Author Aditya Ram is a cabin dweller by the day and a passionate novelist by the night. An MBA from the prestigious Symbiosis Institute of Business Management, Pune, India, he is a 29-year-old senior marketing professional.
He is an avid reader with a keen interest in a wide variety of subjects like religion, conspiracy, theology, and science. Aditya not just reads but also researches and writes on the topics that excite and stimulate his mind.
After years of researching and studying one of his major inspirations, Sir Issac Newton, Aditya has finally come out with his racy thriller, The Newtonian Prophecy.
His style of writing entails incorporating alternate perspectives about the various events of historical, religious, mythological, theological, and factual significance. He then uses these anchor points generously throughout the narrative to give the story a definite flavor and punch.
In his book, The Newtonian Prophecy he pays homage to the life and work of Sir Issac Newton, while also delving deeper into the life of another genius mathematician, Mr. John Raymond. Mr. John Raymond, who dedicated his life to decoding symbols that will enable one to solve the major crimes happening in the world.
The book teases the reader with some mind-boggling questions about this mysterious and cryptic puzzle, the answers that need to be decoded, about the identity of these terrorists committing such heinous crimes.
When not working on his next set of historical, religious, mythological, and political thrillers, he loves to engage his musical and adventurous side by playing cricket, guitar, and pursuing singing.
Aditya credits Dan Brown as his writing inspiration and loves the way he structures his plots and incorporates in-depth research into them. We at bookGeeks got a lucky chance for a tête-à-tête with the author. Here is what he has to say about his life, work, reading, and writing.
|Tell us something about yourself. Who is Aditya as a person, and how is he different as an author?|
|I am an Engineer turned MBA alumnus from the Symbiosis Institute of Business Management. I am in my last year of the 20s and live with my wife, Mridula. I am from Bangalore but have had a lot of opportunities to live across multiple cities in India and meet different people. It has been an incredible experience because I am confident that I can engage in conversation with anybody I meet, after knowing what their interests are. I love playing cricket, singing, and playing the guitar. I have multiple activities to find solace in stressful times. (smiles)
Aditya as a person loves accepting reality and explore spaces that we seldom talk about or explore in detail. I am fun-loving but I am also very meticulous in terms of the activities that I carry out to achieve my goals. Hence, I believe Aditya the person, and Aditya the author are literally the same. I do not create a virtual version of myself who just switches on and off in order to transform as an author. A large chunk of my own behavioral traits influences my writing journey.
|What do you do in your professional sphere? Has it ever conflicted with your writing or has it influenced it?|
|Well, I am a cubicle dweller by the day. I work with a multinational FMCG organization as a National Key Accounts Manager for Modern Trade business. I love doing what I do but it does consume a large bandwidth of my thinking and analytical abilities. Writing comes as a welcome heartbeat to neutralize the analytical abilities by churning in some creativity. At night, I transform into an author and let the creative juices flow, which helps me balance my mind out perfectly.
As far as whether it has influenced or conflicted with my writing, I would say neither of them is true. I create my own space for both and find that needle-thick balance between the two. Both immensely contribute to my overall growth as a personality.
|What made you attempt such a difficult genre?|
|Is it a difficult genre? (laughs) I don’t believe that genres should be classified as easy or difficult. I think it should be classified as less explored and more explored. Some genres are more explored by new authors because they evaluate the success criteria for the genre by seeing other authors who have made it big in the same genre and believe it could be a safer bet on writing something that audiences readily connect with. Having said that, the genre of Conspiracy thrillers is less explored but is only growing. I think largely you see authors like Dan Brown and Ashwin Sanghi who have explored this space and made it big, and it does open gateways for other authors like me.
The reason some may call it more difficult than others is because of the research that is involved in the book. While my book is written as a fictional narrative, it does mention real places, real people, real incidents, rituals, sects and relates a lot of facts that people may or may not find controversial depending upon their tolerance for the subject. While I understand one should not shake the hornet’s nest just for the sake of it, there are writers who want to go that extra mile for extensive research, give audiences a taste of these mysterious secrets and facts, and one of them is me.
I wanted to give my readers this breath-taking experience of learning scientific and religious facts, probably ones that they did not know till today or did not pay attention to. I wanted people to rattle their grey cells and give them the pleasure of solving the puzzles I have given them in the book.
|A lot of research has gone into the making of The Newtonian Prophecy. What was the method of your research, and how much time did you put into it?|
|To be honest I had spent around 4 years of research to explore the facts that are presented in the book and round its corners with more facts to support the storyline. The method of the research was simple. Read. I first explore what ancient mystery or secret I want to be the core or crux of my book. Once I have found that I research facts that relate other theories, communities, sects, religions, to the primary secret or mystery that I wish to reveal. In some cases, I have drawn lines out of the facts and connected them to other conspiracies which I have supported by adding my research sources at the end of the book. I had spent nearly two years on research without writing a word. I do not consider that as a slow down to my entire process. I believe that strong research sets the context for my writing. It clears a lot of thoughts that I may have misinterpreted and hence I have a clearer vision of what and how to write.
As far as The Newtonian Prophecy is concerned, I am a dedicated fan of Sir Isaac Newton and his works and wanted to bring to my readers the lesser-known facts of Newton and some of his secrets. The research was mainly carried out using the Internet, but in places where I needed a clear understanding of ancient rituals or religious references, I have explored books in libraries to give me the necessary understanding of the content and its implications, before I wrote about it.
|Tell us about your first memory related to writing.|
|My first memory of writing dates back to the time when I was 9 years old. I had written a horror/thriller which was about 10,000 words. It was called “Planter Cluster”. It was about the ghost of a king – Planter Cluster, who haunts a certain cursed treasure in order to seek revenge for the deception that led to his death. The interesting thing was that the title also happens to be the name of an Apartment building. I was so impressed by the name that I not only thought of giving life to a new character but it also got me into writing. (smiles). As I got older, I wrote more short stories, participated in short story contests in school, won awards, but never thought I would get into serious novel writing. But in 2009, the thought struck me that whatever happens, I have to write a novel that is over 50,000 words at some point of time in my life. It’s taken 11 years, but here we are with my first novel at 1,36,000 words.|
|Who is your most important critic, and why?|
|My wife Mridula and my sister Ambika are undoubtedly the most important critics of my writing. The reason I say this is because they are extremely unbiased in their viewpoint. They discuss possible plot holes, controversies, patchy writing if any, and this helps me go back to the drawing board and rework these ideas and shortcomings. Sometimes, you need people to really have it in them to step up to you and honestly discuss and bring out the best form of your work. I am really lucky to have these two with me to discuss, debate, argue on my plots, and it just makes writing a more memorable experience.|
|Tell us about your writing influences. Which authors have inspired you the most?|
|I will be super honest with this. I have been deeply inspired by Dan Brown on how he structures the plot in his books and not to mention, the depth of his research. I follow the thought of outlining my plot as if it were a candle burning at both ends. I write the first chapter and the last chapter involving the protagonist and try to create the protagonist’s circumstances as different as possible in the first and last chapter. Now that I know where the character progression begins and ends, I know that I have to now take him through a series of changes or transformations in his character that will lead me to the end. These changes serve as pillars for me in my conquest of character building. It helps me induce the right level of drama as well as build great depth for my characters.|
|Some tips for aspiring writers.|
|Firstly, the biggest and most important factor that would contribute to the success of your book is the research you put into it. More so, if you are writing about real personalities or real places, you might want to first understand all the nuances very carefully before you start writing. I believe writing is only 30% of your book. Research is 70%. Get your facts, ambiance, setting, and context right before you start penning it down. I think you need to read as much as you can before you write. The more you research, the more you perfect what you intend to project to your readers. If you make sure that the reader found something in your book that he did not know to date, you have won half the battle.
Having said that, the writing needs to create a vivid description of the scene in the mind of the reader. If it is still vague or the reader finds it hard to believe, you get some negative points. You might have done great research, but you need an equally luring narrative to draw the reader. So, don’t forget to blend your imagination well with your research.
Secondly, learn to accept criticism and rejection. I have been rejected by some literary agents even though they loved the concept of my book because they wanted stories with an Indian setting. It is very easy to get bogged down because your work got rejected for whatever reason. It is completely fine and not the end of the world. There will always be an audience for you even if it is very niche. It is only a matter of time and reach. So, put your heart and soul into getting the perfect story out there.
|In your opinion, how can India make reading more affordable and accessible?|
|I think we are slowly moving into the digital age and this is a huge plus that we need to take full advantage of. If you notice carefully, book costs are high because of the printing costs involved and the cost of paper. Hence, publishers look at a certain minimum selling price in order to recover some profits over these costs and royalties paid to the author. This becomes a financial decision for the reader to evaluate and the barrier to acquire the reader is much larger. However, if it were an E-book, the costs would automatically be much lower since there are no printing costs involved.
There are certain books where the reader is immediately disappointed after purchasing the book. This risk of failure further reduces his will to buy new books. A method that could be deployed to lure readers is to probably charge the reader on the number of pages read of a particular book rather than on the entire book. When charged on a per-page reading basis on an online platform, the reader will have to pay only for the pages he has read thus far. In case he does not like the book and does not want to proceed further, he still ends up saving money because he has paid only for the pages he had read. This will still keep him interested and motivated to try new books.
However, implementing this on a large scale could be challenging but I certainly believe this is a very innovative solution that could be implemented to make books more accessible and affordable.
|Any future projects that you are currently working on?|
|Well, I am working on two projects. The Benigma Program (2021) and The Last Christ (2022). The Benigma Program is a digital conspiracy thriller themed around a true global political conspiracy that prevailed in the past and its connection of how it could secretly become the cause of World War 3. Some of the characters from The Newtonian Prophecy are also present and the events from The Benigma Program loosely form a prequel to the timeline of The Newtonian Prophecy.
The Last Christ (2022) is the sequel to The Newtonian Prophecy. It is a theological conspiracy thriller that explores certain ancient secret societies and Christianity in great depth and the implications it could have on the modern world. It is still in the research stage and would take at least a couple of years to round the edges in terms of what I want to present to my readers.
Can’t wait to read it? Buy your copy of “The Newtonian Prophecy” using the link below.