“The only way to grab eye balls is to be different, to be unique. Offer the reader something that the existing books do not.” – T.F Carthick
Today we have with us one of the most promisingr author T.F Carthick who has added another feather in his cap with his recently released debut book, Carthick’s Unfairy Tales. Carthick has been blogging since 2008.
Today he would share with us his secret behind choosing such an unusual theme for his recent release.
Why did you Choose such an unusual theme for a debut book?
People have been writing books from times immemorial. And many of the books written in the last hundred or two hundred years remain with us and even the ones written earlier survive with us in some form. What chance one more book stand amidst the loud clamor of all these books to claim the attention of the reader? The only way to grab eye balls is to be different, to be unique. Offer the reader something that the existing books do not. Maybe the theme might cater only to a niche. But to them, it offers something the whole corpus of books written so far does not provide.
So, it was a granted that anything I write has to be unusual. I had other 4-5 other ideas that were equally if not more unusual – a retelling of Mayan mythology, management consultants in ancient Greece, a children’s tale like Enid Blyton’s faraway tree set in India, a tale of two unlikely heroes taking on the most dreaded of monsters from classic horror stories to name a few. Somehow this got written first before the others. The thing in this one’s favor was it had more instant appeal as everyone know fairy tales and has an opinion on them. It is a much smaller work giving readers chance to sample by writing with lesser investment of time.
Other than the above two advantages, this book reflects most aspects of my writing – humor, philosophy and zany imagination. Some of my other works may have more of one and lesser of other elements and may not be full reflections of my writing style.
The idea of the debut book being a short story as such is not unusual as such. Many people prefer to write a collection of short stories before taking on a novel. But then often short stories revolve around emotions and relationships. The second popular choice for theme of short stories is para normal. Longer stories tend to explore many more variety of themes – science fiction, fantasy, humor, action, adventure etc. Even when there are short stories around these themes they usually form part of a potpourri collection having various kinds of stories often by multiple author usually having the word shades, hues or its variants in the title. These kinds of anthologies I feel just don’t work because there is no strong selling point – something you can tell in a single story why the reader will like the collection. Just a bunch of good stories on various themes by various authors hardly cuts the ice with a reader. Everyone will say their stories are good. Other than that, it tells nothing. It is a complete black box. Even multiple stories by the same author does not hold much weight unless the author is famous. I feel for a collection of short stories to sell, they must have a real strong unambiguous theme interlinking the stories.
This is why I took a single theme – that of fairy tales retold and further refined it further by having a similar kind of retelling – unusual narrators, not too many material changes to original story, no change in settings but bringing out completely new perspectives to the old tales. And every story a commentary on a theme of interest in contemporary times.
Know more about the author
He is an Engineer and MBA from India’s premier institutes IIT, Madras and IIM, Ahmedabad and currently works as an Analytics and Artificial Intelligence Consultant at one of the world’s leading Consulting Firms.
Know more about the book
But what if the father’s real concern is for the dragon’s hoard; What if the damsel’s reason of distress is the marriage proposal by her pompous and vicious savior; and what if the story is told by the horse who bears not only the overweight knight but also his heavy, shining armor all the way to the dragon’s lair and back, facing certain death in the process?
What if there was more – much more – to all your favourite fairy tales than met the eye?
This book chronicles not one but seven such unfairy tales – tales told by undead horsemen and living cities. Tales of mistreated hobgoblins and misunderstood magicians. Tales of disagreeable frogs and distressed rats and bears baring their souls. Once you read these stories, you will never be able to look at a fairy tale the same way ever again.
“They keep barking all night. They just don’t let us sleep,” they had complained.
And they began to make a big fuss of how dogs were a public menace and exaggerated stories of dogs attacking humans started spreading, till finally the town council had to yield. Dog-catchers were commissioned and the dogs were done away with. With the elimination of their natural predators, wasn’t it natural that rats should multiply? But people just don’t realize these kinds of things. That is how people have been all the time. They wanted quick-fix solutions to all their problems then, and they want quick-fix solutions to all their problems now. They never learn.
Also, I suppose the mayor probably thought he would never be called upon to follow through upon his promise. So, he promised a grand reward just to appear to be doing something. That is another folly of humans, especially the leaders. They care more about perception than actually getting things done. And often initiatives undertaken to manage perceptions end up doing more harm than good.
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