What inspired you to write ‘Scare Me If You Can’?
A couple of years back, on our school alumni group, a few of us began writing short tales in different genres around weird situations, with our own batchmates as characters. I was particularly called out for my funny stories and a couple of my friends suggested that I should write a book. I gave it a thought and explored a bit on how to get published. I chose horror because it was outside my comfort zone and I wanted to shock everyone. It was then that I decided to start writing short stories, because it is easy to draft them in 2 or 3 sittings. The main challenge however was to weave them into a core plot, because I did not want to publish a bunch of stories. It took me a while to come up with a theme. I am thankful that Scare Me If You can has been hailed as unique by a couple of bestselling authors.
What comes first for you — the plot or the characters and why?
Both are equally important. However, it depends on the author – one must decide, which of the two should stay with the readers forever. I typically think of the world I want to build, the situations I want to create and the challenges I want the characters to be subjected to. Then I think of the characters and their traits. In my book, the plot has come first. The setting of a workshop in itself is like a character.
What is the most difficult part of writing a Horror?
I feel horror writing is much more challenging as compared to other popular genres. Horror stories are effective only when they can influence a person’s mind by touching some area that makes the reader feel uncomfortable. Captivating someone’s mind and keeping the thrill alive is not easy. Besides, a story is never simply horror. There has to be an underlying romance/comedy/fantasy element that also comes into play. A key element of writing is to show rather than tell. The more visual the horror stories are, the more likely they are to succeed.
If you could spend a day with another popular author, whom would you choose?
It would be a tough choice between Stephen King whose horror writing is a treat for me in the present versus Robin Cook whose thrillers had triggered my interest in reading novels, back in my college days. His novels are an exciting combination of medical facts and fiction/fantasy. The stories not only seem believable but also offer a few takeaways of medical information.
What are your future plans? How soon can your readers expect your next book?
I am currently writing a rural horror novel. It is a thriller combining blind beliefs and crime. I am also plotting a crime thriller. Hoping to finish one of these by the year end.
Alumnus of NIT Rourkela and a Chemical Engineer by profession, Nikhlesh Mathur is currently positioned as Unit Head in a Sorbitol Manufacturing Company and has concurrently established himself as a published author in the fields of academic and creative writing. His debut book titled Learning Chemical Engineering for Process Industries reconciles his decades of industry experience with the objectives of academic writing. With The Storm in the Silence, he ventured into fictional modes of representation. His forthcoming novel, tentatively titled ‘In the Corridors of Coaching Capital’ combines traditional realism with experimental modes of narration to depict the vicissitudes of student life.
Dr.Rajagopal Kamath is a popular science author and freelance researcher. He got a PhD in Systems Research from the University of Kerala and a PG Diploma in Public Relations and Journalism. As a frontline resource person in science for various television channels and print media he contributes regularly and strives to promote scientific temper among the public. He writes in English and Malayalam about the findings and initiatives in Cosmology, Astronomy, Space Exploration, Meteorology, Planetary Science, Oceanography, Environment etc and his articles and books have wide readership.
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