Interview with Jatin Kuberkar, The author of The Treasure Syndicate
For the mortal world, He pretends to be a Software Architect who works hard (or hardly?) in the hours of a day. He is the guy next door, a hardcore Harry Potter fan, and a movie buff. He literally ‘live’ every movie He watches, he has strong opinions about its content, and he hates it when a movie based on an interesting concept is messed up for the sake of commercial value. He enjoys watching cartoon shows with his son. he never gets bored of listening to the endless chatter of his wife. When he is not writing, he makes toys for children.
Ravi: What’s your favorite short story?
Jatin: I do not have a particular favorite story that I can pick but I do have a favorite short story writer. R.K Narayan. He is a real inspiration!! So, from his vast ocean of brilliantly written short stories, Nitya is one of my favorite ones. Apart from his works, I also love stories by Ruskin bond – especially “The Blue Umbrella”
Ravi: The Best piece of writing advice?
Jatin: None 😊 every author is different, with a unique style.
Ravi: Where do you write?
Jatin: I generally ‘Write’ in my mind. Most of my writing is done when I travel to work or when I take the morning walk. The plotting, character building, the imagery is all actually done in my mind. Then, on the weekend, I type it down….
Ravi: Where do you get your ideas?
Jatin: Most of my books so far are based on real-life inspirations. I see something which hits my core and from there a churning starts. It transforms into a two-pronged thing. “what if this is not” OR “what if this is how”. Everyday life gives me a chance to explore numerous multi-colored characters and I silently drew them into my writings.
While I say that, I am also a firm believer that Ideas come from a mystic source. They choose their own targets to meet their purpose.
Ravi: Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Jatin: It depends on what I am writing. A strong, emotional piece makes me ponder, hearty light material makes me laugh/relax as I write it out. An exploration makes me travel the world. Sometimes they bring back old memories and make me cry out of nostalgia.
Ravi: How long on average does it take you to write a book?
Jatin: A book can never be called complete!
Every time I read my own work, I find improvements and some possible evolution for the storyline.
Having said that, writing a book is a combination of creative parts and edits/publishing sections. In my view, the creative part can never be estimated; there are times when I completed writing more than fifty pages in a day and on some occasions, I fail to write a single page. Whereas, the edits/publishing part can take about a year!
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?
Jatin: I wish I had access to more books!
Ravi: What is your favorite childhood book?
Jatin: My childhood was filled with the stories by my grandmother and then, Tinkle, Chandamama. It was only after I migrated to Hyderabad for a job, I started reading novels and mainstream Literature.
Ravi: What one thing would you give up to become a better writer?
Jatin: I don’t think I need to give up anything… but I should learn to accommodate more!!
Ravi: What was your hardest scene to write?
Jatin: The toughest one for me so far was to portray Acharya Agnihotri’s character for my latest book, The Treasure Syndicate. Acharya is a multi-shaded yet very simple character. He is a bearer of an ancient mystic legacy. There is a mystery surrounding him, yet there is ease in his behavior. He is strange but very simple. He is different but lives and gels with/among commoners.
Portraying this character took me a lot of time… I can say that Acharya is one of the best characters I ever came up with.
Ravi: Do you Google yourself?
Jatin: sometimes 😊
Ravi: Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?
Jatin: Yes – only if the story demands! In The Treasure Syndicate, I have planted some secrets within the story. This is mainly to hook the readers to the next one in the series.
Ravi: Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
Jatin: I read every review of my book. Needless to say, good reviews build confidence. But a bad review is something I pay extra attention. I learn from it…and improve on the feedback.
Ravi: Have you read anything that made you think differently about fiction?
Jatin: As I said, everyone has a style of writing. So nothing has changed my style.
But there are a few authors who, in my view, have explored the depths of fiction from a different/fresh POV. Anand Neelakantan’s Asura in one such book.
Ravi: What did you edit out of this book?
Jatin: A lot!! The Treasure Syndicate’s initial draft was more than 1 lakh words!! The concept is such that it keeps evolving itself.
Ravi: How many hours a day do you write?
Jatin: I do not write regularly. But when I start writing I write continuously for hours (at times days) together.
Ravi: How long were you a part-time writer before you became a full-time one?
Jatin: 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?
Jatin: Research goes on parallelly as per the story. I think the main source of research today is the Internet. But on certain notes, I do refer to history books and non-fiction compilations.
For character sketches, I solely bank on my observations. I am a keen observer! I steal images/people/personalities from real life and put them in my stories!
Ravi: What’s the best way to market your books?
Jatin: Marketing is a reality that never understood. I have tried a lot of ideas and avenues only to conclude that there is no one proven best way to ‘market’ books. The authors just have to keep pushing through social channels and try to get as many reviews as they can.
Ravi: How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
Jatin: There are a couple of ideas I am working on for 7 years now, but I am yet to bring them into a comprehensive structure. I don’t like to write a common story in a complicated form! I believe in exploring a complicated concept in a simple/relatable style…
Ravi: How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
Jatin: It changes in 2 aspects. Self-editing and marketing. After my first book ‘While I Was Waiting’ published in 2014, I realized the importance of self-editing from some of the reviews I got. Marketing, as I said already if a different ball game with every book – on this I keep learning every time…😊
Ravi: Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
Jatin: ORIGINAL! Nothing more, nothing less!
Ravi: What advice do you have for writers?
- Don’t be in a hurry to publish. Take your time, edit your work
- And, try to tell unique stories or explore a concept from a different point of view.
Ravi: Tell me about your recent book to our Ravi Reads Blog Readers?
Jatin: The Treasure syndicate is a modern age treasure plot with its roots in ancient mythology. It is a unique take on the process of treasure excavation. This story is based on a real 15-minute conversation I had with a cab driver. the story as told by the driver is actually the base of this novel.
Blurb: it happened at the dawn of Kaliyug when demon Kali resolved to enter Aryavarta and encountered the last Pandav king. A curse, followed by blissful enlightenment gave the world its first ‘Nidhi-Palak’ or The Guardian of Treasure Troves in the form of Lord Kuber’s mortal son, Suta. In time, the Guardian bloodline is scattered all over the world.
The Treasure Syndicate is always a team of five;
Acharya Neelkanth Agnihotri is a committed Guardian. In the grab of an astrologer, he searches for hidden treasures, with which he commissions the tasks of Lok-Kalyan. Dr. Mahesh secretly finances missions for Acharya, Kumar is favored by unfathomable luck, Jabbar is a legendary digger, and Srikanth is just a common man.
Bound by the elaborate framework of coincidence, destiny and fate, the Mission of the Syndicate is not a cakewalk. The dangers are real, and the conditions are never favorable.
A haunting past awaits, as the mission turns upside down, mysteriously.
Thanks to Jatin 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.