On being asked what really matters to become proficient in the game, Sundarrajan states what Mr N Venkatraman had told him once: Mindset, practice, and diet. He also lets me know that he oftentimes advises his students to consume foodstuffs that aid in boosting one’s memory and concentration.
‘Autistic kids are very particular about certain things. They want everything to be organised. Yes, they are aloof and they hardly mingle with others, but their innocence is something that moves my heart and soul. Some of them do end up finding good jobs.’
While it is true that Mystical Greenwood is the author’s debut novel, what is interesting is that Mr McDowell started writing when he was all of eleven years of age. ‘But it was just little stories for the fun of it. I fantasized about writing more, but I didn’t truly get serious about it until I was thirteen,’ he explains.
In an exclusive interaction with B Sudharsan, the author of the book ‘Let Sleeping Pharmacists Lie’ talks about everything under the sun – from her routine to her blog to the country she has lived in all her life. But most importantly, Ms Soong, who has a First Class Honours degree in Pharmacy (MPharm) from King’s College London, gives me an insight about her debut book, which was written during the lockdown, and says why budding authors should not be cowed down if they face rejection or if their works get broadsided.
‘I think writing doesn’t work that way. At least for me. I write when inspiration strikes though I wake up by eight in the morning and go to bed by midnight. It’s just that I don’t feel obliged to follow a schedule,’ says Robbin whose favourite author happens to be Kurt Vonnegut.
‘If we don’t fail, we will never learn how to be more successful than those who haven’t faced any failure. You got to make mistakes, but whether you learn from them or not, that’s under your control. So, write and write more. Don’t rush, and take your time. The first draft is never a final draft. Take feedback from fellow readers and writers. And most importantly, work on that feedback.’
‘There are so many more ways to get your work out in the world today than ever before. Don’t wait around to be that very small percentage who gets lucky enough to land an agent or miraculously has their work seen just at the right time by the right person in a big publishing house.’