Vasudev Murthy lives in Bangalore, India and writes on music, humor, management and crime. He has been published by Poisoned Pen Press, Bloomsbury, HarperCollins and Sage. His work has been translated into Portuguese, Korean, Japanese and Kannada. He is otherwise a Management Consultant and violinist with a passion for animal welfare.
Thanks for letting us interrogate you! Can you give us a go-for-the-gut answer as to why you wanted to be an author?
I’m very passionate about many matters. I wanted to infect others with that passion.
Tell us (we won’t tell promise!) is it all it’s cracked up to be? I mean what are the perks and what are the demands?
I wasn’t looking for any perks. But odd things happened. I received a couple of marriage proposals. Publishers and Editors who had previously studiously avoided me suddenly started sending me friend requests on Facebook. People actually asked me for my autograph. I started wearing dark glasses, bought a Mercedes and tried to live an anonymous life. That failed. And as far as the demands are concerned, yes, I’m always jetting around the world giving talks and addressing hysterical fans. On a serious note, I must say that nobody said this would be easy. A book is sold one at a time. The demands are, quite simply, patience, stamina and a thick skin.
Which route did you take – traditional or self-published – and can you give us the nitty gritty low down on what’s that like?
Traditional. I have been quite fortunate. The challenge is that since I write across many genres, I need to work with each publisher separately and build trust and interest. It’s been moderately difficult but I haven’t faced too much of a problem.
Tell us for real what your family feels about you spending so much time getting your book written, polished, edited, formatted, published, what have you?
They are all busy with their own pursuits, and so they tend to leave me to mine without much complaint. They understand that a writer is a dangerous person and best avoided.
This is for pet lovers. If you don’t own a pet, skip this question, but do your pets actually get their food on time or do they have to wait until you type just one more word?
Yes, absolutely. They are my priority. I won’t write if I know they are uncomfortable in any way. Since they spend a lot of time near me, I’m well attuned to their needs.
In writing your book, how did you deal with the phone ringing, your family needing dinner or your boss calling you saying you’re late?
It is true that I get immersed in my writing and like to focus. But I haven’t had such situations occur. Maybe I time myself well! How boring! Of course, it did happen that I was hit by malaria and then dengue. I still met the deadline. Then there were some seriously ill animals I had to take care of. And that while going about my consulting business. Everything fell into place magically.
What was the craziest or insane thing that happened to you in the book publishing process?
Three separate publishers purchased foreign language rights to my first Sherlock Holmes book, and translated it into Portuguese, Korean and Japanese. I never imagined that would happen.
How about the social networks? Which ones do you believe help and which ones do you wish you could avoid?
It’s difficult to say. Facebook works to the extent of my friends. Twitter helps reach out even more. But it’s not possible to measure if either has resulted in more sales. However, I can say that a book gathers momentum over time. Reviews of Sherlock Holmes, the Missing Years: Japanare still coming in and now Timbuktu is out. It will reach its crest in about a year or more.
Book sales. Don’t you just love them (or lack of?)? How are you making the sales happen for you?
By not meddling with my publishers plans and doing exactly what they ask me to do— responding to this interview, for example.
What is one thing you’d like to jump on the rooftop and scream about?
Animal Welfare. It’s time to write about an invisible world of utter misery, terror and sorrow. I want to write a book or two about that.
Okay, too much sugar for you today! Here’s a nice cup of Chamomile tea and come on over and sit under the cabana and watch the waves roll in. Now…can you tell us what you love about being a published author and how all those things above don’t matter because it’s all part of the whole scheme of things and you wouldn’t have it any other way?
It’s interesting to see how people change when they get to know I’m a published author. I don’t like talking about it on my own. Many seek my suggestions on getting published and I tell them whatever I know. Of course, everyone expects a free, signed copy as a matter or right. I love refusing. I see their faces then turn pale and malevolent as they slink away, bitter, rebuffed. I’ve learned that I have it in me to take on a long term project, from conceptualizing a book to writing it and then seeing it published. It’s not for the faint-hearted.