Often regarded as India’s most popular ‘Thriller Writer’, we bring to you a super exclusive interview with Novoneel Chakraborty, the multi-faceted author of bestsellers such as ‘Cross Your Heart, Take My Name’, ‘Black Suits You’ and the ‘Stranger Trilogy’ apart from many other unputdownable titles. His fans have a reason to rejoice, as he announces that his next novel will be a ‘Crime Thriller’…
Interviewed By Nitika Bajpayee
His fluid words will take you on an emotional roller-coaster and if you happen to be a woman reader, his words would surely kindle your thoughts. The chase in his Stranger Trilogy – also adapted into a web series called ‘Hello! Mini’ on MX Player – describes a woman’s fears, apprehensions and finally ‘knowing her worth’. Applauded immensely by the youth, the stranger series got translated into six languages. Even Black Suits You, another thriller by Novoneel, found its rendering to another one on the web called ‘Bekaboo’. Novoneel’s pen is also behind several famous – as many as 12 Indian bestsellers, television shows such as ‘Ye hai Ashiqui’, ‘Savdhaan India’, and ‘Million Dollar Girl’. In this exclusive conversation, he talks about his take on life, sexuality, and every thing that goes behind coming up with a thriller…
Q 1. What you do mean when you say you are being ‘sexually spiritual’? Is it possible to be sexually ‘connected’ to someone you haven’t actually met in real life? What’s your take on this?
Ans: It simply means my senses are aroused by spiritual expressions and not just hedonistic means. Sexuality, for me, is as much about the body as it is about the mind. And thus, I feel it’s totally possible to be sexually ‘connected’ to someone you haven’t met for real. It’s all how your thoughts are regarding the person or how you have interpreted the person in your head.
Quote: “Even though you never happened to me, I still remember you the most.”
Q 2: How would you define yourself – a writer, a spiritualist, a philosopher or just a common man?
Ans: I think I would say that I’m just a simple man, who is always doggedly eager to share his stories. I think every creative person is a philosopher of varying degree.
Quote: “Peace is knowing your reality. Happiness is loving your reality.”
Q3: When did you realise the inner calling of being an author? The circumstances, and incidents that drew you towards writing? And, why did you choose thriller as your genre?
Ans: It was during my third year in college when the writing bug bit me. While writing a few short stories for self, I realized that this was ‘what’ I wanted to do all my life. And thus, I dropped out of college to become an author. Talking about the genre, I think ‘thriller’ came naturally to me. I believe every author should respect what comes naturally to her/him rather than aping someone else.
Quote: ‘We all are someone’s monotony and someone’s thrill.’
Q4: Please share some anecdotes from your childhood or the phase of life that is closest to your heart – college or school, youth life, or work life.
Ans: There are so many moments which not only shape you up, but somewhere become memorable as well. One of those was the day I decided to drop out of my college to become a writer. I think the ‘decision’, more than anything else, gave me the much-required courage to take on life. I truly believe I would have been a different person if I had not taken that decision.
Quote: ‘In our desperate attempt to live an illusion, we shouldn’t compromise on our reality.’
Q5: How do you pick up storylines for your novels? Inspirations or incidents or you take cues from real life situations?
Ans: It depends actually, sometimes it’s a real life incident which I fine-tune to turn it into a novel. Or, at times, it’s a personal experience. And likewise. There’s no a particular timeline as far as locking the title is concerned. The more one digs into the story everything else starts appearing with time. Of course, life is the ultimate inspiration for me.
Q6. Are you in talks with film makers for the adaptations of your books in to web-series or films?
Ans: Yes, three of my novels are currently being adapted into web series.
Q7: What’s next?
Ans: Whisper to me your Lies – A crime thriller.
Questions sent by fans of Novoneel
- Most of your books have a hidden stranger, and you weave the story around him/her. How do you imagine the nuances of the character of this very ‘stranger’?
Ans: I spend a good amount of time developing the characters I write about. I believe it doesn’t really matter how good a plot is, a story is ultimately remembered for the characters it has.
- There is so much lust in your stories, do you personally relate to it? How does your family react when they read your books that are dotted with sexuality and lust?
Sexuality is an important aspect of my character’s life. And I don’t shy away from projecting it in my books. But I always make it a point that beyond the sex, there’s always some other character take away in the scene both for the characters and the readers.
- The three couples you talk about in your book, “The Best Couple Ever”, make a lot of people resonate with the life journeys – high profile, fake lives – of these three couples. What is your message to such real-life couples?
To each his own. I personally find it difficult to live a dual life but respect the ones who do it with ease. Guess some of it is also the demand of the times we live in.
- One book that is really close to your heart and why?
Atonement by Ian McEwan is emotionally close to me.
- Do you follow modern day spiritualists and philosophers?
Yes, I do follow the talks of Sadhguru.
- Please tell our readers five books of all times that they must read (both fiction and non-fiction)
Not much into non-fiction but the 5 fiction I would recommend are:
- The Outsider by Albert Camus
- The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
- It Rained All Night by Buddhadev Basu
- Shrikanto by Sarat Chandra Chatterjee
- Jonathan Livingstone Seagull by Richard Bach
Favourite films and authors:
Being a book and movie buff it’s difficult to list favourite ones. There’s so much to learn from most of them. And many of them have been influences in my growing up years from Enid Blyton to Ayn Rand to Sarat Chandra to… the list goes on!
Favourite travel destination (in India and abroad)
I would love to visit New Zealand someday.
Which of these captivating quotes by Novoneel Chakraborty do you relate to??
- We all are damaged. Just that sometimes, someone’s damage heals your damage.
- Choose your comfort zone wisely. It’s going to be your eventual prison.
- If nothing has scared you, you haven’t loved anything enough.
- Sometimes the smoke teaches you more than the fire.
- Most will help you learn. Soulmates will help you unlearn. (My personal favourite)
Follow him on Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/novoneelchakraborty/
Picture Credit: Instagram/Novoneel Chakraborty