Uday Satpathy could go down in history as the author of India’s first crowd-curated book, Brutal. Well, when I first heard of a crowd-curated book, I thought it might be a case of too many cooks spoiling the broth. But few pages down, and I said, “the broth isn’t bad.” Uday Satpathy has written a fast-paced and tightly woven story that keeps the reader on the edge.
Uday Satpathy tells Woodpie more about himself, his writing and reading interests in this interview:
1. You are an engineer turned sales manager, turned writer. What role do you enjoy the most?
Writing, undoubtedly! Putting my thoughts into words is something which gives me inner freedom.
2. What made you write a book?
I am inherently a reader. I love thrillers and every time finish a good one, something happens inside my mind – parts moving like clockwork, working out at a story of my own. Brutal was born like that. The story was running in my mind for some time, without coming out in form of words. One day while driving to my office, I struck a brilliant plot twist, which made me desperate to put my thoughts in writing. It kick-started my dedicated attempt at writing.
3. Did the idea of Brutal come from any true event? Was there any other inspiration behind the plot of the book?
Yes. Without letting out any spoilers, I would say Brutal is inspired from real life incidents which never came into the light. But, like many other thrillers, there is also a bit of conspiracy theory in it to stretch the mind of readers.
4. How long did it take for you to write Brutal? How do you make time for writing along with your day job.
Brutal took around a year and half for me to write. But, the editing and rework must have taken another six months.
5. What kind of research did you undertake to write Brutal?
The research was intense. In fact, there were times when I had to pause writing for weeks, finish a book on a topic of research and then resume. My background in Pharma and Healthcare did help me a lot. But, I had to do a lot of research on Indian Special Forces, geopolitics and places.
6. Most new Indian writers these days seem to have a MBA. What do you think of this trend of MBA grads turning authors?
That’s an interesting line of thought 🙂 . Possibly, the kind of exposure people get during their MBA education – on topics as diverse as global dynamics, ethics, law etc. helps them come up with more credible stories. The kind of grilling they go through during the entrance exams does improve their writing skills a lot.
7. What do you think of the idea behind Bloody Good Book? How did crowd-curating help you?
Bloody Good Book is an excellent initiative to connect authors to their readers. Quite often editors reject manuscripts, which later turn out to be bestsellers. This is because readers perceive the books in a different way from the editors. Crowd-curation takes care of problems like these, because here readers rate and review a book. The writers-readers-reviewers community is very vibrant in BGB, with critiques and suggestions coming in from all corners. It helped my book a lot.
8. How has the response to Brutal been?
Extremely good. It began as top-seller on Amazon.in. It’s been almost two months since its launch and every week it breaks into the top 10 among the Action-Adventure books.
9. Do you have any plans of turning into a full time author?
Not yet, though I would love to in future. Possibly, after writing half-a-dozen successful books, I will be in a position to take a call.
10. What are you working on next? When do we expect it?
I am presently working on a sequel to Brutal and also on a political thriller. Hopefully, by next year one of them should be ready.
11. Which book has influenced you the most?
There are a lot of books which have left a mark on me. My writing and storytelling do have an influence of Robert Ludlum, though.
12. Please recommend three books to our readers.
I will name three books I completed recently:
• Presumed Innocent by Scott Turow: A top-notch legal thriller. Turow uses his knowledge of the inner workings of the US Criminal Law to weave a murder mystery amid political machinations. Classic case of ‘nothing is what it appears’.
• The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton: A town gets afflicted by a horrific disease and a bunch of scientists run against time to find a cure. Michael Crichton’s masterpiece.
• Maximum City by Suketu Mehta: A poignant depiction of Mumbai’s underbelly. The story of pathos, struggles, sorrow and redemption of some common people, told in an uncommon way.