Pravin Agarwal is an acclaimed author of the best-selling novel “The Girl in the dream: A Love Story planed 500 years ago“. He earned his Mechanical Engineering degree from Rajasthan University. In his corporate career spanning more than a decade, he worked as Senior Technical Architect in leading IT companies, including Tata Consultancy Services and Hexaware Technologies. He is a passionate writer and an avid reader. His debut novel is been included in the top eight romantic books by Indian Authors.
I had the pleasure to interview the author. Here are our Q&A’s below:
- How was the journey from being an avid reader to an author?
Ans: I began writing in the year 2017 and there is no looking back after that. Eventually, the strong desire to entertain people and see my books in their hands overtook me. I cherished every moment of my writing journey so far. It’s a huge learning experience for me.
- What are the other activities that you enjoy apart from reading and writing?
Ans: I am a fitness enthusiast. I love traveling to new places besides reading and writing books. I enjoy spending time with my family. I am more of an outdoor person and prefer spending time in nature. Hiking, swimming and cycle riding is my favorite pastime.
- How do you deal with writer’s block?
Ans: Sometimes, I faced writer’s block while imagining some scenes. For example, there is a dream sequence where protagonist Vivaan met a girl who claims herself as his wife. In this, I had to imagine every minute detail like the thoughts going on in Vivaan’s mind. His reactions to the surprises that unfold before him one after another. There were a lot of things happening around him and with him. As a writer, I had to write it as descriptive as possible, and a lot of brainstorming went into it.
- “The Girl in the Dream (A Love Story Planned 500 years ago)”, the title is very
interesting. Can you share your thoughts behind this title?
Ans: Thank you! The story revolves around the mysterious girl that comes into the protagonist’s dream. Thus, the title ‘The Girl in the Dream’ seems to fit in perfectly. The subtitle ‘A Love Story Planed 500 years ago’ was in my mind from the very beginning, as the novel is a romantic thriller that connects two timelines.
- Your book had three timelines and over four characters. What was the real challenge in portraying all of them in different timelines?
Ans: I wrote the complete novel as one story. The subplots are basically new characters and situations which I introduced as per the flow of the story. While writing the blurb of the book, I presented it as four subplots so as readers can connect with the different characters, timelines and situations. Connecting storylines was not at all difficult for me as I wrote it as one story. The connection happens organically while writing the novel in a flow.
- What is the work that needs to be done before you dive in and start writing the plot?
Ans: I read a lot of books and try to learn from the masters. I also researched mythology and history part before start writing ‘The Girl in the Dream’. I googled the details about the holy city of Ujjain and its history. Also, I begin with the philosophical thoughts that I picked from the book ‘How to Stop Worrying and Start Leaving by Dale Carnegie’. It may sound strange that I referred a non-fiction book to write a Fiction novel, but that’s true.
- What is your favorite part of the book?
Ans: The Girl in the Dream has the elements of Romance, Mystery, Scientific Logic,
History and Mythology. My favorite is the mythology part. I am fond of Indian Mythology. The mythology storyline was a bit difficult to write. I imagined the kingdom in my mind and a lot of hard work has gone into creating it. I did thorough research for this part. I also referred to other mythology books. I felt delighted when readers say that the mythology part is the one they liked the most or they thoroughly loved the way the Kingdom of Ujjain is been depicted. I will not reveal the chapter number, that readers must find out by reading the book.
- What is your favorite genre as a reader?
Ans: I love reading thriller novels. Romance and Mythology are my favorite genre as a reader.
- What inspired you to write this book?
Ans: My father wanted to write a book. So, I took it on me to write one for him. I am eternally grateful to him for giving me wings and so many dreams to fulfill. My wife Sheetal also motivated me to write and I am thankful for her wholehearted support. I began writing in the year 2017 and there is no looking back after that. Eventually, the strong desire to entertain people and see my books in their hands overtook me. I cherished every moment of my writing journey so far. It is a huge learning experience for me. I am a software engineer by profession. Life gets monotonous when you work in the same profession for more than a decade. Writing gave me that much-needed change that I was looking for. It introduced me to a new world of creativity. I am liking this new world where my imagination can fly high to create some amazing stories.
- Tell us about the process of publishing your book.
Ans: It took me over two years to write this book and get it into the hands of readers. I wrote the book in less than a year’s time, but the real challenge was to get the right publishing platform for it. Traditional publishers take a good amount of time in evaluating your work. Considerable time went into pitching the book to the traditional publication houses and finalizing the most suitable among the available options.
A few more months went into editing by a professional editor, proofreading, cover design and finalizing a marketing plan. Thankfully, after the hard work of two years, the book could see the light of the day and reached the readers. The journey was full of ups and downs. There were many low moments when I felt that the book will never reach the readers. I didn’t want to self-publish the book as I really worked hard on it and wanted to give it the best publishing platform. From the beginning, I was confident that this novel will definitely make its mark. Finally, after the hard work and dedicated efforts of two years, the book got published. For me, it’s not a book but a dream. I am highly grateful to all the readers of ‘The Girl in the Dream’ for the overwhelming response. A big thank you to all the readers for their immense love and adoration.
- Who is your target audience? What specific age group are you aiming at?
Ans: ‘The Girl in the Dream: A Love Story Planed 500 years ago‘ is a Romantic Thriller with Mythology at its core. It’s a mix of romance, mystery, scientific logic, mythology and fantasy. It’s a tale of love and passion, betrayal and conspiracy, hope and ambition. The target audience is young adults, but I am sure that every age group of people will find the novel equally fascinating.
- What is your favorite time of the day that encourages you to write?
Ans: I prefer writing in the morning. I am a morning person and find the morning time the most suitable one to write.