To celebrate World Books Day, that was on April 23, AXN and Sony PIX are showcasing an exclusive line up of movies and shows this month — starting May 3, every Friday 1pm onwards. The catch? The content has been specially curated by author Chetan Bhagat based on his favourite books for TV and film adaptations. While Sony PIX is showcasing popular book-to-film adaptations like the Harry Potter series, The Shawshank Redemption, The Notebook, The Shining, AXN will air popular shows like Vikings, Sherlock and The Handmaid’s Tale. The Telegraph caught up with Chetan to find out more.
How was the experience of curating the line-up for Sony PIX and AXN for World Books Day?
It was fantastic! I always look for ways to make books more relevant to people’s lives and Sony PIX and AXN gave me the perfect opportunity.
What did you keep in mind while choosing the movies that you did?
I chose films that had a great story and those that became classics in their own rights, despite being based on a book.
Out of the movies and shows that you selected for Sony PIX and AXN, which one’s your personal favourite?
I love The Shawshank Redemption which is often said to be one of the best movies ever made. Sherlock is another favourite in terms of shows, as now I write murder mysteries and have the same two-men bromance duo — Keshav and Saurabh in my case, for The Girl in Room 105 — like Sherlock and Watson.
How did you celebrate World Books Day?
By making tons of posts and just being thankful that books changed my life! World Books Day is also just one day after my birthday, so it is all a celebratory time.
Your new book India Positive is apparently about India’s corruption, GST and other issues. What can you tell us about it?
Apart from love stories and thrillers, I want to use my writing and reach to bring about change in the country. I try to explain India’s key burning issues in the simplest possible manner and always try to give a solution.
How was the experience of writing a non-fiction book?
I enjoyed it... variety and range is always good for a writer.
What sort of research went into writing about such a sensitive subject?
The book has some new essays and some of the columns are those that I have written in the past. In that sense, it is a collection of my ongoing work over the years.
What’s unique about India Positive?
I am essentially a fiction writer but India Positive is non-fiction... that is the most distinct difference.
How do you handle criticism about your work?
I am used to it and secure enough to know my strengths and weaknesses. I take constructive criticism and ignore the rest.
When you start writing a new book, what’s your writing process like?
I am a big planner, so I plan the book and the timeline in terms of how many months do I need to finish my drafts and when do I release it. I give myself daily quotas and try to finish them.
Do you have a favourite corner in the house to write?
I have to step out of the house to write. Sometimes I travel and sometimes I go to my office.
What inspires you to write?
Anything that makes me feel something. Or, whatever is happening around me. I like making people happy and giving them fun stories to read is one way to do it.
How do you deal with writer’s block?
I take enough breaks between books so that I can refresh my creativity in a way. I also pause when it is not coming... patience is key.
And the deadlines from publishers?
I try not to impose deadlines but they do freak me out! I try not to be late.
What’s that one book that changed your life?
Rich Dad Poor Dad (by Robert Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter). It’s a book about investing money and it helped me save and invest, so I could quit my job and become a writer.
What are you working on next?
I’m working on my next fiction book. It is again a fun mystery thriller.