. I believe that a person should constantly learn and grow oneself.
I have always wanted to write books since I was young. I wrote a lot for the magazines in College as well as poems and short stories. I finally decided to pursue this passion at a much later date.
I believe that there must always be madness in life. I think I have an uncanny and instinctive understanding of people when I meets them, often forging instant connections. Life is never boring for me.
Writing is such a systematic business. How does the planning-writing phase work out for you?
As I was studying for my Masters in Psychology recently, it dawned on me that there are many interesting concepts that play out in day to day life. Since my interest has always been on human relationships and sexualities, the story of The Boys Night Out became a good platform to discuss these. I wanted to write a book on present times, a book with people who seemed real and possible, everyday people , not heroes. Books are to suggest a slice of life and I have tried to showcase present day life in a metro, with people hiding their shadows. On one level the book says that every person has a shadow, a private hidden self.
Once the outline of the story was determined, I went out to identify 7 character types that I wanted to highlight in the book, different marriages, different hidden aspects that a reader may find within himself and feel easy to know that he is not alone.
The book was written chapter by chapter and then I cross referenced so that it all tied up together.
The BNO looks fun as well as intriguing from a human and social psyche perspective. Tell us about the book.
The book is a multi-layered story – on the surface it is based on eight men who go out of town for a Boys Night Out. Two girls are invited and the night goes out of hand. A single night can affect marriages, relationships and change the lives of the players in unexpected ways.
On another level, the book speaks about different sexual aspects such as “givers and takers”, phermones as well as psychological aspects such as Freudian concepts of the Id and the Oral personality types
On yet another layer, the story is about fetishes and fantasy, human hungers that have been supressed and become our hidden self.
The book has funny statements littered all over. Some people found the brackets and parenthesis distracting but I wanted to show that there is a constant double speak in peoples minds.
The nature of the story makes the book fast paced as well as racy and explicit.
How did publishing happen? Any interesting stories there?
Since I was new to the world of publishing, I was innocent to send the book to a traditional publisher, through the contact of a friend. The publisher gently explained that the book was interesting but they would not be able to publish it as it had many explicit parts and it did not fit into their publishing speciatlity. I thought of contacting a literary agent but did not know how to go about it. A friend suggested self publishing and Notion Press was highly recommended. I asked for a few reviews and decided to give it a shot.
It was a pleasant, easy experience as the complete process was smooth, done by email with no face-to face meetings.
I had no repentance on the self publishing but would prefer to have more hands on information on the online sales and e-book sales.
My family was supportive on the book and encouraged me to write and publish it. I spoke to them if they were embarrassed due to the explicit nature but they have been backing me up whole heartedly.
But I have to admit that I am sometimes in an awkward stage as many people view the book as pornographic rather than as a study of our times.
In my writings, I like to go back and forth in time so that the story does not follow a natural time line but there are things that are remembered, things that happen later that are mentioned later. A lot of people did not like the high number of parenthesis or prackets in my story but I enjoy having this as a double thought that runs in all our brains.
I tend to do my writing more when I travel (I get more time then) after a lot of brooding on the characters and I can visualise the scene as if it is happening in front of me. Therefore rightfully many people have remarked that the book was very visual.
As an author what role has social media played in easing the journey?
Since I am new to the publishing industry and the marketing of books, I have initially used Social Media for people to be aware of the book. The publishers had made a video trailer of the book which also went up on the net and the facebook page of the BNO. It is my first foray in this trade and I know that there is more to just publishing a book – in today’s world with so many products out there, one needs to get noticed. We are using Instagram and facebook to promote the book as well as bloggers and book specific sites such as Goodreads and The Tales Penseive
What is next on the literary front from you?
I have just completed an exciting new project at the moment – the book is tentatively called the THC – with a planned publication in November this year. I continue with different psychological ideas with current day topics that are uncomfortable to discuss such as partial impotency, cures for smoking, voyeurism, marriages of conveniences, homosexuality in a relationship, a fear of sexual relationships as well as difficult topics of the relationships between fathers and sons over time.
Your words of wisdom for newbie writers.
I feel with the growth of so many alternate media and entertainment options, the younger people are reading lesser. There has been a shift towards ebooks and lately more people are shifting to audio books that they hear on their phones. Book shops are shutting and sales are primarily on the net.
Regarding books, I think books will become shorter and faster as people have lesser disposable time and attention spans for a particular session have reduced.