Karthick Hemabhushana is a software engineer by profession, but fell in love with writing. He did his Bachelor of Engineering and worked with many reputed companies like Larsen and Toubro Technology Services, HCL Technologies Ltd, and now currently working with Visteon technical and services center. He is based in Chennai and living with his wife and two kids. Karthick Hemabhushana was nominated as the Author of the Year, 2018 by StoryMirror for his contribution to the Writing World. His latest fantasy fiction book ‘Daredevil Dreams’ was published by Leadstart Publishing.
TBE: Daredevil Dreams is a phenomenally dark and suspenseful read. For those who have yet to read it, could you tell us a bit about the book Daredevil Dreams?
Karthick Hemabhushana: I liked the idea of a small boy helping the policemen to crack critical cases. Most of the children are getting addicted to the video games in the new generation; I thought it would be perfectly alright to bring up a ghost character along with it. Also I was aware that it would be a striking appeal to encourage children to play outdoor games than sitting in house and getting addicted to computer games. So, naturally, it needed a pinch of darkness in the story, that’s what I carried with blend of emotions. Plus I wanted to stress a point that how pitiful a woman without a child after her marriage.
TBE: Incorporating metaphysical or “meta” ingredients into novels has become popular recently, which makes me think back to how you’ve adeptly weaved intertextual horror references into your work. Do you ever find it tricky trying to integrate ‘ghost’ helping a living person into a book?
Karthick Hemabhushana: No, I didn’t feel it was difficult to bring a ghost character helping a small boy rather I felt it was convincing to let him play a pivotal role in it. I was careful that the darkside of the story should not compromise a relationship of boy and girl. At any point of time, the readers can easily relate themselves with characters like Disha and Arjun.
TBE: How do you go about blending elements of different genres—breaking through the walls that separate horror from mystery from thriller? Do you ever think about how one might cross into entirely different genres?
Karthick Hemabhushana: The characters and the plot evolved as I was writing. I had no intention of blending all the genres together. I only followed the characters and wrote what they did.
TBE: We’ve discussed a great deal of frightening material thus far. I just have to ask—what scares you? You’ve delved into so many nightmarish topics in your work. Is there one idea and/or thing that continues to frighten and compel you to understand it?
Karthick Hemabhushana: I’m always aware of the fact that I may die at any time. The life is not guaranteed for anyone. This awareness is what letting me to do my job freely. I love to live each minute to the fullest.
TBE: How do you get your ideas, and what usually comes first—the characters or the plot?
Karthick Hemabhushana: The main character comes first; I just follow him/her.
TBE: Do you outline the plot or some variation of that (a little/a lot of detail, a strict 3 act structure etc.) before sitting down and writing?
Karthick Hemabhushana: I just get an idea and starts writing. Initially I did, but later I stopped plotting. Plotting wasn’t reliable; it stops the imagination and the flow of the story. So I wisely choose not to plot a story any more.
TBE: I enjoy Arjun and the Ghost, what is your process for developing a character? Do you use pictures, a worksheet or just let the character(s) tell you about him/herself as you write?
Karthick Hemabhushana: I let the character(s) tell their story. That’s all I do.
TBE: Is there a particular book that inspired you to be a writer?
Karthick Hemabhushana: There are many out there. But particularly, I liked Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina. When I finished reading this novel, there were signs that I wanted to write.
TBE: How difficult it was to write the violent scenes in your books?
Karthick Hemabhushana: Not a difficult job unless until I enjoy this ride.
TBE: Is there anything you are currently working on that may intrigue the interest of your readers?
Karthick Hemabhushana: Yes, I’m writing a novel, which revolves around the software guys. All starts in a good note, but there is endless emotions, conflicts and thriller in it.