Dr Diwakar Bansal is a practising surgeon at Shri Ram Group of hospitals, presently working in Jodhpur, Rajasthan. This is his second novel. He likes to write about the medical profession. He is presently national faculty as an advanced surgeon at many surgical conferences. Besides surgery, his passion includes reading fiction novels, listening to music, and writing of course. His wife, Dr Chetna Agarwal, is also a practising Gynaecologist.
TBE: Congratulations on writing Mortal Crisis. It’s a terrifying excursion into the world of medicine, money, manipulation and one of the most pressing ethical and public policy issues of our time. Could you please tell us more about your book that isn’t in blurb, its overall plot, and the main characters in it?
Dr Diwakar Bansal: Thanks a lot for the greetings! The book Mortal Crisis is about the existing medical practice and the system. The story is about the hospital which are overburdened with the work pressure and immense expectations. This is a medical thriller in which the patients who had just become ‘mothers’ start to perish despite any clinical explanation. The team of doctors try their best to save the patients but they could not find any disease that they can treat. Then Rajeev, Nandita and Vishal team up together to find the real culprit behind the calamity and the reason behind his hideous plan.
TBE: Your work brings together the genres of medical drama and mystery. What attracted you to writing in those areas?
Dr Diwakar Bansal: I have been a fan of too many genres. I have grown up reading all the different types of novels and equally enjoyed every genre. This story had been in my mind for too long. When I looked around I could not find any thrillers in this genre from India, so I started working on that and the result is with us today.
TBE: How this story first came to be. Did it start with an image, a voice, a concept, a dilemma or something else? Did you know how it’s going to end when you started writing?
Dr Diwakar Bansal: As I told this story was running back and forth for a long time in my mind. I just had to frame a story to wrap around with the main plot. Although I had to work hard with the ending and the clinical scenarios so as to be with the non-medical readers as well.
TBE: What made you decide to become a novelist in addition to a surgeon?
Dr Diwakar Bansal: This is the most frequently asked question to me these days. And frankly speaking I don’t know for sure. Maybe, because I have not seen much of the doctors writing any fiction or maybe after having read too many titles myself, I wanted to give it a try for myself. But in the end, I think it worked out well.
TBE: Obviously, medicine and science have impacted your writing, how has writing affected your practice of medicine?
Dr Diwakar Bansal: It has. Many of my colleagues now come to me to write about their experiences and their stories. On a few occasions, even few patients have come to me for their experiences with the medical illness and the part doctors played in their lives. I love to see the disease beyond the medical boundaries now because every patient has any kind of story attached to his life. It’s really great when you come across those parts of their lives.
TBE: Your novel has a recurrent theme of conspiracies by those in power. Did you make a conscious decision to use your fiction in this way?
Dr Diwakar Bansal: yes, deliberate. That was one way of saying that sometimes the medical field is being governed by those in power who do not have even the slightest idea how the field of medicine works. The targets are being decided by the people who are not aware of anything about the medical practice and our limitations as clinicians. We, as practicing doctors, are facing this situation very frequently in our day-to-day practice.
TBE: You seem passionate about educating your readers about science and medical policy. Tell us one thing that would surprise your readers to learn about you.
Dr Diwakar Bansal: I plan to entertain you for a long time with my stories and novels. I would love to be in contact with the readers and would love to write about their stories in my coming novels. I like to hear the stories and love to write about them.
TBE: What was your first thought when you first heard about COVID-19? What would be your advice to people and the government to fight with this virus?
Dr Diwakar Bansal: well, I am not an expert on the subject but as far as I know, a safe distancing mask and the vaccination will take us beyond the grip of this virus.
TBE: Which mystery and suspense writers do you draw inspiration from? What are your favourite books from the same genre?
Dr Diwakar Bansal: I have enjoyed thrillers from Robin Cook and Lee Child. They still are the favourites among all the others.
TBE: How was your publishing experience with Leadstart?
Dr Diwakar Bansal: This is my second novel with Leadstart. I have been thoroughly impressed with their professionalism and commitment. They have been very supportive and open to ideas. We have been working very closely with the second novel right now. I like their aggression in marketing. The team is superb and I loved working with them.
TBE: Is there anything you are currently working on that may intrigue the interest of your readers?
Dr Diwakar Bansal: I am working on two novels right now. One of them is a collection of short stories from our day-to-day practice. The other one is yet again a thriller from the medical genre. I intend to complete them both at the end of this year.