Today we have with us Dipti Patel, owner of one of the leading literary agencies in the country, WordFamous. We are going to talk to her about the latest book one of her authors has launched, Two Sides Of A Coin, by Capt Jay Joshi. The book has been received well in the market and has been projected to become a bestseller.
Question: So Dipti, how did you come upon this author and his work in the first place?
Answer: Well, being a literary agent, I receive manuscripts from aspiring writers. We then assist them in polishing their work and bringing it to the standards required in the publishing industry. That is how I was approached by Jay, whose manuscript instantly caught my attention. Not only was the background of the author interesting, a serving military officer, the topic he had written on was Kashmir, something we see daily on the news. After reading the synopsis and initial chapters, I was convinced that not only was the plot interesting, but the writer had immense potential.
Question: Which part of the plot did you find the most interesting?
Answer: Well obviously we don’t go through the complete plot initially, our job as literary agents are to judge whether the writing is of the required caliber and the subject would be well received in the audience. I understood the fictional narrative was written from two opposite perspectives, which is something very unconventional, that too when we speak of a delicate topic such as Kashmir. I had no doubts with the quality of his writing that he would have represented the military perspective with ease, but I was convinced the book was worth backing when I read the parts of the militant, who was given equal importance.
Question: What makes this plot unique?
Answer: Well, as I said, it’s written from two completely opposite perspectives, forcing the reader to empathize with two different beliefs at the same time. Unlike most books which have a single protagonist, we have two here, I am sure by the end the reader would start liking one over the other, but ultimately, both the characters are very relatable. I could empathize with both of them.
Apart from the plot, the author has done a very unique thing. He has used flashbacks in every chapter, to justify the actions of his characters. This makes the book a very thrilling read, as not only are the chapters alternating between the two protagonists, giving two different storylines at the same time. In each chapter, a flashback is taking the reader into the character’s past. So the actual story is going pretty fast, with no unnecessary additions required to build the plot. A reader will not be easily bored.
Question: Does the book have any moral value?
Answer: I think it has multiple. The simple fact that you are able to relate to a militant, and understand the degree to which he undergoes brainwashing, your hate transforms into pity. You realize that things aren’t as simple as the media of the world would like you to believe, there is too much we do not understand. So I don’t think there is any particular moral takeaway, but it definitely broadens an individual’s perspective.
Also, the book is extremely informative, this is something I have seen done by many western writers, but is lacking here in India. The ease with which Jay relates events taking place in the world during that period to his plot makes the read quite informative. In fact, though it is a fictional narrative, much of it is influenced by actual events. The modus operandi of the militants is given in detail, so is the way the military operates. I would say the book is a creative non-fiction.
Question: Who do you think should read this book?
Answer: Anyone who is interested in reading I guess. (Laughs). The more the better. But, I think it appeals to a more mature audience, though there is plenty of learning value for the average student.
Question: Finally, can you tell us something about the author?
Answer: Actually, I spoke to Jay, and he says he does not wish to be highlighted, so it’s better if you send him a mail and see what he has to say. But I would definitely like people to take an interest in this book, maybe read some reviews, and if they like it, buy it. It’s available on Amazon.