Nitesh Jain knows how to write a page-turner murder mystery. This murder mystery is subtle in its essence, but packed with philosophical concepts like the Law of Attraction.
He spoke to News World Inc about crime thrillers, inspiration, and his favorite recent read.
NWI: How was writing a murder mystery different from writing some other genre books such as romance, adventure, and so on?
Well, The Seventh Cup is not an out an out Murder Mystery. I think it shifts genres from one ‘cup’ to another. What begins as a sweet romance between two individuals, soon turns out to be a roller coaster thriller ride. Yes, I have to admit that it was never an easy ride for me. Just as I shifted from one genre to another in my writing, I also moved from one mood to another, from one ambience to another, in order to give justice to the proceedings.
NWI: How did the idea for this murder mystery come to you? How did it evolve as you were writing?
I have been a huge fan of thriller and mystery. There was always this zeal to write a novel one day. I used to tell myself- If at all I write a novel, it would definitely be a thriller. It was Rhonda Byrne’s The Secret that spoke about the Universal Law of Attraction that became the basis of my plot. It was only after reading the book and watching the documentary of The Secret that paved a way for The Seventh Cup.
I would like to share a small anecdote about how some of the characters name evolved during the writing journey. It was during my stay in Switzerland (I was pursuing Masters in Chemical and Bioengineering from ETH Zurich in 2011-12), that I began to seriously think about putting my words into action. The principle character in the novel is named Verona. One day we were having a group get together. One of my friends from Romania had recently visited this beautiful city in Italy. It was the time when I was mulling over possible names for the main characters. My Romanian friend is credited to coin the name Verona as the city in Italy that she visited was indeed called Verona. The name just struck a chord in me so much so that I could not think of any other name but Verona. That day Verona Schmidt was born.
Similarly, many of my characters in the novel are either real life characters or with names of people I am still associated with. Of course I had taken due permissions from them during my writing period. They all happily agreed to come on board.
NWI: Your novel uses alternating chapters in several different points of view to reveal the truth about a twisted character. Do you tend to envision the story from one perspective first, or do all of these perspectives come to you along the way?
Well, I believe that just like the Universal Law of attraction is open to interpretations and so you will find the same in my story and the reason as to why my characters behave the way they did. I therefore chose a meandering path rather than a straight one in order to convey the essence of the Law so that the reader is introduced to as many possibilities as possible.
NWI: In your opinion, what makes a great murder mystery? What are some of your favorites?
A great murder mystery is one that keeps you engrossed till the end, that forces you to skip your sleep and read, that keeps your grey matter alive and kicking and finally that remains with you even after the killer is revealed and the book is devoured.
All the Sidney Sheldon books, especially Tell Me Your Dreams. All the books by Dan Brown, especially Angels and Demons.
NWI: What does a typical writing day look like for you?
Well, a day devoid of all hustle and bustle of life.
Just me and my laptop and some coffee.
NWI: What books or authors has been your greatest influence?
The Secret by Rhonda Byrne, All novels by Sidney Sheldon, Dan Brown.
NWI: What’s the best thing you’ve read recently?
The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga
NWI: What are you working on next?
Working on my next one: It’s again a love story set in a hypothetical Indian setting. Let’s see how this one turns out to be.
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