Sanjay Bahadur, author of The Sound of Water, guest blogs about finding a theme for a novel -- or letting the theme find you. A bit of background about the book, and about Sanjay's process, which included getting feedback via the internet!
The Sound of Water provides an account of an Indian mining disaster as seen from three perspectives: an old miner struggling to save himself and his coworkers hundreds of feet below the surface of the earth; the company and government officials charged with managing the rescue efforts; and the miners' families anxiously awaiting word of survival or death.
While writing the book, the internet proved to be an effective resource for Sanjay. Not only did it strengthen his research but it enabled him to connect with some discerning readers whose suggestions improved the readability of the book. He also received technical guidance from mining engineers promptly through emails, including diagrams or process descriptions. Sanjay writes: “Writing can be a lonely process but internet ensured that I never lacked support or advice.”
Sanjay Bahadur has a Masters degree in Economics from the University of Mumbai and a MBA from the University of Birmingham, UK. He joined the Indian Revenue Service in 1989. During 2000-04 he worked as a Director in the Indian Ministry of Coal, which gave him the opportunity to observe mining operations and lives of miners at close quarters.