In Conversation with Author Mukul Deva
The 2nd Pune International Literary Festival 2014 threw up some interesting names. One of them happens to be much-acclaimed and very popular Mukul Deva who came all the way from Singapore to attend a session. One knows him as the pioneer of Indian Spy Thrillers and The God of Small Things. His books have predicted some startling realities and so one also knows him as Man of Nostradamus Touch. An ex-armyman associated with the Sikh Light Infantary, he had trained at our very own National Defence Academy. He left it all in 1996 to start MSD Security Pvt. Ltd. and is also a certified coach from Henley Business School, leadership-trainer & facilitator, apart from being a sought-after writer. His books include Time After Time… As It Happened, S.T.R.I.P.T.E.A.S.E – The Art of Corporate Warfare, M.O.D.E.L – The Return of the Employee, Women in Indian Cinema, Lashkar, Salim Must Die, Blowback, Tanzeem, The Dust Will Never Settle, RIP, F.C.U.K Your Way To Success, Weapon of Vengeance and And Death Came Calling.
When one inquires about his entry into and interest in writing, Deva simply answers, “I think writing is one of the finest medium to get your views across. Words are certainly the most powerful, not just in providing a record of the times we live in, but also of creating change. As far back as I remember, I always wanted to be a storyteller. I guess that’s why the passion is so visible.”
He agrees when you ask him that writing spy thrillers was a conscious decision. Being an ex-armyman, spies were something which he had encountered. “Military action, spy and crime thrillers have always been very attractive to me, perhaps because of my military background. But also because putting together a credible thriller is no mean task – it requires tremendous planning and research. After all, you have to be as good as the best criminal and the best cop. Spy and spy catcher… I love that challenge.”
He further adds, “My army background has given me a strong fundamental knowledge of weapons, tactics and strategy – all three are very handy and make my books authentic. However,8 for research, I am very careful not to use anything that is already not in the public domain, since I believe that every writer has a social and moral responsibility not to make such classified things available to people who may wish to misuse them.”
Each of Deva’s books were different and each become bestsellers. It is not a mean feat, indeed. He adds, “If I were to tell you how all fourteen were conceptualised, I would need to write another one. Suffice to say that each book I have written is a reflection of what I saw around me and of course my personal journey as a writer. My favorite book is always the one I am working on currently, since I put my heart and soul into it. That said, the two books I always feel very fondly about are Lashkar and Weapon of Vengeance or The Dust Will Never Settle, as it’s called in India.”
Mukul Deva fans, dance with joy as he is working on his next book, though it might take some time to reach here. He reveals, “My next book Assassins is scheduled to release in the US and Canada in June 2015 and then a little later in India. This is the second book of the Ravinder Gill series. I really like the way this book has shaped up and eagerly await readers’ response to it. Currently, I am working on Pound of Flesh, the third book of this series, which is targeted for release in June 2016.” Also, his The Garud Strikes is based on the 1971 Indo-Pak war and is about the 4th Batallion Brigade of the Guards (1 Rajput).
He honestly admits that reading thrillers by other writers is not something he does, so as to avoid internalising other writers’ thoughts and language. “However, others tell me that some Indian writers are coming out with credible thrillers.”
So, only spy thrillers? “I have always been writing in several genres, from management to self help, breakthrough thinking, military action thrillers, noir/crime thrillers, political action thrillers as well as something as diverse as a coffee table book on Indian cinema. You can see all these listed on my Amazon writers page or on www.mukuldeva.com. As I mentioned, I see myself as a storyteller and not as a writer of any one particular genre.”
We eagerly look forward to his next release!