Saurabh Dashora lives in worlds inside his head, talks to imaginary friends, and generally goes about spending most of his time day-dreaming. By the way, he's also a software engineer by profession. Whenever he is not writing software code, he is busy bringing his imagination onto the paper in the form of stories. He wrote his first story when he was 14 years old specifically for his mother to read because she is extremely fond of stories.
Why I write?
I write because the words trying to push their way out of my brain and onto the paper are too painful to resist. Yes, you can consider it as a kind of ailment because of which you can't stop ideas from popping into your mind at odd times of the day. And worst, these ideas are begging to be heard and reacted upon.
It's not all that bad, though. Writing allows me to escape the normal monotony. An idea in the head and a keyboard to type means that I can go anywhere anytime. I can climb mountains, walk on the surface of alien worlds, feel the horror of a dying starship, look into black-holes, and generally do a lot of stuff not possible otherwise.
My Writing Routine
Frankly it's all over the place. The overall plan is to write for 2 hours daily on the weekdays. Maybe, 4-5 hours on the weekends (much to the anger of my immediate companions). However, sometimes other stuff happens, halting my progress or throwing me on errands I'd enjoy more. At the end of the day, it's important to finish what you start and that is my motto these days. If I start something, I'll see to it that the thing is finished or it gets discarded.
Inspiration is a tricky thing. It can come from a single thought in your mind, it can come from some other amazing novel you've read, it can come while you're doing something totally irrelevant to writing. Important thing is to keep your antennas hard-wired to catch those signals as and when they arrive from this strange parallel Universe where stories reside.
For example, the core idea for Starship Samudram struck me while watching one of the programmes on television about Saturn's largest moon, Titan. It was merely an image of an astronaut standing at the edge of the cliff and looking out over Titan's alien landscape and Saturn looming in the skies. However, you then realize that it's just the beginning of the story that is hidden. After which, you excavate the complete organism and then, you are surprised that what started as a single thought now spans hundreds of pages and thousands of words.
What am I currently writing?
Lot of varied stuff actually. One is a contemporary coming-of-age story about love and chasing your dreams. Then, there's the sequel to Starship Samudram. And yes, it does deserve a sequel because there's a lot of good stuff still out there. I was lucky to come across such a big organism in the so-called parallel world.
Then, there are a couple of novellas that I'm planning to start soon. Mostly sci-fiction stuff but with some experimentation in story-telling methods. Let's see how that goes.
Advice to new authors
Well, I'm also a new author so not sure whether I'm the best person to give an advice. But, I'll say this to any writer who is reading this. Just stick to it. A story not written will always be hidden. Get it out on the paper one word at a time if that's what it takes.
Not much is left after the day-job and the writing stuff. But, whatever is left is spent with the family and the remaining tiny bit goes to another passion that I have. That's gaming. I enjoy action adventure games like Assassin's Creed, Uncharted, Last of Us, and Batman: Arkham Knight and also role-playing games like Skyrim, Witcher3 and the Fallout series.
Apart from this, I like to travel, gain new experiences, and read other stuff. I believe that only a great reader can become a good writer.