Interview with Rohan Dahiya | The Bitter Pill Social club
Interview with Rohan Dahiya the author of the book everyone is raving about, The Bitter Pill Social club.
Thank you Bloomsbury India (Check Bloomsbury India’s Instagram here) for giving me this amazing opportunity of interviewing the amazing Rohan Dahiya, author of the book The Bitter pill social club.
It was fun and learned so much more about books, writing, and The Bitter Pill Social Club.
Scroll down below to go through all the fun and questions to which he answered very humbly and honestly. While you go through the interview, I am going to go and fangirl.
Getting into our Q&A
Are we ready for it?
QUES: Starting with the obvious question, which is your favorite book and your favorite author?
– Well I don’t think I could ever point to one book and say that it’s my favorite over another, but some of the best books I read last year were The Last Policeman, Kill The Father, and A Man Called Ove. Something I could read over and over again is Pride and Prejudice. One of my favorite authors these days is Chuck Palahniuk.
QUES: Which book made you want to read and write more?
– I feel like I’m late to the party with this but both Stephen King And Charles Bukowski are so inspiring I want to consume all of their work. For writing, I feel like I fall back most often on music more than books.
QUES: As a kid what did you dream to be? Was it to be a writer since the very beginning?
– I think as a kid I’d said it a few times at dinner when an uncle would ask but in the middle, I’ve had a whole range of dream careers. Writing has always remained in the undercurrent and now I wouldn’t change it for anything.
QUES: What is the best part, according to you, of being a writer?
– Just the experience of working on a project, from the first spark of an idea to the excitement of allowing this world to grow and take shape in your mind. Speaking to characters, discovering them, the limitless possibilities of imagination. (Can you tell I don’t read non-fiction?)
(Mridu to Rohan: I get you there, sometimes I wonder, why do people even read Non-fiction?)
QUES: What inspires you?
– An idea is like lightning, it can hit any time. While working on a project I always make a playlist to set the mood. There’s always a beat that I like to write to. Sometimes I’ll make a Pinterest board and delete it later depending on how much I want to depend on an external visual reference.
QUES: How did you come up with the idea of The Bitter Pill Social Club? Are there any characters in the book who are inspired by in your real life? If yes, What do you owe the real people upon whom you base your characters 🙂 ?
– The idea literally came when I was waiting for a friend at a café, I was working on a different project at the time but I needed something light to write. A few days after I saw August: Osage County and the idea of a severely dysfunctional family started taking shape. I don’t think I’d be able to point to one specific person for a character they’re sort of exaggerations of all the people I’ve met in bars or seen in the gym. So much of the initial work was just observation and then I just locked myself up for a few months with the book.
QUES: Did you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?
– Secrets, not really. But there are points where my friends might recognize my brand of humor.
QUES: Which character would you relate to the most? Be it from your book or any book that you recently read, we would also like to know why?
– Well at some point I did have to relate to everyone I wrote about, just personally that’s how I like to write because that’s how it stops the lines from blurring. Like especially in the context of the three sisters Sunaina, Surya, and Gayatri, it would’ve only been too easy for them to become diluted personalities. One of the most fun parts was Vir’s to write, that feeling of being an outsider at home like it’s hard to find where you really belong in that social circle. That was cool.
QUES: How is writing routine like? Is there a set goal of words/ pages you write every day?
– Writing’s become very essential for me but I haven’t set a routine or goal to it. That’s the thing if I sit and decide that I want to write these many words today and I’m just not feeling it, when I read it back I hate it. So when it happens it happens, my phone has endless notes because it’s usually the most accessible thing when I think of something interesting. But that also means I have to be keyed-in to the mood of the project I’m working on so now if I’m working on a book I’d only read books that share a similar theme, music that I want to write to, it’s a whole process.
QUES: What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
– Well, I think it’s more interesting to hear from people what’s that thing they find in my writing. I always intend to toe the line between something that’s grounded in reality and yet dreamy. Like even for Bitter Pill I always imagined it as this dreamlike picture that relies heavily on mood than dialogue. Maybe I’ll write a novel someday where no one says anything.
(MRIDU TO ROHAN: I WANT THAT BOOK, I WANT THAT NOW.)
QUES: What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
– I think that’s a little subjective to the book, for something like Bitter Pill there wasn’t as much research required than setting the mood. For something like Grey Skies or the one I’m working on now, it’s the subject matter that determines how much research you do. I’d never want to write on something without knowing everything about it, because then even if I want to deviate from the facts or build a fictional version, I always have the referential data to go back to.
QUES: What authors did you dislike at first but grew into?
– Actually the first book by Stephen King I picked up severely disappointed me, but well now he’s one of my favorite writers. Albert Camus I thought was just o- kay when I started but I love his work now.
QUES: Advice for writers in a quote that you love the most.
“What is your advice to young writers?” “Drink, fuck and smoke plenty of cigarettes.” ― Charles Bukowski
On a serious note, I don’t think I’m in a position to give advice just yet, I’m still finding my way around. But what really helped me was attending workshops, writers thrive in the company of other writers. Even if it sparks jealousy, there’s a desire to write more.
QUES: Ending on a very light note. Do you google yourself? 😉
– Slightly ashamed of it but yes, the last time was when I was writing the first draft of Bitter Pill it was mostly just my Instagram posts. Now with the stuff Mark Zuckerberg and Co. are up to I’m not gonna try.
You can buy his book here:
Hope you enjoyed the interview. 😀
You can find Rohan Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rodahiya/
Have any other questions that you might want to ask Rohan? Comment down here 🙂
You can also listen to the playlist for the book:
There was also A live interview on Bloomsbury Facebook, you can watch it here:
Need more of the book?
Check out my favorite quotes from the book here: