Apurv’s Nagpal’s first book, Eighteen Plus (Facebook page, buy from Amazon) is an anthology of erotic short stories, a category that remains unexplored in India. In fact Apurv is one of the handful authors to have published an erotica in the mainstream!
Apurv (Goodreads) is a graduate from the Shri Ram College of Commerce and an MBA from IIM Ahmedabad. Apurv Nagpal has worked in the corporate world in various capacities for over twenty years. His interests, other than writing, include sports (he has seen the last five FIFA Soccer World Cups live, including the last one in Brazil), travel (he has been to all the seven continents and once nearly drove to the North Pole), wines, cocktails and cinema (he regularly reviews the latest movies on his blog, www.apurvbollywood.blogspot.com).
His twitter handle is @apurvnagpal.
P.S.: I love the cover of Eighteen Plus!
So, Apurv’s answers to #5Questions are…
1. Why do you write? Why would someone else want to be a writer?
I write because I enjoy communicating through words and have things to tell, stories to narrate. Have been doing a blog www.apurvbollywood.blogspot.in where I review movies for 8 years now, which basically is a way of combining two passions, movies and writing. While [I] had been a regular writer during school, college, MBA days, had lost touch with it during a large part of my corporate stint. The blog helped me rediscover it. You should write if you have a story inside you – just begin writing, the words will form and don’t worry about the quality of writing – it will get better over time, with edits, redrafts etc
2. How do you come up with an idea? Ideas for plots, sequences, scenes, characters and other things? Do you use any tools?
Ideas keep coming, almost non-stop and I’m sure that happens with everyone. The trick is to jot it down, in reasonable detail, so that you can much later recall what the idea was. I then like to cook the ideas in my head, rotate them, examine them, see where they are leading before choosing the one I’m going to proceed with. Even after that, I let it simmer and develop in my head for a while, letting the characters form, acquire their idiosyncrasies, don a more recognizable avatar before I actually put pen to paper. Even after all that, once I begin writing, sometimes the character surprise me, behaving slightly differently once I begin actually writing the story. I usually have a broad idea of how things are going to end but not always, and definitely not in detail. Forming the story in its final shape, while actually writing is, I guess, one of the pleasures of this art, just like a painter or a sculptor
3. Do you keep a rigorous writing schedule? If yes, what is your writing schedule?
I abhor schedules and after about 18-20 years in the corporate world, hate the idea of being regulated by time or the alarm clock . If there is a fully formed idea in my head, I can go on writing for 2-3 days till its out there. Equally, if things are still fluid, will not begin to write till they are. Having said that, I wrote one full novel, which is yet to see the light of the day (have realized there are several issues which need fixing) and my published book, Eighteen Plus, which has 18 short stories, in a month each, which I’m told is relatively fast
4. How often do you get interrupted by writer’s block? How do you go about working around your writers’ block?
For me, long walks are a fail safe remedy, literally nothing is insurmountable after a couple of days of thought, walks. In the rare case, I still need some more stimulus, a drink or two helps
5. What is the best advice on writing that you’ve ever received?
It was in a book by Stephen King, not coincidentally I think, also called On Writing. The only thing I remember from the book is his concept of letting the characters write themselves. To let them breathe, talk, develop and literally write the story without putting too much direction from your side. I remember when reading it, thinking it wasn’t possible, thought it was just a lot of mumbo-jumbo. But its true! It took a while for me to understand and grasp this concept, but it helps you develop better, more real characters, who also then enact & participate in a more credible story. Even in my movie reviews, I lots of times don’t know what I’m going to say before I start writing…