Discovering ‘Checkmate’: Author Hrishikesh Joshi Unabashed

A young dreamer who decided to enter the world of authors with his debut Novel Checkmate shared his feelings and journey so far in the industry with us. Its a honor for to present this young chap of India to readers. Check out the session


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It is a pleasure to get you among us. Our readers would surely want to have a sneak peak on your background.

I am Hrishikesh Joshi, the author of ‘Checkmate’. I am a reluctant engineering student. I am a Taekwondo black belt and a national referee. I also study psychology side by side and love trekking in the Himalayas. I am lazy by nature and my room is always untidy. If I am not watching movies or reading, then I am dozing. I also own a hyperactive German Shepherd.

Why did you think about writing thrillers?

I was thrilled at the thought of writing itself. I had a moment of inspiration on an airport which first compelled me to pick up the pen. The process of creative writing, is fascinating and at times psychotic. To groom and develop a character, you have to be the character. Creating a plot a plot is like trying to prove theorems. You try one logic which fails, then you try a different angle and then another, until it is perfect. At times, writing can be the most exciting and naturally simple thing in the world, and then sometimes it is the most difficult thing you’ve ever done.

Was there any inspiration, book or author, who inspired in writing Espionage Novels?

Not one particular author. But I hold Frederick Forsythe and Alistair Maclean in a very high esteem in this genre. As for general thrillers, Dan Brown is pretty much the benchmark. In mystery genre I have read more than 50 books by Enid Blyton as a child. In crime thrillers & mystery genre I am a huge fan of Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot series. And then there is no one to emulate the greatest fictional detective of all time– Sherlock Holmes.

Apart from writers of these genres, I have been an ardent fan of other writers– JK Rowling, Ayn Rand,Khaled Hosseini,Jeffrey Archer, Sidney Sheldon, John Grisham, Ian McEwan. JK Rowling’s struggle, her story, her ordeal and her writing have always inspired me as a writer.

What elements of thrillers, spy thrillers actually, that fascinate you?

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The nerve cracking pace. The anticipation. The vibrant action. The twists and turns of the plot. The politics and mind games. The power struggle. The fact that the actual suspense keeps eluding you right until the last page, keeps you on the edge of your seat.

How did the plot of the espionage thriller come to your mind?

It began with a glimpse of passing thought on Kashmir airport three years ago when I glanced at a placard on the airport, which revealed a small chink in the armour of the airport security, which led me to think of a means to hijack a plane. It was a stupid thought really, a part of my usual daydreaming. But the thought lingered and simply refused to fade….in over a year the thought became an idea and formed into a tangible plot. And then I began writing.

Can you share a part of the story of your to be published book Checkmate with our readers?

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‘Checkmate’ is a story of aero plane hijack. The jihadis hijack an aero plane, holding a hundred hostages at gunpoint and demand release of three other terrorists from India’s prisons. With the Prime Minister in a soup, only RAW can help and resolve the situation. But Vikram Roy– the Chief Secretary of RAW soon discovers that things are not as they seem inside the RAW itself. The weary nation holds its breath as the fate of hundred hostages and three terrorists hangs in a limbo. But the events that follow are so unforeseen that they shock everyone to the core.

Which were the books that made you enter the world of espionage thrillers?

‘South by Java head’- Alistair Maclean. ‘Shall we tell the President?’- Jeffrey Archer. ‘Honour among thieves’- Jeffrey Archer.

The conflict between the publishers and authors is eternal. Have you faced any similar problem?

Ha ha! No, I was fortunate to have found very professional publishers– Leadstart Publishing House. But the overall process of finding a publisher, then editing and production and publishing and marketing is tedious and can tend to wear you out at times.

Please share with us the names of some of your favourite espionage thrillers.

‘South by Java head’- Allistair Mclean. ‘Shall we tell the President?’- Jeffrey Archer. ‘Honour among thieves’- Jeffrey Archer.

What other activities attract you other than writing novels.

I love trekking in the Himalayas in summer. I have completed 5 treks in Himalayas and 8 treks in Sahyadris. I am also very interested in psychology. I have completed a basic psychology course and am currently pursuing advanced psychology course from Anvay Psychological Health Centre. I am also an astrophysics enthusiast. I like reading Stephen Hawking and other scientists’ works on the subject. I also love watching English TV series and movies.