Swami Vivekananda once said, “Arise, Awake and Stop not till your goal is reached”. Arun Bhimavarapu aka Pavan has done just that in his pursuit of happiness. We all know that being a writer is not the easiest of professions. He has gone through many hardships to write and finally publish books that earned him his well-deserved acclaim. He is the author of two books namely “After that day I never saw her again” and “My Nightingale”, both of which enjoy great reviews online.
Arun comes from a middle-class family in Andhra Pradesh, India. He has had a good knack for storytelling right from his childhood. He has taken quite some risks to keep this trait in him alive and has beaten all odds to be where he is today. He left a secure job at a popular IT firm, worked at departmental stores to cover expenses, home delivered products as a delivery boy for an e-commerce platform to save money to publish his book, and even sold things he loved dearly to market his first book. After being denied an opportunity to publish by leading book publishers, Arun worked night and day to publish his first book himself.
HatkeStory got an opportunity to meet with him and we hope people draw inspiration from his story and thoughts that he shared with us.
What motivated you to become an author? Tell us a little bit about yourself and your journey?
“I can’t really say what motivated me to be an author or writer, but as far as I remember, back in school there used to be this girl I loved who used to talk to me only because I tell her stories of all kinds. That’s the only way I could get to her and I used to make up stories, so that I can hang out with her *laughs*. Later on we actually fell in love and that’s the first story I ever told this world – After that day I never saw her again, my first novel.”
HatkeStory: Love has always been a constant source of Inspiration for many people. Are we taking note people?
What is the hardest thing about writing for you? Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
“There is no hard part in writing really. Until you wanted to aim at a group of audience, create a world that they resemble them in, try to tangle them to plot twists or emotional avalanches… which are basic ingredients of story telling. These both points may sound contradictory, but if a writer watches closely and works thoughtfully, he always had a set of audience in mind subconsciously and one among them is himself. So I write what I feel like writing, but at the same time what I feel like reading too.”
Do you have a mentor for writing? How did your parents react when you told them that you wanted to try being an author?
Mentors are the books that crossed paths with me. People who inspired me with just single lines. Made me realize that art had so much power in it to change minds, shape thoughts and decide fates. I realized if someone who never knew me, someone who’s not even living now can influence me this much, I too can do the same. Help change people’s perspectives that are needed to be changed. Bring out lives of heroes who are never to be forgotten. And over all, to know my own self through this whole process. My parents had always been encouraging, as we belong to a family that always encouraged art even from the times of my great-grandfather.
What do you wish you knew before you started? What would be your advice to wannabe writers/authors?
The only thing I wish I knew was that writing a novel, or anything for that matter, is not as big a thing as we can’t get it done with what we already had. I realized that only after completing a novel after many years of thinking of whether to start or not. So my only advice to the wannabe writers is, ‘Start’.
There are few people who are passionate about narrating a story but fall-back because they feel they aren’t good at English. Is it necessary for people to have a strong grip on the language? Your comments on this?
Yes, language is important, but basic knowledge of it would do. Even I am not so good with English, but both my books were big hits only because I opted for simple yet thought provoking and entertaining narrations. And the thing that an author should take care of is getting hold of a great editor. With an editor who knows his job, your book sees brighter lights.
How do you come up with ideas/concepts for books? Tell us about your writing process and the way you brainstorm your ideas?
This one question, I would never know the answer for. I don’t know. Some of my works came to me in dreams literally.
How do you balance your writing, work and social life?
I really don’t. I don’t have a day job, so the only work I do is write. And I had a very limited set of friends I hang out with, and we all stay together. So there’s not much to maintain.
Do you feel it is hard for young authors to get the required attention in today’s market?
Not just today’s market. It is always hard to get attention from others. But in days of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and many more social networking platforms, I think we had an edge now, if it can be properly used.
What have you read that has especially helped you in writing/improve your writing skills?
Many wonderful books. But if I should mention few, I would say – Chalam Rachanalu, Thilak kathalu, books of Ken Follett, Jeffery Archer and Irving Wallace.
How long did it take you to research and put together the current book? How did you come up with the idea of a WW2/Freedom background?
It took me three complete months to sum up the material to start. Travelling to Kolkata and Delhi in search of the files that were declassified regarding Subhash Chandra Bose took most of the time. But as I already said, one day I just got the urge to write a love story that burned in the fumes of a raging war, and then started ‘My Nightingale’.
What has the overall reaction been to your book?
‘Overwhelming’ to describe in a single word. People ping me everyday saying that they love my works, stating that they have just completed reading and messaging me with all the love they felt. As I type this reply a guy named Abhinav Manthangode is messaging me on messenger saying that he was in utter excitement right now :)
Give us an interesting fun fact about your book.
My Nightingale’s raw story line is one of the time pass stories I used to entertain my friends with back in my intermediate when our study hour care taker used to take a power nap on his desk.
How did you break into publishing? Do you make enough from your book sales?
I have been rejected by many big publishing houses for NOT having enough of melodrama, soft porn and even as one of them stated ‘NOT enough masala’. I wondered if I am writing a novel or cooking Maggie. So I opted for self-publishing, which turned out to be one of the best decisions I ever took. And yes, I am making enough for my living ;)
What’s next for you? What are you working on now?
My third novel – Sambhavami, and few screenplays that I would be disclosing details about in few more months.
What is the best way for people to reach you to learn more about your writing and books?
You can always write to me at [email protected], message me on Facebook or Twitter. I always do reply, even if it takes little time.
HatkeStory: Arun Bhimavarapu has proved that the key to success is hard-work and determination. He has overcome hurdles thrown at him and aspires to become a good feature film writer someday.
So we end this wonderful story quoting India’s Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar
“When people throw stones at you,
You turn them into Milestones“