An Electronics and Telecommunications Engineer from Jadavpur University, Sourabh Mukherjee works in a senior leadership position in a leading global consulting and technology services firm.
Author of several publications on emerging trends in business and technology, Sourabh has been a speaker in various national and global conferences and technology summits. Sourabh has a flair for writing and traverses between the worlds of technology and literature with ease. Sourabh has also been featured in Flokka’s list of 30 all-time great quotes on soul-mates. A keen observer of human behaviour and cultural diversities, Sourabh loves travelling and has travelled across USA and various countries in Europe and Asia.
An avid reader of fiction, Sourabh is equally passionate about photography movies and music.
1.Tell us about yourself?
An Electronics and Telecommunications Engineer from Jadavpur University, in my day job, I work in a senior leadership position in a leading global consulting firm. With several publications on emerging trends in business and technology, I have been a speaker in various national and global conferences and technology summits.
I started my writing career with the popular e-books Nargis Through my Summers and Loves Lost. My short stories in various genres were also published in international e-zines like Romance, Under the Bed and eFiction.
In the Shadows of Death is my debut novel. A psychological thriller, set in the city of Kolkata, In the Shadows of Death is a whodunit with a heart-rending emotional core, that was published by Srishti Publishers and Distributors in December 2015. The book has been received very well by readers, has been rated highly by reviewers, and has found special mention in publications like The Hindu, Hindustan Times, New Indian Express, The Free Press Journal, Absolute India tabloid and so on.
2. Who inspired you to write ?
Jeffrey Archer is an all-time favourite. I think he is an institution when it comes to storytelling – whether it’s his novels or his short stories.
I have been a big fan of Agatha Christie – mainly because of Poirot’s methods of investigation, the witty repartees, the human emotions at the core of the crimes. The Byomkesh Bakshi stories by Saradindu Bandopadhyay have inspired my writing immensely.
Among more recent crime authors, I like the Alex Cross stories by James Patterson – not just for the thrills, but also for the underlying human emotions. I was floored by The Devotion of Suspect X and Malice by Keigo Higashino. I love the Cormoran Strike books by Rowling more because of her superior writing style and the characterization of Strike. I am hooked to the works of Gillian Flynn.
3. Writing for you is.. ?
Writing is a passion that actually allows me to unwind. Sometimes, stories have grown from thoughts I pen down at airport lounges or on long flights during my business travels. I believe if you are really passionate about something, you end up finding time for chasing your dreams.
4. Tell us about all your book which have been published so far?
I started my fiction writing career with the popular e-books Nargis Through my Summers and Loves Lost. Nargis Through my Summers and Loves Lost were released in one cover as Romance Shorts. My short stories in various genres were also published in international e-zines like Under the Bed, eFiction and Romance. I won the Golden Pen Award in the Monsoon Romance Contest organized by Sulekha.com in 2014, which came as a huge motivation.And then, In the Shadows of Death was published in mid December 2015 by Srishti Publishers.
5. When is your next book coming?
I am currently working on the next Agni Mitra thriller ‘The Colours of Passion’ which would be released this year. Indian English fiction sees a void in terms of a pan-Indian detective, though we are a huge nation of English speaking people. Agni is my attempt at creating such a contemporary, relatable detective and since he has been received very well in the first book, a series could definitely be on the cards.
6. What were the challenges you faced while writing your first book?
The amount of research one needs to do before writing a book depends largely on the subject.
Let us take my latest novel as an example. ‘In The Shadows of Death‘ deals with homicide investigation and coming from an entirely different professional background, I did a fair amount of research into areas like forensics, autopsy procedures, DNA studies, cyber forensics and so on.
These, of course, were supplemented by my own studies on criminal psychology, which is a subject of personal interest.
7. Do you find any change in your writing style from your first book to this one ?
The way I look at this is, I write only about human relationships. The many ways in which they unravel and manifest themselves end up creating stories that sometimes excite us, scare us, or make us sad – leading to corresponding categorization of the stories into genres like Romance, Horror, Drama or Thriller. But, it’s always the complicated and unpredictable human nature at the core of everything.
8. When do you prefer writing?
Honestly, I do not follow a fixed routine when it comes to my writing.
I create a basic structure and chapter outlines and then I start writing the chapters with the basic premise in sight. And I let go, letting the sights and the sounds in my mind take over. It is, therefore, extremely important for me to be in the ‘appropriate’ frame of mind to write. I need to be in those situations myself. Therefore when I am writing a story, there are days when I am not in the ‘appropriate’ mood that the work demands, and I do not write a word.
What I always hear from my readers is that they can visualize the scenes, and relate to the characters. And now you know why.
9. Tell your readers a little bit about “ In the Shadows Of Death”.
In The Shadows of Death is a fast paced psychological thriller unfolding in the city of Kolkata, with Agni Mitra, Assistant Commissioner of Police, investigating into a series of murders of adulterous women, even as he has to battle storms brewing in his personal life. The voice of the serial murderer, whose identity is undisclosed till the climax of the story, runs in a parallel track across the novel providing the reader with insights into the killer’s traits, his actions, and his emotions.
The detective is not portrayed as an infallible law enforcement machinery. He is a human being dealing with personal issues. The character of the serial-killer, on the other hand, is not uni-dimensional either, and a parallel track throughout the novel in the voice of the killer provides insights into the dark recesses of the killer’s mind.
10. Message for new writers…. ?
It is important to create real, identifiable characters in a story – unless of course one is writing a fantasy or a superhero story. Correct use of the language is essential. An author should ensure that a story progresses at a uniform pace – a story that slows down after an energetic start is a big let down. Finally, it is not about the length but always about the impact of a story. I have read 1-page stories that have left me thinking for days.
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