Monday, 2 July 2018

Author Interview: Kunal Narayan Uniyal

Where do you belong to? Our readers want to know about your education and family.
First of all I would like to thank you for giving me an opportunity to interact with all, through this interview. Well, all I can say about me is that I was always a writer, since I started writing from my childhood days. Be it nature, river, clouds, humans and beauty, all used to inspire me to write something about them, some beautiful words, which can define their presence to all. My very first poems being love, relation ns and death. I did my schooling from St Thomas College, Dehradun one of the most prestigious institutions in India. After that, I got selected for a marine academy in Chennai, where I received my initial training and then joined sea as deck cadet, immediately after passing out of the academy. I was 18 then and with that my journey with sea, life and nature began.12 years down the line I am a ship captain, commanding huge ships over vast oceans traversing through pirates, cyclones. But that poet was always alive in me, wherever, whenever I used to go which ultimately led to composition of poems which formed part of my book.
My family, which includes my mother, father, elder brother, a beautiful wife and a lovely daughter. They have always been supportive about my writing and it is all because of their good wishes that I am able to designate time to my writing.
Tell us about your book.

“Sparrow In The Mirror” is an English poetry book, which deals mostly in spirituality. You will find answers to all your questions be it maya, death, immortality, approach towards yourself all bringing us closer to us. This book will give deeper insight about Indian spirituality and its practices to people everywhere. To summarize the book one of the poem says-
Wings need to be chipped, feathers need to be clipped, this pain need be taken, to steal this body from the mortal reigns
Let the body float in this thin, mystified air of lord, who picks us from this bond of death no rain will wet you, no pain will shiver you, this worldly life will be finally lost
lord just hold me tight, let me be pulled to your land, where no wing is known, no rain to drench me, just you cuddle this bird, with so sweet your touch

Tell us about your other books.
In all I have written five books. First four are poetry and the next one due for publishing is the fiction novel. My first book was Hindi poetry collection "Kuch khwab Sagar Se", Second was English Prose and poetry "Unanswered". The third one was again Hindi poetry collection, "Main Tula Hoon". The fourth one is English poetry "Sparrow in the mirror". The books have been translated into French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and Dutch. I have received acclamation in India as well as abroad for my books, which deals with spirituality and the positive approach towards life.

As a new author, what is your favorite part of the writing/publishing process? Least favorite?
Well, I wish I were new, ha ha. The best part about writing especially when you are a pot is that you are very observant about situations and people around you. They all find space in your work. Each person can relate with your writing and can find solace from your words. It is the message from the divine, which a poet is passing to the people and in turn is progressing towards the almighty. Ya publishing can be cumbersome and hectic at times but with a good publisher and nice editing, I think your book is in good hands. 

Are you an avid reader as well? What kind of books do you read? What is your frequency of reading?
Oh no, not at all, I don’t read much. But yes, as I have told before, I like to observe the nature and people. This is a continuous process and it happens each and every moment of my life. 

Which is your favorite book and why?
I have read once "A real Man" and it has truly inspired me. The book is on a Russian pilot who loses his legs in Second World War but due to his determination and courage return back to flying. I really found the book very inspiring. Apart from that, I am an avid reader of Sri Aurobindo's work.

Who are your favorite authors?
Maxim Gorki, William Wordsworth, Keats, Munshi Premchand and Sri Aurobindo.

Do you pursue any other profession apart from writing? How do you manage everything? How do you find family time amidst all this?
I am a captain of a ship, a professional sailor and  a passionate writer. I make sure that I pen down everything I observe and see. During my professional career also, I used to write. As I have told before, my family specially my wife is very supportive of it and it is all because of them that I am able to write.

What does your writing space look like?
My writing space, ha ha. It is either my workspace, bus, tram, tube, park everywhere. All is my work place. I have barely written a book sitting in a room.

How do you overcome writer’s block?
I never face one. If you know what you are writing about and why you are writing, you will never have one. Keep your concepts clear is the secret.

Tell us about your upcoming novel.
Journey to the next level is about a man who undertakes the task of rescuing the soul of a man in coma which is caught in the unknown levels of life after death. Not knowing how and where to go, he finally finds the guru who shows him the hidden path to the next levels; the path which connects the mortal world to the conscious realities of being. In his journey he passes through various astral, cosmic and mental levels of consciousness where he discovers secrets of existence and how the divine play effects each motion of our life and after. He not only faces barriers in form of lower vital and volte conscious forces in his journey but must fight his own ill traits if he must succeed in his task. However, he need to careful with time, as each passing moment is not only pulling the soul of the man from where it can never return but also will make it impossible for his own soul to return to his mortal body, if he stays longer than the time assigned to him. The novel which will open the secret avenues of various levels of consciousness, the hidden worlds of para cosmic realities and the struggle of petty human soul against the immortals.
How long did you take to finish this book? What was the process like?
It took me three years, yes three years to complete my novel. I actually saw me growing with each chapter of the book, my approach towards life, my behavior, my acceptability of everything going around me changed with the progress of the book. I wrote it when I was on ship, I wrote it when I was travelling round the globe, I kept writing it when I was in London for two years and then finally was able to complete it.

What are you hoping people to gain from your book?
Their way of looking at life and beyond. It is for people belonging to all age groups. Mystic beings, magical creatures, adventurous world and the mesage of spirituality hidden in it. It is based on my true experiences. I am pretty sure it will change the way people look at death.

What were some of the challenges you faced on the road to publication?
Being a published author, I didn’t had to face much hurdles as I was already signed by my existing publisher. Even before I had started with my book, I had my publisher with me. But yes my first book faced almost fifty rejections.

What kind of research have you done for the book?
As I have told before, my research is based on my real experiences. Practicing spirituality has led to the revelation of many new aspects of life which was unknown before.A true writer is one who offers something new to the world rather than following age old dogmatic customs.

Any story behind deciding the title of this book?
We are all travelers in the great caravan of life. The journey continues even after death. 

Why should we read your book?
To understand what actually lies beyond the petty circle of life and death; what is the main purpose of our life; why do we exists and who is playing the divine game with us.

Do you have any blog or website the readers can visit?
What advice do you have for budding writers?
Just write, irrespective of whether someone reads or not just write. Write for the satisfaction of your soul; write to mend your heart, just write.


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