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BookChums Interview with Indian Writer and Journalist, Oswald Pereira

Post by: Kabita


This week, BookChums chatted up with Indian author and journalist, Oswald Pereira. He has authored The Newsroom Mafia (his debut novel thriller), Revenge of the Naked Princess and Hill Mansion. What keeps readers spellbound is his gift of storytelling across multiple genres: thriller, historical fiction and coming-of-age. In this exclusive, hearty and insightful interview with us, he discusses his latest book titled Hill Mansion, book recommendations, the literary genre that he would like to dabble in in future, his journey as a writer and journalist, and much more.

1.Thank you for the interview with BookChums. What are you writing at the moment?
My good luck to be interviewed by BookChums, Kabita.
I have just completed writing my third novel, Hill Mansion. It is a touching coming-of-age story … a tender sweet-sad tale of love and brotherhood! The story revolves around a clumsy and weak boy Robert. His poor but strong friends — Anand, Baloo and Dattya, give him the courage to live and fight the bullies of his village. But you’ll have to read the book to know if Robert returns the pure and selfless love of his friends, when he grows up.
Hill Mansion shows that childhood seems like it is full of roses … but the thorns that prick you as you grow up can hurt a lot.
2.What are you reading at the moment? Is there any book(s) that you would like to suggest to our readers?
I am on the last pages of Suman Bhattacharya’s novel Error Code Love. Next on the reading list is Kota Neelima’s Shoes of the Dead.
I loved Ravi Venugopal’s mythological novel The Exiled Prince and would recommend it to your readers. A great thriller that I would recommend is Ismita Tandon’s Jacob Hills.
3.Your previous books, both The Newsroom Mafia and Revenge of the Naked Princess have different themes. What other genres would you like to work on in the near future?
I would like to work on mythological fiction. In fact, I had begun writing a mythological book, but then Hill Mansion took precedence over it. Moreover, I decided to do more research on the subject before going further into the story.  
4.What literary genres do you read?
I first began reading the classics, like many people do. But now I read books of all genres, including self-help and religious books. There are so many different books around. So why restrict yourself?
5.Did you always know that you wanted to be a writer? 
You know, Kabita, I am a great drifter. I drifted into journalism after trying my hand at various jobs including that of a storekeeper and salesman. Then when I left journalism, I drifted into public relations and joined India’s top PR agency; later starting my own agency and focusing on IT clients. Then when my agency hit a low phase, I drifted into writing fiction! Now I have come to realise, it is best to be a musaafir and keep travelling. 
Now to come to your specific question … yes, I always wanted to be a writer. My English school teacher, in fact, saw the writer in me from the essays that I wrote in class. And my father had gifted me a Remington typewriter when I was 13 years old to encourage me to write. But I inherited my writing genes from my late mother, who was a great storyteller. 
I wrote a novel soon after graduation. My English professor read the book and liked it. The editor of a top publishing house loved it, but his senior turned it down. Then after my various jobs, I found a job in journalism. The adrenalin rush that came after seeing my byline on the front page of newspapers made me forget all about fiction writing. But the dream to be a writer never really died.
6.What was that one moment that made you decide to pen your first book – The Newsroom Mafia?
It was that moment of realization that the corrupt mafia in the media is more dangerous than the underworld mafia, because people believe the printed word, but not many know that it can be doctored. My friends in the media were on the payroll of dons, politicians and business houses. I felt compelled to write their story in ‘fiction’ format.
7.Would you recommend writing as a career option to aspiring writers?
Until you make the big bucks, writing is, at best, a nice hobby and you do need a day job to make a living. But I would say one should continue writing, for who knows when you may strike a goldmine.
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