Rishabh Dubey is a young and talented author from Lucknow, India. He also has a passion for music and graphic design. He published his first book at 16 and hasn’t stopped writing since. His website features a large collection of his articles, stories and thought-pieces.
Rishabh answered some questions about his life as a writer.
What motivated you to take up professional writing at such young age?
It was a weirdly accurate sequence of incidences. I cannot say I had a particular day of enlightenment when I went up to the mirror and told myself ‘I want to be a writer’. I had an innate affinity towards telling stories and narrating experiences, both my own and the ones I had read, seen, heard of or most importantly imagined.
Going ahead with my random scribbles and narrations, there was one fine phase when I had resolved to give a concrete shape to them. Initially, when I read how much diligence this field requires, I was demoralized and had almost given up… but I soon realized that the satisfaction and jubilation I feel after having written what I wanted to was far greater than the dissatisfaction I could’ve faced or maybe had faced in case it did not get appropriate reception or was rejected.
Lastly, I didn’t leave it be for the future or for when I was old enough or capable enough. I started there and then, and kept going.
What inspired you to take the pen name of Kridious?
Every kid is a storyteller, aren’t they? We create characters and alter-egos, often decorated with our sense of heroism. When I started writing my first book, I thought what better to name my protagonist than the one name which I had been reiterating in my imaginative eccentricities since childhood.
It was kind of a doorway to recall the limitlessness of a child’s imagination so that I never end up restricting my own. Thus, I adopted it as a pen name. Also, it has a classy Latin touch to it.
What did you learn from the two novels you have published so far?
In the professional domain, I have learnt how to market my book and how not to market it. I have also understood that it is a gladiator’s Colosseum in the world of authors, whereby just good content won’t get you publishers or sponsors.
You need to fight your way up, for which you need a bunch of additional skill sets.
Personally, I have learnt a lot researching about the subjects I have explored and am exploring. I also sometimes get this snobbish feeling that I have Universes in my hands which I know the most about and which I can control with my fingers. I have moreover grown as a writer along the way since I have a better idea of what the reader wants and how to give it to them.
Your third novel is set to be released soon, what story are you trying to tell with it?
My third book is on the collective concept, intent, ideologies and purpose of all religions existent in India. India, you see, is a nation of a plethora of diversities. There has been this latent sense of harmony which has attracted everybody from everywhere to come to reside here.
In recent years, religion has been a subject of global scrutiny. People have been critical and rather sceptical of other people’s faiths. There was an era in this nation when there was no criticism of others’ beliefs and the only thing persistent was empathy towards them. I wanted people to know the roots of all the religions, which are not far from each other.
If you generalise a law or a solution intended to be applicable to an era, and subsequently formulate a system out of it which is compelled down to even this era, then definitely there would be repercussions that would demand criticism. The original intent is what is significant and what people have forgotten.
It might seem like it to people but I am not going to narrate something new. In fact, something archaic and long-lost. All in the form of a story entitled ‘The Religion Called Pragmatism: Memoirs of Dr Veena Ratankumari Jacobs’. No Spoilers. Would just say that religion for you would be a conundrum if you were born to three but raised to none.
What prompted you to start using Instagram to share your musical and travel exploits?
In my school, they used to repeat a phrase every day in the morning assembly before making us sing some song. ‘Music is the food for our souls’. I could only understand it when I picked up a guitar. I am an autodidact of guitar and singing. The journey, of course, began in the shower. I just let that carefreeness escape into my life outside. Travel…well, I started travelling during a bad phase of my childhood, in an attempt to run away from frequent bullying. Being exposed to it, I understood the beauty of it and embraced it.
My purpose for travelling was more than just seeing new places. I love meeting new people, hearing their stories and observing their diversified lifestyles. I also love the silence of solo journeys where it seems like I am the one telling myself some stories.
I took to Instagram, firstly, because it is very easy to share accessible media on it. Secondly, I want my readers and the world to know that being a writer doesn’t make me a boring intellectual residing amidst solitary walls.
My pursuits are pretty normal and I am definitely not boring. It is also like a compensation. If they don’t like my novels, they can tune in to my Instagram and hear my songs, watch me do crazy things and then dwell in the serenity of landscapes almost through my eyes.
Why have you focused on social media as a way to connect with people?
People generally ask, social media, a blessing or a curse? Well, everything constructive is a blessing till we start exploiting it. Facebook, for me, is a great way to stay connected with the people I have known in my life.
Instagram is rather an exploratory medium for me where I can connect with new people, get to appreciate new content and more. The apparent curse is that social media extracts time out of your life essential for working, growing, learning and actually socialising with people first-hand.
Though, the real scenario is such that when you are done with your quota of work and learning, or are probably taking a break, it gives you a supplementary platform to connect with more people, possibly the ones you have disconnected with. It is also a much simpler way to get to know people and things better. I just avoid overindulgence.
After the release of your new book, what are your plans for the future?
I have three planned novels I am sequentially working on. Two of them are sequels. Other than that, I want to release my music album as soon as possible. My University schedule keeps me pretty preoccupied, thus, I want to take a long vacation too.
If you talk about my plans for the distant future, then I am working on a publishing and guidance platform that shall catalyse young aspirants to take up writing without any fears or inhibitions. I want people to understand the significance of a story-teller.
Every story or news article we read, every movie or show we watch, every piece of educational text that is available, there is a writer behind each one of them. It is a universal job and I want youngsters to understand that and fearlessly pursue it if they have the passion for it.
What advice would you give someone who wanted to start writing professionally?
I would just say to all of you that we are all born storytellers. We are equipped with the intelligent abilities to speak and write because we are supposed to be able to narrate things to others. It just depends upon our affinity towards writing as a profession.
If you have the zeal for it, then you should start right now. You have an endless bracket to grow and you can only improve by consistently doing it. Want to write a poem, a story, a book, a series, etcetera? Start today.
Don’t worry about whether it would be published or whether people would like it. That comes later. The important thing is to start. Keep revising what you have written, keep introspecting, keep learning and you wouldn’t even realize when and how much you have improved and how far ahead you have travelled. Just start…and don’t stop.
Samantha is the head of content and politics columnist for Best in Australia. Prior to joining the Best in Au, she was a court and crime reporter at SM.