Summer Love established him as one of the popular writers in Nepal, and his next two works, Saaya and Monsoon, sealed in that fate. Subin Bhattarai, best known for his love stories, has always managed to deliver just exactly what the readers want and it’s no wonder that people are eagerly awaiting his next book. In the meanwhile, The Week caught up with him to learn more about his interests and inspirations to understand the writer, we have come to love, a little better.
What inspired you to write?
Whenever I read a book, I always had this urge to write one myself. I tried writing stories and I was told that I was good at it. Also, I was an introvert and as I grew up it became necessary to interact with people. In the process, I realized I was much more comfortable expressing myself through writing rather than making direct contact. There could perhaps be no other line of work other than writing that catered to the introvert in me. You could say that inspired me to become a novelist.
How did it feel when you first got published?
I don’t think I’ll ever be able to describe that feeling. I remember taking the fresh out of the press book in my hands and I had goose bumps all over my body. I felt quite proud of myself.
Other than writing, what else do you like to do?
I love watching movies and I love to explore new places. If you asked me to list my favorite movies or travel destinations, the list would be pretty long. I also enjoy reading books but it has to be very exciting and the story has to be captivating. If it isn’t a good book, I’ll probably give it up halfway through or be stuck at page 20 forever. I also like to listen to music, and actually it’s always playing in the background.
Name some writers who have inspired you.
I have been greatly influenced by the writing styles of three great personalities, B.P. Koirala, Parijaat, and Durba Chandra Gautam. There writings motivate me to write better. I do try to imitate their styles every once in a while but I haven’t been able to reach that level, at least not yet.
What do you do when you have writer’s block?
I think every writer battles with writer’s block. There have been times when I have written quite a few chapters in an hour and there have been times when it has taken me four to five days to complete a single chapter. When I find myself unable to write, I realize it’s time to take a break and go out to watch a movie or meet friends to let my mind recharge so that I can write again.
How do you deal with criticism?
I have always received both positive and negative feedbacks from my readers. But I have neither let either one get into my head. While I’m concerned about the readers’ choices and expectations and try not to disappoint them, I also realize that, after a book is published, it’s up for mass consumption and if there are 100 people who like it, there will be another 100 who don’t. It’s just how it is and I have made peace with that. But, having said that, fans who give me so much love and appreciate my hard work keep me going.
I’m currently working on a new book. I’m almost done with the writing part and it will soon be with my publisher. Unlike my previous works, this one will be inspirational and have less to do with romance.
Are there any books you’d recommend to those who are new to reading?
Those who have just taken up reading need to choose light content and also make sure the subject matter interests them. Tuesdays with Morrie, and Romancing with Life are the two books I’d suggest if one wants to read inspirational works. But beginners are often captivated by romantic narratives and, for these readers, I’d recommend books by Chetan Bhagat and Nicholas Sparks.