Book Release: Predators and Prey – Abhinav Agarwal, PGSEM 2006
Storytellers have always played a very important role in shaping the community. One such storyteller is our IIMB alumni, Abhinav Agarwal is out with his first novel Predators and Prey which is in the Crime-Mystery-Thriller genre. The book has received rave reviews and readers are already anticipating his next novel. Abhinav has been an active columnist on many platforms and has also been a curator of the Indic book club. It is no wonder his love for writing and books comes out so distinctively in his latest release. A corporate professional, photographer, reviewer, he lives in Bangalore with his wife and two daughters.
In an exclusive with L Square, Abhinav talks about his journey as a writer and the becoming of his latest book.
Can you tell us something briefly about yourself?
I am an avid reader, reviewer, photographer, and oh yes – software professional too! Let’s see… I did my engineering in Mumbai, and then worked for a couple of years with CMC, left for the US, came back to Bangalore, and have been here ever since. In-between, I enrolled at IIM-B for its PGPEM (PGSEM, as it used to be called then) program, and graduated in 2006. Lastly, but not least of all, I am married and have to daughters.
Can you please tell us about your latest book – Predators and Prey.
Predators and Prey splices my interests in thrillers and technology. Imagine if there were a data leak from the NSA in the US. Imagine if that person were an Indian; he runs off to India with that stash, and before he realizes it, the bad guys get wind of it. In a world overrun with technology, how does a person go offline and avoid being surveilled long enough to survive? Throw into the mix a girl who is there at the wrong place and wrong time, an ex-Special Forces commando with a troubled past, and an assortment of villains, and the cat-and-mouse game is on. Or a race between Predators and Prey!
“A racy thriller that is superbly crafted and wholly satisfying, Predators and Prey is not to be missed.” – Anand Ranganathan [Author, Journalist, Scientist]
When and how did you get interested in writing books?
In 2017. I had not written any fiction before that. Ever. Neither long nor short stories. It all began in 2017 on a lark – could I write a page-turner? Having grown up reading the likes of Frederick Forsythe, Alistair MacLean, Robert Ludlum, and recently Lee Child and Dan Brown, the question was almost begging to be asked. Could I write a book that was a gripping read, the kind that if I picked up, I would not let go till I had completed it. And thus began the journey of writing Predators and Prey. Early reviews and feedback suggests I have succeeded in that endeavour!
What is the creative process that is involved in writing a novel? Where do these ideas come from?
The funny thing is that the more I wrote, the more ideas I got! The challenge, then, was which ideas to pick, and how to make sure those ideas formed a coherent narrative in the book. Then there is the real-life to look to for ideas. An incident, a headline – anything can become the inspiration for a character, plot-twist, incident in the book. But creativity and process have to go hand-in-hand. More on that later.
“Interesting and Intriguing…!” – Ashwin Sanghi
How did your corporate experiences help in your journey as an author?
Having worked in the software industry, in the domain of data and analytics, the experience helped tremendously. I knew I could write about aspects of technology with confidence.
What are your key learnings from your journey as a novelist?
What begins as a passion can only be seen through to completion on the back of process. That was my biggest learning. Passion was the fire that burned inside me, that a story needed to be told. A story that only I could tell. Process was converting that passion into pages. Process was what gave direction to the passion. It meant knowing the start, the characters, and a sense of the ending. Finding out that I enjoyed writing dialog, giving each character their distinct voice was a lot of fun. Having done it once, I know I want to do it again!
“You move with Abhinav’s characters, in settings that are alive with details, through plots that twist your mind’s spine. He makes his sentences sprint, his dialogues count, his chapters stream. A book you can’t let go until you finish it.” – Gautam Chikermane [Author, Journalist]
Any message for the alum community.
The IIM-B alumni community is incredibly diverse. They have gone on to become successful corporate executives, academics, entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, social workers, and even authors! An author’s journey is not too different from an entrepreneur’s. The product in this case is the book, and success is measured by sales. So, and you know what I am hinting at – please buy a copy, read it, review it, and if you like it – tell others. Even the best products need users 🙂
Where can one get a copy of Predators and Prey?
You can get it from physical stores like Crossword, Sapna, Wilco, etc… Or you can order a copy from Amazon (https://www.amazon.in/Predators-Prey-Abhinav-Agarwal/dp/9389237068/) or Flipkart (https://www.flipkart.com/predators-and-prey/p/itm3a7bddf05eed8?pid=9789389237061). The Kindle e-book version (https://www.amazon.in/Predators-Prey-Abhinav-Agarwal-ebook/dp/B083V2M5WW/) is available free for anyone who has a Kindle Unlimited subscription.