Interview with: Madhav Thapar

Interview: Welcome, Madhav. A few days back I finished reading the book “The Times We Live In”. First thing I would like to know, how did you manage to set up such a strong plot?

Madhav: When I start to write, I have a basic concept in mind. For example, for my first novel ‘A Friend Like Karna’, I wanted to tell the story of the heroic Karna in a modern day Corporate setting.

When I started to write ‘ The Times We Live In ‘ I had this vision of telling a story of two families that get separated during the 1947 Partition, and how their stories get intertwined through events down the decades such as The Emergency, 26/11, etc.

The details of the plot evolve as I write. Most of the times I do not know myself what will happen in the next chapter, and I definitely do not know how the story will end! I just go with the flow.

Interview: The story is unique with the best possible elements a thriller book can have. How much time did it take to you to write this book?

Madhav: Approx 7-8 months in all.

Interview: The book seems to have a lot of research on two major events like 26/11 attack and IND-PAK partition. How did you thought of connecting these events and make a story?

Madhav: I grew up hearing tales of the partition from my Grand Parents. 26/11 is an event I lived through. This is how the idea came about of telling a story that connected the two events.

Interview: Can you tell us what exactly “The Times We Live In” means? Our readers may be excited to know the story behind the title-deciding.

Madhav: My novel covers many real-life events that have occurred in recent times. Besides The Partition and 26/11, there are strong references to The Emergency of the ’70s, 9/11, The Kashmir Insurgency, etc. These are all events that my generation has lived through. It is also a fact that we live under the shadow of international terrorism. Hence the title of the book.

Interview: The book is doing very well in the Amazon and other platforms how do you enjoy this success of being a successful author?

Madhav: It is very gratifying that the book is being read and appreciated. What more can an author ask for?

Interview: I have seen many good reviews of this book. As an author, how exactly it feels to see such kind of love and appreciations from the reader.

Madhav: The readers have been very kind. I am still perfecting my craft, but my stories come from the heart and cover events and setting readers are familiar with. Perhaps this helps in their establishing a  connect, and of course, this makes me feel very good, and humbled at the same time!

Interview: How is your experience in self-publishing till now? Lots of authors are there and don’t know how to start with and how to have a perfect content to publish. What is your message for emerging writers?

Madhav: Self-publishing is a good option for first-time writers. It can otherwise be quite frustrating to do multiple submissions and await publisher approval as this can take months, or even years. There are just two areas an author has to be careful about in self-publishing: Quality and Editing. Also, marketing and promotion are entirely on your shoulders.

Interview: Your previous book “A Friend Like Karna” has also been favorite of many readers and received lots of love as well. How close is this book to you?

Madhav: Being my first book ‘A Friend Like Karna’ will always be special to me. Another reason is that it is based on a character that I have always greatly admired- Karan, the real hero of The Mahabharata!

Interview: In the book “The Times We Live In”, who is your favorite character? Can you tell about that character to our readers?

Madhav: An author can never have a favourite character just as a parent should not have a favourite child! However, I do try to make sure that all my characters, however brief their appearance, are relevant to the plot and have sharp characteristics for which they will be remembered. I also believe that no human being is perfect – so my characters all have strengths and weaknesses which make them easier to relate to.

Interview: Thanks for the wonderful talk, Madhav. At last, surely I want to ask on behalf of all readers that will we get another book from you very soon. How much time do we need to wait to have a next book authored by you?

Madhav: I have a new idea in mind. Let’s see how it develops…possibly by year-end or in 2020!

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