Thriller writer shares trade secrets (and names favourite reads)
GN Bureau | December 17, 2020
The first mystery about the mystery writer R Giridharan is this: how does he manage to accomplish much in the same 24 hours? He, as the publishers’ note says, “churns out murder mysteries both in the form of books and screenplays”. This, while holding a daytime job as a general manager with the Reserve Bank of India, in Mumbai now. Then, the fifty-one-year-old is also an international sports commentator with All India Radio and an expert panellist on Doordarshan; he has covered many Test matches and ODIs, including World Cup matches.
With the publication of his debut mystery, Right Under Your Nose (Rupa, 248 pages, Rs 250), Giridharan answers some questions from Governance Now:
Mr Giridharan, congratulations on the publication of the latest mystery. With a fulltime job and also other engagements, how do you manage to write long fiction? What is your typical day like?
I am always at something. Even, when I commute to office I keep thinking. I always alternate between my different passions. In the hectic cricket season, commentary and panel discussions takes precedence. In the off season, it is writing and voice over. Work and training goes on all the time. Since I religiously wrote for two hours a day for months, even with gaps of several months, I completed the book.
My typical day has pranayama and walking as exercise. While my office timings are 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM, I travel an hour both ways. So, 8:30 AM to 9:30 AM and 5:45 PM to 6:45 PM, I make my creative juices flow, so I am charged up to write or do any creative work as soon as I reach home. This has helped me write in a flow. I drink lots of green tea.
Does your daytime job – with the country’s central bank – in any way inform your fiction?
I meet people, lots of them. So, when I observe their mannerisms, they become some (minor) characters in the book. In fact, I found more information in sports broadcasting and in training programmes, because people communicate more freely and openly in this milieu.
Will you share your list of five most favourite works in the mystery/thriller segment?
Salvation of a Saint by Keigo Higashino
Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino
Coma by Robin Cook
Hound of the Baskerville by Arthur Conan Doyle
Parthiban Kanavu by Kalki (The title means ‘Parthiban’s Dream’. It’s a historical thriller in Tamil by the legendary author.)
What would be your advice to a budding mystery writer?
A. Do field work: I spent days with a snake charmer, visited morgues, talked to microbiological researchers etc. to add gravities and a cutting edge to the story.
B. Murder mysteries comprise of the following elements:
(iv) Field Work
(v) Red Herring
(vi) Weaving all in a realistic setting.
The proportion of each of the above six elements is different in every murder mystery. Choose your strengths among the aforesaid six elements and construct your thriller.
C. Try not to copy. Once you bring your own originality, your book will come out better as you are a unique individual and the world needs your individual stamp.
D. Patience is bitter, but it fruits are sweeter.
As the post-pandemic fallout and geopolitical uncertainty slows down global economies and sanctions against some nations, energy crisis and inflation are adding to the troubles, India is projected to be decoupled from world economy and fare better. To check if this belief really holds water, in the latest
With the advent of globalization came a new set of challenges for corporations, notably the duty of ensuring the well-being of all stakeholders while also protecting the planet`s natural environment. Although we are dedicated to a faster and more inclusive rate of growth, it is equally imperative that we f
BMC commissioner and administrator Iqbal Singh Chahal has been conferred with a Honorary Doctor of Science Degree (honoris causa) by Guru Nanak Dev University in Amritsar, Punjab. Chahal was conferred the degree during the 48th convocation of the University in Amritsar at the hands of Punjab
Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) aims to use a two-track approach on environmental social and corporate governance (ESG). Addressing a conference on ‘ESG for Atmanirbhar Bharat` in Mumbai, Sebi chairperson Madhabi Puri Buch said that that there should not be a single carbo
Presenting authentic information is the prime responsibility of media and that facts should be properly checked before they are put in the public domain, union minister of information and broadcasting Anurag Thakur has said. “While speed with which the information is transmitted is imp
Union minister for finance and corporate affairs Nirmala Sitharaman has concluded the pre-budget consultation meetings for Budget 2023-24 that were held from November 21 to 28 in the virtual mode. More than 110 invitees representing seven stakeholder groups participated in eight meetings sch