SR.net: Hi Adi! Thank you so much for agreeing to do an interview with SendhilRamamurthy.net, we really appreciate it and we’re so thrilled that the hype is getting out there about the book!
AT: Thanks for the questions.
SR.net: You’ve made a career within the graphic novel space. What inspired you to make the jump into the world of the novelist?
AT: I originally wanted to be a playwright and cartoonist, and liked graphic novels enough to work in that space while also working as a screenwriter. At the back of my mind, I always planned to write novels at some point, Selling the RAVI P.I. Trilogy to Simon & Schuster came sooner than I thought due to the efforts of my producer Leopoldo Gout, so I’ve suddenly become a novelist almost by accident.
SR.net: You’re breaking new ground with your multi-channel approach with Her Nightly Embrace. Was this something you had in mind while you were crafting the story?
AT: I originally thought I’d write some short stories about Ravi and his cases and perhaps pitch them as a TV series later on. I just wanted to update private detective fiction and tell stories that hadn’t been seen before in the genre. The multimedia or multichannel approach to a character and series was always the key to creating a franchise, but the rise of the internet, streaming and binge culture as a viable business model has pushed that approach into a much more common and necessary practice than, say, five or ten years ago. Now it’s something that any jobbing writer should seriously think about rather than just writing in one medium. It was normal for me to think about having a TV adaptation or even an audio drama podcast spinoff to Ravi, but now it’s actually a business plan rather than a flight of fancy.
SR.net: What do you see for the future of integrated multichannel stories?
AT: I think that model has been here for longer than most people realise, and it’s here to stay. It’s not enough to have a story that’s in a commercial genre in just one medium anymore. It’s all about getting as big an audience, as many people, to see it as possible.
SR.net: Are there any other channels or platforms you’re interested in pursuing for storytelling?
AT: I’ve always been interested in audio dramas since I got my start writing radio plays for the BBC. I have an ongoing interest in storytelling in video games, the interactive aspect of it where the player gets to participate in shaping a character or story, though always along the lines as laid down by the writers. The latter is enormously complex and expensive, and hard to get right.
SR.net: What are some of the challenges when it comes to transforming a book into a television series?
AT: From a writing point of view, the first challenge is to be faithful to the characters and ideas of the story while editing the story down to the length of a TV episode. On a wider level, the greatest challenge is the demands of the TV network and how their executives might want to mold a show to suit their agenda and perceived brand identity and to avoid seeing the material warped beyond recognition and losing what made the characters and story appealing and interesting in the first place. The latter is a nice way of saying “executive interference”
SR.net: Does the knowledge that a network and their execs might want to tinker and therefore alter the “truth” of your characters make that realm more difficult because it might not entirely show your vision?
AT: That’s always the risk any project faces. It depends on how far you are in the process. If you’ve also taken their money to make the show for their network, you have to fight as much as you can. The original writer is often pushed out and excluded from the process after a while unless they’re actually in there as an producer. It’s a long series of negotiations.
SR.net: What did you learn from the process of recording the audiobook?
AT: I learned that an actor’s performance reading the book can add whole new layers of nuance and meaning to the story. Sendhil read the book with a sly, dry, sardonic tone that enhanced some of the humour, which more than what I could have hoped for.
I also discovered that shorter chapter breaks works very well for audiobooks, creates a greater sense of momentum, so I will bear this in mind for the next books in the trilogy and other novels I might write in the future.
SR.net: Now that you’ve essentially touched the worlds of graphic and non-graphic novels, and forthcoming podcasting and television, has that changed how you view storytelling?
AT: It hasn’t changed my views on storytelling, actually. If anything, it feels like the world is catching up to how some of us have viewed storytelling for much of our lives. The entertainment industry is now much more open to an integrated model of storytelling across different platforms than before.
Thank you again so much Adi for speaking to us! You can order a copy of Her Nightly Embrace: Book 1 of the The Ravi P.I. Series at this link!