Sunday, April 25, 2010

Drawing from life

Nothing gives Karan Bajaj as much thrill as writing about the common man stuck in bizarre situations...

After the success of his wild and racy debut novel, Keep Off The Grass in 2008, U.S.-based Karan Bajaj's second novel Johnny Gone Down (HarperCollins) is all set for release. Having already reached the mark of 50,000 in its first print run, the book has managed to generate excitement among book lovers. The technocrat-turned-writer reflects on his second effort and passion for writing.

On how he got into writing and his writing style...
Till I was about 22-23, I never really thought of what I wanted to do. I completed my engineering and then went on to pursue an MBA from IIM Bangalore. I got a fulfilling job that gave me ample opportunities to travel, as well as some great experiences which found their way into my books. (He now works with Kraft Foods in New York). As far as my writing style is concerned, I guess I am an old-school thriller writer. I love to write about conflict up-close, which can be seen in both of my novels.

On Johnny Gone Down
It is a deep, dark Forrest Gump-ish story that talks about the character's 20-year journey which takes him all over the world, where he lives as a genocide survivor, a Buddhist monk, a drug lord, a homeless accountant and a software mogul among others. It is a story about the unpredictable trajectory of events for a normal man who wants to live this strait-jacketed life but ends up in bizarre, surreal situations. The places mentioned in the novel are the places that I have travelled to.

There are portions of the book which talk about events, both historical and contemporary which struck me and inspired me, for instance the genocide in Cambodia in the 1970s.

Full interview here The Hindu

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