Sanjay Koppikar is a Bangalore based entrepreneur, author, storyteller. From the city of Dharwad, Karnataka; Sanjay has nearly 25 years of experience in different areas of IT industry. SapnaINK shares some titbit about his upcoming book which is a SciFi thriller based on Nano technology along with his journey as a writer, his inspiration and much more…
- Tell us about your latest book?
The story covers a personal account of a Young Doctor as she meets a brilliant scientist working on a Nano Technology project. The story uncovers the greater impact his inventions across the health care system and his challenge of leveraging it to his advantage or greater good; her dilemma between two men in her life; and an army general’s dilemma of saving the nation by fighting his own colleagues to save them from an imminent disaster.
- When and why did you begin writing this novel?
This story came to me in 2011 while I was waiting for my flight from Delhi. I wrote the entire synopsis on my Blackberry while I was in the flight and sent it as a mail to my wife! Then I started writing it later part of 2011 and then after multiple re-writes and reviews, it got frozen in later part of 2015.
- When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I am not sure if I still consider myself as a writer. I consider myself more of a storyteller that managed to write something finally. I keep creating a lot of stories in my mind to keep myself and my family/friends amused. Some of them turn out to be good and then they force me to write it in to a novel!
- What inspired you to write your first book?
First published book, “Bangalored”, was an interesting case. I had a lot of data to show how Bangalore was growing in to its own peril of self-destruction. Land grab, greed, jumping jobs in IT, water crisis, traffic and many more was growing making Bangalore lose its moral as well as physical strength as a strong city. And I saw our own hand in creating this monster! Each one of us were at the root of these problems in some form or the other.
Instead of publishing this as a non-fiction based on statistics, I thought of a story that represented the growth and the decline with our part in it. And since I am an eternal optimist, I had to put the brighter side of it. And I did.
- How did you come up with the title?
The current book ‘Divided Minds’ was suggested by our friend and an author. Since this book had so many situations where dilemma of the mind was at its paramount – we had to show this even in the title. It fit wonderfully well.
- Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
No ‘moral of the story’ as such! But it is a scifi turned in to simple to read fiction which even a non-sci-fi reader would enjoy.
But the inventions created in this book has been a phenomenal one as I found an Israel company trying to emulate a similar technology!
- What books have most influenced your life most?
Many books have influenced me over the years. One of the most important books for me has been ‘7 Habits of highly effective people’ by Stephen Covey.
- If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
I am not sure – I get excited by any good story! May be life, if personified, itself as an author is the most influential part in any author’s life, I suppose!
If given a chance, may be it would be Dan Brown. I would love to learn how he creates the pressure and scene around you just using those words
- Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Indian authors, yes – Amish and Ashwin Sanghi are few of them for sure.
- If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I am not sure as I had taken so much of time to change it multiple times! Yes – I would have loved to put more action and pace in it than what it already has. If I had done it, it would have been a Hollywood action movie!
- Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
We as a family have always been interested in storytelling and writing. My mom wrote some. My elder sister wrote quite often too. Most importantly, I had a neighbor who was a phenomenal storyteller – Mr.Ganesh Burde. He never published his book, by the way! But he wrote it just for himself and his admirers. He created stories of virtually anything! That was I think what rubbed me for good.
- Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Yes and no. I travel much – yes. But haven’t done that yet for a book. Since I run a software company as a CEO, I travel a lot. But that gives me a lot of time to write while on travel.
One of my next planned books is a travelogue based on one girl’s real life experiences. So I may plan to travel as well for that.
- What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Reviewing! Every time I reviewed, I felt something was missing! Hence, it kept changing its shape and form. Hence, you had to realign everything once again with the changed perspective. That took a long time for me for both of my books. It took at least 4 years to take shape and come out!
- Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
A lot. Starting with simple grammar to start with; while editing the book my editors and reviewers gave a lot of feedback on the use of proper language!
Every topic needs a lot of background study for correctness when we publish – even though they are works of fiction.
For example, in this book, Divided Minds, I had to imagine a Nanobot that would be injected into bloodstream! To make it feel real, I had to understand what is being done in the field, how will the Nanobot get its power, how does it communicate, how will it adjust with the WBC once introduced etc.
In the next book that is under writing called ‘My Dream Job’, I have to study a lot about mental illness including sleep disorder, depression, dual personality syndrome, schizophrenia among lot of other things.
- Do you have any advice for other writers?
Being an Entrepreneur since I was 18 years old, I see everything as a startup. For me, each of the books I write is a startup that I co-found it with my editors, reviewers, publishers, marketing team etc. That,then becomes an important product to be consumed by readers. Hence, feedback becomes an important aspect. That becomes your ingredient and learning for the next startup – in other words your next book.
- Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I hope people like this book. I would request them to read and more importantly, let me know their thoughts regardless of their praise or criticism. They’ll help me grow as an author and a storyteller. I have already discussed a sequel for the book, if I get a favorable response. The sequel takes the concept to a new level altogether with much bigger shock value!