A keen observer of people, culture, and customs, it is the nuance that piques Sudhām’s interest. Years spent living in different cities of India at varying stages in life make fertile ground for his stories that delve into the grey areas of emotions and choices.
Twenty Somethings – For Love or Ambition is his second novel and it’s published by Leadstart publishing.
Sudhām lives in Suraj Kund near Delhi with his wife Surekha and daughters Mithila and Antara. He is currently associated with Luminous Power Technologies as Associate Vice President—Marketing and is championing the adoption of Solar Energy.
TBE: Tell us about your book, can you share with us something about the book that isn’t in the blurb?
Sudham Ravinutala: Twenty Somethings–For Love or Ambition is as much about maturing and coming of age as it is about a love requited. The plot is mounted on a wide canvas that depicts various relationships and the conflicts therein. The story told from the perspective of the protagonist Rishi, delves into the moral and ethical dilemmas that the life – both personal and professional, of a twenty something poses.
TBE: How did you come up with the idea for ‘Twenty Somethings’?
Sudham Ravinutala: Much as we want to, life and actions cannot be painted in the black and white binary – it actually thrives in the greys. The challenges that confront us vary with different phases of life. As a story-teller my firm belief is that the life we make is the outcome of the decisions we take. The stories I have told and those I want to tell stem out of these very choices that become the turning points of life!
TBE: When you develop characters for your book, do you already know who they are before you begin writing or do you let them develop as you go?
Sudham Ravinutala: The key characters in the stories that I tell are in some manner or form an amalgamation of people who I have known and observed! We all have a long list of acquaintances. Given a wide menu of options the broad strokes are drawn when the story is conceived. The detailing and the inner landscape of the characters however, evolves as the plot develops.
TBE: Who’s your favorite character from the book and why?
Sudham Ravinutala: From the sole perspective of the depth, journey and development of the character in the story – I would pick Rishi.
TBE: Could you describe the road from teenage Sudham Ravinutala to published author Sudham Ravinutala? In other words, how did you become a writer?
Sudham Ravinutala: The written word has held charm for as long as I can remember. My teenage years – as with most of us, have had a tremendous impact on the writer and person I am today. Writing has been a passion since my days in middle school when I started contributing poetry, essays and short-stories for the school magazine. With the advent of internet the old notebook gave way to blogging and soon enough there was audience feedback.
Every creative pursuit craves a response. It is this response that motivates and spurs one to get better. Publishing my stories in the form of a novel was the logical next step for me.
TBE: You have some uncanny ability to evoke emotion to describe in brilliant, excruciating, exhilarating detail what it’s like to be a teenager and adult in 90’s. How do you do it? Is it simply a matter of drawing on your own memories or do you use techniques to help take you back to that mindset?
Sudham Ravinutala: Each one of us is blessed with the ability to view the present from the prism of the past and the future. A part of my preparation when I set out to conceive my plots is to research the period in which they are set. I make an effort to read about the events and happenings that defined the time and try to use them as a backdrop. Being a Gen Xer myself, it does help in capturing the mood and vibes of the 90’s – the period in which Eighteen: The End of Innocence and Twenty Somethings—For Love or Ambition are set.
TBE: People love to read productivity tips from writers. Are there any you’d like to share?
Sudham Ravinutala: Writing is a very personal endeavor therefore there cannot be a one-size-fits-all approach to it. Nonetheless, here a few things that I follow:
Read widely– From comic books to management books, I invariably have a couple of books that I am thumbing through. It always helps to understand how their respective authors/creators are using the written word to communicate to their readers what their minds comprehended or imagined.
Jog your imagination frequently – I often find myself having fun with this exercise of giving backstories to random strangers I come across in malls, in transit or at social gatherings. From names to occupations, tastes to quirks, I imagine an entire life for them. It’s even more fun if you have a partner!
Spin a yarn – I seize every opportunity to tell a story with the same level of enthusiasm. Be it a presentation at work or an anecdote at a party the art of story-telling needs to be honed.
TBE: According to you what is the most challenging thing for budding writer?
Sudham Ravinutala: The most difficult thing for a writer is to stay true to the kind of stories one wants to tell. The inherent desire for success, appreciation and fame has the potential to lure one into writing what “works” or “has worked”. This is true for writers of any vintage.
TBE: How was your publishing experience with Leadstart?
Sudham Ravinutala: Extremely pleasant. The entire team understands the value of nurturing an author – giving space for developing an individual style for writing books while providing guidance to navigate through the business of selling books.
TBE: Is there anything you are currently working on that may intrigue the interest of your readers?
Sudham Ravinutala: Poetry is my first love. I regularly write poems in English and in Hindi that I publish on my website. I also publish satirical rhymes that are based on events and happenings that are in the news on my social media handles (@sudhaam).
On the novels/books front – I have two concepts that I am exploring and researching at the moment. My objective as a story-teller is to expand the scope and boundaries of my own stories while staying under the umbrella of my chosen theme of “Choices That Define Us”.