Author Interview- Deepak Jaisinghani


Can you tell us a little about your book? 

'The Girl Who Did Not Break' is about Fatima Khan, the first-ever female Army Officer, who rose to national prominence after an unexpected standoff with the Pakistan Army. Unfortunately, her impeccable career in the Army ends when she is taken hostage beyond the Munabao border in Rajasthan and her entire all-female squad battalion. As her story surfaces again in the media after two years when she miraculously escapes from Pakistan, she develops romantic feelings for Yugant, the Second-In-Command of Special Task Force. Unbeknownst to her, he is tracking her every movement. He suspects the former decorated Army Officer has turned and now might be on a secret mission to execute a ghastly conspiracy against the Indian Government. The primary question the book deals with is whether Fatima Khan is the true enemy Yugant believes her to be, or is there a different side to her story?


Is there a specific event that inspired this story, or was this an out-of-the-blue idea?

This was not intended to be my debut novel. I was writing a gangster drama titled 'The Colour of Blood.' Two chapters into the book, this sudden idea consumed me. The plot steadily kept developing in my mind. Gradually, the idea got so overwhelming that I abandoned the book I was writing and started working on this project.


What got you writing in the first place?  

Hindi comics. My childhood was filled with those. Super Commando Dhruva, Aatankharta Naagraj, Parmanu, Chacha Chaudhary, etc. I used to write my own stories at the back of school notebooks and show them to my friends. I shifted to English comics as time passed and then to English novels. So the writing insect bit me quite early on.


What was your impression of your first draft when you read it?

 That it could work commercially, I remember reading somewhere that first drafts are called 'vomit drafts' because generally, they are so terrible that nobody wants to read them. It was not the case with me. I had written quite a lot of short stories and poems before writing a full-fledged book. I was familiar with the nuts and bolts of writing.


Which part of your story connects the most with you? Why?

Um.. that is a difficult one to answer. You see, my story is a fictional thriller. Almost all of the events that happen in the book are not relatable to me, physically speaking. The story revolves around terrorists, betrayals, and chase sequences. My characters are detectives and Army Officers. And I am a Chartered Accountant, a teacher, and a businessman. My world is dynamically different from the world portrayed in the book. However, emotionally speaking, I love my characters and this fictional world. Creating a whole other universe from scratch is nothing less than possessing a literal godlike power.


What makes your book the one to read?

The USP of my book is the plethora of shocking twists and its fast pace. I spend the first half of the book building up the plot and the characters. The first big shocker drops precisely at the mid-point. Another one comes even to tear that apart. And then, the twists keep falling like rain! You barely have had the time to adjust to a particular shocker, and BAM! I bet you have never experienced such a quick rush of adrenaline before from a book.


What was the best advice you got while writing? 

The best advice I got while writing the book was the difference between Suspense and Surprise. Suspense is when the reader is aware that he does not know something, that the author is deliberately withholding an essential piece of the puzzle from him. Surprise is when the reader doesn't even know that he doesn't know something. It's like the author scrambles up behind him and shouts, 'Gotcha!' A good author is the one who uses both of the techniques simultaneously in their book to generate the element of thrill. I took that advice to my heart and have sincerely tried to do that in my book.


Who's your all-time favorite author? Which book of his/hers made you fall in love with them?

I am an aficionado of all things thriller (obviously!), but specifically, I like the works of Jeffrey Archer and Dan Brown the most.


What is your evergreen tip to the writers out there?

To believe in themselves and keep writing, keep persevering. If you are a hundred percent clear that writing is for you, then please don't ever abandon it. Write regardless of the circumstances.


Do you have another plot brewing?

Oh yeah. The Girl Who Did Not Break is the first book in the Arc of a Soldier trilogy. I am currently working on the second book in the series, The Girl Who Fought Back.

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