'I'm not the best writer'

Honest review

Author Chetan Bhagat, who was in the City recently, says that he’s okay with not being the best writer as long he’s the best-selling one.

 “I write about ordinary middle class lives so for that I have to be out there, living that life, being involved with people and not running away from them. That makes me a little more visible than most authors. And I do think I have good marketing skills. Most literary experts would agree that I’m not the best writer but I am the best-selling one, and I’m okay with that,” he says. 

With bookstores prepping their shelves for the release of his latest book, ‘Half Girlfriend’, which has already received its fair share of backlash from the social media, he says he feels good about its reception. “The day ‘Half Girlfriend’ was announced, Twitter was full of tweets passing judgements. The book hadn’t even released and the tweets had already reviewed it! Critics will still give a balanced view and an expert judgement, but haters are people who will try to find only the negative. Anyone who is remotely popular gets this,” he says. 

How does he deal with haters? “You have to scan it — if you don’t let praise affect you, you shouldn’t let hate affect you. Just try and laugh it off. It won’t let you reach your full potential and will bog you down. If my writing doesn’t work for someone it’s okay, but my goal is to reach the maximum number of people.” 

Talking about the women characters in his books, he says, “I like smart women, I don’t know why, but for me it’s a very big turn on. I like successful, driven and passionate women (and I’m not judging everyone else who isn’t) and Anusha (wife) was one of those. She’s one of the smartest women I’ve met. She has always been a constant factor in my life and because of that, most of the women characters in my books, even though they aren’t like her, have qualities like intelligence, passion and are bold.” 

When asked which character he is closest to, he says, “The latest one is the closest to me because I’ve been with it for so long. Ria (from Half Girlfriend) is a very complex character who is reserved. All my girls were becoming too bubbly so I modelled her in a different way, quieter than the others, and the story is a little more emotional.” 

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