Author Rajeev Singh on his debut novel The Erotic Muse
You will have to read the book to know about what happens to the protagonist, says author Rajeev Singh when asked about his debut novel The Erotic Muse
Congratulations on the release of ‘The Erotic Muse’. Is this your debut as a writer?
Thanks. This is the first book that I saw through to the end, after abandoning two, one of them a mammoth work. Both the previous ones were very enjoyable to write but eventually I lost steam and direction. So, you might call this a debut, although technically it’s not.
The cover of the books look particularly attractive. Can you give us a hint about the story or characters?
I’m glad that you find the cover attractive. It was achieved after a series of changes where I was hoping to visualize the essence of the story. You can see the two main characters, one towering over the other, and the thing that connects them – the woman in the painting. The protagonist’s obsession with the woman depicted leads him to a new world where his sexual fantasies, no matter how twisted, are given a free rein, but there is a price to pay, and the giant with the lion’s mane is bent on extracting it.
Your book seems to fall in the genre of adult fiction. What is your take on the popularity of this genre with young readers?
How we turn out as an adult is shaped by our childhood, and it’s nowhere truer as in The Erotic Muse. I don’t want to spill everything, since there is a mystery about what’s happening to K which you will come to know while reading the book, so I’ll say just this: each of us has some horrific memory or at least a trace of it dating back to our younger self, something that could be buried under layers and layers of mundane existence. For some of us, lucky or unlucky I can’t say, it may choose to emerge once again. The book is scary and I loved to be scared as a teen. There are still many teenage readers like me is what I hope.
What kind of books has inspired you as a writer?
A writer worth his salt is moulded by everything he has read, and I’ve been a reader for the past twenty-two years. I started with classics, then moved on to mysteries, Agatha Christie being my favourite at that time. In eighth standard, I discovered Alistair MacLean who led me on to the genre of spy thrillers, the Jason Bourne kind. My current obsession with horror and fantasy sprouted quite late, Stephen King and Clive Barker becoming my favourites. I might say that The Erotic Muse is a tribute to Clive Barker’s indelible stamp over the combination of horror and eroticism, but the pace could have come from all the thrillers I’ve read and imbibed, just as the emotional quotient and scene descriptions could be the result of what I’ve learned from King’s brand of horror. It’s a melting pot of genres, anyway.
What do your friends and relatives have to say about The Erotic Muse?
I’m quite an introvert. The book has mostly been under wraps so far, only some of my closest friends had a look at it. These are the people who have always been kind and encouraging, which is what matters a lot to a new writer.
Are you planning to write something next?
I’m working on the third draft of another novel where the main characters realize that they are fictional and subject to the whims of the writer. I’ll finish it in a few months.