In Conversation with Vishwas Mudagal
How do you feel now that your debut novel has generated such a huge fan following?
It’s surreal. A dream come true. Words won’t be able to describe my feelings.
Did you expect it go on to become a best seller?
No, it’s impossible to predict whether a debutant can become a best seller. But I believed my story was special from day one; that made all the difference. What’s more heartening than just becoming a best seller is that my book has won the hearts of the readers. The messages I get from readers often leaves me amazed at the positive impact it has made on them.
Tell us, how was Losing My Religion born?
LMR took birth in very interesting circumstances. In 2009, my Internet start-up was going through a rough phase. Although we had managed to get good user traction to our website, we couldn’t monetize it effectively. To top it, the core team had almost dismantled and I was almost broke. It had taken a heavy toll on me emotionally and I didn’t know what to do next. After spending two years working my ass off on this business, it wasn’t easy to just move on. And I didn’t have the energy and the money to start a new business.
One of those days, I spoke to an ex-colleague, who was taking a sabbatical and going on a year-long journey on his bike across India. I was amazed! I wanted to do that myself and kill all the tension inside me and then look at everything else later on. But I couldn’t do it for many reasons.
A bizarre idea struck me, that of writing a book on the situation I was in. I was so excited suddenly. I usually follow my heart and act on instinct. I decided to make the protagonist of the book go on a journey; I could live that life and that freedom through him. On May 22, 2009, I wrote the first chapter, and, I’d like to believe, my life changed.
What was your routine while writing this book?
I took around four years to complete the book, and I wrote it in parts. I used to work relentlessly on it for months, and then leave it for months all together. And when I returned back to it, I used to be horrified at what I had written, and would re-write the previous chapters.
I wrote usually during the nights when I could lock myself in a room and be assured of not getting disturbed.
Initially, I didn’t even want to use my laptop to write because I didn’t get the flow. I used to scribble on a book and later type it out. So, basically, Losing My Religion is handwritten.
Your favourite part of LMR?
This is a tough one. But if I have to choose I will say the Malana bit and the ending.
Who is your favourite character in LMR?
There is no favourite character as each of the three protagonists is an element of my mind, and I love them equally. I have lived with these characters for almost half a decade now. Rishi is the epitome of today’s ambitious youth, and wants to change the world. Alex is the other end of the spectrum—the epitome of human evolution; this is where the human race will one day want to be—free from within. And Kyra is the beauty, the passion, and the intellect, which are the core of being today’s woman.
Your favourite LMR quote?
The history of the world is the history of a few men who kicked ass whenever the situation called for it. It was time to kick some ass. It was time to create history.
What was the most challenging part to write in LMR?
The chemistry between Kyra and Rishi was by far the toughest. The two strong characters needed a powerful start and take off, and I struggled for a long time. I rewrote it eight times.
What’s next up your sleeve?
I write because it’s my passion, and I do it just for myself. Unless an idea strikes me like a lightning, resonates and wakes me up, I wouldn’t think of putting a word to the paper.
But one idea has stuck with me since 2011 and refuses to leave me. A story about a man set in the future. I’m tempted to write that story. And, of course, many of my friends and readers have asked me to write a sequel for LMR, so let’s see what comes out next. I don’t plan these things, but I am hoping I won’t take another five years to bring out my next book.
Who is Vishwas Mudagal? A serial entrepreneur, a writer, an entertainer, or all three and more?
Vishwas Mudagal is all three and more. I will continue to build innovative companies and products. On the other hand, I will continue telling meaningful stories that are relevant to our generation and will influence us positively, but in an entertaining way. That’s my style—entertainment with substance.
About The Author
Vishwas Mudagal is a serial entrepreneur and a CEO with a history of building innovative technology brands and companies. An alumnus of RV College of Engineering, Bangalore, he started his first company at the age of eighteen to educate rural students. He is currently the CEO & Co-Founder of GoodWorkLabs, one of the hottest technology firms in the industry.
Writing is his passion, and he has embraced storytelling as his parallel career. Losing My Religion is his debut novel, which is now a national best seller.