PepperScript in Conversation with Nistha Tripathi

  1. Seven Conversations (SC) is your debut novel. How challenging was the publishing industry?

Very challenging! Since I am an engineer, I had no understanding of how publishing works. Plus, I was in USA for last seven years, so Indian book market and its trends were also not very familiar for me. Good thing was that I was able to establish connection with some authors early on who had gone through the process and could give me an insider’s view and what to expect. So, I knew a rough ride lies ahead. Needless to say, it is hard to land a publisher for a debut novel especially by a person not connected to media or journalism. Writing an interesting synopsis itself is a tricky thing. For example, Anuj Bahri from Red Ink called me as my query had piqued his interest. Even though he could not take up the project at that point, he did give me couple of helpful feedbacks regarding the synopsis I wrote. This helped me later on. I was expecting a tough ride and was not going to give up easily. Eventually, Leadstart showed an interest and we signed up a deal. 

  1. SC is a spiritual fictional novel. What inspired you to weave the Hindu mythology with spiritualism?

The book is primarily spiritual. But instead of keeping it abstract and completely philosophical, I wanted to reconcile Hindu mythology with my sense of spirituality. This is mainly because I feel our ancient Vedic scriptures hold a lot of timeless wisdom which we, youth, are quick to reject because we don’t want to be orthodox. I wanted to convey that wisdom in form of a story we can relate to. So, there is lot of focus on Gita and Krsna in the book. At the same time, the message conveyed is religion agnostic. I strongly believe that all religions convey the importance of good values and inner happiness; I have put it in a fiction format where the protagonist is going through turmoil’s that are making her question the meaning of life. I have tried to answer those doubts (which I am sure all of us face at some point) in seven conversations. One of the conversations is also focused on ‘love’ because I think it is an integral part of finding inner happiness.

  1. As an author what would be your best conversation with ‘Meera’, the protagonist of SC?

I crafted each conversation to serve a specific purpose. Seven conversations are of pain, truth, heart, purpose, hope, light and self. I strongly recommend everyone to read the ‘Conversation of Self’ which ties the whole book together and is the soul of the book. All our answers lie within and that is conveyed beautifully in this conversation. 

  1. Your book is changing perceptions. How does it feel having changed lives?

It is very humbling. I was working in high paying jobs on Wall Street previously but I never got the satisfaction of doing something worthwhile. This book’s journey has given me immense happiness and a feeling of content. Frankly, commercial success was not my primary goal, I was just happy to have written a book that I loved and that I could be proud of. When that first feedback came and someone told me that the book has helped them find their peace, I felt the whole grueling journey has been worth it. And that feeling will keep me happy till I die. My family was also very proud of me after reading this book and that means a lot to me. It is a book that I could share with my parents and teachers. As you grow, you start realizing that financial success is not everything, life is so much bigger. 

  1. One question you think we all face in life undoubtedly. And why?

One question that we all ask inevitably at some point is ‘Did I do the right thing?’. It could be about a big decision you made or in general, the life choice you opted. One variation of it is – ‘What should I do?’ when we are facing a dilemma. I have covered this in detail in ‘Conversation of Heart’ in the book. Humans are constantly facing a battle of heart vs. mind. We think that we can control and plan out things and if we follow certain strategy, then our life would be good. At the same time, we are plagued by doubts – ‘what if?’ We feel that the grass is always greener on the other side. All this leads to is an eternal tug of war between different choices. We are never satisfied because we keep feeling that we could have done something better. This is the root cause of unhappiness in most of us.

  1. Who is your favorite author?

There are so many of them. To name a few, I would go for P G Wodehouse in humor. He is extremely consistent and the metaphors he comes up with are so unique – signs of a gifted writer. Other than him, I am also a fan of Kurt Vonnegut in satires and Keigo Higashino, best selling Japanese mystery author. 

  1. Not restraining only to SC, would you like to share with us your favorite quote?

“It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.”  ― André Gide, Autumn Leaves

  1. Did you overcome any dare before you could choose happiness over convenience?

It was more like a prolonged thought process than a dare. I have made many unconventional choices in life such as leaving traditional jobs to pursue things like writing, dropping out of a very competitive MBA program to pursue a startup, ending unhappy relationships etc. I think its about taking a leap of faith. The first time is obviously very difficult but then you get more accustomed to making such decisions in future. 

  1. Would you like to point the similarities between Meera and yourself?

There are many because the book is partly inspired by my own life experiences. We are both willing to choose happiness over convenience; we both are reserved, strong and spiritual. 

  1. Would you like to leave a message for Team PepperScript?

Absolutely, I think it is a great initiative because I have seen the struggles of publishing journey myself. I feel there are many deserving writers out there and it would be great if PepperScript can bring them to market and help them get to as many readers as possible. So, keep up the good work and I am also psyched about PS Comics and Comic Con 🙂

About the Author: Nistha Tripathi is a writer and entrepreneur – wanderer would be more appropriate. She is by education an engineering grad from UIUC and MBA dropout from NYU which she believes is not important. “I penned down Seven Conversations when I felt that life had given me a story to tell and it was my duty to tell it aloud,” she says.

About the Book: Seven Conversations is a thought experiment on life and existence. The characters might be fictitious but their questions are not.

More about the Book 

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Author Harper Lee, 55 years later..

55 years after her debut, Harper Lee, sent the literary universe into a spin after she announced she would be releasing a sequel to, ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ this summer named, ‘Go Set a Watchman’.

Although she has written the only novel, her debut novel wins the Pulitzer Prize and goes on to sell 40 million copies, perennially topping lists of the world’s best-loved books. The novel was written by Lee before To Kill a Mockingbird, but is set some 20 years later. It features Lee’s beloved character Scout as an adult, returning to her home town of Maycomb from New York to visit Atticus, her lawyer father, along with many of the characters from Lee’s debut. The deal to publish Go Set a Watchman was negotiated between the US publisher HarperCollins and Harper Lee’s local attorney, Tonja Carter.

Lee said in a statement attributed to her by her publisher that Go Set a Watchman was completed in the mid-1950s, but she believed the original manuscript had been lost.  “I hadn’t realised it had survived, so was surprised and delighted when my dear friend and lawyer Tonja Carter discovered it. After much thought and hesitation I shared it with a handful of people I trust and was pleased to hear that they considered it worthy of publication. I am humbled and amazed that this will now be published after all these years.”

Harper-Lee-Quotes-5

After publication of her debut novel, Lee largely retired from public life and did not release another work of fiction despite overwhelming demand, telling an interviewer in 1964 – her last major piece of publicity – that “I didn’t expect the book to sell in the first place”, and that the reaction was “just about as frightening as the quick, merciful death I’d expected like being hit over the head and knocked cold”.

How you make a best-seller, a best-seller?

How to make a story, a success?

Chilean author Isabel Allende once said that writing a book is like putting a message in a bottle and throwing it in the ocean. You never know if it will reach any shores. So just how do you go about facing an empty page, coaxing your ideas into the world and steering the end result toward shore?

We believe that all of us have a book inside us, a story to tell. But it’s not necessary that our book will become the next Pride and Prejudice or Othello, right? Nor does it confirm that we shall be the next Jane Eyre or Shakespeare.

Now, don’t be stuck in dilemma for we provide you some tips which could make your book a success (though we cannot guarantee).

If you thought wide vocabulary is needed for a book to sell, think again. Researchers at New York-based Stony Brook University analysed over 40,000 books from a broad range of genres, as well as film scripts to find that a high percentage of verbs, adverbs and foreign words could be the reason why some books are failing. Also, according to the research these failed books  rely on the words that more explicitly describe actions and emotions, such as “wanted”, “took”, ‘’cried’’ etc. They also use over used clichéd terms like ‘’love’’ and base their books on common geographical settings. This data has been collected through the technique called statistical stylometry and is found to hold true for 84% of the books.

Jug Suraiya- One of the most successful journalist and columnist of ‘The Times of India’ has a different idea on what makes a book sell. In his article ‘A novel idea’ dated 15 April, 2013 in ‘The Times of India’ Jug Suraiya refers to the ‘the vanity press’. In this, a writer will first have to put in some investment of about one lakh or two and approach a publisher to publish 3,000 of his copies. Next, he will have to hire a group of students on payment of the cost of his book plus a fee for their services to buy each and every sales book available on the shelves of the book store. Soon he will see how it gains the title of the ’bestseller’ and like all titles, this too does the work all by itself for itself. “Everyone will want to buy it because it’s a best-seller, and it will be a best-seller because everyone wants to buy it.’’

 

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Now, that we have taken the expert’s opinion, let’s add our own little pointers.

  • Try to come up with a unique or catchy title for your book. -They say don’t judge a book by it’s cover, yet if you find yourself in a bookstore trying to pick up a random book to read, what is that one thing you notice first? Yes, its title. Like the first line of the novel, it should captivate the buyer to read it.
  • Have it reviewed by no close friends to avoid subjective review or flattery You may join a writer’s club or chooses an unbiased acquaintance for the same.

 

  • Show; do not tell- Basically, instead of having a narrator describe us the character’s action, it would be preferable if we show it through the character’s actions. For example: Tell- John is extremely hungry; Show- John’s stomach rumbled.
  • Natural Dialogue- Try to make your dialogues as natural as possible. You could say them aloud, if you are not sure of how they will sound.

 

  • Involve All Senses- To really get the reader involved, try to stimulate more of the reader’s senses. For example, if you’ve gone ten pages without stimulating the reader (and character in the book) with an odor, or tactile feeling, sound, or taste, the book will have less immediacy.

Now, that you are armed, bring out your weapon and with all the courage that you can muster, without taking the opinions of others- START WRITING.

For more tips like these visit our facebook page : Pepperscript

 

Team PepperScript