Interview by bookGeeks:
Manoj V Jain is not only the successful author of books such as The BNO, The THC, Balraj, and Ramona but he also has to his credit, a very successful garment export business. Read below our candid interview with this multi-talented author.
|bookGeeks:||Tell us something about Author Manoj as a person.|
|Manoj V Jain:||I am 52 years old although I pride myself that I look younger, feel younger. I enjoy my life a lot. I am married (24 years ago) to a wife who balances me. I tend to not have too many filters so say and do things that may cross limits – my wife helps me with this problem.|
I have two children, who are my life and biggest weaknesses. They study out of Mumbai – to make up for their absence, I have got a Golden retriever puppy (a childhood dream that materialized) who helps fill the void and lets me survive my children’s absence.
I am always struggling to lose weight – I work out and do yoga but I always seem to put on weight – I probably eat wrong despite a wife and a sister and friends who are qualified nutritionists.
I love to smoke and I give up for long periods of time but get back to it especially when I am writing. I do not enjoy alcohol so much and drink with close friends only on special occasions.
I am blessed with a big family and have a close relationship with my sisters and their kids as well. I have many friends and they are a part of my heart and life; they make life fun.
I love art, books, theatre, movies; I am not fond of watching TV.
I run an export company, it is a large successful company that we had started about 28 years ago. We export garments to various parts of the world and it has grown year on year. We started small, and I have been working with the same core team of Directors (who happen to be my sister and childhood best friend) for 28 years…it has been a good ride.
|bookGeeks:||How has your interest and education in psychology helped you as a writer?|
|Manoj V Jain:||My interest in psychology helps me in many ways for example it helps make a character relatable, and further helps in developing consistent characters with clear cut personalities. This enables the book in describing different concepts like the psychology of coping, the narratives and stories we say about our self, short term therapies etc. A study on the subject helps frame the back bone of the book.|
|bookGeeks:||To what extent your book Ramona reflects the realities of today’s world?|
|Manoj V Jain:||I think there is a bit of Ramona in every person, whether male or female, who cling on to memories and let the small things spoil a perfectly good life. All of us tend to be myopic in our vision and the issues that Ramona must resolve are universal. The cycle of grief, coping, therapy to change one’s outlook are things that we all resonate with. Since all my books discuss the intricacies of human nature, I think we all, in part, resonate with the characters at some level in some situations. Ramona is not a real-life person on whom the book is based, but a character who identifies issues faced by many of us.|
|bookGeeks:||Who is your biggest critic and why?|
|Manoj V Jain:||My son is my biggest critic – he believes that I need to work on the craft of story writing, develop the characters more, write shorter pieces and stories first, to develop my skill in story writing. I appreciate the inputs he gives me because he can be brutally frank with me and I know he only means well for me.|
Regarding others, I must admit that I keep checking reviews to see them. Good reviews make me preen (just a little) and bad reviews do sadden me…it was much more acute in my first and second book. By the time I wrote Balraj, I was more confident about the book and its reception and the reviews seemed to matter lesser and lesser.
I am fortunate that I do not have to depend upon writing as my livelihood. I write because I want to and I am very happy I that I do. If others enjoy or benefit from my books then it makes me happy.
|bookGeeks:||As a successful businessman don’t you find it strenuous to balance the two fronts – writing and business. How do you organize your time between your duty and passion?|
|Manoj V Jain:||I am passionate person (writing is one of my passions) and I do not feel there is a struggle for me between passion and responsibility. I seem to always have enough time to follow my dreams and aspirations (but not so much time that I become restless). As a person, I am very duty bound so I would never shirk my responsibilities. I think I have found a good balance.|
|bookGeeks:||When did you first start writing and who or what was your inspiration?|
|Manoj V Jain:||I knew as a child that I wanted to be an author. I wrote several short stories in my teens and early twenties. I have been writing poetry forever. By the time I entered the world of business, I reconciled with the fact that I would now never write a book. I lost confidence seeing the beautiful way the modern authors expressed themselves. When I was in my late 40s, my nephew suggested I write a blog. Once I started to write for the blog, my son encouraged me to elaborate on it, consequently the story grew and became my first novel.|
|bookGeeks:||Any new book that you are currently working on?|
|Manoj V Jain:||I am working on a rather difficult book – it’s called DYSTOPIA and deals with issues on growing up, adolescence and coming of age. I am really happy with it. I expect a lot of response as it covers many different ideas and should resonate with all readers. I hope it will release in the first half of 2018.|
|bookGeeks:||A few words for your readers.|
|Manoj V Jain:||We have this one life. It goes by so fast, so make the most of it. Enjoy it, experience it, revel in it. You are never too old to get more out of it.|