Friday, April 29, 2011

Interview: Prem Rao

Hi, today I have on my blog Prem Rao, author of "It Cant be You" that I reviewed here a few days ago. Welcome to my blog!

1. I'd like to begin this interview by asking you what kind of books are there on your bookshelf? What books are you reading right now? Which genre of books do you generally read? Which books do you re-read again and again? 
You will find heaps of thrillers and plenty of P.G.Wodehouse. I just finished “Aftertaste” by Namita Devidayal- a very interesting book about a business family in India. I have started on “More Salt Than Pepper” by Karan Thapar. The best part of P.G. Wodehouse is that you can read and re-read his books so many times. I grant we seldom do that for a thriller!

2. Tell us something about your work before "It Cant Be You"?
I was a talent management specialist and executive coach. I have worked closely with people for over 35 years. It has been my good fortune to have worked with a wide cross-section of society from manual unskilled labor to sophisticated CEOs and members of the Board. I held top management positions in companies like Wipro, Fujitsu ICIM and Bajaj Auto before I started my own HR consulting firm called People 1st Consulting which I ran for ten years.

3. Did you always want to be a writer? How did you get into writing? What inspired you to write "It Cant Be You"?
Reading Frederick Forsyth, Jack Higgins, James Hadley Chase and Ian Fleming, I had this dream that some day I should write a book and it should be a thriller. This urge stemmed from my days as a voracious reader during my childhood. The national Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo as it is popularly called gave me the impetus to write “It Can’t Be You”. As you know in this competition thousands of people from all over the world write 50,000 words of their novel in the calendar month of November. I did this successfully in November 2009. I then worked on refining this until it was published as “It Can’t Be You” in November 2010.

4. What kind of people do you think this book will reach out to?
The best thing about thrillers is that have appeal for fans across age groups. People are intrigued by suspense. They have the urge to solve mysteries. In this context, I think “It Can’t Be You” will apply to a wide range of readers. Teenagers will like it as much as their grandparents would. The book is at the intersection of two of my major interests, psychology and the military. I guess it will appeal to thosewho like these subjects too. It is set in contemporary India and has a lot of
aspects that I believe most people will be able to easily relate to.

5. What is your favourite thing about books and reading? How have books made an impact on your life? 
I enjoy reading because it gives me new perspectives into the minds of people. This is reflected in the way characters in the book, if not the author himself/herself, think. In addition, books have always been a stress buster for me. I maintain that a few pages of P. G. Wodehouse would do you a world of good in moments of stress. Books have opened up new vistas for me; they have made me far better informed and aware than if I hadn’t been such a voracious reader. Last but not the least; they have in turn inspired me to try to entertain others with my stories.

6. Quick take. Answer the following with the first words/phrase that comes to your mind, in five words or less:

- Relationships – What you make of it

- Life – Be happy with what you have

- Human mind – Nothing is more complex

- Murder – Often the thirst for vengeance

- Books – Quality entertainment at reasonable cost

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