Thank you so much for your time.
Lets get started with the title of your book.”Life in the Sunshine” How did you coin the title?
Funny story, I started writing the book with a title called Life in the shadows of Cricket. I wanted to convey that we grew up in the benevolent shade of this big banyan tree like sport. However, my best friend, Rishi Agrawal, suggested that the word ‘Shadow’ conveys a dark or creepy message. So, I decided to change the name to something brighter. I almost immediately decided that it has to be Sunshine. Additionally, all our street cricket is played under the bright sunlight. Hence, it struck me that the apt title for the book all the time was Life in the Sunshine. I couldn’t have given a better title
The sub-title of “Autobiography of an unknown cricketer’ was inspired by the Amar Jawan statue, which represents the unknown soldier, who gave his/her life for the country. So, I wanted this book to be dedicated to the countless, nameless boys/girls who play the sport on the streets, watch the matches on TV and the ground, with their dreams and aspirations. Hence, I chose this subtitle as though one of the nameless boy/girl on the street has written his story and his/her special relationship with the sport.
Tell us more about you
I grew up in Chennai, Tamil Nadu in a setting very similar to what is described in the book. I was one of those young boys, who never wasted a moment of Chennai’s sunshine, roaming around town with his friends, with a bat and a ball in hand. I did study along the way and ultimately became the typical Engineer and then a management post graduate. However, I remain infatuated to my first love, the sport of cricket.
I am an avid reader of eclectic topics. What I read is also a path of exploration for me. There was a time I was ripping through Agatha Christie and mystery/investigation type novels. Then I turned to non-fiction books like Indian history, World history, science vs spiritualism kind of books.
Whom do you prefer, Satish, the cricketer, or author?
I definitely prefer Sathish the Cricket fan. I am starting to like the Author as well, as this role has given me space to express my feelings and thoughts. The fact that I could combine these two aspects for Life in the Sunshine, made it sweet for me
When did you decide to sit down and write your memoir?
The thought came to me when I was reading the complete series of Sherlock Holmes. I am a big fan of Holmes and Watson. So, it struck me that I could be like Watson chronicling my Sherlock Holmes, which is Cricket. I kept thinking how to write this chronicle. I knew that Cricinfo website does a good job of preserving the details of historical matches. So, I did not want to write about Cricket alone. I kept thinking on what will make my work unique. So, one fine day, it struck me that I should write about the special relationship that me and my friends shared with this sport. I did not want to have real events chronicled as it could impact real people that I know. So I created fictitious characters and incidents to tell the story.
What do you think about the youth who are cricket addicted but refrains from playing themselves?
I think that the real purpose of our life is to explore who we are and express what we are. We are not this mature when we are in our teens, which is the time period to take up sporting careers. So, I think that parents and elders should play a big role in guiding the youngsters to explore their inner being and break the shackles that stymie them.
Sam got selected in the team. Is his name for real?
No. In fact, none of the characters are real. The setting of the story is very similar to one that I grew up in. So, it is quite real. But the characters, incidents and narration are all figments of my imagination.
A cricket addicted husband and helpless wife is a scenario that is common these days. What do you say about this?
All that it shows is that girls should start to take interest in Cricket!! Just kidding..I think the husband and the wife should try to take interest in each other’s interests/obsessions. I despise this old saying, the route to a man’s heart is through his stomach. I would re-word it as, the route a person’s heart is through their passion. So, if your spouse is passionate about something, you should find a way to play a role in it. Become part of his/her team!!
Which is your favorite genre?
My favorite genre is humour and satire. I love the works of PG Wodehouse, Joseph Heller et al
How was your publishing experience?
Frankly, my publishing experience has been a big roller coaster. It started with countless mails to various traditional publishers. This was followed by a few hopeful replies and many outright rejections. Finally, all of it ended in despair. However, some of them had given encouraging feedback. So, I got the courage to self-publish. NotionPress was very professional in fulfilling my needs and has done a terrific job with the print, eBook, delivery of orders etc. Promotion activities have been very interesting and at times, taxing as well. I spend 5 busy days at work and devote the weekends and holidays to my book promotion. It has been a rewarding experience for sure.
What is your advice to aspiring authors?
Put pen to paper! If you have the urge to write, start to scribble. Once you put your mind to it, you will be fascinated to see how all these scribblings start to make sense. Seek professional help at every turn. Starting from editing, publishing, promotion, etc. Don’t think you can do anything without a team. Even, if you “self-publish”. It is such a misnomer. Team publishing is the right term.
How can the readers reach you?
I would love my readers to reach out to me on my social media handles and my email id
Instagram, Twitter: @sathishpgw
Thank you so much for your time once again