Royston Fernandes is an ardent nature lover and environmental activist. His entry into this field was in the year 2007, at a young age of 17 when he wrote his first book ‘Shall we save the Earth?’ Since then he has organized and participated in numerous campaigns to educate the people and has taken up causes aimed at protecting the delicate local ecology in his hometown. A mechanical engineer by qualification, he is well-known for his severe analysis and criticism of the present societal set up.
He is of the opinion that the selfish capitalistic set-up of society is solely responsible for the grim future we are staring at. He argues for a change in the system and calls for the establishment of a new world order – the society without selfishness. In his first book, ‘Shall we save the earth?’ he has discussed the need to establish this new socio-economic model. He has explained in great detail about the manner in which we could slowly change the present system and adopt the new model.
The society without selfishness is a highly efficient societal model whose strong foundation lies on the principles of equal distribution of wealth and natural resources. In his new book, ‘Wake up Mangalore… or be damned!’ he tells the story of Mangalore and its struggle with climate change. However the Mangalore he refers to can be considered to be any coastal city located on this earth. The problems and sufferings that the locals would face are discussed in great detail in this book. In the second half of the book, he details out the potential benefits of the society without selfishness from an environmental point of view and thus invites his fellow earthizens to unite together to establish such a regime.
Apart from being a nature lover, Royston is a qualified pianist and a senior grade artist. He was the conductor of the church choir for two years and continues to provide his voluntary services to the choir troupe. A lover of art and culture, he is an active member of Mandd Sobhann – the world’s premier Konkani cultural organization, which works towards the preservation and enrichment of Konkani language and culture.
Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?
Never. As long as the topic is interesting, I can write.
What is the single most important piece of advice for aspiring authors?
Never run behind money, instead focus on excellence.
What are your current/future projects?
‘The Indefatigable Crusader’ – a controversial biography would be released on the 18th of May. It would take the reader through the journey of a man, who dreads the system and the Church because of his poor upbringing, fights the system and the Church as an activist and later mellows down and finds his niche as the most celebrated music composer in his language.
Do you have a target amount of words/pages for each of your books or do you just know when enough is enough?
Never a restriction to the length of the book
How much influence do you believe a title, cover, content, page numbers have in purchasing decisions of potential buyers/readers?
First impression is the last impression!
Do you believe there is value in a review? Do you believe they are under rated, over rated, or don’t matter at all?
Yes, reviews matter a lot! In fact most readers, read reviews, and only then decide on reading a book.
What are your thoughts on authors doing review swaps, paying for reviews, or reviews that just don’t seem right for the book?
For me, being honest and just is most important. Authors who pay for reviews would fail in the long run.
If you have multiple books published what do you feel is your greatest work, why?
I have two books published – ‘Shall we save the Earth?’ and ‘Wake up Mangalore… or be damned!’. My next book ‘The Indefatigable Crusader’ is simply my best work.
If you had the chance to get one message out there to reach readers all over the world, what would that message be?
The Indefatigable Crusader – is a must read! Has all the action, adventure and thrill needed to stimulate your mind and give you some hair-raising moments!
What are the most important elements of good writing? According to you, what tools are must-haves for writers?
For me, the best of my work emanates from my heart. I can never work under pressure. If the issue touches me, I can bring out my best on paper.
What are your thoughts about eBooks vs. print books?
I always encourage my readers to buy eBooks as they are more eco-friendly.
Do you view writing as a career, labor of love, hobby, creative outlet, therapy, or something else?
For me writing is a labour of love.
Were there any challenges (research, literary, psychological, or logistical) in bringing your book to life?
Where there is a will, there is a way!
Do you proofread/edit your own books or do you send them off to an editor? If you send them off to an editor, who/what have you had the best experience with?
I work with an editor. A professional editor has the ability to identify minor mistakes which otherwise may go unnoticed.
What are the advantages/disadvantages of self or traditional publishing?
I have so far been a self publisher. Its great, but you really have to work hard to sell your product.
But the bottom line is that your product must be of high quality and have good content.
Do you have a subject/genre you would never write about, why?
I would write about anything that touches my heart.
What motivates you to write and where does your inspiration come from?
This unjust society is my motivation.
What makes your book stand out from the crowd?
The entire package – the cover, the simple language and the content, make my books unique.
Do you design your own cover? If not who does, why?
No, I do not.
But, I do work with an artist and guide him through the cover design process. I do not interfere with the creative abilities of the artist
What is your most/least favorite part of the writing process, why?
My least favorite part of the writing process is the time I spend with the editor, fighting to retain and resist corrections to my work!
My favorite part is the simply sit and jot down my thoughts on a piece of paper.