We are in conversation with Nitin Sawant, the author of Lucifer’s Lungi, answered with his usual quirks, he talks everything related to his book and how he felt when his book got a No. 1 best-seller tag on Amazon’s Horror section just within few days after the book’s official release. He also talks about his maiden association with Fablery and how he came up with that unusual and eerie title. And much more, have a look.
- Let’s Talk
Team WordBite (TWB): Welcome Nitin, first all please tell us everything about how it all started-the writing?
Nitin Sawant (NS): I was always a voracious reader; so writing should’ve been the next logical step. But that’s not how it all happened with me. I was once a stock market analyst for a private fund, whose sister concern happened to be an ad agency. And when for a fashion campaign once, they couldn’t come up with good ideas, I’d to step in with some catchy lines. By evening, out went my Stock Analyst job & I formally became a Copywriter. Just like that… So, intermittently, during my innumerable job-hops, I continued with copywriting but had never attempted anything longer, like a novel or so. Till I came across Nethra & Fablery Publications…
TWB: Lucifer’s Lungi is based on a horror genre. Is there any specific reason behind writing something on this genre??
(NS): No particular reason, except that I’m this horrific kinda guy. Okay, seriously speaking, I did not set out to write a book that could fit into the horror genre. I just wanted to regale y’all with a tall tale that happened in my life, during my early roadie days. Some readers found it more of a ‘para-normal’ kind; some say it’s a psycho-thriller. Personally, I would like to slot it as just an entertainer. And since ghosts & haunted places take up a lot of space in my life anyways, the book has veered towards them.
TWB: How did you come up with that unusual and eerie title, Lucifer’s Lungi?
(NS): Unusual? I think what’s really unusual is our assumption that the vocab of a foreign language like English has all the words that can uniquely describe all that happens in a multi-faceted country like ours. That’s totally unusual. You see, English has a different flavour in Mumbai as against the one spoken in Chennai. The local lingo is forced to add & enrich the nuances that English alone can’t illustrate. This is how it’s spoken everywhere; just that the written communication tends to be more monotonous. Somehow I don’t agree with that & I can’t recount my tale without bringing in the local flavour here. As for the eerie part, Nethra – my publisher, did have some initial doubts on the workability of the title & my flavour of English. But then, thankfully, insanity prevailed & both were retained as it is…
TWB: Lucifer’s lungi is getting great reviews from various eminent people, what was your feeling when your book got a No. 1 best-seller tag on Amazon’s Horror section?
(NS): It was quite humbling, actually. You see, ranking ahead of the greats like Stephen King even for a few seconds is itself a big deal for a newbie like me. And ‘Lucifer’s Lungi’ was a best-seller for quite a few days. However, the book & I have a long way to go yet. Good opening credits could be just plain luck or goodwill or both. This initial success only means that I’ve to work lot harder from now on. It only gets tougher from here on…
TWB: The book is now released, it is being acclaimed by one and all, how do you feel?
(NS): To tell you the truth, I’d a fair inkling that ‘Lucifer’s Lungi’ will click well with the readers. Just hear me out here… Guys like me, you know, born-in-the-sixties growing-up-in-the-eighties types live by a different code. You see, in those pre-Internet days it was all about sworn friendship, brotherhood etc. So I’ve this close friend, Aroon Kakad, who generally gets to decide most of what I should be doing or not doing in life. And, usually, whatever he pushes me into, tanks badly. So when I emailed him the story of ‘Lucifer’s Lungi’, the guy made it a point to call me long distance from Kuwait just to tell me that I suck at writing & that I should not be wasting time on this shit. I was stuck at a traffic signal that moment & I can’t describe what I felt. I was ecstatic & delirious with joy. I almost got off & ran in the wild traffic. That moment I kinda knew ‘Lucifer’s Lungi’ will click…
TWB: What was that one thing which was there in your mind while writing this book?
(NS): Ghosts… Ghosts were on my mind when I was writing this book. A close friend had suddenly passed away & I was dumbstruck. For so many days, I was unable to come to terms with it. It did affect my writing. And I sincerely think that a lot of stuff in the last few chapters came out differently. You see, my workshop – here in Mumbai, is infamous as a haunted place. So, imagine sitting late nights here, brooding over a ghost story with the trauma of my friend’s death hanging in the air… I guess some fear & horror did seep in the story because of this.
TWB: Take us back to your childhood days, your life and how it helped you becoming the person you are now.
(NS): I suppose I was one of those regular kids who grew up around lots of books, played lots of sports & watched lots of movies. And like regular guys then, I did my Engineering before I could figure out what to do with my life. Guess I’m still not finished with the figuring out part. It helps that I’ve an open mind about a lot of things in life; it has sustained me during my various misadventures. So, you see, if y’all find my writing quirky or loopy, that’s because that’s how I am as a person…
TWB: Do you ever imagine yourself writing something on a different genre?
(NS): I don’t have much faith in these so-called genre slotting. So, depending on how you see it, my upcoming book could be either called a black family drama or a supernatural travelogue or just a plain simple witch hunt. Generally speaking, I would love to have my writing fall in the grey space where one genre makes love with another, delivering an oddball story as a result…
TWB: How was your experience while working with Fablery?
(NS): Awesome… Nethra has zero commercial sense & no knowledge of best practices in publishing. Naturally, the content she selects is offbeat, innovative, whacky, original & absolutely readable. And that’s what makes Fablery’s offerings so juicy. You can see the difference right from the cover-page to the novella size to the variety of subjects on offer…
TWB: What do you do as a profession?
(NS): Now that’s a loaded question. I wish I’d an easy answer. If you’d asked me a year ago, I was a jewellery designer. Nowadays I’m more busy with temple art & idols etc.
TWB: Tell us something about your upcoming books.
(NS): There’s one on witches that’s gnawing inside my head. That tale needs to be told next. Then there’s one on God Vs Devil clash. They’re all based on a few things that I’ve personally experienced or witnessed or seen somebody going through it.
TWB: When was the last time you did something for the first time? And what was it?
(NS): That’s easy. A couple of days ago I was polishing the back of a 6-feet tall raw Ganesha idol with sandpaper. I was getting a few idols ready for the upcoming Ganesha festival & had to step in with the polishing act, to speed things up. I mean how many of y’all get to say this to God, “Relax, Lord. I’ve got your back.”
- Rapid Fire
TWB: Your favorite Book(s):
(NS): Everything written by Tom Robbins
TWB: Your favorite Author(s):
(NS): Tom Robbins, Tom Robbins & Tom Robbins.
TWB: Describe yourself in three words:
(NS): Who am I?
TWB: Thank you Nitin Sawant for this interview, your book seems very thrilling and we wish it to be read by one and all. J
You can buy Lucifer’s Lungi by Nitin Sawant from the following link