Exclusive Interview with Abhirup Dhar

Debutant author Abhirup Dhar’s first book “Once Again… With Love!” which had caught the fancy of both readers and non-readers has now hit the market and already generates rave reviews. This talented young author who was born in Kolkata and is currently living in Mumbai is a writer by choice. A banker by profession, he is ‘filmy’ to the core and reviews movies for Spectralhues.

Abhirup is passionate about writing and that itself has led him to pen his first book ‘Once Again… With Love!” – a quirky take on love, confusion and modern-day relationships. He believes the best stories are always about a man and a woman and these should be told in a simple way.

Here we present our own Abhirup Dhar in an illuminating conversation with Spectralhues.


2015-04-02 11.47.58-1Being a banker by profession, what made you want to write a book?

I have always been of the opinion that one must explore his/her passion; writing is mine. However, being a banker doesn’t really have anything to do with me writing a book. I penned ‘Once Again… With Love!’ a little over five years back during a four-month break I got between post graduation and my first job. I recall it was a lazy afternoon when I looked into the mirror and muttered to myself- “Damn! How will I even manage a routine job? Let me write something.” And that’s how OAWL happened. The idea now is to get better in both my
profession and passion with each passing day. I’m a writer by choice.

As a debutante author, what was the hardest part of writing the book?

Nothing really! Writing comes to me naturally and I’m brimming with ideas. I also tend to observe and understand people really well which is an important part when it comes to creating characters. They say the first book of a writer is always autobiographical. While OAWL isn’t my love story, people who have read my book so far think the protagonist is a lot like me. I’ll not deny it. When I wrote it, the idea was to have a coming-of-age story of a carefree casual guy while keeping it a light-hearted frothy and breezy rom-com. That actually helped in shaping up the book the way it is now.

What inspires you?

People who make it all by themselves while also following their passions inspire me. I’m also a very ‘filmy’ guy! Movies inspire me too. I’m a huge movie buff and reviewing them for Spectralhues is something I enjoy as it is a challenge for me to take some time for it every Friday night. Most of us live mechanical routine lives. I’m no different. Just another common guy trying to be a little different.

Is the book based on experiences from your personal life or is it purely fictional?

Like I mentioned earlier, the protagonist Dev is a lot like me but actually… a lot like most other guys who have to grow up even if they don’t want to. OAWL is fiction. However, I’d be a hypocrite if I deny I wasn’t inspired by my own personal life. I had quite a rocky one and I have no qualms about speaking my mind. But both Mishika and Priyasha are fictional characters. Mishika is a strong independent woman and that itself makes her beautiful. Priyasha is the typical confused girl most boys get their hearts broken for but when she overcomes her problems, she is someone you would look up to for her courage and decision.

once-again-with-love-400x400-imae7uzbqypcgdxsThese days e-books are the in thing. What are your views on e-books vs. print books?

Not a voracious reader myself and having written a book mainly targeted at impatient non-readers like me, I’ll still answer that. If you ask me, an e-book can’t really replace a printed paperback. The joy of holding a book and reading it is perhaps what would differentiate the experience. However in today’s world… the Online Bookstores are a huge market. Most of the websites have an option for both; now it is completely about the reader’s preference and he/she can choose. E-Books are a great option for readers living out of the country. It is cost-friendlier for them and quick comparatively. OAWL is available both in Paperback and E-Book.


What process did you go through to get your book published?

To begin with, I was very lazy! When I wrote OAWL, little did I know I’d have it published one day. I had shared my manuscript with a few close friends and they all told me the characters, plot and humour struck a chord with them. As if that wasn’t enough, it still took me a push from some people to get serious about publishing my book. It is indeed a challenge to find time to explore your passion and get it out at a time when life is so busy. I then approached a few publishers with my manuscript and waited for over four months. Though OAWL was selected for a traditional publishing, I was informed it would take another five months. I also realized my creativity would be restricted as I’d have to work according to their methods. I wanted the mood of the book to be portrayed in the best possible way and just to add to this, I’m quite a perfectionist which doesn’t really go down well with many. Checking my priorities and options well, I opted for self-publishing. My Publisher has worked in tandem with me for everything- the book cover, the trailer, the posters and the book! A special mention for my friend Manpreet here for being with me during visualizing each aspect of OAWL. She is also the Online Marketing Manager for the book and has a lot to do with the FB Page attracting a good number of organic likes even pre-release. It has been a fantastic team work and I’m still learning a lot.

What do you like to read in your free time?

OAWL-Book-Cover-830x617I’m not a reader. I’m a writer. So, I write in my free time when I get it. OAWL itself is targeted mostly at non-readers though it has caught the fancy of both them and readers. Like I say, any book which makes a non-reader read is success defined for it. My attempt is to reach out to all those who think reading is a boring, tedious and time-consuming affair. I’ll be happy when after a short, cozy and fun two-hours read, you mumble to yourself- “Hey! This can be cool!” Having said that… I have read quite a bit but without wanting to sound intellectual by taking names of great writers I admire, Chetan Bhagat is someone I look up to for bringing a change in reading habits and reaching out to so many people.

What makes your book stand out from the crowd?

OAWL is for the young at heart. It’s the kind of book which should bring a smile on your face after a short, cozy and fun read. The very idea that it doesn’t intend to be serious and melodramatic while being a love story makes it stand out. The fact that OAWL doesn’t intend to compete with any other book of its genre makes it stand out. I’m confident it will find its readers and I’m not being pompous.

Do you write more by logic or intuition, or some combination of the two?

I don’t understand logic while writing. To me, writing turns out to be the most effective when it is spontaneous. That is when your thoughts come naturally.

What response are you expecting from your readers?

I’m just expecting them to have some fun while they read OAWL for some two hours. I’m just expecting them to laugh a bit and fall in love with Love all over again. And then I’m just expecting them to keep spreading the word.

Thank You Abhirup for your time. We shall meet again. Wish you all the best for your future endeavours.

That Was Abhirup Dhar for you! Spectralhues wishes him a glorious success and hopes he would come up with many more remarkable books. You can catch him at Facebook, Twitter and also read his reviews at www.spectralhues.com/author/abhirup. Happy Reading!

Details of Once Again… With Love:

Poet: Abhirup Dhar
Publisher: Power Publishers Year of Publishing: 2015
ISBN-13: 9789384923747 ISBN-10: 9384923745
Cover: Paperback No. of Pages: 105
MRP: Rs. 125 Buy From:  Amazon.in
Flipkart.com

Pratiksha Acharya

About Pratiksha Acharya

Pratiksha is tolerating her progress into adulthood with great difficulty. A bookworm to the core, she loves reading and debating. When her head is not stuck in a book, she likes to cook, dance and shop. For her, reading is more than a hobby. P.S.- She hates losing out on arguments.
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