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Interview with Ashutosh Rawal, The Author of Why I'm Crazy about Japan

Ashutosh Rawal is a world traveler, photographer, teacher and, self-admittedly, a student forever. Leading an Ahmedabad- based Travel Company, his professional work in the field of Tourism, Destination Marketing and Corporate Events has taken him across various lands beside the length and breadth of India. Japan is ‘first love’, but its lasting impression is thanks to a long list, details of which are unfolded in this book.

Over half a dozen trips to the land since 1991 when he represented student organization AIESEC, Ashutosh enjoys teaching Tourism Studies and Japanese Learning Program at Ahmedabad Management Association besides writing on unique travel experiences. Adventure is oxygen and camera the companion where sports like para-gliding, sky-diving, bungee jumping, river rafting, zip trekking, canyoning, dune bashing, kite surfing and scuba diving take turns to thrill. As for the inner journey, working with Red Cross Society, Art of Living Foundation and NGOs, there’s never been a dull moment.

Ravi: What’s your favorite short story?

Ashutosh Rawal: The first story in the book and the story about a visit to Lake Biwa are my favorite stories in the book.

Ravi: The Best piece of writing advice?

Ashutosh: Be consistent and be disciplined in writing. You must write at a designated time every day even if you do not get new ideas. Keep writing and then you can always go back and edit it.

Ravi: Where do you write?

Ashutosh: Anywhere and everywhere. However, if it is near to nature, it is always fun.

Ravi: Where do you get your ideas?

Ashutosh: I get the best ideas in the bathroom…..!!!! And when I am going to sleep at night.

Ravi: Does writing energize or exhaust you?

Ashutosh: It makes me feel wonderful and satisfied.

Ravi: How long on average does it take you to write a book?

Ashutosh: There is no fixed frame but it should take 6-8 months if it is under 200 pages of the 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?

Ashutosh: Nothing……… should read as much as you can and I already did that while I was growing up. I read everything and all different genres

Ravi: What is your favorite childhood book?

Ashutosh: Tin Tin Comics

Ravi: What are your favorite literary journals?

Ashutosh: I don’t read Journals

Ravi: What one thing would you give up to become a better writer?

Ashutosh: Nothing… do not need to sacrifice anything to be a writer

Ravi: What was your hardest scene to write?

Ashutosh: I am a non-fiction writer and so I do not have to imagine anything. However, it is difficult to make it witty, hilarious and interesting. You need to have a good sense of humor and also a good sense of observation to dig out the humor in day-to-day activities.

Ravi: Do you Google yourself?

Ashutosh: Only after I published the book…never before, it occurred to me…!!!!!

Ravi: Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

Ashutosh: In fact, I wrote about all the embarrassing moments and secrets in my book. I think that it is the perfect way to share and connect with your readers

Ravi: Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

Ashutosh: Yes, it’s important for me to read the reviews of my book. It helps me understand my readers and that I do not make the same mistakes in the second book. Negative reviews would be challenging but the best way to learn. However, I am lucky to not get any strong negative reviews.

Ravi: Have you read anything that made you think differently about fiction?

Ashutosh: Nothing, that immediately comes to my mind

Ravi: What did you edit out of this book?

Ashutosh: Nothing apart from a Couple of proofreading mistakes.

Ravi: How many hours a day do you write?

Ashutosh: No fixed time for me. Sometimes, I write for a couple of hours and sometimes for few minutes when new ideas come to my mind. However, I need to change that and become more disciplined.

Ravi: How long were you a part-time writer before you became a full-time one?

Ashutosh: I am still a part-time writer….!!!

Ravi: What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

Ashutosh: Not much research in the case of my book. I usually write about my own travel experiences and the challenge is to make it funny and witty but deliver the important message or life lesson at the same time. However, I am careful that it should not sound like me preaching something.

Ravi: What’s the best way to market your books?

Ashutosh: The most important thing is to write a great book first and then market yourself on Social Media as well as through speaking assignments.

Ravi: How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

Ashutosh: One at a time

Ravi: How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

Ashutosh: I self-published my first book and it does not change my process of writing but it gives me an idea about the topics that people would like to read.

Ravi: What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?

Ashutosh: Anurita Rathore is an Author and a friend. She actively guides me on the editing part and publishing process.

Ravi: Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

Ashutosh: Being original is always better. Readers will eventually like your genuine and unique content

Ravi: What advice do you have for writers?

Ashutosh: Don’t think much…………start writing and finish the book that you have been always thinking about but never wrote or never finished.

Ravi: What are the most important magazines for writers to subscribe to?

Ashutosh: I would suggest reading the books in the same genre as you are planning to write. That would help much more than anything else.

Ravi: Tell me about your recent book to our Ravi Reads Blog Readers?

Ashutosh: This book talks about my heartwarming & unique experiences in Japan, which changed my vision & life forever. Initially, as an Indian student in Japan and later as a tourist and as an entrepreneur, I have had some amazing experiences. Each and every experience has been a mind opener and life lesson for me. It has been crucial in shaping my vision, my outlook and my success in life. This book is my tribute to Japan and my way of offering my deep sense of respect and gratitude to my favorite country in the whole world. In this book, I would like to share these experiences with you. The cultural differences have also created humor and I am sure it will make you laugh when you read certain hilarious experiences.

Second World War and the nuclear bomb attack in August 1945 completely devastated Japan. Thousands of people died and millions were affected by the radiation. However, in a short span of 25 years, this small island nation began ruling the world in terms of technology, innovation and best practices. Japan started being identified as a symbol of Trust, Creativity and high-quality products. Japanese Management System is considered to be the most efficient, reliable and trustworthy. Just the symbol “Made in Japan" was enough to blindly trust the product or services offered by them. Japan started ruling the electronics, car manufacturing, cutting edge technology and financial markets across the globe.

The dedication, discipline and integrity of a Japanese person or a company is rated highest in the world. This transformation happened due to hard work, a sincere approach and a mind-boggling level of discipline followed by the Japanese people. It made them one of the most respected and sought-after countries in the world. They virtually ruled the car manufacturing & electronics market for 3 decades with consistent quality and innovative products. This book offers an insight into these transformations and the thinking processes of an average Japanese person.

To Know more about Ashutosh's WHY I'M CRAZY ABOUT JAPAN check out this link.

Thanks to Ashutosh 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.


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