Author Interview

Author Interview: T Sathish | Author of Life in the Sunshine

T Sathish is an IIM Calcutta alumnus and a Director in Cognizant Technology Solutions, Chennai. He is responsible for delivering solutions based on software products in the Commercial banking and Capital Markets domain. Sathish is a fiction writer and an avid sports fan. He has published short stories named ‘Hang in there’, ‘Am I Free?’ on the Juggernaut publishing’s digital writing platform. Sathish writes columns in the Cricket section of the, an online sports magazine. Sathish is an avid reader of eclectic topics.

He lives in Chennai in a joint family set up with his wife, Roopa, son, Prahlad, Father, Thiruvengadaswamy. The joint family also comprises his sister-in-law, Deepa, brother-in-law, Ramkumar, his nephew, Anirudh and his mother-in-law, Kamala.

TBE: Tell us about your book, can you share with us something about the book that isn’t in the blurb?

T Sathish: The book traces the life of three young boys who grow up on cricket with a strong relationship with the sport.

The book has an element of fantasy fiction and love which are not visible in the blurb. They are meant to be discovered by the reader, when they go through the book.


TBE: How did you get the idea of this book?

T Sathish: I am a big fan of Cricket and always wanted to write a book related to the sport. I grew up in a setting very similar to what the young boys grow up in the story. I thought of narrating the story of regular boys like us who grew up watching and playing the sport; and I wanted to talk about our unique relationship with the sport and how it served as the inspiration and learning ground for our lives.


TBE: Why did you choose to write on this subject?

T Sathish: Cricket is my biggest passion and the first love of my life. I wanted to express the special relationship that countless nameless followers like me share with the sport.


TBE: What is the key theme and/or message in the book?

T Sathish: Cricket is not just a game we played when we were young. The sport teaches everything that a young person should learn to become a successful adult in the world. I wanted to give my interpretation of what the great CLR James meant when he said “What do they know of Cricket who only Cricket know”.


TBE: Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?

T Sathish: The characters are fictional. But the setting of the book is very similar to the one that we grew up in as kids. The characters are quite typical of what one would have found in those times and in those settings.


TBE: What is your favorite part of the book?

T Sathish: The second part of the story where the protagonist comes out of his self-doubt and goes about fulfilling his dreams.


TBE: What was your writing process for this book? What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?

T Sathish: I write based on sparks of inspiration. The writing process has been cultivated by learning from masters, like PGWodehouse, Arthur Conan Doyle, one word at a time and one book at a time.


TBE: How did you research on the subject?

T Sathish: I grew up watching Cricket and remembered all the matches that are quoted in the book. I did use the internet to verify the scores and details of the players.


TBE: How long does it take you to write this book?

T Sathish: I took about 2 months to write my first draft. I must have spent few months thinking about the subject, after which I put down the first word of the book. It took another 2 months to get a good publishable version. I continued to make some changes here and there until the final version was published.


TBE: During your journey from the idea of this book to the publication, what was the most difficult thing you faced? Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

T Sathish: Getting the book published by a big traditional publisher was the biggest challenge. I did not succeed in getting any one of them to publish the book.

In terms of writing the book, making sure the story flowed smoothly and did not have a boring phase in it was the biggest challenge. The first draft had many boring passages, which I had to rewrite to get those to flow smoothly.


TBE: How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

T Sathish: No change at all. I have written and published two more short stories after I finished Life in the Sunshine. The fact that I could publish a full length novel, has made me more confident of my writing.


TBE: What do you hope your readers take away from this book?

T Sathish: I hope that readers view sports, particularly Cricket, in a new light. The kids who play the game, I hope, will understand that the sport has much more to offer to their lives than just some fun playing it. Parents, I hope, will understand how playing and watching sports like Cricket is a big part of kids’s education and guide them to pick up the right lessons from the sport and its heroes.


TBE: According to you what is the most challenging thing for budding writer?

T Sathish: Getting recognized by big traditional publishers is a big challenge. When it comes to writing, identifying one’s own style will be a big challenge. We tend to learn by mimicking our heroes. It is no wonder that we will be tempted to write like our author heroes as well. Therefore, the biggest challenge is to avoid imitating their style.


TBE: How did you celebrate the publishing of your first book?

T Sathish: I launched the book in a small gathering of friends and colleagues at a Starbucks in Chennai.


TBE: Growing up, who were your favourite children’s books, and authors?

T Sathish: I grew up on Hardy boys books written by Franklin.W.Dixon


TBE: Do you read much and if so, who are your favorite authors? What book that you have read has most influenced your life?

T Sathish: As a grown up man, I am an avid reader of eclectic topics. My favorite authors, just to name a few, are PG Wodehouse, Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie, RK Narayan, Yuval Harari, Joseph Heller, Bill Bryson, Nassim Taleb…

Hard to say that one book which influenced my life. Phantoms in the brain by VS Ramachandran, My Stroke of Insight by Jill Bolte Taylor helped me answer some important questions on God, soul and life. The various stories of Sherlock Holmes inspired me to write, Life in the Sunshine.


TBE: What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

T Sathish: I read a lot. I watch plenty of Cricket and write columns in I have a day job as well at Cognizant Technology Solutions.


TBE: Do you believe in writer’s block? Have you ever experienced it? How long does it usually last? Any tips you would like to share to overcome it?

T Sathish: I do believe in a writer’s block. It is very similar to mental blocks that one encounters in various fields. I think it happens when one puts unnecessary pressure to perform on to themselves. Creativity cannot happen at gun point. So, I think, this pressure leads the writer through a vicious cycle of inaction, called Writer’s block.


TBE: In your opinion, what is the most important thing about a book?

T Sathish: Characters, if it is a fiction novel. Subject, if it is a non-fiction book.


TBE: What does your family think of your writing?

T Sathish: My family is proud of my writing. They have been very encouraging of this aspect of my life.


TBE: What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book?

T Sathish: The fact that I could create a book was the biggest surprise for me. The next surprise was that others liked what I had written.


TBE: What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?

T Sathish: Every book and every article that I read has helped me learn that language had power.


TBE: Do you have any suggestions to help me (any one) become a better writer? If so, what are they?

T Sathish: Never feel shy to put your thoughts into words. If you like what you have written, then be confident that it makes sense. Don’t depend on others’s acceptance as the measure of those words making sense.


TBE: Do you use any special writing software? If so what is it, and what are a few of your favorite perks of it?

T Sathish: I used Grammarly to edit my book. It is quite good in ironing out basic errors in grammar and spelling. However, there is no replacement for a smart human editor.


TBE: A common misconception entwined with authors is that they are socially inept, and they are often associated with loner tendencies; is there any truth to that?

T Sathish: No, not at all. I am sure the community of writers will have representation of all kinds of people. A book is the result of collaboration of multiple people, not just a writer putting his/her pen to paper.


TBE: Do you have a set schedule for writing, or are you one of those who write only when they feel inspired?

T Sathish: I write only when I feel inspired. It often is when I suddenly get an attractive seed of an idea.


TBE: What would you say is your biggest failure in life?

T Sathish: Not developing my writing skill at much younger age. I had shown the tendency to write when I was in school. But, I did not develop it until much later.


TBE: Is there anything you are currently working on that may intrigue the interest of your readers?

T Sathish: I will talk about the idea when it reaches a certain stage of maturity.


TBE: Anything you would like to say to your readers and fans?

T Sathish: I would like my readers and fans to use the power of introspection to explore their personalities and identify great abilities that are lying hidden within them. The greatest exploration that one will do in their lives is self-exploration.

Buy Now: Life in the Sunshine
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