The RV Book Fair – Author Naveen Sridhar

Naveen Sridhar is a scientist with a Ph.D. in chemistry and chemical engineering. Born in India, he migrated to Germany for studies at the Technical University of Berlin. He married a German. He got employed as a research scientist in the German chemical industry. Besides his profession, he pursued various other interests. He was also a performing artist. Widely traveled, he is fluent in some eight languages. Widowed, he has two sons and lives in Munich, Germany.

The subjects of the books he has authored cover entertainment, biography, and historical fiction, all available in English.

Here is the untold story behind the first accord, which ensured permanent peace between the two major powers of ancient times. The version of the treaty is at the UN office in New York, the Berlin State Museum in Germany, and the Museum of the Ancient World in Ankara, Turkey.
  • Hello author Naveen, welcome to the RV Book Fair! If you could tell your young writing self anything, what would it be?

Write for the joy of it, not to impress others. For a start, it is enough if you write — to your heart’s content — and like it. Writing is like playing a game or solving a crossword puzzle, for the sheer joy and not to prove anything to anyone, not even to oneself.

  • What does literary success look like to you?

To me, success would mean my work is making an impact on the readers at large. However, as this result is obscure, I can only go by the reaction in the market. Books can survive the author. Some authors were successful during their lifetime (Goethe, Shakespeare, Samuel Johnson) others only postmortem (Franz Kafka, Emily Dickinson). 

  • Anything you would say to those just starting in the craft?

Do not ask if you are too young, too old, or have the talent to write. Follow your passion. Read a lot, whatever your interest. Read self-help books on writing and work on your craft. Rest will follow, even the discovery of your talent. 

  • How long on average does it take you to write a book?

Usually, at least two years from the first page of the draft up to publication. Once I took five years with several breaks: interrupted by the demise of my wife, selling my home, and moving some 600 km away. 

  • What inspired you to start writing?

My late mom’s career as a writer in two languages. She was a recognized writer in India. I was very young but got to know a lot about the writer’s moods and wants through her discussions with my elder siblings. I also learned from her to be autodidactic and how to learn languages. 

  • How do you come up with the title of your books?

First, I only have a working title, call it a project title. The book title comes up towards the end of the writing. I do not search for one. Usually, a phrase or a rhyme, or even a sentence in the manuscript pops up. This is the way I also give titles to my chapters.

  • Where do you dream of traveling to and why?

Time travel. I write historical fiction and non-fiction ranging from times 50 years to 5000 years ago. My books are an invitation to the reader to join me on a ride in the Time Machine with me as a humble guide. I realized that history repeats itself for the motives of humankind are always the same, be it the monarchs, the nobility, or the commoner. A story involving their passion (fear, pride, ambition, weakness) is a wonderful way to introduce the reader to the world in which they lived, triumphed, and suffered. It introduces the “visitor” to the culture of that time and place.

  • State a random fact about yourself that would surprise your readers.
  • By profession, a research scientist (with some 40 patents)
  •  Over two decades I was also a stage entertainer (authored a guide to ventriloquism)
  • I speak about eight languages.
  • What was your hardest scene to write?

The car accident where I and my whole family could have perished. Years later, I needed more than a weak writing scene involving the crash and my visit to my six-year-old son in the hospital.

  • What is your writing process like? Are you more plotter or a pantser?

More of a plotter. I think, plan, and formulate before I ever set out to write. Even whole dialogs may roll off my mind. I rarely need to discard anything written as a whole. Only during the process of writing, I am not systematic, but more a pantser. I may be writing the last scene even before I finished the first half of the story, or a dialog even before I began the manuscript. 

Candlelight in a Storm by Naveen Sridhar is the historical biography of his wife. Born during World War II and fleeing the violence there, later fleeing communist regimes as a teenager, and traveling the world, her story is at once colorful and harrowing. John F. Kennedy came to Germany and said ‘Ich bin ein Berliner,’ signifying that Germany did not need to be forever tarnished with the legacy of the Nazi party, and there was a generation of Germans looking to establish peace and freedom in the country. Candlelight in a Storm is the ode to this generation.

Find out more at : https://www.naveensridhar.com/

Naveen Sridhar’s interview at UNCUT with Lucia