Gaurav Tahlani is the author of five short stories that have been published as The Lover’s Point in the US. He made his debut with the novel I CALL IT THE CITY OF LOVE. Mr. Tahlani is a businessman, hotelier, and restaurateur. In his spare time, he loves to pen stories and publish them digitally for his readers.
1. Tell us something about yourself.
Born and brought up in Purnea, Bihar, I finished my schooling at Pilani, Rajasthan and completed my graduation from Mumbai University. After coming back to my hometown in 2018, I took over my father’s business. My writing career began in 2019 when I started writing short stories and uploaded them on my website. The appreciation I received compelled me to write a novel. Apart from writing, I love to spend my time learning from the chefs in my own restaurant. Also, I love to travel and explore different parts of the country though I wouldn’t call myself a traveller because I don’t travel that often.
2. What compelled you to write this book?
It was not at all easy for me to settle back in Purnea after relishing three years of my life in the southern parts of Mumbai. I used to pour my feelings out into my laptop, sort of like maintaining a journal. While penning down my thoughts, I realized I actually enjoyed writing and so, I penned a few short stories that were loved by many readers.
My fifth short story detailed the love between an Indian boy and a Pakistani girl. It was appreciated not just in India, but also by readers in Pakistan. This gave me the confidence boost I needed, and I decided to do something big and so, I decided to write a novel. Mumbai has been really close to my heart and so, I connected this love story with a few of my real moments in the city of dreams. Now, I am glad to have the book in my hands which will always remind me of those beautiful moments that I have spent in Mumbai.
3. For how long have you been writing this book? What challenges did you face while writing?
I started writing this book in April 2020, and it took me only three months to finish writing the story. After that, every single thing seemed like an obstacle. It was challenging to go through the manuscript time and again. I’d given up on the project at one point. But after a short interval, I started working on it again and finally sent it to a professional editor for reviewing and proofreading. The wait to have my manuscript back was yet another challenge. Handling incessant refusals by the publishers was even tougher; it killed my confidence each time. Trust me, the odds were always stacked against me. Even now, when the book is published, the real challenge is to sell my hard work of one-and-a-half years and make it reach its target audience.
4. What is the most memorable moment for you throughout the journey of the book?
There’s just one thing in the process of writing a book that’s up to the author and that is the creation of characters, plots, scenes, and the story. In simple words, I think that authors are the Gods of their creation. So, the way I used to spend hours just plotting the story and developing the characters will always be remembered.
5. Is writing your hobby or passion?
I would have never been able to do this interview if the writing had just been a hobby. One can’t achieve the result they desire if they aren’t passionate about achieving it.
6. Are you planning to write again?
Of course, I will write again. I just want to keep writing forever. Who wouldn’t want to continue doing what they love? Each and everyone in my audience is super special to me, and even if there is even a single reader waiting patiently out there to read my stories, I’ll write it for them.
7. Do you believe that when an author dies a reader is born?
I have heard a lot about this phrase, and in my opinion, people often misinterpret it. They think that the phrase is talking about the disappearance of the author, but the real definition is not even close to it. This phrase simply indicates the absorption of the author into the art itself. And yes, I do believe in this phrase because once an author gets completely absorbed by his art, only then can they connect their art with their readers.
8. For you, what is literary success?
When I finished writing this book, I thought I had succeeded. Little did I know that the reality was far different. This was just the start; I had to get it edited, proofread, sent to the publishers. After sending it to several publishers, settling for one, and finally getting my book published, I thought I had surely succeeded now, but no. I now had to sell it. I think the definition of success changes at every stage of accomplishing previous goals. For instance, at this moment, selling 500 copies of my debut novel will define success for me. However, I also know that my hunger to sell more will increase and selling 5000 more copies will be another success.
9. Do you have any piece of advice for the budding authors out there?
Achieving your dreams is not at all easy. It might sound cliché, but the truth hits you hard only when you are well on your path to achieving your dreams. So, keep working and keep going. Take a small break when things get too overwhelming, but don’t stop. Dreams are achievable; some might take longer but they all can be achieved.
10. What it’s like to be with 24by7 Publishing?
24by7 Publishing has given me the chance to become the CEO of my own book. It has given me the opportunity to achieve my dreams of becoming an author. Although their services could be deemed a bit slow, the fact is that the team is humble, polite, and cooperative more than makes up for it.
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