Author Interview

Author Interview : Jagadish Jaganathan

Hello everyone, happy to meet you all again with another amazing Author Interview session. Today I’m going to interview a young and ambitious writer Jagadish Jaganathan, the Author of a brilliantly written Corporate Drama “Empty Wallet” I came across this book by chance and to be very frank I was really impressed with the narrative style of the author. And so I contacted him for an interview session and he immediately accepted to do it. He said it’s his first author interview and I really hope he had fun answering these questions because I enjoyed every bit of this conversation and I also happened to learn a lot of new things with this short interview session. And it was a nice experience!!

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Jagadish Jaganathan is a stand-up comedian, writer and the author of the novel Empty wallet. After completing mechanical engineering from VTU he is currently employed at as a Risk Analyst. He lives in Bangalore, a Chai person and has penned screenplay for a few non-viral short films.

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First of all, Thank you so much Jagadish for accepting to do this interview with me despite your busy schedule. I’m super excited to have you here in Nerdy Bookarazzi. I hope you will enjoy this session as much as I do. So let’s get into the session without any further ado.

So, apart from the author description available on your book, we don’t know much about you so can please tell us a bit about yourself ?

Thank you so much for having me here. There’s isn’t much to tell about me. I like country and classical music. Big fan of Quentin Tarantino. The Office (US) is my favorite TV show.

Aww, that’s cool!! Okay this is a constant question I ask every author whom I interview, so how did writing came into the picture ? Who and what inspired you to write in the first place?

I have always been passionate about stories and stories have been such a huge part of my childhood. Since school I’ve been involved in some or the other creative process. In  the 1st year of my college a friend of mine wanted to do a short film and he asked to write the dialogues and screenplay for it. I took a couple of months to study screenplay, like I read a book about it and watched few videos. After writing the screenplay I wanted to explore more of creative writing and then I started writing short stories. The breakthrough would be reading The Fountainhead. After reading it I wanted to do something in life and I decided I wanted to be a writer.

Is Empty Wallet your first novel ? Have you written anything else and please do tell us where can we find it ?

Yes, empty wallet is my first novel. I have written a lot of short stories but haven’t published them but one. It is available in juggernaut platform.

Here is the Link to it!

How the genesis of Empty Wallet was born ?

During final semester of college all my friends had figured out something, like few of them already started their start-up and few of them already got a job. While I was still figuring out. Like reading books, watching movies and trying out short stories. My friend’s experience in the start-up space gave me a spark to form something. And somewhere I read about “Wealth fatigue syndrome” and which was kind of at the back of my mind all the time and somehow they all fell into its place and the plot presented itself. And I started writing.

Why a corporate drama ?

I was not particular about the genre. The corporate landscape was something demanded by the plot. And when I was halfway into the book I got a job at amazon and it became easier to write about it.

You are an author, a stand-up comedian and you have full time job, so how do you manage to balance everything smoothly ? How many hours a day do you spend for writing ?

I do stand-up comedy as a hobby. Sometimes I just turn up at the comedy club near my place and perform. As opposed to popular writing advice, I do not write every day. I write only when I’m brimming with an urge to put down something on paper. And once it happens I allocate time for it and try to finish it before I feel foolish about the whole idea.

How long did you take to finish the manuscript of Empty Wallet and how many drafts you wrote before submitting the manuscript to the publisher ?

It took 2 years for me to finish the first draft and another year to come up with 2 more drafts which I presented to the publishers.

What was the hardest part in writing Empty Wallet ?

Rewriting was the hardest part, sometimes I had to scrap out whole chapters. And something wouldn’t fit in. If I had to make one small change it would lead me to a thread of changes. So many times I thought of abandoning the project.

What kind of research do you do and how long do you spend on researching before beginning the book ?

Most of the research for the book was talking to my friends. In fact the inside information they gave was one of the things that inspired me to write. Then I read articles to check scenarios, facts and procedures.

How was your publishing journey ?

At first I thought of traditional publishing and spent good amount of time pursuing that. And nothing turned up so I decided to self-publish.

How did you build Ezhil’s character ? Was it inspired by someone you know ?

Ezhil is the name of my favorite teacher, that’s a kind of tribute to him. And the character is inspired by a lot of things, like I quoted Nietzsche in the blurb, one who fights a monster should be careful not to become one. Basically he is a simple middle-class Indian trying to do something in life. And in the process of achieving his goal he almost loses everything. And that’s something we all face. At every point we are losing a bit of ourselves for an idea, vision or future. I think it’s a universal theme like redemption.

I particularly loved all the names of your characters, it was very South Indian-ish. How did you name your characters ?

It is South Indian-ish because the story is set in south India. I tried to come up with simple authentic south Indian names except for the character Deepika. For the name signifies light. She is the light bearer for Ezhil. Hence scenes when they meet in darkness and she switches on the light and the Diwali lamp scenes. And when she leaves. He plunges into darkness. So it carries a metaphoric attribute to that character.

Who is your favorite author and what is your favorite book ?

It’s really hard to pick one. I love, adore and have tried to emulate Haruki Murakami, Ayn rand and Stephen king. But if I really have to pick one it must be R K Narayanan and his book Bachelor of Arts. And Bachelor of Arts is not even his best work but it connects with me on a personal level. It’s kind of go to book for me.

What do you think makes a good story ?

Anything will make a good story if it’s told in an interesting way. And with a good story the reader must be able to connect, reflect and empathize.

Which is more important for a book, a concrete story-line or proficient writing skill

In my opinion it’s the concrete story-line. Because writing skill can be nurtured and coming up with a good story-line is the most difficult part.

If you had do something differently as a child or a teenager in order to become a better writer as an adult, what would that be ?

I’m in a certain way because my childhood had been in a certain way and it’s hard for me to imagine otherwise. So it’s difficult for me to tell if I had done anything different it would’ve resulted in me being a better writer or no writer at all.

Tell us your writing process.

Usually an idea strikes me and I keep thinking about it. Trying out possibilities and if I’m lucky the idea procreates a plot and more and then I start writing. I used to write in pencil and paper and later friends criticized that I’m not being eco-friendly so now I’m all digitalized. Tea is a must when I’m writing.

What was the feeling when you first saw your name on the cover of your book ?

It was a memorable moment when the publisher showed me the cover page with my name and title. It was one of the most exhilarating feeling ever.

Do you still remember the first appreciation you received as an author and what is that ?

A friend of mine was editing the book for me and she said that working on empty wallet
rekindled her passion for writing and she also went on to mention that in the acknowledgement of her debut poetry book. That was very kind of her and it meant a lot to me.

Link to her book

How do you handle literary criticism ?

Initially I used to be sore about the criticism and used to get defensive. But later I realized that I have to step back and view them. I try to work on any feedback without compromising my view or individuality. Now I see them as opportunity to improve my writing skill.

Have you started working on your next novel ? If I may ask, what is it about ?

I haven’t started working on my next novel. And like I said it is hard to come up with a good story line. Hopefully I will find something.

How did writing helped you develop as a person ?

It helps me to grow as a person and keep learning.

What kind of books do you plan to write in the upcoming future ?

I like to write magical realism and historical fiction.

What your family thinks about your writing career ? Are they supportive ? 

My family is very supportive. Sometime they worry because when I start writing everything takes a back seat. But only because of their support I’m able to write.

Finally what do you feel about this interview ?

It was a wonderful experience and my first ever author interview. I wish you more success in everything that you are doing 🙂

Thank You Jagadish!!!!!! This means a lot to me. I hope we get to do more such interviews. And all the very best for your upcoming project.


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Get in touch with the Author

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Read the Book Review of Empty Wallet here!

Hope you liked the session!

Until next time,

~ Meenu

Nerdy Bookarazzi presents, Author Interview with Jagadish Jaganathan, the author of brilliantly written Corporate Drama “Empty Wallet” Check it out!!!


  • Meenu Annadurai

    Meenu Annadurai is the founder & editor of The Nerdy Bookarazzi. Meenu is a Customer Specialist by day and a writer by night. She published her debut novel 'A Place called Home' with Half-Baked Beans which is now available on Amazon. She is insanely addicted to her bookshelf and super possessive about them. She is in a serious relationship with her current Book Boyfriend.