Abhishek Goswami works with an MNC in Gurgaon and is a writer by interest. He is a post-graduate in business administration, PMP and Lean certified and a graduate in Science from Delhi University. In his spare time, he likes to read classic mysteries, historical/mythological fiction and follows cricket and music with passion. The Lonely Drummer and Other Poems was his first book, published by Notion Press in 2017. He was awarded the “Top 100 Inspiring Authors of India” in 2018 and “Swami Vivekananda Award for Excellence in Literature” in 2019, presented by the Governor of West Bengal for his first book. He is a regular contributor to literary sites like Asian Literary Society, Muse India and United By Ink. A few of his poems and stories have been published in The Hans India newspaper and anthologies by Asian Literary Society, United By Ink and Half Baked Beans. He also features regularly in various Asian Literary Society events to recite his latest creations.
Interview: Welcome to Criticspace Journals, Abhishek. Please let us know more about yourself?
Abhishek Goswami: Thanks. I was born in New Delhi and did my schooling and college from there. I did my graduation in Science from Delhi University and then did 3 year software diploma in software from NIIT and PGDBA in HR from Symbiosis University. I am working in the corporate sector for around 17 years now. I am married and presently live in Noida with my wife and a little daughter.
Interview: Thanks a lot for sharing information. My next question is what inspired you to start writing, when did you actually start writing?
Abhishek Goswami: I am an avid reader, mainly of fiction. I have been reading classics, mysteries, mythological and historical tales for many years, both Indian and foreign authors. Right from childhood, I had a dream that I will write a book and get it published someday.
I used to write for my school magazines and participated in paragraph and essay writing competitions back then. In my first book, The Lonely Drummer and Other Poems, which is a collection of 35 poems, and got published in 2017, I have included a few poems which I had written around 15-16 years back as well. Around 2004-05, along with another friend, we developed a synopsis of a novel and wrote a few chapters as well. But it remained incomplete. So you can say, it has been a journey for many years now. But, the bulk of my writings have been from 2016 onwards.
Interview: That’s great! This has been a very unique book I read recently. How you think about this unique concept and how you materialize it?
Abhishek Goswami: My second book, which you are referring to now, “Curse of Shiva and Other Tales” was published recently. This is a collection of 10 short tales and 23 poems. This is a kind of an experimental book, in the sense that I have included short stories and poems in the same collection. I have included the rationale behind this in my foreword in the book itself. I like to experiment with form and structure of prose and poetry and this has been an example of this.
Interview: What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book? This might be helpful for emerging writers.
Abhishek Goswami: Well, research depends on the themes I am writing on. In this book, the themes I have dealt it vary a lot. The 10 short tales depict themes of science fiction, history, thriller, mythology and the struggles of common people like us. So accordingly, I must read up on some facts about mythology or history if it is playing a major part in the story. The 23 poems in this book mainly deal with nature, life, spirituality and philosophy. The poems are free flowing as it is mostly my perceptions of the world around me and need not have much research for it.
Interview: Are you a reader also who reads regularly? Have you read anything that made you think differently about fiction?
Abhishek Goswami: As I said earlier, I am an avid reader of fiction genre. I like the mysteries/thrillers by Agatha Christie, Dan Brown, Jeffrey Archer, the short stories of Saki, O Henry, Oscar Wilde etc. I also read up a lot of historical/mythological genre by Indian authors like Amish, Ashwin Sanghi, Anand Neelakantan and Shatrujeet Nath.
Recently I read “Asura” by Anand Neelakantan and it just blew away my mind. Presenting the story of Ramayan from Raavan and another common man’s perspective was a totally new experience for me. It gave a whole new perspective on the mythological stories we have read since childhood and helped me to understand that there can always be another perspective or viewpoint in this world.
Interview: Do you hide any secrets in your stories that only a few people will find? This is done by almost all the story writers. Please let us know about it.
Abhishek Goswami: As the stories in this book mainly deal with themes of science fiction, adventure and mythology, it is sometimes important to leave few clues in the story for the readers to think about. Or maybe guide the reader to a path which may not always lead to the correct solution in the end. These are tools at the hand of an author and I do use them sometimes to enhance the reading experience and add value to the story.
Interview: There are lot of short stories in the book which I liked very much. Which one was your hardest story to write?
Abhishek Goswami: Good question. I think “Roses are Red” was the toughest to write as it deals in the thriller/spooky genre. I have never written a story dealing with this theme and it was fun to write it as well. I have been influenced by the macabre stories of Saki which I have enjoyed reading so much over the years. But I never thought I could write in that genre. I did struggle a lot initially in coming up with that storyline, but ultimately it turned out to be so well that I cannot explain in words. The story deals with a young man and his adventures and how his past actions ultimately impact his life later, but in a very weird and macabre manner. Readers must read this story to fully understand what I am saying.
Interview: Are you working on some other projects as well? Please let us know about it?
Abhishek Goswami: Well, I am toying with the idea of writing a series of 11 short stories. This will be a series of adventures faced by Ravi and Vijay, the two young boys encountered in one of the stories from my current book. These boys are in a sort of treasure hunt for a lost gem and they encounter an avatar of Lord Vishnu in each of these stories. How this adventure/chase story mixed with mythological elements spices up the whole narrative should be interesting to write and read, I am sure.
Interview: How was your publishing journey so far? As a new author if I ask what the most important thing is I need to follow if I have written a book and want to present it to readers.
Abhishek Goswami: The journey has been full of challenges, learnings and joyful moments. The most important part is to focus on your manuscript and write what you want to write. Once that is completed, there are enough publishers now in the market and it is a very happening time for authors in India nowadays.
Interview: Thanks a lot for the answers, Abhishek. Do you have any message to tell your readers? Please share something.
Abhishek Goswami: Keep reading books which you want to read, of whatever genre you like. No matter how much information you can get from Audio/Video mediums and Internet nowadays, the power of reading a physical book cannot be underestimated. It helps you to broaden your vision of life, understand perspectives of different people from different cultures, know more about human nature and culture and ultimately enlightens your mind to think critically and deeply. All of these will leave a deep impact on your lives and you will become a more complete person. This book is available for the readers on Amazon, Flipkart and Notionpress.com, as a paperback and as an e-book on Kindle and Google Play. Please visit www.abhigos.com for more details about my books. You can mail me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org for any thoughts/suggestions/feedback about the 2 books and I will be more than happy to revert.