Bijaya Kumar Mishra is a doctor, a medical scientist and an author. After spending many years of his life to alleviate people’s pain, he now works as a scientist in the field of medical research. His debut book ‘Ineligible’ has been acclaimed widely. When he is not working or writing, he can be found watching or reading thrillers.
TBE: Congratulations on this amazing book ‘Lies Look Like Love’. It contains so many important insights and observations the world needs to hear. Tell us about your book, can you share with us something about the book that isn’t in the blurb?
Bijaya Kumar Mishra: Thank you. The story of ‘Lies Look Like Love’ is set in a small rainy forest town where love may be a trickster and lies may lurk in plain sight. Maya’s world is shattered after the untimely demise of her caring husband, Ansh. Amid her grief, her worst fear appears before her in the form of a stalker who forces her to question her own sanity. But she knows that she must face her fear and discover the stalker’s real identity.
Moreover, she must protect some secrets in her small, rainy, forest town, where it’s really hard to keep secrets. When Ravi, a bachelor in his thirties, moves into the outhouse of Maya’s villa, he is intrigued by the strange rumours going round the town about the villa and Maya’s sisters. He gradually gets close to Maya and her sisters. Love blossoms in the villa again.
But sometimes lies look like love. As Ravi tries to delve into the mysterious privacy of the villa, malicious motives and murderous intentions surface to put lives and relationships at stake. Can Ravi unveil the truth before it’s too late? ‘Lies Look Like Love’ will take the readers on a roller-coaster ride of love and lies.
TBE: Lies Look Like Love is a beautifully written, deep, heart-wrenching drama about a damaged soul Maya who survived unchangeable tragedy. She learns to cope with devastating grief, hurt, and pain, accepts them, and somehow finds healing, safety and love along the way. What was the first initial thought or thing that sparked the idea for Maya’s character?
Bijaya Kumar Mishra: As I began to form the story in my mind, I wanted a character who was a mystery in herself – secretive but social; gentle but strong; who preferred to remain within her limits, but was ready to cross all boundaries for her loved ones. And I discovered Maya – the first name that came across my mind. I thought there couldn’t be a better name to justify her character.
TBE: While writing this book, you must have put yourself in the shoes of your main character. How would you sum up the journey that the characters go through in book? Can you tell us about your personal writing experience and your own emotions, as you explored the deeper, darker aspects of their personalities?
Bijaya Kumar Mishra: To be honest, each time I wrote about some character, I had to put myself in his or her shoes. I tried to feel and share their emotions to make the story sound more realistic because many characters of the story were not complete white or complete black. They were grey, with some positive and some negative aspects. As you pointed out correctly, most of the characters had deeper, darker secrets buried in their personalities. The more I explored their personalities, the more I got involved in their lives. And the writing process became more interesting.
TBE: I’m in awe of the careful way you chose to reveal Maya’s story and her experience – slowly peeling back her emotional layers, and her experiences. It’s clear that she’s a fractured soul and you really did justice to that in your plotting. How did you develop the pacing and structure to unravel mystery? Was it organic as you drafted?
Bijaya Kumar Mishra: Of course, I had to plan the pacing and the structure of the story beforehand to some extent. But everything was not planned. I think too much planning takes the joy of writing away. However, I tried to keep some surprises, twists and turns in store for my readers at regular intervals. I can say the writing process was mostly organic. I could almost visualize the forest, the rainy town, the mysterious villa, and of course, the characters of my book as I wrote about them. Writing this book was a smooth ride and a wonderful experience for me.
TBE: What was your writing/research process like?
Bijaya Kumar Mishra: I tried to write something every night till I finished writing ‘Lies Look Like Love.’ If I was not satisfied with the progress of the story at some point, I rarely skipped my writing routine for a day or two to think about the story from a fresh perspective and give it an interesting turn.
TBE: Do you read much and if so, who are your favorite authors?
Bijaya Kumar Mishra: Yes, I am a regular reader. There is a long list of my favorite authors. However to name a few – Gillian Flynn, Manoj Das, Ruskin Bond, Jim Corbett, Arthur Conan Doyle.
TBE: In your opinion, what is the most important thing about any book?
Bijaya Kumar Mishra: I think it’s the narrative that makes a book interesting to read. Even a very good story without an engaging narrative may seem to drag.
TBE: What was one of the most surprising things you learned during creation of your book?
Bijaya Kumar Mishra: A good thriller is the one that has some surprises in store even for the author at times.
TBE: Is there anything you are currently working on that may intrigue the interest of your readers?
Bijaya Kumar Mishra: Yes, I am currently working on my next book which is another thriller.