About the Book
We interviewed Tarun Vikash about his book She Stood by Me, a romance novel which explores many more themes. Here are a few excerpts from our interaction.
Booknerds: Why did you choose to write a love story as your debut novel, how does an author differentiate himself when the genre is peppered with millions of books?
Tarun Vikash: If you are good at something, make it your profession. Only then you can bring change through that in the country. I am also an ardent preacher of our historical facts which most people call mythology. In the coming years, readers will also get to read a trilogy book based on these historical characters. Coming back to romance, I have released this book as my debut as the trilogy book was taking more time for me. Also, SHE STOOD BY ME is not just about romance. It also brings out social issues like caste differences, dowry system , the male-dominated mentality that a girl faces even in today’s time. So, a true love story was the best medium to bring out these issues to the youth who are also going through similar issues or may face in the future. In totality, my books will have a purpose to serve in future too. They won’t be just a story to entertain people.
Booknerds: Are you inspired by real-life characters while writing your protagonist and other characters?
Tarun Vikash: Yes. All my stories will be inspired by real life characters. Thousands of readers have personally told me how relevant they felt the story of SHE STOOD BY ME is. It is because the story is real. I believe only real life stories can bring a change to the existing issues which are persisting in society.
Booknerds: If you would like to change some traits of the protagonists what would they be?
Tarun Vikash: I won’t like to do that. I want the characters to be as real as possible. And real characters will also come with flaws of their own. They can’t be perfect humans just to please the readers.
Booknerds: Do you look at reader feedback and perhaps incorporate changes in future editions or books?
Tarun Vikash: Most certainly, but only when a huge number of readers are stating the same feedback. I have seen that if you go to ten people, you might have ten different opinions about the same book. So it would only make sense when I focus on what most readers would love me to change in my future books. However with SHE STOOD BY ME, most readers have loved it and its reader base is constantly growing due to the same reason.
Booknerds: How did love change the characters of Abhi and Aparna?
Tarun Vikash: When you feel that there is someone really special in your life, you change a lot as a person. You suddenly become more caring, more responsible, learn to manage your life so that you have time for each other once in a while and most importantly you find out that this one person understands you in every situation. So, love helped Aparna and Abhi handle most of the societal pressure and issues because they were in love with each other.
Booknerds: What is the alternate ending you thought for Abhi and Aparna if they didn't get married?
Tarun Vikash: They would have continued to be friends. Love brings a lifelong friend into your life.
Booknerds: What is your favourite character of the novel and why ?
Tarun Vikash: Aparna and Abhi, both are my favourite characters as they both have inspired thousands of youth already who were going through the same situations in their life.
Booknerds: When we are in love we do all sorts of silly things and the story of Abhi and Aparna is no exception. How did their love blossom into a wholesome mature relationship?
Tarun Vikash: You can become rich but you cannot become great without the struggle. So, I feel that the struggles they faced helped their love grow stronger and blossom into a mature bond.
Booknerds: What was your favourite part in the journey of Abhi and Aparna's love story?
Tarun Vikash: The accident scene was a crucial part as it truly brings out the essence of love for Aparna in Abhi’s life which has brought tears to the eyes of many readers.
- Team Booknerds