INTERVIEWS

In Conversation With Abishek Balakumar

Abishek Balakumar

About Abishek:

Abishek CB is the co-owner of CVR Green Grocer- Chengalpattu. This Chennai lad is the son of Balakumar CR and Vijayalakshmi B. A memoir at 23 is not everyone’s cup of tea, but young and top author Abishek CB did it. He has sold hundreds of copies of the book that is based on his own life. As a Reader in Government School, he supports underprivileged children and counsels them for their betterment by conducting several educational programs. He is passionate about working for the cause of the poor in Tamil Nadu by organizing different types of fundraising activities. He often had a thought of why Indian black and brown children not seeing themselves reflected in the books and characters which impacted him, and he loved so dearly all kids which have been inspired to create art and meaningful stories so that underrepresented children can see themselves in books. He is excited about the overlap between art and writing. His next book will be Children’s book – Chapter books or Early readers depends on how God drives him. As an author, he heroes those who feel stuck and powerless and show them how to regain their self-belief and motivation. Also, Abishek creates art and creative tales to inspire you to become the artist you were born to be.

LiFT: Tell us about your book, the journey of writing it and its content.

Abishek: This narration is all about the Boy who had been brought up in a very conservative family, where each family member’s opinion will count in order to make a decision. But this speculation changes when the boy was flourishing in his stages of life. In the pilgrimage of this boy’s life, he learned some valuable lessons by hit and miss way, as well as by surrounding himself with optimistic and tenacious minded people. In order to achieve something in life, you must “Knock your socks off”.
I found my passion for writing in primary school when a narrative I wrote was read out to the entire school in assembly. It was the first time I realised the power of a narrative. I wrote throughout high school and university but opted not to pursue it as a career because I lacked confidence and was convinced I would fail. However, I am now a full-time “Content Marketing Executive” at one of the leading IT firms, and I just earned a “Role Star Award” for my work (November 3rd 2021), which reinforced my confidence. And the writing adventure continues…

LiFT: Why you chose this title?

Abishek: I’ve always wanted to learn and use fancy vocabulary like a native English speaker! “Unapologetically” is a word that sprang to mind. And in our twenties, we used to “shrug” and be responsible at times, yet carefree at others. As a result, “He Shrugged Unapologetically.”

LiFT: When did you realize that you want to be a writer/poet and what’s your inspiration behind it?

Abishek: It was never a better time to be an author—or to aspire to become one. And TBH my inspiration was only “Songs” no authors and journalists.
A supportive community may assist you in brainstorming ideas, influencing your mental state as an artist, and sharing writing exercises that have helped other members of the group generate wonderful writing.

LiFT: Where do you see yourself ten years down the line in the world of literature?

Abishek: I really prefer editing over writing! I frequently turn an editor’s letter into a bullet-pointed list of duties and then check them off as I go since it makes me feel accomplished. As a result, I’m confident that if I stay in IT, I’ll be the “Chief Editor” or “Chief Marketing Officer.” If not, I’ve always wanted to run a playschool and be a children’s novelist.

LiFT: How much do you think marketing or quality of a book is necessary to promote a particular book and increase its readers?

Abishek: Both are equally significant. You can’t pick between the two. I’m not a salesperson or a salesperson. But I’ve learned that the best time to think about advertising your book is before it’s published. I’m sure your novel is amazing. But I’m going to go out on a limb and guess it won’t get the Oprah’s Book Club sticker. But that’s okay. You don’t need her. You don’t need Oprah. What was once the standard for book promotion is no longer the case. Instead, a tailored strategy will yield better results than a standard “throw everything at the wall and see what sticks” campaign.
Just Sharing!!

LiFT: What is the message you want to spread among folks with your writings?

Abishek: “When writing the story of your life, don’t let any other individual holds the pen.”
Because this is about how you get escorted from your thoughts and delivering your life as an epic tale. Witnessing this as a teenager, that was the plan I created for my own life – A memoir.
If I wanted romance, I would have written a romance story, and if I wanted an adventure, I would have done the same. But the shift was incredibly empowering when writing my story because now I am responsible for the story.
Imagine we’ll all be comparing stories at the end of this life, and somebody’s going to ask to see yours. Will it be a proud moment? Yes indeed, you will be proud to show them, instead, they will buy and read. Perhaps you wish there was more to write… Chances are that you are blessed with an enormous amount of independence, opportunity, and financial strength…

LiFT: What do you do apart from writing?

Abishek: Apart from an 8-9 hour job as a content writer at an IT firm, my dad runs the ‘CVR Greengrocer,’ and I used to devote my whole potential to study how business works. I’m enthusiastic about both, so finding a happy medium is difficult. However, if you like doing both, time will not be an issue. The curve is continually rising.

LiFT: What are the activities you resort to when you face a writer’s block?

Abishek: It’s unavoidable. My prose has gone to mush, and I no longer have a creative bone in my body, and I want to give up.
But here are a few suggestions to help you push past your creativity block:
Take a stroll.
Remove any distractions (I use Ommwriter to focus on just writing).
Make an effort to get your blood circulating. (I enjoy running.)
Play. (My personal favourite is LEGOS.)
Change your surroundings.
You should read a book.
Freewrite.
Music should be played (try classical or jazz to mix it up).
Make some coffee (my personal favourite).
Make a routine. Many prominent authors have rituals they follow on a daily basis in order to invoke the Muse.
Spend time with people who make you happy.
Make contact with an old acquaintance.
Make a list of ideas in bullet points.
To get you started, read these motivational quotations.

LiFT: What if your story will be adopted as a movie? Whom would you want to work as a director or actors in it?

Abishek: HAHAHA! I’m sure if my family and friends saw this in particular you can see me on Meme.
But if it happens I want to mix Hollywood and Kollywood – HEHEHE
Major ones
Director – David Fincher
Music – A. R. Rahman
Singers – John Legend, Hiphop Tamizha, Sia, Adele and Taylor swift

LiFT: Are you working on your next book? If yes, please tell us something about it.

Abishek: This pandemic made me work on a distinctive variety of genres. I’m currently working on a children’s book and creating the illustrations for it. The book will summarise the lives of Indian children, and they will be able to see themselves in it. Bullying and harassment based on skin colour will be addressed in the book.

LiFT: What are your suggestions to the budding writers/poets so that they could improve their writing skills?

Abishek: As authors, we can never sit on our laurels. Even if we think our last piece was the best we’ve written, it could still be even better. Never be satisfied. Dream higher. The greatest recommendation is to read a chapter at least once a day in order to assimilate the imagery, rhythm, and emotions. Investigate literary devices such as metaphor, simile, and other literary strategies used by authors. Your writing skills will undoubtedly increase after you’ve mastered them.

Click here to order Abishek’s Book – He Shrugged Unapologetically

He Shrugged Unapologetically

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