Gone are the days when commercial fiction books written by western authors dominated our book shelves. Now that space is increasingly being taken up by young Indian authors whose writing is vibrant, personal, and clicks instantly with the reader.
Ravinder Singh is one such author, who in a span of few years has gone from a debutant rejected by publishers to a best-selling author who has recently appeared in the Forbes 100 celebrity list. He is now ready to release his fourth book 'Like It Happened Yesterday'.
Ravinder, who quit his job with a multi-national company to write full-time, says he owes his success as a writer to the encouragement he received from the readers.
"I was born and bought up in a lower middle class family. My dream was to get into a job where I can earn Rs. 10,000 a month and get a LML Vespa, just because one of our neighbours had one. I wanted little things and I never got them...and because I am a small-town boy, there is a different league of writing that I do," the author says.
Like Ravinder, Sachin Garg's stories also draws heavily from personal experiences, though for his debut novel 'I'm not twenty-four, I've been nineteen for five years' he chose to write from a woman's perspective.
Authors like them represent a growing breed of young writers who are not afraid to experiment, and who share their deepest personal stories with the readers. The fact that they are bestsellers is just another dimension of their success stories; they are at once the author, the promoter, the celebrity and sometimes even the agony aunt.
Sachin Garg, who is ready with his new book 'Come on Inner Peace, I Don't Have All Day' says, "Once a girl sent me a picture of a tattoo she got made on her hand, where she had inked the name of my book. She said it was her birthday gift for me. That was a great feeling."
Publishers say the new-age writers have a huge following, not just in metro cities, but also in smaller towns.
What's unusual is that many of these popular authors who write romance in India are men- a trend very different from what's apparent in the West.
Vaishali Mathur of Penguin India feels that for a growing number of first-generation English learners, young authors find an instant connect with their writing.
These authors are creating their own space, their own niche, where childhood memories of paper boats floating in the rain are more evocative than the unknown willows of the west.