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BookChums interviews Oswald Pereira

Post by: Kabita Sonowal

Recently, team BookChums chatted up with Indian author and journalist, Oswald Pereira. He has authored The Newsroom Mafia (his debut novel thriller) followed by Revenge of the Naked Princess. The latter is based on the tale of forced conversions in India with an element of the supernatural. While we discussed his latest work of historical fiction, he also revealed how long it took him to complete this book, how difficult it is to write a novel, beating the writers’ block and much more……



Thank you for this interview with BookChums. What triggered you to write Revenge of the Naked Princess after a racy thriller like The Newsroom Mafia?

The trigger for both The Newsroom Mafia and Revenge of the Naked Princess was the urge to write the truth. I wrote The Newsroom Mafia because I wanted to reveal the truth about the media-mafia-government nexus. I wrote Revenge of the Naked Princes to tell the truth about forced religious conversions, one of the darkest chapters in the history of Christianity. Why should forced religious conversions be hushed up? Why should such a dark chapter in the history of a religion be forgotten?

But there was a difference in writing The Newsroom Mafia and Revenge of the Naked Princess. The first book was based on my experiences as a journalist for more than three decades. It was my conscious mind that was writing. When I was writing Revenge of the Naked Princess, I felt the story was pouring out of my subconscious. The words flowed like they were coming out from some subterranean spring.



Did Princess Darshana, the protagonist really exist?

The skeleton of the story of Princess Darshana came from a fable that my grandmother told me when I was barely six years old. As a child, I had listened to the story fascinated. But when I grew up I forgot the story as an old woman’s yarn. But the story kept coming back to me and I finally felt compelled to write it.

So, I would say, Princess Darshana existed, according to my grandmother. And you’d be surprised to know that the existence of Princess Darshana was also hinted at by a spiritual Guru and Past Life Regression expert Dr. Rajshri. During the launch of Revenge of the Naked Princess in Mumbai on 19 December, 2012, when Dr Rajshri was on the panel for release of the book, she said, “Oswald has seen the experiences of the princess through his dreams.”

But there are no historical records to prove the existence of Princess Darshana.


How long did you take to write Revenge of the Naked Princess?

It took me about a year to write the book.



Was it challenging to find the adequate research material to write the story?

Yes, it was quite challenging. I had to read books and meet a few scholars who didn’t want to go on record, because of the sensitivity of the subject of forced conversions. The Internet is a convenient tool for research but you have to cross check the information thoroughly.



What comes to you first: the character or the plot?

Generally, the plot or the storyline comes first. But in the case of Revenge of the Naked Princess, it was a sort of simultaneous process. I had the character of Princess Darshana and I had the story too. The other characters, were, of course, purely imaginary and were woven into the story.


How difficult is it to write a novel?

It is pretty difficult, because if you want to complete your book you have to write at least five days a week, a few hours a day, no matter whether you are happy or sad. You have to build a story, create characters, write interesting situations, be sure that you are readable … and that you will make your readers laugh, cry and enjoy what you write. And you have to do this all alone, with nobody for company, except your fictitious characters.


Describe your creative-writing process.
I write straight from my heart … let the words flow, allow the story to develop and give the characters the freedom to grow and control the plot. At the end of the story, I learn that it is the characters that dictated the story and not the other way round … they are the rulers, the players.



Did you suffer from the writer’s block?

Yes, I do. It happens quite often. It’s something that I’ve learnt to live with. But I conquer it all the time.



What do we read from you next?

Right now I’m co-authoring a book (fiction) with a well-known writer. It is different from the books that I’ve written. It is a comedy of errors. Next I plan to write a mythological story … it could be funny or a thriller, depending on where the characters lead me. Also, in my mind is a children’s book; it would be a touching story with a powerful social message.



What is your advice to aspiring authors?
My advice is:  keep writing, keep trying; don’t be bothered about rejection slips … laugh at them, for with persistence, your book will soon be on bookshelves.


1 Comment

Add Your Comment:

wonderful, I hope to be able to read lots of Mr Pereira's books, fascinating subjects, solid research and lucid use of language. The subjects would certainly make superb films. Best wishes Gudrun
Sun,Aug 4th 2013 10:09 AM