Shiwani :- When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
Dipak Giri :- During my college days when I found some of my poems which I had contributed to college magazines got published and earned some recognition among people of my acquaintances, I realized that there might be possibility of other self- the self of a writer within me and then I fixed my mind to focus on my creative writing.
Shiwani :- How long does it take you to write a book?
Dipak Giri :- Presently I have been editing anthologies on scholarly articles which are received from academics around the year. It takes almost three months from collection of articles to finalization of the book. In between collection and finalization, editing and proof-reading are rigorously done. A critical introduction along with one of my articles is also added to every anthology. This time frame of three months is my general estimate. In certain circumstances it may increase by some days as the size of the volume varies every time.
Shiwani :- What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
Dipak Giri :- I have no fixed schedule to write my creative writing. As I am always involved with my professional, familial and other academic activities along with my creative writing, I have always to struggle to spare time. However, in my busy schedule, I always keep in mind that I have to bring out the present anthology timely within the given time frame so that my work on next anthology cannot be hampered due to shortage of time. With this seriousness, I always succeed in bringing out every anthology timely and elegantly. In this connection, the role of my contributors cannot be denied.
Shiwani :- Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
Dipak Giri :- Obviously from the society and the real world where people live in. There are many problems and sufferings in this world. People living in the margin are the most victims of these problems and sufferings and these people, especially women, dalit, tribal, transgender, peasant and other subaltern people are my area of my concern. I write about them and my books are nothing but the voice of these marginalized sections of people.
Shiwani :- When did you write your first book and how old were you?
Dipak Giri :- I started to edit my first book, entitled Indian English Drama: Themes and Techniques in 2017 and completed it successfully in 2018. At that time I was 33 years old.
Shiwani :- What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Dipak Giri :- When I am not writing, I always wish to travel the areas which are still unexplored by me. However, as I have already told you that I struggle to spare time as besides writing, I have to perform other duties too so every time it is not possible for me to meet my personal longing of travelling the areas yet to be explored by me. In that situation, I would like to spend my time with my family and friends.
Shiwani :- What does your family think of your writing?
Dipak Giri :- My family always tries to provide me congenial atmosphere for my writing. They encourage me and are always beside me in respect of my writing.
Shiwani :- What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
Dipak Giri :- The most surprising thing that I have ever learnt and even have been learning since the publication of my first book is that whenever I involve myself into any creative work, I easily meet required original papers contributed by well-known academics within the stipulated time. This always surprises me as I have come to know many faces in the same line failing to meet papers for the required size of the volume within the given time frame and extending the time of submission to meet the requirement. However, in my case, it is totally different. I have already edited a dozen of books within two years without extending the deadline of submission. It is a great surprise for me.
Shiwani :- Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?
Dipak Giri :- I always think I have to cover a long path to become a better writer so I am not sure whether I am a better writer. Still when you are seeking suggestion from me how to become a better writer, I will tell you to focus on your work with constancy and dedication.
Shiwani :- Do you like to create books for adults?
Dipak Giri :- There is hardly any book which I have not written related with the adult world. All my books are related with adult world written till now. I always like to create books for adults and the result is that all my books deal with problems and sufferings of adult world of certain people and community.
Shiwani :- What do you think makes a good story?
Dipak Giri :- For me, a good story is not one which is only limited within the entertainment value but it should have moral aspect too. A good story is the blend of both entertainment and instruction.
Shiwani :- Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Dipak Giri :- Writing is a pleasure for me so it always energizes me. However, other activities interrupting the process of my writing always appear to me exhaustible and disturbing.
Shiwani :- Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
Dipak Giri :- I have always been original to my creativity since my writing career started and I am trying to cater the taste of my readers by reaching the ground reality instead of floating in air.
Shiwani :- Do you think someone could be a writer if they don’t feel emotions strongly?
Dipak Giri :- I think none can be a writer devoid of emotion. Emotion plays the major role in writing. A writer should have an emotional attachment to the theme or area on which he or she is writing or working.
Shiwani :- What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
Dipak Giri :- The other authors, whom I know in person and have been in good terms, always instill the fire of creativity into me both by their works and words.
Shiwani :- Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?
Dipak Giri :- Every time when I engage myself into writing, I always try to focus on new area completely unrelated with the area of my previous book. With this aim, I always try to give something new and original to my readers.
Shiwani :- How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
Dipak Giri :- When I did get my first anthology published, I thought it would have my first and the last anthology prior to getting it published as I was not sure whether contributors would show trust on me. However, when I received more than the required articles within very short notice, my thought underwent a radical change and I reversed from my past thought that my first book would have the last one and started to focus to bring out more books in future and decided not to deviate from the line of writing in future.
Shiwani :- What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
Dipak Giri :- The best money that was spent by me as a writer was for my first book, entitled Indian English Drama: Themes and Techniques because it was due to this first book that what I am today. This book paved the path of my writing career so no money spent by me can equal to the money spent for my first book.
Shiwani :- What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?
Dipak Giri :- In my graduation examination I had to attempt three questions unread carrying 60 marks out of 100 and thought I would get very poor marks when the final result would get published but contrary to what I thought, the result was far better than many and I scored highest in that paper in my institution. Then I realized that language had power. I had written answer of those three questions with my original language and my language was valued by the examiner and since that day I have been believing that my language has power.
Shiwani :- What are the most important magazines for writers to subscribe to?
Dipak Giri :- Since I myself have been performing the role of an editor-in-chief in an international magazine, named “Creative Flight”, I have not felt to subscribe to any other magazine.
Shiwani :- What do you owe the real people upon whom you base your characters?
Dipak Giri :- I will always be indebted to my parents who are my first teachers and have helped to forge my character by presenting their own ideal character combined with simplicity, sincerity and truthfulness before me.
Shiwani :- How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
Dipak Giri :- None, I always finish the book which I start to work on prior to starting a new book. So, I have no book either unpublished or half-finished.
Shiwani :- What’s the best way to market your books?
Dipak Giri :- Today social media runs faster than the real conventional media. There is hardly anyone who has no account in social media. So, I think social media is the best platform to be used to market my books. Along with using social media for promotion of my books, I think they should also be made available globally on popular e-retailers like Amazon, Flipkart etc. in every possible format- hardback, paperback and e-book
Shiwani :- What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
Dipak Giri :- My area of research, as I have already stated, is people of grassroots whose life is full of pains and sufferings and who are made victims of discrimination and exploitation by power system in society. Woman, dalit, tribal, homosexual, transgender and other subaltern class of people are my area of research. I usually spend a period of time, in most cases a period of one month in collecting valid data and information prior to beginning the original research.
Shiwani :- Do you view writing as a kind of spiritual practice?
Dipak Giri :- Yes, I have complete faith and belief that writing is a kind of spiritual practice. In the process of writing, the creator is divinely inspired and looks the world going beyond the ordinariness with divine eye. So, writing is nothing but a process of spiritualization by which a writer is chastened to create something new and divine.
Shiwani :- How long were you a part-time writer before you became a full-time one?
Dipak Giri :- I had been a part time writer for three years before becoming a full time one. Prior to becoming a successful author of anthology after anthology, I used to contribute to the anthologies of other authors and I had spent as a contributing author as long as three years.
Shiwani :- How many hours a day do you write?
Dipak Giri :- I do not maintain any schedule of routine. It depends on my spare time. I have always been pre-occupied with some or other academic activities along with my professional and familial duties. So I have to struggle to spare time as I have already stated. However, I always value time and try to use it to the best of my ability for my creative writing.
Shiwani :- What period of your life do you find you write about most often?
Dipak Giri :- Obviously in this present stage of my young adulthood as I have just started writing as a full time author and now I am thirty six years old.
Shiwani :- What did you edit out of this book?
Dipak Giri :- In this book I edited about the life and struggle of dalit life as its title “Perspectives on Indian Dalit Literature” itself suggests that the book is related with dalit life and struggle.
Shiwani :- Have you read anything that made you think differently about fiction?
Dipak Giri :- No, nothing has been gone though by me that has made me think differently about fiction. I think fiction has an important role to play in creative writing because writing cannot be wholly based on fact; rather it is a blend of fact and fiction. Fact is employed to present reality as it is and fiction is employed to present reality as it should be so one cannot be ignored for other.
Shiwani :- Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?
Dipak Giri :- No, I do not hide anything in my books, rather I always try to reveal everything open wide so that the reader can reach to the nearest of the theme or area with which the book deals.
Shiwani :- What one thing would you give up to become a better writer?
Dipak Giri :- I do not think anything is to be given up to become a better writer. Instead of giving up anything, one should have passion to writing. I do not believe in the policy of give and take. The policy of giving up anything serious related with life may bring adverse result instead of generating positive energy that drives one to creativity.
Shiwani :- What is your favorite childhood book?
Dipak Giri :- Childhood is the stage of imagination when a child’s mind is filled with many imaginative ideas that incline the child to go through imaginative tales with illustrated pictures as we find in comic books. So, like many other children I was also bent to read comic books when I was child and used to sink into imaginative world to my heart’s content. Among those comic books, my favourite was comic series of “The Adventures of Tintin” created by Belgian cartoonist Georges Remi “Herge”.
Shiwani :- Does your family support your career as a writer?
Dipak Giri :- Yes, my family has always been beside me since I preferred writing as my career. They always create a congenial atmosphere whenever I involve myself into some creative writing.