Interview with Mubarak Sandhu -Author of “Boris and the Stealth of Almus”

The Bookoholics recently sat down with Mubarak Sandhu, author of “Boris and the Stealth of Almus”. We had an endearing and interesting conversation with him on his book, and everything that comprised it. Have a read below:

1. Tell us about your journey from being an Engineer to an Entrepreneur, and then to an Author?

I must say that my journey has been very interesting, and full of ups and downs. I worked as an engineer for a couple of years but didn’t really get along well with the monotonous routine. Thereafter, I established a music record label and an event management company. Both the businesses went well until COVID pandemic led to their shutdown. Once again, I saw that dream crashing, but remained positive and focused on completing the novel that I had started in 2015. Fortunately, the novel was published worldwide successfully in 2021, transforming my role to an author. It is such a proud feeling when I remember it all, as it makes me realize how far I have come from where I started, and how I maintained my stance in the toughest of times.

2. Was it a transition or were you balancing different things together ?

The first one from an engineer to an entrepreneur was a complete transition, as I left my job to concentrate on my startups- full time. However, the work that I managed in my business is still not over completely, as some of the clients became family over time. Along with writing, I still take up their projects for brand shoots and events whenever they require.

3. If it’s a Transition, how did you take that leap of faith, and how was the journey? Or if it is about balancing different things, how did you make time for multitasking ?

The first one was a complete transition and I did a lot of homework before moving on to the next phase of entrepreneurship, so it was a calculated risk and I had complete faith in myself.

The second shift has not been a complete transition, and I manage a lot of tasks simultaneously. I sleep less to manage multiple tasks together. I have been a sportsperson since childhood and used to manage my studies and sports by working more and taking out time from my sleeping hours. I still do the same, and sleep for a maximum of 6 hours. It helps me to devote more time to productive tasks.

4. How has writing changed you as a person, if at all?

Writing has not entirely changed me, but I must say that it has helped me to understand a different perspective of the world. As a writer, I get to meet people related to the passion of reading and writing. Such people have immense depth in their thoughts and visions, and listening to them teaches us a lot. It has been a pleasure meeting such literary personalities, whose words have a lasting impact on my mind.

5. Which is one of your favourite books, and why?

I am a reader of Punjabi books. The last ones that I read were ‘Main Tenu Fer Milangi by Amrita Pritam’, ‘Rani Jindaan by Prof. Sohan Singh Seetal’, ‘Raseedi Ticket by Amrita Pritam’ and ‘Asaan Joban Rutte Marna by Shiv Kumar Batalvi’. But my favourite has been ‘Raat Baaki Hai by Jaswant Singh Kanwal’. I feel proud to be reading such books which are timeless stories and are going to be appreciated forever till eternity.

6. From where did the inspiration to write The BORIS & THE STEALTH OF ALMUS come from?

Curiosity can be considered as my inspiration for this series of fiction novels. The story revolves around the period when the very existence of the earth and humans started. It has always intrigued me how the humans started to divide themselves into the boundations of regions and clans, and the higher or the lower classes. I just tried to write this novel as my perspective of how it all must have begun, further creating a story that readers now love to read and talk about.

7. What are some passions of your life?

I have always been passionate about swimming and basketball. Apart from sports, writing has been my passion consistently. I am a social beast otherwise, and love to grow my network by interacting with new people. Also, I think I am born to help people, as I often leave my own work for the help of others even if I do not know them. It gives me immense satisfaction to see others smile because of my efforts.

8. Do you have any suggestions for first-time authors?

It is important to grow a thick skin because authors are not always appreciated by the readers. There can be disagreements and criticism for what has been written, and an author has to take it all with patience. Writing is not for the impulsive minds. First-Time authors must develop a personality that is down to earth, polite and full of patience.

9. What are the technical elements for ending a book in suspense, since your latest book is a sequel?

The best technical element that I use is to leave the story at a point where the readers can think what might happen next according to their own perspectives. This even makes the readers discuss what they think about the story that might follow. My first book ‘Boris – The Last Qahn Alive’ was loved for its simple language, easy-to-visualise situations, unique characters and an open-ended conclusion leaving the readers eager to read the sequel. Now, the sequel has been equally appreciated by all, and the readers are once again waiting for the third part of this series because of the last chapter, which does not end the story but forms the foundation for its next part.

10. What do you think makes a book successful?

The book’s fate is in the hands of the readers. For me, success is all about the feedback of the readers and not monetary in nature. If a book can penetrate into the thoughts of the readers and make them relate to the story, this connection won’t let them stay away from the book until it is finished. They are expected to talk about the book with others as well. Success is a situation of acceptance of the book by the readers. The number of readers can be less but their positive response towards investing time and efforts on the book is what matters more.

11. Are you planning to be a full time writer?

I wish I could earn my livelihood from writing, only then it would be possible to be a full-time writer. However, for now, this seems to be far from reality and therefore, I cannot think of being a full-time book writer yet. Also, I am good at my work of organising and managing different types of events, photoshoots, video shoots, etc. So, this is something that I am planning to continue alongside.

12. If yes ,what kind of work can we expect in future, as we understand that being a full-time author is a whole new ball game altogether.

A. Currently, I am working on two books – one is the third part of this Boris series and the second is about a bitter truth of our social system that our family survived in the last few years. I have thought of multiple storylines for the next part of Boris already, and will shortlist one soon. However, for the other reality-based book, I am just collecting all the necessary documents and will proceed with writing the first draft as soon as I arrange all the paperwork in a serial order. At this moment, my target is to release the reality-based book first, that too in the year 2023, describing how our own near ones showed their back on us and how complete strangers stood with us to support the truth. I have already decided its title and designed its cover page, too. It will be a gesture of gratitude for all those who helped and guided us at the time of need, and will also be a guiding book for those facing similar situations in life. The future can’t be decided, but these are my plans for future work and this is what I am working on.

13. How can the readers support you as a writer?

A. The biggest support that writers can get is to see the people read their book. As a writer, I just want to hear from people what they liked or disliked about the book. There is not much profit involved from the sales of books, that is another reason why I even agreed for free sales of my book during a 2-day promotional period. I was criticised to an extent that a friend said ‘seeing you giving off your book for free, it feels as if you are begging the people to read your book’. I respect every feedback, but at the same time, I don’t leave any stone unturned to reach out to the readers. I have worked on ground for many years and I know the kind of consistent efforts that are required to introduce our work to the world. I just expect a little support, and that is in the form of sharing what the readers felt after reading my book.

14. One piece of advice for our readers?

A. The habit of reading books has come down drastically with the introduction of electronic gadgets and the internet. More time is spent on scrolling the screens now, which is harmful for our mental and physical wellbeing. My advice- rather, a request, is to read books and promote the habit of reading. If one person likes to read, he/she must try to motivate others to read as well. This can become a campaign for the younger generations and can come up as a trend to promote reading.

We wish Mubarak Sandhu all the very best for his future endeavour’s !!