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Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Author Interview: Jamal Merchant - Author of One Enduring Lesson

Today we have with us Jamal Merchant, author of One Enduring Lesson. It is a story of a tale of the undying human spirit of survival against all odds is his debut novel that is getting some rave review (read ours here: ), so we decided to understand its creation and the writer better. Lets hear about his journey from the author himself....

Q.    Tell us a little about your journey into writing?

A: In my school days in Zanzibar, Tanzania I used to write scores of essays. As a Property Finance Broker in London, I have to write project reports to banks So writing is a habit for me from my young days In 2009 I came up with the idea of writing a novel. It was a sudden inspiration.

Q.    How did the book “One Enduring Lesson” come into being?

A: The title of the novel is inspired from the last paragraph of “The Memoirs of Aga Khan” wherein the late Aga Khan III wrote :-

 “Life in the ultimate analysis has taught me one enduring lesson. The subject
 should always disappear in the object”.

Based on this theme, I developed a tale of the undying human spirit of survival against all odds in which my protagonist totally immerses himself in everything he does to achieve victory in love and life.

Q.    What inspired you to create a character like Rahul Saxena and how much you feel readers could relate to him?

A: I was inspired to create a character like Rahul Saxena from hundreds of young men and women who come to Mumbai from all over India to seek a new life in Bollywood or in other walks of life but end up destitute. I have made Rahul struggle but also showed him the path of success and salvation through religion to fight back internal and external demons and emerge victorious from his horrific struggles and be triumphant in love. I feel today’s young people can relate to Rahul and feel encouraged to seek inspiration from their faith after reading mynovel.

Q.    One Enduring Lesson is a great book that teaches never to give up attitude. What's your that one enduring lesson during your journey as an author.

A: Never give up if you believe that you have a good story and you want the world to know about it.

 Q.    We know writing and getting published is a long journey.  So was it easy to write a book and manage your full time job along? How did you manage it?

A: I had an original story in mind, but had no idea of how to write a novel. I had to self-tuition myself in the art of storytelling, scene construction, dialogue development and creative writing. To do this I started reading novels written by famous novelists and also watched many films. In all I read 75 novels and saw 260 films. I also attended a few short courses in London in creative writing. I made extensive study notes from all these resources.
    The story is based in India. I did extensive research on many aspects of life in India and issues covered in my novel. In all I had 235 print-outs on various subjects to read and draw knowledge from.

    In January 2011, I made a special trip to India and visited Mumbai and Amritsar and visited all the places in these two cities where the action takes place involving the protagonist Rahul Saxena. It was a fact-find visit which greatly assisted me in describing the places and events in my novel.

    I used to get up at 4.00 in the morning to write. As a debut novelist, it was a slow and painful process. But I persevered and completed my first draft in September 2011 which I      later enriched with scores of improvements and newideas, culminating in a draft which was finally accepted by Rupa Publications of India.

Q.    Did you ever face writers block?

A: Yes, but luckily it would not last for too long.

Q.    Your inspiration in writing? What are your favourite books and authors.

A: I have no favourite authors as such, but I liked books written by Nicholas Sparks like The Notebook and Message in a Bottle. I drew inspiration from many other books including some which won Booker Prize like The White Tiger and Midnight’s Children.

Q.    How do you motivate yourself in situations of disappointment?

A: I genuinely believed that I had a good story and wanted the world to read it. I did not allow disappointment to overwhelm me. I kept persevering. Motivation came from my desire to succeed.

Q. What are your upcoming writing projects?

A: None. I will write another novel only if and when I have another brilliant and original story coming to my mind.

Q.  Words of wisdom for the budding authors.

A: Read! Read !Read !
And then
Write ! Write! Write !
Till you get it Right!.

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