Author Interview: Jagan Mantha
Updated: Sep 3
Ravi: What’s your favorite short story?
Jagan Mantha: I think it was certain short stories of Yandamuri Veerendranath read sometime during adolescence time which I definitely made an impression over me.
Ravi: The best piece of writing advice?
Jagan: You are asking me for advice? Just evolving one’s writing style is what I would say is really a worthwhile thing to do. One may read many others, but then figure out one’s own style.
Ravi: Where do you write?
Jagan: I mostly write on LinkedIn & Facebook currently. Apart from this, I had published my maiden book.
Ravi: Where do you get your ideas?
Jagan: Ideas mostly emerge over a period of time. I am someone who connects something from the physical world which we all see to a metaphysical world, which is about ideas and possibilities.
Ravi: Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Jagan: Writing is a form of expression, so it does take a certain amount of energy. Sometimes it can be uplifting and some other times it may be exhausting particularly over social media when the kind of effort you have put does not get the desired impressions.
Ravi: How long on average does it take you to write a book?
Jagan: I am on my 2nd book only, so I can’t be called a serial author who can talk in terms of the average time for a book. My first book took almost a year as it went through many pauses. I hope to do much better with 2nd book.
Ravi: If you had to do something differently as a child or teenager to become a better writer as an adult, what would you do?
Jagan: I would have certainly started earlier and would have written a lot more during childhood itself which I did not, I only wrote what was required in an essay writing competition.
Ravi: What is your favorite childhood book?
Jagan: Chandana, the children’s monthly magazine.
Ravi: What are your favorite literary journals?
Jagan: I am not really a literary person although I read several columns of different kinds of influencers over the years.
Ravi: What one thing would you give up to become a better writer?
Jagan: I am yet to write anything substantial in the ‘fiction’ genre. I guess there is inner ‘friction’ to write fiction, which I need to give up if I really want to reach more people.
Ravi: What was your hardest scene to write?
Jagan: Did not write fiction yet so I can’t honestly answer this question. In the non-fiction genre that I wrote already, I did pepper several stories involving me and a few other close people of my life.
Ravi: Do you Google yourself?
Jagan: Yes, It is my LinkedIn profile that lands up as the first hit.
Ravi: Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?
Jagan: I guess very few readers actually read any book cover to cover. I am yet to find one that did with my book.
Ravi: Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
Jagan: Of course I do read every review posted, given that it is only one book so far. Among the 11 reviews so far while 10 of them had favorable comments even I had one review which said my was not helpful at all. I would have loved to have a conversation with that person as to what was his/her expectation and how it fell short. But often reviews are anonymous and you can’t do much.
Ravi: Have you read anything that made you think differently about fiction?
Jagan: While I read considerable fiction when I was younger, it got considerably reduced. I still do occasionally read fiction and it feels good particularly a gripping narrative, which nonfiction simply can’t match.
Ravi: How many hours a day do you write?
Jagan: Not more than a couple of hours
Ravi: How long were you a part-time writer before you became a full-time one?
Jagan: I still don’t consider myself to be a full-time writer. Writing is certainly one of the things I do. But part-time writing (blog writing) has been on for quite some time like over a decade.
Ravi: What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
Jagan: My current book which is focused on Unlearning & Relearning during COVID times, I had Facebook interviewed almost a dozen different people over a period of 6 weeks, however, I can’t say my research is fully done. So, it does take a fair amount of getting a fit with regard to the research on the topic.
Ravi: What’s the best way to market your books?
Jagan: I am still learning. Because I am a self-published author I look at various affiliations that I am already part of to market myself. Like Alumni networks of School, College or even X employer. I am also part of BNI Hyderabad which at least helps me to make my book visible within that network
Ravi: How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
Jagan: As I said currently on a 2nd one.
Ravi: How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
Jagan: For my 2nd book I had taken the approach of socializing the book first through fb live of conversations with some accomplished people in different spheres.
Ravi: If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Jagan: Should have started much earlier – but then it is better late than never!
Ravi: What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
Jagan: I am just a maiden book published author and know few more such people. Really not in the phonebooks of people like Chetan Bhagat or Amit Tripathi (Not yet at least)
Ravi: Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
Jagan: So far written only one book, which is just a modest success. It is an original attempt for a take on life & career transitions – now COVID pushed the whole world into a difficult transition. While my book may not be popular (as yet), it definitely has a worthwhile perspective for people to better their transitions.
Ravi: What advice do you have for writers?
Jagan: I would say all the best as it is a cakewalk at all to make a mark in the current circumstances. But still being an author has its own draw too.
Ravi: What are the most important magazines for writers to subscribe to?
Jagan: I would say subscribing the RSS feeds of the influencers you like itself is one worthwhile resource.
Ravi: Tell me about your recent book to our ravireads Blog Readers?
This is a perspective on navigating through uncertainties during life & career transitions. It has been written in a reflective language but a lot of moviesto , great epic examples apart from my personal narrative sprinkled in between.
My focus was that reader would find the writing as an enabler for relating and deepening the clues for himself/herself. By Will, I refer to the capacity for taking sustained actions, Skill is about getting the capabilities part right, whereas the Chill I present as the most important factor to regain composure and one’s original nature, even in the face of the high amount of uncertainties.
To Know more about Jagan's Will, Skill & Chill Check out this link
Thanks to Jagan for agreeing to this interview! If you know of an author who’d like to be featured in an interview (or you are an author who would like to be featured), feel free to email me at the address on my contact page.