Joy of writing…. andwritings of joy!
Joygopal Podder has published 13 books in 32 months including 12 crime fiction novels and was featured in the Limca Book of Records for two consecutive years (2012 and 2013)…and the year 2014 would be his hat-trick as he is already qualified. Here, Smita Dwivedi discovers more about his passion for writing!
His books include: Deceivers, (Pustak Mahal/Cedar Books), The Inheritance (Atlantic), The Landlord’s Secret and Other Stories (Atlantic), Millennium City (Prakash Books), High Alert (Atlantic), Superstar (Prakash Books), Mumbai Dreams (V&S Publishers), Beware of the Night (Vitasta Publishing), A Million Seconds Too Late (Vitasta Publishing) and Merchants of Dreams (Vitasta Publishing).
SD: Tell us something about yourself?
Joygopal: I came to writing at the age of seven in London, where I was born and spent my childhood. My first published story was at the age of 12 in a children’s magazine in Delhi, after our family returned to India. I was a freelance writer during my school and college days.
Heaving earned a gold medal in law from the University of Delhi, I was busy with my career and family life and writing took a backseat. I came to the NGO sector at the age of 40.
When I was 48 years old, my wife nearly died of blood poisoning and I went through a financial crisis. My wife survived – but lost her kidneys. I saved my house – but with great difficulty. The unpredictability of life made me to fight back – and leave a legacy of some sort. I decided to go back to my first great passion – writing. I floated a few blogs, and began the journey to write a book.
I love reading thrillers and crime fiction, so that’s the genre I chose to start off with. What emerged was a thriller featuring a social sector activist. I called my first book Deceivers.
My next novel The Inheritance delved into my earlier experiences in the corporate sector. While, my fourth book involved a serial killer. I let my imagination run riot, but grounded my story in familiar geographical territory, namely Gurgaon, where I have my home. That’s why the novel is titled Millennium City. It’s one of my most popular crime thrillers.
SD: Gurgaon is featured in most of your books. Why?
Joygopal: Most of my books do feature Gurgaon. My plots travel all over India and the world but the protagonists are usually grounded in Gurgaon. They live here, or work here, or both. The locales of Gurgaon are liberally sprinkled all over my books. The malls of Gurgaon feature in my books, as do the flyovers of NH8 and the parks and condominiums. The metro stations have sometimes hosted dramatic situations in my books.
SD: Tell us something about your books?
Joygopal: I have authored fourteen novels and one non-fiction book in three years. The plots span a wide terrain. Bollywood and its stars and directors and producers provide interesting characters and plotlines for many of my books. Some of my novels are police procedural; others are devoted to human drama.
My latest book is Dynasty, a novel about a hotel tycoon’s family and how the family members are stalked, threatened and attacked, but nobody knows why and by whom. I have just completed a light-hearted romance novel called 3 Mixed Up Men and have started writing another light-hearted humorous romantic book called Desperately Seeking Love. I will explore historical drama also at a later date.
SD: How did you feature as a record holder in Limca Book of Records?
Joygopal: I hold the record for the most number of crime fiction novels published in the fastest time (11 books in 21 months). This record is featured in the 2013 edition of the Limca Book of Records. Earlier, in the 2012 edition, my record was 5 books in 9 months. I will be appearing in the 2014 edition also with 13 crime fiction books in 29 months. So, even my continuous appearance in the Limca Book of Records is becoming something of a record! I’m really blessed!
However, I would like to point out that, in writing, quality comes first. An author should not write to break records; I do not. The records have just happened because of the fast pace of my writing, which is not a deliberate strategy. I love writing and storytelling; I have a passion for it. So the output is fast.
SD: Where do you see yourself five years down the line?
Joygopal: What next? More books and more records. I would like to try my hand at historical fiction and also humour (which I have started). What drives me is the positive feedback I get from my readers. As long as they love what I write, I will keep on giving them my books!
I hope, of course, to become better known as an author, as the years go by, and perhaps see some of my books come alive on the silver screen.
SD: Any message you want to give to first-time authors?
Joygopal: Read and read and read. Then write and write and write. There are no short-cuts to writing success. And write so that you are remembered for generations – not forgotten in six months!