Ashwath Sezhian is a doctor from India, about to work in the NHS. Apart from practising medicine, he writes short stories on Instagram and has developed quite a following on the platform. His first novel, An Affliction of Orchids, is a psychotic thriller. He is eager to release his next – When Varun met Meera, a romance novel – some time next year.
What do you do when you’re not writing?
When I’m not writing, I’m either thinking about what to write next, or reading books and watching films, hoping to find something inspiring.
How do you draw on your job/hobbies to create your characters and worlds?
Well, this is an interesting question. I’m a doctor, so it has a really big impact on the characters and the worlds they live in. They’re almost always doctors, and if they’re not, then they’re patients trying to get better. I suppose being a doctor helps grind a sense of realism into the depth of the story I’m writing.
What makes you/your stories different from other writers?
I tend not to give the readers a character to fully root for. Each character I try to make as real as possible, giving them flaws and pros of their own.
What are your goals as a writer?
My short-term goal is to get a book published by one of the leading companies like Penguin, Harper Collins, etc. Long-term would be to land a spot on a bestseller list.
What’s your typical writing process?
I wake up as early as I can – around 5-6 in the morning – and start writing then. Later, in the evenings, I review what I’ve written. This way my book is the first thing I think of in the mornings and last I think of before I sleep in the nights.
When did you first realise writing was something you wanted to do?
From the age of 16, I was never attentive in school! My mind kept running to the ideas of stories I’d like to write.
What was the hardest part of your novel to write, and why?
Locations. I’ve always felt a bit disconnected with locations and have trouble describing how they would look through the reader’s eye. The same cannot be said for the way the characters appear, though.
What are you reading at the moment?
I’m currently binge-reading the entire collection of Tess Gerritsen. Her work is out of this world, with a deep psychological thrill hidden in each book.
What’s something you’ve learned during the writing/publication process?
Writing is the easy part! The waiting for agents and publishers is another league entirely!
You can find Ashwath on Instagram @brokenballads. Please note that Ashwath is not a client of Emma’s Edit, and I have yet to read his book.