Monday, 27 June 2022




Siddhant Shekhar (1993-) was born and brought up in Patna, Bihar. He studied Physics at University of Delhi, and then completed his MBA in HR from XLRI, Jamshedpur.
"Web of Ties" is his debut novel. His other publications include several short stories in publications like Sahitya Akademi’s Indian Literature, Science Reporter, Dainik Bhaskar and several online magazine and blogs. He has also written for the screen, penning the script for multiple short films and sketches. In his free time, he enjoys playing Jazz and taking trips to the sea. He lives in Gurgaon.

1. Who and what inspired you to write?

I come from a family of writers in a way. My paternal grandfather was a professor of English, my maternal grandfather a poet. So, I think I owe it all to them. I used to read a lot as a child. Every month I used to read Nanhe Samrat, Champak and Nandan. At some point just picked up a pen and started writing down stories that I was thinking of. The earliest story I can remember writing was a Super Commando Dhruv (one of my childhood heroes!) fan fiction back in I think 2002.
A major turning point for me came in 2006, when I shifted schools and my teachers in Don Bosco Academy, Patna encouraged me a lot. My English teacher, Mr. Tom Varghese, introduced me to writers like Alistair Maclean and Raymond Chandler. That had a very big influence on me. I have been writing for a long time now, but “Web of Ties” was my first attempt at a full-length novel, which started sometime in 2015. I had been reading a lot of P.G. Wodehouse (one of the funniest writers to have ever lived) at the time, and he was a major inspiration behind the tone of the book. My time at University of Delhi was another major inspiration for me, and I drew upon the kind of relationship troubles I saw my friends struggle with. “Web of Ties” was my attempt at deciphering modern relationships, and what makes them so complicated, while at the same time telling a fun and entertaining story.

2. What challenges did you face while writing and getting published?

I think the biggest challenge for me was consistency. My plan had been to complete the first draft of the book in six months, it took me three and half years. During that time a lot happened, I went into a full time MBA program which was rather demanding. I lost a part of my manuscript once due to a malfunctioning computer and had to rewrite nearly half the book. Due to all of these things, I would stop writing for months at a stretch. Getting back to writing, and into the headspace where you keep the tone consistent, don’t make continuity errors, that is a major challenge. I think the first rewrite was where the book took its current shape, and I fixed a lot of inconsistencies in the tone of the book, jokes that were not working, sub-plots that were too distracting, all of that.
Getting published is also pretty difficult, especially for someone with no background in literature at all. I mean, MBA turned authors aren’t exactly a novelty anymore! Plus, with so many avenues of entertainment competing for attention, publication has more business considerations now than ever before. These are all things that as an outsider you don’t know and only figure out with time. 

 3. How did you come to know about the literary agency THE BOOK BAKERS?  

I had always planned on getting an agent because I feel that simplifies the process a lot for you. Instead of trying to wear too many hats, you can let professionals handle certain parts of the process while you can concentrate on others. I had queried a lot of agencies when I had started the pitching process, finding contacts mostly on the internet. It was there in my searches itself that I came across Suhail and sent in the query. Things, luckily enough, worked out for the best.

4. How did THE BOOK BAKERS help you and what would you like to say about them? 

It has been a good experience working with Suhail. There are a lot of aspects of the process that you don’t know as someone who is getting published for the first time. Suhail’s experience in the industry was a great help in making sense of the process, and filling in the gaps in my own understanding about how the industry works.

5. How do you see literary success for yourself?

Honestly, I have no clue! I guess I am too early in my career to know that. All I know that is I enjoy writing, and I want to tell stories that speak something to people. We all live difficult, exhausting lives, and books, no matter the kind of story they are telling, are always an escape from our own lives, and a window into someone else’s.
I think if I have to give an answer, my answer at the moment would be that if my stories help someone forget their worries for a little while and lose themselves in a story, that would be good enough for me.

6. When can we expect your next book?

My next project is titled “Join Me in Death” and it is a neo-noir mystery thriller. I have completed the manuscript and am currently in the first rewrite process. Let’s hope that I will manage to follow “Web of Ties” up with a strong second novel in 2023.

7. Any message or tips for aspiring authors?

Picasso allegedly said “Good artists copy, great artists steal.” So, at the risk of sounding arrogant, I will steal from one of my favorite authors Stephen King. When Stephen King had just started writing, he was getting a lot of rejection. He would take all the rejection letters and hang them up on a nail in front of his writing desk. Then after a few consistent months of rejections, the nail fell out. So, he got a bigger nail. And that is my advice too. “Get a bigger nail.”
Understand that rejection is a part of the process and the only way to get fewer rejections is to write more, as we all eventually get better at anything we do consistently. Writing is a skill like any other, and can be developed over time with consistent practice. I find Brandon Sanderson’s insights very valuable, so if you want more concrete and detailed advice, I recommend checking out his YouTube channel.
And lastly, have fun! That is the most important part of the process.



Rohan has a problem. His girlfriend is in love. He is not able to break poor Annie's heart, he enlists the help of his friend Prateek to break up. But things turn complicated when Prateek falls for Annie's best friend Sana. But Ishita, Prateek's ex, wants him back desperately and will not stop at anything. Well, not if her best friend Abhi has something to say about that!
What comes next is a tangled web of lies, chaos, misunderstandings, and friendships, where everyone's life is tied to everyone else's. Follow along as they figure out what they want from life, realize what they truly need, and run into love in this beautiful, crazy world.


About the Author

NEWS OF BOOKS / Author & Editor

21, student of MA English is an avid reader and is passionate for writing and blogging. Her first article was published when she was 12. She is a contributing author in many anthologies.


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