The best thing about being a writer is to touch and impact many people across the whole world, and hopefully inspire them with your experiences and creativity.
The experiences in my books are a combination of events from my own life and from the lives of folks I know. Take Shiva’s startup rollercoaster ride; I obviously base it on my own startup experience and that of my friends in the Bay Area. But to create the part about Shakti’s loss of her brother Sanju and her family in the Latur earthquake; I had to dig into the deep recesses of the emotional loss of my dear uncle Sanju who grew up with me in the same house, but passed away at a very young age in a car accident in the US.
As I often say, 50% is based on real experiences (both mine and of folks I know) and the other 50% is pure fiction. It’s just not obvious which 50% is which, and I’d like to keep it that way. I mentioned this recently at a panel discussion, and another panelist quoted his standard riposte when asked how much of his book was based on real life: “all the hot, incredible sex scenes are completely real!”