Nicholas Sparks once said, “There’s always pressure. A great deal of pressure when writing, since my first books were so successful.”
Jeffrey Archer in Jaipur said, “Every time a book of mine comes out, I spend sleepless nights wondering if it will debut on the New York Times, bestseller list …. at #1.”
Every author goes through a phase of nervous anxiety just before a book release. When the biggies in the world of commercial fiction go through this phase, can we all be untouched by this emotion. Obviously not!
Archer may have mastered the art of dealing with this pre-release pressure, but I have a long way to go before I become an expert at camouflaging this pressure. People refer to it by different names – pressure, stress, anxiety, responsibility etc etc. But trust me when i say it, it all means the same – a desire to succeed. A desire to do well. A desire to come good on the faith people have in you.
As I ready myself for the release of BANKERUPT, the pressure is beginning to show. Were things always like this for me? No. Definitely not. Have they changed over the years ? Most certainly… YES!
When If God was a Banker came out six years back, there was absolutely no pressure on me. It was my first book and I had no idea what success looked or felt like. So there was no fear of failure. Success or failure wouldn’t have mattered. All I wanted to do at that stage was to write one book. Thats it.
The success of If God was a Banker changed it all. Pressure walked clandestinely into the pages of my life. Into my writing career.
For me, BANKERUPT brings with it an enormous amount of responsibility and with it comes the pressure for delivery. To make sure that the book does better than my previous books. And its for more reasons than one.
1. Firstly this is my first book with a new publisher – Penguin. My earlier books with Rupa Publications have done well. Despite that I went ahead with Penguin. I have my own professional reasons for that. But change always brings with it a certain amount of apprehension (pressure again). Must confess however that Penguin have been absolutely superlative thus far, and have done everything possible to help me settle into the new relationship.
2. Secondly BANKERUPT is my first book where banking is not the core theme of the book. A step away from financial thrillers to the world of Generic thrillers. While I have done my bit to ensure that this is my “Thrillingest thriller”, its a bit different from my previous ones. And with any new venture comes anxiety (pressure again)
3. As one evolves in the journey as a writer, the commercials involved keep getting more and more significant. The need to make sure that you deliver to the publishers who have shown faith in you, to the readers who have bought your book, to the book stores who order and stock your books in bulk – is a huge responsibility (Pressure). Any author who doesn’t think about this does not deserve to be read.
However I have realised that this pressure is here to stay. It will go away temporarily when the launch phase gets over and I immerse myself in the manuscript of my next book. But the moment that gets done, and gets bundled off to the publisher, the pressure will come back in full force. There is no running away from it.
But of late i have seen an interesting change in me……. I have started enjoying this pressure. Without this pressure, I feel incomplete now.