Ajay K. Pandey grew up in the NTPC township of Rihand Nagar with big dreams. He grew up with a dream of becoming a teacher, but destiny landed him in the field of IT. Travelling, trekking and reading novels are his hobbies. You are the Best Wife is his debut book based on his life events and lessons. [Read: How I Sold 100,000 Copies of my Debut Novel]
Tell us a bit about your work. What inspires you to write?
My first book, You are the Best Wife, was not a book but the true story of my own journey with my beloved wife. I was inspired to write it to share my experience of love, loss and everything I learnt about life.
My second book Her Last Wish, however, was my attempt at writing fiction based on true events that happened in the life of someone I knew. The event inspired me personally in my life and I felt it needed to be shared with the world0.
I find my stories in people. Every problem has an opportunity of becoming a unique story.
I see people struggling to handle their relationships and facing issues, they stop appreciating what life has given them. This triggers in me the need to frame my stories around those issues and help them out by sharing my experiences.
What you reading right now? Your favourite books?
Currently, I am reading the book Gujarat Files, the outcome of an eight-month long undercover investigation by journalist Rana Ayyub about the Gujarat riots.
I am big fan of Buddhadeva Bose and Khushwant Singh. I learnt the art of writing and also how to demonstrate emotions in limited words. I admire their characters which were real and close to common people.
My favourite books are The Company of Women by Khushwant Singh and It Rained all Night by Buddhadeva Bose.
Advice for aspiring writers who are trying to complete their first book or story.
My first advice would be to read good books and try to understand why did you like the story while delving more into the art of writing.
Once you have written your first book, ask yourself two basic questions – Why would someone read your book and how is your story different from others?
If you are satisfied with your own answers go ahead or else you need to rework.
My message for budding authors is simple – there is a lot of competition in the bookstores, but if you do not surrender, definitely one day you will find your own space in a bookstore and more importantly in the readers’ hearts too.
What would you be looking for in this contest? How would you choose the best story?
Personally, I am fascinated more towards real stories. An emotionally satisfying and optimistic ending are two major factors that I consider before reading any romance. I will enjoy a story more if it gives an inspirational message for living life and maintaining relations.
A short story has its limitation so I do not expect character development in detail but something that stands out definitely will work wonders.
P.S.: The most significant part in a short story is the first 1000 and last 500 words.
Do you have it in you to impress Ajay with your story?