From a banker-thriller to romantic-thriller author
Since I am a banker, that river of stories never dries up for me and before I am done with one book, I know what I am going to write on next. I am told the audience for my banking thrillers is primarily men. Most of my books are picked up at the airport by men, while eighty percent of romantic books are read by women. I wanted to write something that would help me connect with women as well. And when the story idea for The Bestseller She Wrote occurred to me, I thought it was worth a try. As an author, I want to experiment with other writings. Will I succeed at romance thrillers? I don't know that, but at least I have tried.
Ravi Subramanian shifts from bank thrillers to romance
On moving from Penguin to Westland
I have known Gautam Padhmanabhan (of Westland) for a long while. We had been in discussions on what we could collaborate on. When I discussed the thought of doing my next book as a romantic intrigue with Penguin, they tried to talk me into doing my next book as a thriller. While it was understandable from their point of view as they have invested in me as a writer of thrillers and did not want to lose focus on that, I wanted to try something different.
Gautam was enthused about the idea. One of the things I learnt early in my career was to go with a publisher who is as passionate about your work as you — and Gautam was equally excited about the book. For this book I needed a publisher who would not do the book because Ravi Subramanian wrote it, but because he believes in the concept. Gautam was the guy who believed in the concept and took on the mantle of positioning me differently.
The journey to bring The Bestseller She Wrote to market
These have been interesting and anxious times. We had many discussions on the title of the book. Would people buy a romantic thriller by Ravi Subramanian? Or should we use only Ravi as an author name? Where would we place the book, and where would we seek interviews and reviews?
Writing sex scenes was a challenge for me. There are some similarities between Aditya Kapoor and me — he is a banker, happily married and a father. That is where the parallels end, but I had to visualise the desire Aditya feels for the younger woman, and the way he hides it from his wife. I had to also look from the perspective of a young girl in love with an older man, and their behavior. It took me a while, and loads of courage to get those scenes right (I also have a teenage daughter who is clued in to my work, and sex is one of the topics that can be terribly uncomfortable).
Being a commercial book writer
At one of the book awards, as I walked up the stairs to receive my award, one of the ‘literary’ authors made a derogatory remark about me and my books. I chose to not respond to that — to each his own. For me, writing is not my main source of income. It is something I do for pleasure, and one that brings me tremendous satisfaction. I earn revenues for my publishing houses, and if I am termed as a commercial genre writer, I am happy with that.
When real life fuels a book
If you have an ear to the ground, you know where the fodder for this book came from!
The Bestseller She Wrote, Ravi Subramanian, Westland, Rs 295, The book releases on October 19