Author Kumar L is a writer of sci-fi and fantasy – adventure, thrills & drama with a positive outlook on what the future may hold for humanity. Please welcome him to No Wasted Ink.
Hi. My name is Saurabh, but I write under the pen name Kumar L. If you want to discuss faster-than-light, time travel and black holes or new mobiles phones, then I am your person. I am a tech enthusiast and social media newbie. I enjoy travelling and am fluent in several languages. A mechanical engineer who loves pulling apart gadgets and exploring their innards; I write science fiction stories and try to bring technology alive in my books.
I live in Mumbai, India with my wife and two daughters who are both aspiring engineers as well.
When and why did you begin writing?
I started off by writing small articles on my professional LinkedIn page. I am a huge science fiction fan and religiously follow Star Trek and Star Wars. I had been toying with an idea for a story in my head, and just started penning it down. I completed it in 2017 and published it the same year in May. As I was finishing the first draft, I realised it could be made into a series and thus started my journey.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Hmm. I think it was only after a year, once I had the second book published, and the translation of book 1 into Hindi completed. Three books look good on the Amazon Central profile!
Can you share a little about your current book with us?
I’ve just completed the draft for the third book in the Earth to Centauri series – Black Hole: Oblivion. The series has a female protagonist Captain Anara and covers a journey chasing alien signals to the Alpha Centauri star system. The current book covers their exploits when faced with the most formidable force of nature – a black hole.
What inspired you to write this book?
Again, the series is progressing as I write and I try to incorporate new ideas which may appeal to my readers. In each book, there is a specific situation the crew of the starship tries to resolve while the core story moves between three planets. I wanted to bring forth realistic science for readers using simple language everyone can understand.
Do you have a specific writing style?
I’m not sure how my style would be identified, and I am not an expert at grammar. I use simple language and try to tell the story through conversations between the characters with a bit of imagery. Most reviews have said they like the lucid simple content.
How did you come up with the title of this book?
As I said, I wanted the events to be realistic and had read about the planet Proxima b, which is expected to be found near the star Proxima Centauri. That planet fit perfectly with the story of the novel. The book was to be based on the first journey from Earth into interstellar space and so it became ‘Earth to Centauri: The First Journey.’
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
A few messages, in fact, some may be cliched but relevant nevertheless:
We need to appreciate the differences between people and accept them.
Women will become more assertive as time goes by and gender differences will reduce substantially.
Humankind will transcend the issues of today, survive and thrive. The future is bright even if it is not utopian.,
Are experiences in this book based on someone you know or events in your own life?
Not really, but I have drawn on some of the lessons from my former bosses and tried to share some of their wisdom.
What authors have most influenced your life? What about them do you find inspiring?
Jeffrey Archer, Amish, and JK Rowling. Mostly because they engage the reader into the story using simple relatable language and build a believable fantasy.
Who designed the cover of your book? Why did you select this illustrator?
As a self-published person, I tried to make the cover myself at first. The result was really bad. I really did not know much about how this is done, so I found a designer on upwork.com. She did a decent design but had not done much work in the scifi genre. Anyway, I went ahead and published with her artwork. A little later I decided to change the cover and took advice from a few other self-published authors especially on FB groups, found another designer on Upwork who’d worked in this genre and got a great looking professional cover. For two of my short story collections, I designed the covers myself on Canva as I wanted to keep the costs really low, but for the third book of the series, I found another person who has done simply outstanding work.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Quite a bit. In fact, I wrote a small book – One Step at a Time – Your self-publishing masterplan, which is available for free download from my website.
But the most important piece is – self-published authors need to be good marketers as well. They must know the basics of FB, Insta and other modes of social advertising at the very least.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you for buying my books, and leaving me great reviews. I improve my craft with every new book and I work hard to keep you engaged and entertained.
Earth to Centauri – The First Journey
Cover Artist: Alex and Cathy Walker