Tuesday, November 11, 2014

A Meet with Tony Drury, an author from the UK.
This is the first time I am going for an author talk or a writer group meeting.  The meeting was supposed to start at 2 pm and I, enthusiastically, reached the central MK library 30 minutes early. I thought that I would be alone but surprisingly, Mr.Tony was already present. Thank god, I have the author for myself now, I thought. I asked him a few questions.

Me: When did you start writing?
Tony: I have always written about finance, but I started writing fiction after my retirement.
ME: Is it a disadvantage not to be a native English speak in the writing industry?
Tony: Not at all. In fact, it's a advantage. When you are going to bring out your culture, Indian culture, in the book it is going to add to the interest of the foreign readers. Indian culture is alien to me and when I read books that deals with it, I get interested.

Later, a lot of people joined us. It was a pleasure to listen to Tony Drury talk about writing and best practices. Tony' speech can be read below (written and reproduced by me)

'Writing has no rule. Everyone has their own rules. So I can just tell you what rules I have for myself which might work out for you as well. If you ask some other writer, you will be given a different set of rules that the author follows. So the first thing you need to know about writing is that there are NO RULES for it.
            I usually split my book into 20 chapters with 4000 words in each chapter. I split the book into two halves and have a climax for both. I write 2000 words per session. This is how I work because after 2000 words my minds drifts off. That's my threshold and it can be different for you.
            Two approaches to writing a novel has been widely practiced by successful writers. One, they plan each chapter meticulously before getting on to writing. Two, they write it on the go. I follow the latter. You can take up whichever works for you.
            A cover is most important to get noticed. That's the first impression you create in a potential reader and you just have two seconds to grab his attention. So it is very important that you use an apt and catchy cover design. I have a theme that I follow in each of my book.' He said that and showed us the wonderful cover of his latest novel.

'The next important part of a novel is the blurb at the back of the book. With those few lines and little space one needs to grab the attention and rise the curiosity of the reader. Usually, the blurb is written by a third party, in my case the publisher.
I usually write romantic thrillers. It's always interesting to have a bit of love in your story. I also check the facts with a detective who advices me on the facts about the department and the practical reality.
There are some writers who write just for the sake of it. They keep publishing the same story in different titles out of pressure to keep publishing. This is not a healthy practice. We need to write to communicate the story to the reader. It astonishes me when a writer is able to write purely romance for 200 pages yet keeping the reader gripped to the tale. That's most important, to keep the reader breathe along with the story.

It is important to follow the guidelines for submissions given by literary agents, however trivial you think it might be. '

He gave us all a copy of Hanna's choice, a short story written for Heart UK. When talking about short stories he said 'Writing a short story is more difficult than writing a 80k words long novel. In a novel you have enough time to bring out the emotions of the characters but in a short story you will have to communicate everything in 3000 words.'

He was also generous enough to give away two copies of his latest novel, The lady who turned, to two among us. 

Link to buy this book

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