Chirdeep Malhotra . Updated: 1/19/2022 10:11:30 AM Books and Authors

Author Interview: Dr. Sohil Makwana

A doctor, fashion photographer, assistant director, philanthropist, and now a bestselling author, Dr. Sohil Makwana has donned many caps with panache. He thinks that the measure of life is not its duration but its donation. He debuted with “Murdrum: The Probe Begins”, the first book in the Murdrum duo-logy, a riveting mash-up of true-events and fiction. The novel was an instant hit and soon became a cult favourite, with readers being left on a cliff-hanger. He has subsequently released the book “Murdrum 2: Double Trouble”. In a candid chat with Chirdeep Malhotra, he talks about his latest release “Murdrum 2”, what brought him to write on serial killers, his inspirations for life, and his advocacy for blood and organ donation. Read on!

“Murdrum”! How did you come up with the titles for your books?

“Murdrum” means murder, especially a killing in secret. Readers will come to know on page 200 of the book “Murdrum 2” on why I chose the title “Murdrum”. I don’t want to give any spoilers here.

Could you describe your latest book “Murdrum 2: Double Trouble”?

The probe that began in “Murdrum 1” continues in this book. The total murder count reaches 26. CBI inspector Komal Rathod applies several incredible, high-tech forensic investigations, but still she is unable to decode the mysterious ‘Two Blue Dots’ – the hallmark signature of the killer. And the sexual sadist killer releases another cipher ‘SAW NOTHING'. The protagonist Komal is ever alert to search for the criminals and catch them while a lot of ‘unknown’ people make sure that the ‘evidence’ only traps her deeper into the spider's web. Everything is time-bound and the ‘sources’ only make things difficult for Komal and her team. The two blue dots left by the serial killer sure confuse them. Do they catch the killers and unravel the mystery? Readers can read this book to find out.

What are some of the themes that you have delved into in the narrative of this book?

“Murdrum 2” is an adrenalin rush high-tech forensic crime thriller inspired by real-life events and bizarre medical facts. Besides, it deals with contemporary social sciences and the crucial social and socio-psychological aspects of crime including personal attitudes as well as the broader societal context. It is a story about the psychological effects of a bad childhood and its haunting repercussions. It’s a tale of how a physical, mental, and emotional trauma chips in troubled adulthood. “Murdrum 2” has a hidden message about how resources of society are responsible for creating criminals and what makes a monster out of a man.

Can you tell us more about your writing process? How did you go about creating three-dimensional characters and mapping out an engaging plot for this mystery thriller book?

I keenly focus on three elements. The first is the climax. The climax should be unique, fresh, and novel; and I have focused on this in my novel duology “Murdrum”. I’m sure readers will not find a similar climax anywhere all over the world. I prefer to write retrogradely. Once the climax is set, I write about the antagonist and agonist, preferably portraying them as vulnerable. I don't like larger-than-life heroes, I want my heroes to struggle. And, the third and the most important thing is conflict. I always try to give conflict to my agonist in every scene and every situation. That makes it intriguing, riveting, and engrossing.

The acknowledgments of your books have become extremely popular. What do you say about that?

Haha! Well, before coming into writing thrillers, I was very active in memes and witty tweets. I had made a few vines, too. The name was ‘Sohilarious vines’, and readers can watch them on YouTube. I believe in grabbing the readers’ attention from the first page before the plot becomes gripping and that can be done only with humour. I always try to make scenes either sensational or amusive. Readers will find several amusive moments in the “Murdrum” series.

What do the words ‘writer’s block’ mean to you?

I have never encountered writer’s block. Whether I’m writing or not writing, I have never experienced any block. My mind stays crystal clear for two things from the beginning, as I write retrograde.

And, what are those two things?

The first is to write only non-cliché ingredients. Second, write like a foreseeing savvy reader and rewrite exactly the opposite creating multiple layers. I know how to play with the reader’s mind. I can say with certainty that no one can predict the next page of my novels.

What piece of advice would you like to give to the aspiring authors?

Do not write cliché. Do not write following the trends. You should write differently, and on themes that others are not writing on. People love to gain knowledge through reading and watching. Update their knowledge. Let them anticipate by trapping them in spider’s web, and then make them amazed by proving them wrong, by providing a twist. They will be happier.

Can you recommend five books from any genre, for our readers to add to their reading lists, that you particularly cherish?

These are the top 5 books according to me – “Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley, “Ignited Minds” by A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, “Prithvivallabh” by Kanaiyalal Munshi, “The Lord of the Rings” by J. R. R. Tolkien, and “Awakenings” by Oliver Sacks.

What are you working on next? Any new literary projects that our readers should look out for?

My next would be a mytho-scifi-psychological thriller. A blend of totally contrasting genres. Haha!

Amazing! Can you share with our readers a motivational quote that keeps you going?

You should have five hobbies. The first one to have your money; for me, it’s my profession - medicine. The second one is to keep you healthy; for me, it’s my gym. The third one is to keep you creative; for me, it’s photography and filmmaking. The fourth one is to gain knowledge, and here comes writing. The fifth one is to evolve.

So, how do you evolve?

By social service; giving back to society. The measure of life is not its duration but its donation. It gives me immense pleasure when I get a chance to help anyone. I have donated all my author earnings of “Murdrum: The Probe Begins” to a Covid victim and warrior.

Are you active in any other social services?

I’m quite active in donating blood. I have done it more than 14-15 times, and for the last couple of years, I keep donating every quarterly. Additionally, I have pledged to donate my organs.

What message would you like to give our readers?

Find the missing piece and solve the “Murdrum” mystery at the earliest. Pledge to donate your organs; your organ could be someone’s missing piece.

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