Saturday, December 27, 2014

50 Not Out - First Copy Of My Third Book Arrives

I was pitching another book idea to an editor friend of mine - Sudeshna. She wasn't too kicked about that idea but she said that since I was a cricketer I should be looking at writing something like 100 lessons from cricket. To me that sounded like the easiest thing to do. I said I could do it in three months.
Jaico Books, 242 p, Rs. 250
I wrote down 100 lessons. When I finally sat and read them, some were repetitive. The idea was clear in my head but it was not coming across in the writing. I decided that perhaps I should do fifty lessons to start with and then see where it goes. The three months became six and then eight. I tried a few publishers. In about 12 months I got a response from one publisher Jaico that they are interested. I met Sandhya and Akash and we had a story going. It took another six months almost to get started on the actual ms but when it did, my new young editor Sabine Algur gave it great momentum, effort and thought. And then we waited to see how it would come out. How it would look, feel and how it would deal with the world.

The first copy is very special. You cut away the cardboard casings, snip through the twine, the papers and then it emerges - your beautiful butterfly. It fills your heart. You think of all those who helped, who lent a hand, a word. You think of all the work and the uncertainty. You see it all before you. I normally don't go through the book anymore. This is as perfect as it can get. This is me in all my perfection and imperfection.

This book, 50 not out, is more important in many ways in my journey as a writer. I remember a prediction that my tarot reader friend made many years ago (almost ten) when I started on this journey. I had quit a banking job and wanted to explore writing as a career. She predicted that I'd write two books at best. That number hung in my head all these years like a rock. The first two came by - 'The Men Within' first in 2007 and 'If you love someone...' next in 2010. During the uncertainty, the rejections in the years that followed, that prediction haunted me. When I signed the agreement a year ago I was elated. But nothing happens in publishing until the book sits in your hand. So I waited. When the copy rested in my hand today, I was glad that the prediction did not come true. I remembered Sean Stephenson say emphatically in his TED talk - 'Never believe a prediction that does not empower you'. Ah, Sean, how right you are.

As always it will take a few days for the book to reach the stores. I am still enjoying the feeling. I called a few friends and family - they wanted to see the cover. So here is the cover (pardon the bad pic), the first look of the book. Nothing like sharing these wonderful feelings with all my friends on the blog. Thank you all. More updates as and when they happen.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Congratulations !!! On the book, on taking karma into your own hands, and for it having enabled you to experience all those wonderful feelings that you express so honestly and beautifully. You so totally deserve it !!

Rajendra said...

Congrats on the new baby! Just in time for the World Cup, and for our world cups in life!

Harimohan said...

Thanks Anon. I don't know about taking karma into my hands...I am just about doing any karma I can. I'll take responsibility for honestly, you as the reader can take responsibility for the other.

Raja, thanks. To the World Cups in our life! Or is it the Old Cups!!

S. Jayasrinivasa Rao a.k.a. winding river said...

Wonderful, Hari, and Congratulations ... How's Anjali taking the arrival of the new baby? Elated?

When are you having the launch? Do send a line, I'd like to be there...

Jai

Harimohan said...

Thanks Jai. Anjali has been following up the progress on 50 no for a while now so she was pretty elated when she saw the book. 'Wow, 50 not out!' was the initial reaction followed by a formal handshake and 'Congratulations!' Will keep you posted on the launch program. Would want you to be there.

Hmmm said...

Ah Congratulations. But I still don't think you have proven your tarot card reader wrong. I think when she said - "you will write two books at best" she must have meant - that when you are at your best as a writer you will write not one, but two books simultaneously :P or may be that after you've written dozens of books people will always pick two as your best. :)

Harimohan said...

Hmm,
I hope so. Now it's water under the bridge and I feel no such limitations. I also feel tremendous love for my tarot reader. Just a story to tell how we can let such predictions bother us. Remember Sean's advice - never believe a prediction that does not empower you. Sound advice. Thanks for writing in.

Prasanna Kumar said...

Wonderful. My hearty congratulations to you. Please post where and when can we get hold of this baby ;) congrats again.