New Delhi: Author and educationist Abbyshek Chandra, whose debut novel, 'Love You Forever', was launched last year, says he took the romance genre, because "love is the most popular and one of the strongest emotions that affects all of us deeply". His forthcoming book 'Forbidden Love' was selected among the top five in Amazon Pen-to-Publish contest this year.
Chandra, in a chat with IANSlife, shares: "When I decided to write my debut novel - Love You Forever (that is based on my life and is one of the best-rated novels internationally), I wanted it to appeal to the largest segment of readers, which is the romance segment with people of all age groups because 'love' is the most popular and one of the strongest emotions that affects all of us deeply. Romance genre was hence, a conscious and an obvious choice, though only for my debut novel. Also, being an emotional person, I knew I could do justice to the genre. I believe that a good author should be able to write in any genre and I would consciously never align myself with a particular genre. I have also written books in Maths, Physics and Biology that students follow every year."
He adds: "Coming back to novels, I am a free soul and I will continue to write stories I feel strongly about. If 'love' happens to be a part of them, so be it. It is actually difficult to avoid 'love' and 'relationships' when you write a novel in any genre. Pick any novel - mystery, thriller, horror, etc., and you will notice that love and relationships would form a part of its plot in some way or the other."
Does he think love and romance is an "easy" genre to write on? Chandra says yes, as compared to, say, horror, mystery, crime, and thriller genres. "I say this purely because most of the authors have had first-hand experience of romance and love. Writing about something you have personally experienced is obviously easier than writing about things (horror, crime, etc) you haven't."
Having said that, he shares that romance is also the most difficult genre to write on if one wants to go on and become a successful and famous author.
"Every other author writes on romance, be it debut or established. So, it is the most common genre to write on. This is what makes romance the most difficult genre because the competition is immense and for you to get noticed among hundreds of romance authors (both debut and established ones) published every month, your novel should stand apart. Trust me, doing that is very, very difficult. Imagine standing amidst a crowd of hundreds and standing out. Ask any published author, it is not easy!"
"Even if you do manage to make your love story unique, getting the readers to read your novel and appreciate it, is a monster challenge and is a job easier said than done. Also know that none of your relatives, friends and acquaintances would help you. They will not talk about it on their social media handles or in their friend circles. They (except a couple of them) would mostly not even buy your novel. The success rate of authors in this genre is less than 1 per cent."
What characterizes his love stories?
"My love stories are not the ideal ones that you would normally read in novels or watch in movies. I would say my stories are practical and hard-hitting. Just like in real-life, the characters of my novels are never perfect and have shades of grey instead of being "too good to be true", which is what most of the readers identify with. As a reader, you will love my characters for a few things and hate them for others. Isn't it how it is with people in our real-life?
"In my novels, you will also find a strong message with a lot of life's learnings and motivation that will hopefully make you a better person and make you read the novels multiple times when you are feeling low in your life. For example, in Love You Forever, I have introduced Abby's Laws of Life that are very practical and have helped my readers a lot."
Finally, which love stories does the author in him get inspired by? "The love stories that inspire me are not the romantic ones but the ones that showcase love between a parent and a child. That is the purest form of unconditional, true love."