Swapnil Joshi an eighteen year old student from Korba, Chhattisgarh who is currently pursuing his dream of being an astrophysicist is a budding writer from Chhattisgarh. Writing is his passion since his childhood, he began writing full-fledged novels when he turned sixteen. He has also been awarded by the Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh Dr. Raman Singh in 2014 and in Rajyotsav(2014) by Mr. Lakhan Lal Dewangan, Ms. Reena Kangale and Mr. Jogesh Lamba.
It all began on 13th of December, 2013. Swapnil Joshi was on his way back home via school bus, when his mind went, ‘Wouldn’t it be neat if…?’. And that is how John Smith, the protagonist of ‘Temporal Edge: The Pangean Temporal Chronicles’ came into existence. He has spent two years and two novels with him. Six months in ‘Temporal Edge’ and a year-and-a-half in ‘Unbound: The Pangean Temporal Chronicles’. Swapnil is very proud of how he developed over the course of two novels and 50 in-continuity years.
According to the budding novelist the first novel was pretty challenging to create. He had no experience in story-telling outside of a few short stories and a couple of scrapped ideas. He was very glad that this particular idea stuck around with him. He says, “‘Temporal Edge’ was designed to be a two-part story from the get-go. I knew I needed experience with character development and story-structure before I went on to write the heavier, more demanding bits of the story I thought up three years ago.” ‘Temporal Edge’ tells its story and sets up the bigger picture successfully in 220 pages.
The young wordsmith likes Dan Brown, J.K Rowling and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle as his favourites among other authors, as for his idol he finds it difficult to explain, surprisingly enough as he admires certain people and their motivations and the way they live their lives. They are inspiring and he understands why people view them as idols. “But the thing is…” he says, “I don’t have an idol. I don’t wish to be like someone else. Good people inspire me, yes. But my motivations, my inspirations come from a place not known to them, which alienates them to me.” The closest person who hr perceives as a good idol is Kate Cassidy, the protagonist of his third novel: ‘Wings of the Pegasus’. Then again, she is his creation, so people choose to perceive this is up to them.
As of his upcoming works, he has finished his third novel, ‘Wings of the Pegasus’, on the 26th of December. “Yes, I remember the day I start and finish a book; it’s a staple of my writing style.”he remarks. “I recently began a fourth novel, which is coming along nicely. I’d say it will be ready by the end of this year.”
For the creator, it is an honor to have created John Smith, Susan Wright-Smith (both debuted in ‘Temporal Edge’; character arcs wrapped up in ‘Unbound’) and Kate Cassidy (‘Wings of the Pegasus’). He feels incredibly privileged to be a conduit for these peoples’ lives and he sees no material achievement greater than that. It is love that binds him to them. “Academic achievements are something that don’t provide lasting happiness. They are like fireworks; one burst of light and it’s over. But every time I go through John and Susan’s story, or Kate’s story, I swell with pride.” The rising literary sensation says “ I love them more than I have ever loved anything.”
He is pretty happy about receiving a lot of love for being the youngest author of Chhattisgarh. But in all seriousness, he feels that he has a moral responsibility to encourage people to read more, be it English, Hindi, fiction, news, whatever. “There are a lot of people in this world who have a lot to say. And reading is the best thing you can do to know more about this world we live in. This world, and the human race as a whole.”, says Swapnil.
As for being young… In his eyes, age is nothing but a number. He expressed “If you know how to express the constant flow of information in your head onto a piece of paper, you have become a writer. Story-telling is, however, more complex than that. You learn with experience, experimentation and determination. When I was 16, I wrote because I wanted to. It was a hobby, and I liked it a lot. And then comes a time when desire turns into a necessity. Not a single day has passed since the 6th of June, 2014, that I haven’t thought of writing. Now, I don’t write because I want to….
I write because I need to.”
Swapnil grew up an introvert, and this has always been a powerful tool for him. It allowed him to discover who he truly is, what his capabilities are. There’s an old saying: Know Thyself. It’s not a road many choose to take, but he did. And since he has never been very talkative, expressing his thoughts and feelings into words and sentences was fairly easy. Making the characters come to life, talk and breathe through him was the challenging bit for the literary whiz, but he has managed to pull it off and is proud of the outcome.
He doesn’t stick to a particular genre. The first novel, ‘Temporal Edge’ and its sequel, ‘Unbound’, were Science-Fiction, while ‘Wings of the Pegasus’ is Thriller/Drama. He intends to explore every genre in his writing career.
The word masters message to the youth and the readers, “Don’t look at the grammar when writing the first draft; if you persist, the grammar will be fixed gradually by the time the final draft is ready. The important thing is: you shouldn’t stop once you’ve started. The first 30 pages are always the hardest. Don’t stop. Be resilient. Transform your imagination into thoughts. Let the world you have created breathe through you. Don’t give up on your story. Polish it until it’s perfect and you’ll be proud of it when it’s finished.”
And to you, dear reader, reading is very important. It doesn’t matter which format you prefer; be it digital, printed, Hindi, English, whatever. You should read and gather knowledge about this universe of ours. Read more. Think more. This will allow us all to progress. Our species is unique, as we have the ability to create something out of nothing. You, whose fingers hold this magazine, whose eyes read these words, I applaud you. And I am grateful that you decided to read this article through to the end. As you gather knowledge, our species will make even larger leaps and bounds across this universe. Your thoughts propel the human race forwards, into something that will make our existence worthwhile. That, dear reader, will be a moment to behold.