Meet the Author – Gaurav Bhalla

From Dabbler to Writer…

I started writing short stories and poems in my early teens. I managed to get a few published initially, but oddly that didn’t spur me on to write more. Over time the short stories fell by the wayside, but I persisted with poetry. As most young college students do, I discovered Gibran and The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. If only I could write one poem like Gibran, one quatrain like in the Rubaiyat; an ode to love, to friendship…virtues that mattered most at that age.

My passion for poetry continued into my adult years as I discovered the mysticism of Rumi and Kabir and was moved, sometimes uncomfortably, by the diverse voices of Rilke, Whitman, Akhmatova, Tagore, Dickinson, Paz, Elliott, Yeats, and Auden, to name a few.

But while I read a lot, I wrote infrequently, and not a lot. I became a writer only around 2009 when I decided to treat writing as work, and not merely a hobby. As a result of this changed mindset, I started keeping score and setting myself targets for the number of hours I wrote every day and the number of words I produced every day. And though the idea of writing a novel took hold of me two years later in 2011, The Curse and the Cup would not have been possible without the discipline of embracing writing as work.

What Moves Me?

Few things tug at our hearts as the human condition. Regardless of culture, race, or gender, human beings have thoughts and feelings to which they respond with words and actions. Why do some choose anger and hate and others, when confronted with similar circumstances, choose peace and forgiveness? The Curse and the Cup is essentially a novel about the human condition. How people resolve their feelings of love, hate, envy, jealousy, and anger; how they permit or prevent their feelings from finding their way to words and actions; how they decide which words, which actions to call on stage is what moves me and compels me to write. I find the human condition a fertile ground for stories, because it is what makes life and people interesting and attractive, and, at the same time, frustrating and repulsive.

What Next?

While job # 1 for the next several months is helping The Curse and the Cup succeed, I have no desire to return to dabbling. So The Curse and the Cup will not be my first and last novel. I will definitely write more. It will in all likelihood be about the human condition, and most likely fact-based fiction. But I will stop here and hope that you’ll forgive me if I don’t share any more. Because in my profession there is a saying, the more we talk the less we write. Allow me then to first write. You will be the first to hear when I finish producing my new work. Until then, I hope you enjoy reading The Curse and the Cup.

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