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Don't ask author Ravi Subramanian about the plot of his story when he is writing his new thriller -- he says he doesn't have a clue.
Subramanian says his chapters are not planned and he is "as clueless about the conclusion" as his reader.
"Most writers, when they start writing, know what every chapter is going to have. But in my case, it is different, I know the backdrop," he told PTI in an interview.
He certainly knew the backdrop for his new book -- 'In the Name Of God' - set against the Padmanabhaswamy Temple of Kerala's Thiruvananthapuram, where untold treasures were discovered in secret vaults in 2011, and one special trove is still to be opened.
The book is a work of fiction that revolves around a dead body found on the premises.
He writes his first chapter, and then moves on, he says.
"So when you are reading my book you also know what I knew at that point of time," says Subramanian, a banker-cum- best-selling-author.
Admitting that there are times when he gets stuck with the story, the thriller writer says he wriggles his way out by taking the "most shocking" route.
"By and large I love shock pangs when I am stuck or have multiple options. Also, I discuss it with my wife and daughter," the author of the 2007 bestseller If God Was a Banker (2007) says.
But while he may not be sure about the climax of the story, he is always clear about the way it starts -- which is by buying a new laptop.
"I always start writing a story on a new laptop," the author says.
There is no specific reason for this rather strange superstition, but Subramanian says "a laptop per book" has been his mantra ever since he wrote his bestselling banking thriller 'If God was a Banker'.
"There was a time when laptops were not that common. I used my office (HSBC bank) laptop to write my first novel. But since then I have started writing each book on a new laptop," said the writer of eight books and owner seven laptops.
"I wrote my latest book (published by Penguin Random House) on an i-pad," he adds.
When he is in the midst of a book, his evening hours are spent writing, while the daytime is devoted to work.
"When I am writing I don't socialise much, don't drink much, don't watch tv much unless it is a cricket match. So this takes a toll on my spending time with my family and friends. Also there is less of going out on Sundays," he says.
But the last thing he wants is silence in the room, he adds.
"Noise does not bother me while I am writing. On the contrary, it is silence that distracts me. It is good in a sense that you don't have to be away from people and family," he says.
Otherwise an early bird, the author turns nocturnal when he is writing, and his muse works best late at night.
"When I am writing and I am in a good flow then it will go on till 2 or 3 in the morning, starting at 9. Since I don't plot the stories the way many authors do, the flow is very critical to me. And when it is there I don't want to stop," he says.