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Sunday, February 4, 2018
Author Interview with Vijay Eswaran
1. What really inspired you to write your book, to
force you from taking an idea or experience and conveying it into a book?
When I was a young college graduate trying
to figure out my life choices, I didn’t really have anyone to turn to for
guidance or advice. I didn’t have access to many resources either. Everything I
know today is a result of trials and errors accumulated through a number of
years of experience.
As a result, I strive to share my learning
with others whenever I can in the hope that it can benefit someone who finds
themselves at crossroads the way I did many years ago. I am often invited to
speak at international forums or contribute opinion pieces to publications and
very often I receive questions on a wide range of topics from ranging from
entrepreneurship and personal growth to success tips and life management.
As much as I enjoy discussing these topics,
I found myself having to answer the same type of questions repeatedly.
Initially, I wrote blog posts on some of these topics, but that requires consistency
and a significant time commitment. With my schedule, that was not practical. That’s
when the idea of a book took shape. I could write a book at my own pace and go
into a more detailed explanation on certain subjects.
Two Minutes from the Abyss is in a sense a distilled version of
the life experiences and accumulated lessons that took me from nil to where I
am now. It is a compendium of mistakes I have made and the consequent lessons
learned. I believe that life is defined by how you correct mistakes, not by how
you avoid making them. I felt that if someone had
shared this wisdom with me at an earlier point in my life, it would have been
very valuable to me.
That was my impetus for writing this
2. What is it about and whom do you believe is your
The book is meant for people who want to start making
a difference in their lives. This resolution may come at different points of
our lives; you may be nesting in your comfort zone or going through the motions
of your mundane job; you may be a young adult embarking on life’s journey or
you may be a retiree on the lookout for a change. Regardless of who you are or
what you are doing, the answer is always now. Now is the time to
make a difference in your life. The day you realise that is the day this book
becomes essential to you.
3. What do you hope will be the everlasting thoughts for
readers who finish your book? What should remain with them long after putting
My thought process is divided into three
parts — Why? How? When?
At different times in my life I’ve
needed to question why I am at a particular point and whether I am able to move
forward from there or if I am stuck there. Most of my ideas begin with the
‘why’. I am a seeker by nature. A seeker of knowledge, of truth, of wisdom.
Hence, I’ve structured this book in such a way that the reader is encouraged to
explore their ‘why’.
Then comes the How. How do I pull myself
out of this place? How do I move forward? The biggest challenge I have faced in
my journey is the very common human tendency to slide back into the mires of
the comfort zone. A place where everything is seemingly nice and cozy while you
are slowly being sucked into the quicksand. When I focus on the How, I can
wake, arise and move forward. I try to address this at many levels in the book.
If you get started on the ‘Why’ at the beginning of the book, by the time you
are at mid-flow, you should arrive at the How.
Which leads us to the When. Although this
is the simplest part, it is often the most difficult to understand and
appreciate. For the answer to When is always Now. There is never a better time
than now. Now is the only time. Now is when we live and breathe. Now changes
everything. However, to reinforce that sense of urgency and that way of thinking
is arguably one of the most difficult things for the average person.
By the time the reader arrives at the
last page, I hope to have prompted them to develop a sense of urgency in the
manner in which they lives their lives.
In conclusion, I hope this book will
compel the reader to question the why and the how about the progression of their
lives and encourage them to live in the now.
4. What advice or words of wisdom do you have for
Writing is not a science. It is an art.
And it is about expression.
I write because I simply have to. I have
accumulated so much knowledge and information through the years that I feel
it’s a folly not to share it. I write because I know that the knowledge I share
has the potential to impact someone’s life, to inspire, and to teach.
Fiction writing is very different from non-fiction.
That means I can only write about what I know and what I am passionate about. I
write to grow, for it is only through sharing that I truly learn to identify,
understand, and appreciate the wisdom that I have received.
Simply put, write about something that
you are passionate about. And write about it because it’s the best way to learn
more about the subject.
5. What trends in the book world do you see and where
do you think the book publishing industry is heading?
I don’t think reading is ever going to go
out of style. However, the physical book is slowly going out of style. I no
longer see the younger generation experience a physical book with the same joy
that I did when I was young. I also believe that writing has changed in its
format and approach
What has to be said now has to be said with greater
impact, and with brevity. It is no longer enough to trust in the value of your
message to reach a wide audience. There is an entire marketing machinery at
play. Technology is emerging as one of the defining factors in the future of the
publishing business. Audiobooks are on the rise. Interactive digital formats
are the future.
The publishing industry is evolving and changing shape
quickly. However, the one thing that won’t change is powerful storytelling.
When a powerful message is communicated through powerful storytelling, it will
continue to have a lasting impact.
6. What great challenges did you have in writing your
I sit at the helm of a global business and
in addition to leading my business I also have a fairly busy speaking schedule.
Trying to find time to actually pen down all the thoughts flying around in my
head was certainly my biggest challenge in writing this book.
7. If people can only buy one book this month, why
should it be yours?
don’t tell stories to entertain. I use stories as a tool to help people realize
their true selves, to find their true purpose.
I see this book as a spark through which I can light the passions that I
know live in all of us. If even one reader feels like this book has forced them
take a good hard look at their lives and change the way they think, I have
achieved my goal. For more information, please consult: http://www.2mins.vijayeswaran.com/