So after reading, “Play With Me”, I decided to interview Ananth – the man behind the book and here is a quick interview with him. “Play with Me” is a work of erotic fiction. It is bold, hip and right there, set in our times. It is a book which you must read and is most certainly a quick read.
1. Why did you take to writing? What prompted this? From selling books to writing one, how was the transition at some point?
I have been toying with writing for a while now. These were primarily blog posts (stripandrebind@wordpress), a very short memoir that I once wrote when my family moved out of Madras to Bangalore and the ‘hometown’ merely became ‘birthplace’, and then a couple of years ago, short fiction (unpublished). So a novel was a pleasant accident, as much as it was a challenge.
The pressure in this transition came from the subject I had chosen to write a novel on; Pleasure. Because as readers and book sellers we do know that it is difficult to get it right.
2. Do you think the Indian audience is ready for more erotic writing?
More than half a million copies of E L James and Sylvia Day have sold here, and yes absolutely. It is a genre, as any other, and there should be lot more books.
3. What does Ananth read?
Many things; books, columns, magazines, newspapers, product labels on bottles, ad copy, the list goes on. More non-fiction, than fiction.
4. What are the books as of now at your bedside?
In the iPad; Silkworm, The Fault In Our Stars and so many bought and un-read. Bedside; Happiness Is…(a timeless and charming book that will make you smile) and Play with Me.
5.The protagonist of “Play with Me” is hip, young, ambitious and in most parts confused. What led to the building of this character? Did he have to go through a lot of changes, depending on the kind of people you interacted with?
Sid’s composure is completely derailed by the juggernaut that Cara is and then she disrupts his life and completely changes him, helping him recognize what he wants. So it wasn’t who I interacted with, as opposed Sid’s interactions with the others in the book.
6. Ananth the writer…
Writes when there is a compelling need to say something; when he finds the words to say it; and works best when he is completely distracted; and can’t write in solitary confinement.
7. What is the next book going to be about? Will it be on the similar lines of “Play with Me”?
Think of Me will pick up where Play with Me left off – there are incomplete sentences and unresolved relationships. Yes, that book will also be about pleasure.
8. Do you think people are reading a lot more than they used to? If yes, then will there be a lot of pressure on writers to generate something different all the time?
I think so. We are reading a lot more but are more people beginning to read books – maybe not. So the pressure is not to write something different but to be able to write something that will interest people (we exercise a lot of choice now, because there are so many options to entertain ourselves) and through that grow the number of people who might pick up a book for the first time.
9. Your literary influences…
Many. I consider myself very fortunate – my parents shoved a book in my hand quite early in my life.
I have read “Play with Me” and quite enjoyed it. Reviewed it here. Pick it up. It makes for some interesting reading.