Author name: Cedric Coutinho
Name of book: QUEST AMIDST LOCKDOWN
Cedric Coutinho started his career as a Software Engineer but always had a keen interest in stories. He fell in love with stories and poetry at a very young age, and he has poems for every occasion. He loves to tell stories that take people to the deepest part of the self.
Cedric believes at the depths of us are our memories, and our memories are nothing more than beautiful, mysterious stories that paint our reality. He is a naturalist and intends to become a filmmaker one day.
Here is a little bit about the book ‘QUEST AMIDST LOCKDOWN’.
He searched everywhere for clues, but he was transfixed when he found the answer at the most unexpected place.
James was one of the guys who led a happy life. The office was a place of congregation and banter for him, and he enjoyed the outdoors. James had good friends who helped him at work; to be precise, that’s how he finished his work and stood afloat. He liked a girl and knew he had a promising future with her. All was well until Lockdown and Pandemic threw him out of his tracks, setting him on a different path of compassion. A mystical experience made him question his reality. He wondered, are they there to guide us in our direction? Find out how James traverses through the unending turmoil and the quest that he embarks to explore the entrails of emotions and learns lessons for a lifetime.
Let’s dive into the interview with Cedric Coutinho to know his journey behind, ‘QUEST AMIDST LOCKDOWN’
- Can you tell us a little about your book?
This book was born out of my experience during the lockdown. Protagonist James is just like us going about everyday life, but his life and friends get upended when the pandemic hits. The book sheds light on mental health issues and pandemics’ impact on our relationships. It goes to a level where it digs deeper into incidences that had previously mysteriously happened in his life and their connection to the present. “Quest Amidst Lockdown” is a heartfelt journey of James that changes his perspective of the world during the pandemic.
- Is there a specific event that inspired this story or was this an out of the blue idea?
Since lockdown and pandemic are the unfortunate things that happened in our lives, and I was moved by the dedication of health care workers, I thought, as a writer, I needed to pay tribute to them. And also, I went through a lot when it came to relationships and mental health. Hence, I crafted a unique Lockdown adventure with a great message and entertaining at the same time.
- What got you writing in the first place?
It all started in early 2014 when I used to visit my best friends’ jamming sessions in Bangalore. My friend Brijesh Kumar is a musician, and we graduated together having a common interest in music and cinema.
He and his band were up to composing originals, and I was so stoked up and wanted to be part of it. At that time, I started writing lyrics and helped compose a song. Later I had the opportunity to write a screenplay for a short film called “Gossip Bites”, in which I have also acted, which is when I realized my potential for writing stories.
- What was your impression of your first draft when you read it?
In the strangest sense, it looked all mangled up; even though I felt proud, I knew it would take more dedication to revise several times, but that’s when the fun began.
- Which part of your story connects the most with you? Why?
There is a chapter called “Fantasma and the Quest”, which connects to me the most because this is partly the culmination of all the philosophical thoughts that I had, and also, this is where James goes through the darkest times and faces a moment of truth.
I believe everyone in life goes through this phase and a fundamental transformation occurs. This part of the book is the promise of the premise. The scenes here are provocative and will question our belief system.
- What makes your book the one to read?
The idea that the adversity in our life need not be the real person, but it could be our mind itself. And the birth of this could be our detrimental habits. “Quest Amidst Lockdown” propounds this fact in an adventurous manner; there is something unique for every reader. It’s written in a style where the audience would flow through it and be a part of it.
- What was the best advice you got while writing?
Draw conclusions based on your life experiences. Understand the character’s behaviors and motives. Have references to the places you have visited, making writing more realistic.
- Who’s your all-time favourite author? Which book of his/hers made you fall in love with them?
William Peter Blatty is my favorite author, and his book “The Exorcist” really got me, and it’s my favorite book of all time. The religious elements, the mother-daughter relationship, struggles of the priesthoods, the exorcisms, and the horrors are so well written, it’s unmissable.
- What is your evergreen tip to the writers out there?
Don’t worry about what others think of your writing; the early material is never up to the mark. For those who are just starting out, try to write organically and see where it takes.
- What was your hardest scene to write?
The entire scene that takes place in the hospital, where James volunteers and meets his old teacher Ms. Lea. It took me back to the time in school when we used to hate subjects because we never liked the teacher. Little did I know of their journey. Writing this part was emotional.
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