Banking on a writer

Oct 01, 2012, 08:14 IST | shakti shetty

It's pretty common to see Indian writers on the bestsellers list to come from a banking � if not business �background. But interestingly, they prefer to refrain from exploring their own backyard.

In any case, Ravi Subramanian is arguably India’s only English writer of corporate fiction. This Ludhiana-born Tambrahm who speaks Punjabi fluently tends to use popular Hindi catchphrases in his books. Looking forward to the release of his fourth novel, Ravi talks to CS about his genre and much more.

Men on the block
I wonder why writers who switch from a corporate backdrop to literary space don’t spin stories around their own experiences in the financial industry. After all, the recent global meltdown clearly exposed the amount of money, relationships, sleaze and crime that is prevalent behind those glass windows. It has all the ingredients for a banking thriller! No wonder my first novel got ‘banned’ by a particular bank.

Occupational hazard
I won’t quit my job as a banker and take up writing full time. That’s not going to happen because if I do that, it will make writing a necessity and that will ultimately lead to boredom. Besides, I started writing pretty late. I published my first novel at 37.

On social media
We’ve got to accept the reality that writers don’t make a lot of money, at least not of all us. A lot depends on the way the book is marketed. The cover has to grab attention and make people talk about it. Social media plays a significant role in this.

Altering mindsets
There’s a change in the way readers are reacting to books nowadays. I’d say we are moving from a review world to a preview world. People want to decide for themselves before picking up a book. Keeping these factors in mind, I decided to unveil at least 40 per cent of my upcoming book in a digital format — with the suspense intact — through manga-style characterizations and comic strips. I can safely add that this is first of its kind in the publishing arena.

Celluloid dreams?
I have a feeling that if my books get translated into films, it might not be liked by the massy audience since the topic might elude them. Western cinema has explored the banking industry in detail with a lot of memorable movies but Bollywood is yet to explore the corporate scenario. Who knows? With the kind of change we’re witnessing in the trends and innovative ideas by filmmakers, we might have a great movie based on a bank someday!

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