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Interview with Khushwant Singh


Khushwant Singh
Pizza Religion

Q.1 Tell us a little about yourself? Perhaps something not many people know?
A. Well, I belong to a business family, we are into manufacturing of truck containers, spare parts, seeds, and a few other businesses. I was always a mediocre student who was barely interested in studies, but destiny had other plans for me.

Q.2 How many unpublished and half-finished book do you have?
A. I have close to sixty half-written, unpublished books on my laptop, and I am not joking.

Q.3 Where do you get your ideas?
A. Basically, I don’t run after ideas, anything that gets my attention, and if that thing got some substance, I start working on that.

Q.4 What advice do you have for writers?
A. Stop looking at the bestsellers, write something that is very natural to you, don’t try to impress anyone, if your book is natural, it will eventually become successful.

Q.5 Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
A. The naked truth is that I don’t write for readers, what they are reading these days, what books are doing well, I write only what I want to write.

Q.6 If you could tell your younger writing self-anything, what would it be?
A. Read more books, I got terrible command over the language, I am extremely dependent on editors, and even I don’t know how many mistakes are there in this interview?

Q.7 What are the most important magazines or websites for writers to subscribe to?
A. Seriously I don’t know, but try to read whatever gets your attention, anything well written and well researched will eventually help you.

Q.8 What is the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?
A. I don’t feel any problem in writing characters from the opposite sex, I think I am very much feminine in a way because I was always very close to my mother, aunts and my cousins, I am not bragging, but I think I am a good listener, and it helps.

Q.9 How do you select the names of your characters?
A. Anything that pops up in my mind at that moment.

Q.10 Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
A. Yes, I read all the reviews, but I don’t take criticism personally, people have different taste, and I think it is their right to fry or burn a book if they don’t like it.

Q.11 Does your family supports your career as a writer?
A. Yes, they don’t interfere with my choices, or you could say that I don’t care about what others think, I do what I want to do, but deep down in their mind, I know they don’t consider writing as a bread earning a thing, which is true, because I am still very much dependent on other sources of income. In near future, if I become a bestseller like Chetan Bhagat or Amish Tripathi then scenario could be different.

Q.12 What do your fans mean to you?
A. Do you think I have fans, I mean seriously, yes I love to interact with them on Instagram or over an email, and few of them became very good friends of mine, so sometimes we talk as well.

Q.13 How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
A. I have written eight books so far, to say which one is the favorite is a bit difficult to answer, every book is very close to my heart.

Q.14 Do you have any unique and quirky writing habits?
A. If writing naturally is considered quirky, then definitely, I am guilty, I don’t write for the sake of writing only, I write only when it is coming naturally to me, in fact, I decided to answer your questions tonight because I felt like answering to you, I know it is not really the way that people appreciate, but I have to be authentic to myself that is most important to me, I don’t do anything half-heartedly.

Q.15 What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
A. I have not achieved anything worth mentioning, but every single email from a reader who felt something after reading my book surely assures me that I am moving in the right direction.

Q.16 What is the most unethical practice in the publishing industry?
A. Well established publishing houses rarely considers a new author, first preference is given to well establish names only, they mean business.

Q.17 Who edited your book and how did you select him/her?
A. I have many freelance editors with me, and sometimes friends jumped in to help me, just a few days back an editor ran off with my money and she kept lying to me for such a long time, in-fact she wasted my four months, so when I shared this story with one of my friends she saved my ass, now she is working on that project, yes I will buy something very nice for her because she won’t accept money from me, I know her.

Q.18 Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
A. I would love to meet Bill Gates, no, I will not ask him for money making tips, but seriously I don’t know something is special about that person, his aura radiates something. I think it can’t be explained in words.

Q.19 What is your favorite book and why?
A. That’s a very difficult question, but I think 9 lies that are holding you back by Steve Chandler and Sam Beckford really changed my thinking pattern.

Q.20 How can readers discover more about you and your work?
A. They can follow me on Instagram at @eccentric_mystic or they can simply email me at khushwantsingh800@gmail.com.  

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