Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Interview with TGC Prasad – Success is relative and has a large spectrum

In an exclusive interview with renowned author TGC Prasad shared his experiences and recipe to keep his books fresh.  He is the author of two best selling books “Unusual People Do Things Differently” and "Along the Way."'

How do you summarize your experience as an author compared to your life as successful corporate professional?

Writing is an expression of one’s emotions, feelings and learning. I find it meditative, healing, and exploratory. To that extent imagination often crosses the contours of the unfathomable. Experience as an author is cathartic, very internally driven and the highly creative processes churn your mind and one tends to shut off from transactions for long periods of time. During the researching, thinking and writing process, I end up spending a lot of time with myself. However, as a successful corporate professional, the whole experience is very different, where one has to show a vision, rally your team, focus on accomplishing the goals, make sure that people are happy and all that. I believe these are two different facets of life, one that focuses on expression and the other on accomplishing goals.

We know a small break from work after ankle injury gave you a chance to become an author. But what really made you start writing books? Why not something else?

John Grisham was practicing law and was squeezing 60-70 hours a week to work on his hobby of writing. Now he is associated with legal thrillers and 250 million books of his sold in the market. He never expected that he would be associated with writing. Many people do not know that they will end up as authors.

Similarly I never thought I would become an author. After the ankle surgeries, I sat at home and initially didn’t know how to spend my time productively. One late night, as I was reading a book to my son, it occurred to me to write and fortunately both the books have been published. ‘Unusual People Do Things Differently” is a national bestseller and “Along the Way” (hilarious fiction story of 3 software engineers working with TCS, may soon become a motion picture). I never expected all this. Sometimes things happen, one must accept them the way they come by and move on!

There are so many self-help books already fighting for making some impact, what were your initial thoughts before starting “Unusual People Do Things Differently”?

“Unusual People Do Things Differently”, essentially is a people book – a book for every student and working executive. It conveys deep insights of what 65 different people are doing in their lives and how they are striving hard to do extraordinary things. To me success is relative and has a large spectrum. People who do well in their jobs, are happy in their lives and are able to spread joy to others – are extremely successful people. So when I started writing the book, I wanted to convey this simple message to all. Not all who are covered in media are successful. You and I are as successful; it depends on how we view it.

Now when both of your books “Unusual People Do Things Differently” & “Along The Way” have already created own place amongst the readers, what is your recipe to keep it fresh with your next book?

I never expected “Unusual People Do Things Differently” to be a national best seller and didn’t even remotely think that “Along the Way” could be potentially made into a movie. It just happened. I focus on writing something interesting and hopefully readers also enjoy what I pick up to write about. Each book is a project for me, where I do extensive research. I have been working on the topic of “children with autism” for a few years now and it focuses on ‘hope and happiness’. Then there is this hilarious book about mid-life blues, and the book explores the sexuality of the protagonist…more soon…

What will be your advise to aspiring authors stuck in boring jobs to keep their writing fire alive and get published some day?

Whether one is an aspiring author or not, if somebody is doing a job, which the person is not interested in, then quit the job and move on. I strongly believe that people should do what they love doing – that will make them happy and help them lead meaningful lives.

My advise to aspiring writers is – write from the heart, continue writing and am sure one day you will get published. Also, figure out whether ‘writing is your strength’. If not, you may want to relook at ‘writing’ as a long-term career option. A combination of ‘passion’ and ‘leveraging strengths’ – makes one emerge happier and scale newer heights!

For aspiring authors, I conduct five-day writing workshops in a mountain or a beach retreat and help them from ideation to structuring their work. For this people usually submit a two-page manuscript to and we take it from there.

Interviewed By: Shreshta Chandra

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