The thrill of being an author
Author Kulpreet Yadav retired voluntarily from the armed forces to pursue a career in writing in 2014. He is also a motivational speaker now; he has...
Author Kulpreet Yadav retired voluntarily from the armed forces to pursue a career in writing in 2014. He is also a motivational speaker now; he has spoken at over 150 schools, colleges, and for global corporate brands during the last three years. Popular for his Andy Karan series, his latest spy novel ‘Murder in Paharganj’ is a high-octane thriller.
What is the idea behind the central character in ‘Murder in Paharganj’?
‘Murder in Paharganj’s basic theme is that there is an average Indian, who is not strong physically but he is mentally very strong and takes on larger challenges in life. My idea is physical deformity can’t be an impediment for the people, who want to be winners. In the story, a weak person is capable to track and chase a stronger and intelligent killer with sheer determination and with the help of his ex-girlfriend, who is a criminal psychologist.
What is your take away from writing your books?
One of my major frustrations as Indian and as a citizen of this world is that the bad and the evil people get away due to various reasons such as corruption, et al. It is very difficult to bring bad people to the book. Everybody makes an endeavour to nab them but it does not happen often. It is great fun to create a fictional world through my stories and make the evil character and then punish them and keep them the way they should be. So, that is a part fantasy for me. Goodness over evil is the fabric of our society as Indians, which is showcased in epics like the ‘Ramayana’ or the ‘Mahabharata’, but in contemporary times it is not happening; so I am able to achieve that through my stories. Basically, I am bringing evil people to the book in my books (laughs). Since I have grown up on a diet of thrillers when I was a child, it all comes naturally to me. But back then, I never thought that I will be writing stories in future.
What is your research methodology?
The world of spies is what I have found very exciting. The intelligence, the counterintelligence, the cultivation of informers, honeytraps, double-cross, etc are very dangerous but are exciting. As far as the research is concerned - I was an officer in uniform for 20 years, that kind of orientation was already existing. I did a lot reading in this genre as the espionage world naturally interests me. That was my foundation. Besides that, I have been doing research online. For example, this book is partly set in Tehran, Iran and Tel Aviv, Israel, apart from Delhi, Paharganj and Bangkok, and a lot of information is available online about the intelligence agencies of these countries, the animosity between the two intelligence agencies or these nations, what is the basis of that, etc is all available and that is the power of the internet.
In fiction, one can take liberties to add spice and make slight changes and as long as the story is intact people are not going to worry about technical details. If you write too many details people might not read.
How much time did you take to pen this book?
‘Murder in Paharganj’, to be honest, has taken me the longest time, since it is a thriller. And thrillers are both plot and character driven and the plot has to be layered and planned and nuanced, etc and it goes in different directions and all that has to culminate in a satisfying way in the end. So the plotting actually took a lot of time. For other books, I have taken 6-7 months but this has taken a lot of time.
What is Kulpreet’s writing process?
It is very simple. I go to walk in the mornings and come and start writing. My productive hours are actually in the morning from 8 am to 2pm. And afternoons are reserved for reading and doing other things.
When did you realise you wanted to become a professional writer?
It was in 2006, I was stranded at the Howrah Railway Station as the train was several hours late. I had a diary and pen and nothing to do, so I just started writing and that is how my first novel ‘The Bet’ has been written. The beginning 20-30 per cent of the book is set in the Howrah Station. I never realised that I have this kind of drive or passion to write until it really happened to me. I shared the story with my wife and friends and they said it's good work and encouraged me. But when I look back now I feel that it is average writing and with each book, I have improved and my journey in this field is a testimony to that.
Will you stick to the thriller genre?
Basically, I am a storyteller. I am also writing a screenplay for a short film and in future, I hope to write for feature films too. Having said that, as of now, I am dabbling with romance and my book is ready and I have to pitch it to the publishing house. I am confident about it.
By: Navin Pivhal