Some love stories touch your heart without making you cry rivers. And it is not often one comes across a storyteller, whose story feels like a tamarind pop, bittersweet with an aftertaste, yet something that makes you reach out for another one. Mumbai-based author Karan Sharma is one such storyteller, whose debut novel – It Happens – does exactly that. A predictable story with an unpredictable narration, It Happens is the perfect blend of serious thoughts and comic action. We spoke to Karan about his experiments as a storyteller, about what made him pick up such a sensitive topic and create a pivoting love story out of it, as well as the story of his own life. Here are some excerpts.
Tell us about yourself and what drives you.
I’ve had an interesting life so far. As a person I love exploring new ideas, thoughts, concepts, technology…life has to be lived by experiencing new experiences. I am a firm believer in God, in karma. Always do good and be good, it will come back to you manifold. Everyone goes through ups and downs in life, goodness just gives you the mental peace and strength to deal with all situations in a calm way.
What influenced or inspired you to start writing?
Writing stories started 12-13 years back when I just came out of college. I am a big movie fan and wanted to write stories which were fun and at the same time logical and thought provoking. So all the stories/books that I write, and will write in future, will be on topics which have not been depicted or written about much. Writing stories also gives me the opportunity to free myself and live the life of the characters in my books.
I had to put writing on the back-burner for the last 10-11 years as I was busy expanding the family business. But when I saw my two sons being so interested in reading books, it inspired me again to take up writing on a more serious note and that’s how the first book came about. It Happens was a story I had written twelve years ago and when this idea of self publishing presented itself to me, I rewrote the story in a month’s time from an originally 10000 word story to a 38000 word book in the current format. The day the book got published on Amazon Kindle – 21st September, 2017 – was one of the biggest highs of my life.
What is the book It Happens all about? How is it different from other love-stories?
It Happens is about two people falling in love, just that the two central characters have an age gap of twelve years between them. This kind of love story is found less frequently in books.
The uniqueness of this story is that the woman is the elder one. This presents a whole different dimension to the dynamics of their relationship. Every decision that we make in life, we face a conflict between the head and the heart. Head is logical and sometimes selfish whereas heart is sometimes illogical but selfless. The story is about this conflict which the couple faces. We, as readers can relate to it, because we face it with many of our own relationships in our daily life…eventually what we choose determines our future. The tone is light-hearted – it’s a rom-com with a message about relationships.
Are there any styles and genres that you prefer following when you write?
I do not intend to stick with a particular genre. That’s not me. For instance, the second book that I am writing is a romantic thriller whereas my first book is a romantic comedy. For me, it’s the story that inspires me to write a book. I always like to take up new challenges and story writing is a big challenge in itself.
- Also read Book Review: It Happens by Karan Sharma
How have the stories in your life influenced your style of writing, the characters in your story and the way you place your story?
Even though the main theme of the story is fictional, various incidents and sub-stories have some connection to experiences I have had, personally or through some person I know.
How you intertwine characters and the story-line is what makes the book enjoyable. For me story is the drawing and the characters the color, which makes the drawing or the story stand out. Another important thing for me while writing is to have some amount of humor added to the story or the stories tend to get boring. Getting people to smile is very important to me as a writer. In our day-to-day life, we are bound to be serious, so at least while reading one should have a smile on their face.
Is there any particular person or author who has influenced the stories you write?
For me as an author, the person I look up to has been John Grisham. His stories have been fast paced, engaging and dramatic…all those things which I wish to incorporate in my stories as well.
Any suggestions to those who want to take up writing as a profession?
Dedication and Passion are two things which are needed for anything one decides to take up. Being a writer is an amazing achievement as it shows the clarity of thought that you possess. Writing helps you immerse in a world where you play the God and help create it. Can’t get better than that! Writing though is one part of the process, the other and equally important is marketing the book, whose onus is again on the author. So be ready to challenge yourself in all ways possible when you become an author.
Your suggestion to our readers and other writers on how they can help in keeping stories alive?
A novel topic and the way the story is written always helps the writer create a special place for the book in the reader’s heart, keeping its relevance alive. Writing more books attracts more readers and acts as a story-pool for your audience to choose from. So don’t stop at one book…keep your creative juices flowing with more and more stories.
Don’t Miss: We love all those who can tell a good story. On Tell-a-Tale, we’ve featured a lot of talented storytellers.
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