Introduction to the Author:
Praneet Dabral is an officer in the Merchant Navy and also an author. He started writing as early as his 9th standard and has recently published his debut book, a love story, Forever and a Little More. His book has been received well by the book critics and the readers. You can read reviews of the books online on different websites. You can get the book from Amazon India by clicking the link below:
Alok Mishra: Praneet, first of all, congratulations on your book which is indeed very well-written! I could easily distinguish this one from all those following the tail. How did you get the idea to write this book? Was it your personal experience or something else?
Praneet Dabral: Thanks a lot, and it’s very good to know that you enjoyed the book. Actually, the initial idea which I had was very different from what it finally turned out to be. As I started writing the story and characters developed and a lot of rewriting was done by me. Well, definitely the story is not my personal experience but a few of the characters are inspired by real life people. Even a few instances and dialogues mentioned in the book actually happened but the whole story is not even close to any personal experience. The description of Jessica is exactly like a girl whom I saw in a restaurant in Goa way back in 2007. The attire of Jessica in the carnival is the same as that of the girl I saw. I don’t know her name but I hope she is happy wherever she is. She was breath taking, to put it mildly.
Alok Mishra: This is your debut book. Didn’t you think that it might not appeal to the younger section of readers who love (or rather forced) to read the typical tail-trailing romance?
Praneet Dabral: Well, I never wrote the book thinking about whether it would appeal to the younger section or for that matter anybody. I just wrote what I thought was a good story. But I think it will appeal to readers because of its simplicity and innocence. In the age of smart phones, Facebook, Instagram and what not I think the old-world romance has lost its charm so I have tried to bring it back a little. I don’t know how much I have succeeded but it’s been a while since readers have been treated to an innocent romance novel without any villains or complex plots. So let’s hope for the best.
Alok Mishra: How did you base your location for the novel? Either you must be a traveller or you must be a dreamer? Please lift the curtains from the story of Snowdon!
Praneet Dabral: I am both actually a traveller and a dreamer. Unfortunately, travelling doesn’t pay otherwise I would have been a multi billionaire. My native place is Dehradun and I have been visiting the hills since I was a kid. I have always been in love with the mountains. I am more of a mountain person than a beach person. I make it a point every year to visit a new place for trekking or just for exploring. I visited Everest base camp this year and it was the most divine experience of my life. It was mesmerising and if anybody has any doubt whether God exists please visit that place and I am sure you will return a changed person. As for Snowdon, well I always was in love with small towns where everybody knows everybody and there is peace and tranquillity. Snowdon is based on a town where I would love to settle in the future and I don’t know whether such a town exists but I will surely find it someday.
Alok Mishra: The ending of the novel might seem a little fuzzy to the readers who are more general in nature and don’t bother to venture into the details. Will you please explain the cinematic ending of your novel Forever and a Little More to the readers?
Praneet Dabral: Cinematic ending? Haha. It is kind of cinematic actually. The ending was very different initially from what I have portrayed in the book. I wanted it to be unpredictable. So, when I gave the first draft to my sister she said that the ending was very predictable and even my friend remarked the same thing. Now in a romance novel, it’s very difficult to write an ending which the readers won’t be able to guess. I made a lot of changes to the ending and finally came up with the one which I have written. It’s an open-ended ending you see. It ends both ways and it’s up to the readers to decide which one they like. It all depends on how the reader analyses it.
Alok Mishra: Please tell our readers about your life in general. Moreover, also include the story about how did writing fiction enter into your life.
Praneet Dabral: I work in the merchant navy as a second officer. I have been sailing since 2008. I got hooked onto reading in 7th standard when I read a Hardy Boys novel. Since then I have never stopped reading. As far as writing is concerned I have always been a dreamer so a lot of stories run in my head. In 9th standard I tried had tried my hand at novel writing. I had written a detective novel which if published surely would have been an award winning novel. It would have won the worst novel ever written in the history of novels. It was the dhinchak pooja of novels. I had written a few short stories in school and then when I started staying in my college hostel I started writing a diary which in the end got converted into the story called Forever and a little more.
Alok Mishra: What kind of a reader are you? Which are the authors you like reading? This question will answer many other questions related to your writing choices! And I hope readers will enjoy knowing about the favourite author of an author.
Praneet Dabral: I love reading murder mysteries and adventure novels. I have read only one romance novel in my entire life. The library in my home is filled with murder mysteries and adventure. I never felt like reading a love story and it’s strange considering I have written one. There are a lot of authors I love and admire. Michael Connelly, Carlos Ruiz zafon, Ben Elton, Harlan Coben, David Morrell, Elizabeth Adler, Victoria Hislop though she doesn’t write thrillers. It’s very difficult to name one author. If you would have asked me favourite song or movie I could have easily answered but still if have to pick one it will be Wilbur Smith for his larger than life charismatic characters.
Alok Mishra: Now that you are an author and your book is being read by the readers, how do you see being an author in this modern India? What are the challenges and what are the good things about the writing profession?
Praneet Dabral: It’s a cut-throat competition out there and it’s great to see a lot of young authors coming up. I think you need a lot of publicity and marketing to make your book a success. No matter how great a book you have written without the right platform it won’t get the adulation it deserves. It’s a very slow process and it may take years before your book becomes famous. Once you become famous then yes, the road ahead becomes easy but till then you have to be patient and please have an alternate profession. Haha. It’s very difficult to do writing as a full-time profession till you get recognized. The best thing about writing is that you get to be God. You are the creator. You can do whatever you want with the characters. The boundaries are limitless. You want a poor oppressed hero to kick a rich corrupt politician’s ass. It can’t happen in real life but in a novel, it definitely can. Write what you love. It can be a very fulfilling and satisfying profession.
Alok Mishra: Do you think you have been trying to get yourself into someone else’s hood or you are looking to create your own writing space? Your writing is surely different from other writers who follow the line. How do you see your future in writing? What are the themes you would like to write in future?
Praneet Dabral: I want to create my own writing space. I will keep writing the stories which I love. I hope my future is bright in writing but who knows. My job is to write and not think about the consequences which are not in my hand. I would like to write romance only because it comes easily and naturally to me. I think I have a knack for it.
Alok Mishra: How do you tackle the negative feedbacks on your writings? Also, how much does a positive review from a reader excite you? Please be honest!
Praneet Dabral: Negative feedbacks are a part and parcel of life. You have to accept them and move on. Everyone gets criticized so why should I be an exception. Nothing to feel sad or angry about it. The key is to learn from the negative feedback and use it to better your next work. See you can’t please everybody so please yourself. I feel very touched to get a positive review from a reader and it encourages me to work harder the next time. I keep reading the positive feedback again and again. One positive feedback overcomes a thousand negative feedbacks.
Alok Mishra: And at last, it was surely a pleasure reading your novel, Praneet! I wish you all the best for your novel as well as all other novels in the future!
Praneet Dabral: Thanks a lot! I am deeply honoured.