Thursday, March 08, 2007

Meet Tuhin Sinha - author of That Thing Called Love

I was in Mumbai last month to attend Kitabfest. The literary festival had loads of authors - probably more authors than publishers, socialites, communicators, media and celebrities. And some readings and some networking - some real desperate networkers who were there just collecting visiting cards without even checking who that card belonged to. Got to admire that for speed of acquisition. There were some who were handing over their visiting cards like people distribute handbills at a railway station.

With Indian authors becoming more visible it was not long before I bumped into one of them. We got talking about his work, hobbies and the experience of getting published. Tuhin is also seeking to act in Bollywood. But mainly it was about his book called THAT THING CALLED LOVE Just finished reading it



AB: Hey I just finished reading your book. Liked the concept of the story and the way you have written it. Almost like a film script. We both share a love for Jampot. You studied there right?

Tuhin: I studied at Loyola School, Jamshedpur.

AB: And stopped at that?

Tuhin: No, then went to Hindu College, Delhi and National Institute of Advertising, New Delhi.

AB: And now you are a scriptwriter too. You do that for a living? I mean no one (except JK Rowling and a few others) survive on the royalties of their book :)

Tuhin: I am a scriptwriter based in Mumbai. A tele-film called Phir Se, that won me the RAPA award for the Best Tele-film, 2005. That encouraged me to co-script Pyar Ki Kashti Mein a show that was shot exclusively on a cruise.

AB: From Telefilms to movies. Is that the plan?

Tuhin: I am working on two movie scripts for directors, Onir and Subhash Sehgal respectively.

AB: Tell me about your book That Thing Called Love. I love the cover photo.
Tuhin: It's a story about the dark side of relationships, set in one Mumbai Monsoon. Another way to put it would be that the book delves into the complexities in contemporary urban relationships.

AB: How do you describe your writing style? Was it easier writing fiction having written screenplays?

Tuhin: Well, I've been a scriptwriter for the last 5 years. So the book I can say was a logical extension/ diversification for me. More honestly, I wanted to break out of the anonymity of being a TV scriptwriter and since I had a story which I felt, had good commercial worth for a novel, I went ahead with it.


AB: How did you go about finding a publisher?

Tuhin: Well, Rupa and Penguin were the first publishers whom I approached. I approached them with just two sample chapters but they didn't seem interested. Thereafter, I approached almost all known publishers whose books I could find at leading bookstores. I would find out their numbers from the 'just dial' service and call them up. I believe in destiny and when something is destined to happen, it does happen. I mailed my entire manuscript to Srishti on the evening of 2 nd July last year and by morning next day I was told they were going ahead with the novel.

AB: What is the role of the author in the book becoming a commercial success?

Tuhin: The author has a huge role to play. That's because the book like any other product or brand has to have a specific positioning. Commercial success depends a lot upon attractive packaging. And at least in the Indian context, the onus for the marketing exercise rests almost entirely upon the author. Moreover the profile of an author has changed a great deal of late. Nowadays, authors are a lot more interactive. There is a definite effort on their part to reach out and interact with their readers. This, no doubt, tends to involve readers a lot more. It's also a good trend because I'm sure it inspires newer people to take to writing.

AB: What should one look for in a publisher?

Tuhin: A lot of things: a) compatibility in terms of creative sensibility b) editing and production standards as established by the publisher's previous books c) distribution network or distribution tie-ups of the publisher d) marketing capabilities. Having listed these, let me be frank enough to add that a first timer is not in a position to choose. The sheer incentive to become published author would make you go for whichever publisher is willing to accept your work.

AB: What does a publisher look for in a manuscript?Tuhin: I don't think I would be the right person to answer this question. From whatever little my experience has been, I think Indian publishers are of two kinds. One who would go solely by content; And the other, who rely entirely upon PR agencies doing the job for them. There again, the cost of PR is never borne by the publisher. AB: The role of the editor in the making of a book

Tuhin: The editor has a pivotal role to play. Many publishers, unfortunately, go only for copy editing. However, in my view, it's equally important for the editor to have a good story sense. Content editing only improves quality manifold.

AB: If your book was not a commercial success would you still continue writing?

Tuhin: Yes.

6 comments:

A silken bond with life said...

Hi Abbey,

I haven't read your book still though I saw it on the stands. However, I am sure it would be good.

That aside I came to your blog while looking for Tuhin's pages.

Its interesting to talk to a writer though so I thought I wud say a quick hellow to you :-)

Anonymous said...

This is a book that is capable of depressing you. Definitely not worth the time you would rather use for better things. This is undoubtedly the worst book of hundreds of books I have read so far. Very disappointed :(

ThoughtXpress said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ThoughtXpress said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ThoughtXpress said...

I have no bloody idea if you are gonna read this

Mediocre But Arrogant....is undoubtedly THE WORST BOOK EVER WRITTEN...or the worst book i ever read...
I'm glad someone who's commented above completely agrees with me...

The character Abbey....is so immoral.....plays with everyone's emotions.....i didnt even wish to complete the book.....and it is indecent in its portrayal

God knows, how people can ever tolerate such a book, that is nothing but disgusting....
It had started off well with Rusty & Abbey's conversation.

It drifted unnecessarily to SRCC
Such a horribly messed up 'lust life'

Yes, there's no chance of this guy called 'Abbey' ever being capable of 'truly loving' anybody on this earth except himself, ofcourse.....!!!!!!!!!!!

I feel sorry for Keya...and to some extent, also for Ayesha.....

I wish someone could give me the time i wasted in reading such an ammature stuff.....back!!!
I want my time back!!!

This takes away one's belief on 'love' and if a man is ever capable of loving any woman on this earth.....

I'd a lot of negative feelings after reading the book, especially about the character 'Abbey'.

This book only fills you with negative energy

ThoughtXpress said...

PS:I deleted the above 2 comments as they had been repeated