Whatever it is, there is no looking back, there is no turning back.
To be mentally saddled with a single genre is against my nature and is anathema to me. Even as I was into my first venture, “Dance of Life”, ideas for many novels started germinating in my mind. As is my wont, I opened several document files, either with the first ideas translated into words or with just the titles, tentative in most cases (read my blog post MY JOURNEY INTO THE WORLD OF WRITING - IV).
My experiences with my first book instilled in me huge confidence in my ability, especially after getting the feedback from my guardian angel. (“Dance of Life” is her favourite among all my novels, she says). I had it in me. With the newfound self-belief and self-confidence, I set out towards my second novel.
I gained confidence that I, too, could write – effectively, coherently, and meaningfully – without giving in to the hype that is so prevalent these days all around us in newspapers, TV, movies, books, society, in every walk of life.
I also decided that I just could not “stick” to one single genre. This guided me to a new topic, a new genre for my second novel – a kidnap drama.
I christened it simply “THE KIDNAP”.
Would you be surprised if I said that I resumed my “novel” journey based on three factors, the general topic, the first scene, and the last action scene? Since criminal investigation in our country is the responsibility of, and only of, the police departments of various state governments and central government (no Private Investigators are permitted on the hallowed ground) the hero had necessarily to be a police officer; in this case, the entire police department of Tamil Nadu.
In one of my earlier blogs, I unashamedly admitted to the influence of Late Alistair MacLean and Late Agatha Christie on my writings and me. That came to the fore in this venture of mine – the descriptive prose, the eye for detail, and the characterisation. The confidence that grew in me manifested itself in the number of pages of the whole narrative – about twenty more than my first venture, “Dance of Life”; not that I willed it and filled it with garbage but that I went into detail as demanded by the storyline.
The narration flowed smoothly; the characters and situations came out as planned. This story proved a wee bit tougher since my knowledge of guns, canine squads, forensic procedures, etc. was limited to what I read in novels and what I saw in movies, especially American movies and TV serials. (Indian movies and TV serials are pathetic even in imitating their Hollywood counterparts and offer nothing to enhance my knowledge). In particular, American TV serials “CSI” (Crime Scene Investigation – all three franchises of it) and “PRACTICE” left an indelible mark on my mind. The knowledge I gained from them helped me in my small research for my work. To say that a great amount of my forensic knowledge is due to my writer-icons Agatha Christie and Alistair MacLean would be no hyperbole.
General information available on the Internet apart, Tamil Nadu Police website was of great help in matters concerning canine sleuths. I added my own intuition and imagination to that in the action scenes.
I dwelt for a while on Tamil Nadu Forensic laboratory (TNFL) an imaginary forensic laboratory of the Tamil Nadu Police department. An ardent fan of CSI, I could never understand the fair-like scene that we witness telecast at every crime scene; not just the investigating police personnel, but ministers, politicians, media personnel, and all and sundry just stomp the crime scene. Don’t the police realise that this causes loss or compromise of evidence? Aren’t there any strict guidelines to be followed by forensic scientists in maintaining the sanctity of the crime scene? I wonder.
This prompted me to “create” a forensic laboratory of international standards to help analyse evidence from crime scenes and apprehend culprits. The narration flowed smoothly and reached “The End”.
That’s it, friends. Meet you in my next blog with some eerie stuff.