He is a familiar face in movies and also in the ad world. Who can forget Kareena’s fiance who accuses her of losing an expensive watch in the movie 3 Idiots? Yeah, he is the same. He is also a fabulous writer. Meet the author of ‘Warrior’ and ‘Sweet Revenge’ – Olivier Lafont.
Olivier Lafont is a French actor, author, and screenplay writer. His epic mythological fantasy novel ‘Warrior’ was shortlisted for the Tibor Jones South Asia Prize and published by Penguin Random House. He has recently released a contemporary romance novel ‘Sweet Revenge’ and a fantasy novelette ‘Purgatory: The Gun of God’ exclusively on Kindle.
Lafont graduated from Colgate University, USA with degrees in English Literature and Theatre. The first feature film he wrote ‘Hari Om’ opened at the Toronto Film Festival and won seven awards at film festivals worldwide. He lives in Mumbai, where he also works as an actor. He is a well-known face in India due to his work in Bollywood films such as ‘3 Idiots’, and a couple Hollywood films, as well as over eighty television commercials.
Let us get familiar with author Olivier Lafont.
Tell us about your latest release ‘Sweet Revenge.’
‘Sweet Revenge’ is a contemporary romance novel. It’s about how former lovers Guy and Eve meet again after many years, and how he executes his revenge on her for their tumultuous separation earlier. The revenge turns out more complicated than anticipated when his and her resurgent feelings begin to get in the way of the plan…
After the success of your first book ‘Warrior’, how difficult was it to write the next one?
Writing ‘Sweet Revenge’ was actually a very fun and easy process. There was a slight change, of course, in my approach to story, and in the form and structure, since it is a straight romance. ‘Warrior’ did have a track of romance, but having romance as the main focus and thrust of the story was an interesting new experience.
Did being a familiar face help in the book marketing and sales? How did you promote your books?
‘Sweet Revenge’ is an international digital release, so I don’t think that readership would be familiar with my acting work. On the other hand ‘Warrior’ was an Indian release. I do think there were Indian readers who were familiar with my acting work, but I’m not sure it was particularly helpful because I don’t think people have high literary expectations from actors. The marketing and promotions of my books are entirely handled by my wife, whereas I focus entirely on writing and acting.
How much research and time do you spend in writing a book?
It varies from book to book. A book like ‘Warrior’, which is more than 100,000 words and dips into history, philosophy, physics, metallurgy, and several other fields, required a lot of research. ‘Sweet Revenge’, in comparison, is about 50,000 words and didn’t have the kind of research components that ‘Warrior’ did. Offhand, ‘Warrior’ was about three months of writing, and ‘Sweet Revenge’ about one month.
Do you follow any rituals or superstitions when writing your book?
No rituals or superstitions, that’s not something I’ve ever really believed in.
Who is your favorite author / genre / book?
Recent favorite authors are Mark Lawrence (‘The Broken Empire’ trilogy) and George R. R. Martin (‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ / Game of Thrones). My favourite genre has consistently been fantasy.
Which book did you love and thought that you should have written it? And why?
I don’t think I’ve ever thought that I should have written a book I’ve read, it’s an idea that doesn’t fit with who I am and how I think. I am often impressed by the brilliance and craft of other authors, but there’s a clear separation in my mind where their work and mine is concerned.
What are you first? Author? Model? Actor? Or anyone else?
Frankly, the first thing I am, after being Olivier Lafont, is a family man: that supersedes any and all other things. After that comes the author-actor axis, which are two different facets of the same passion, storytelling.
What are you planning next?
I’m considering a sequel to ‘Warrior’, and there are a couple Young Adult novels for which I’m looking for the right publishers in India.
Tell us three fun facts about yourself.
- I’m a pretty big fan of UFC. I know it may seem like a violent sport, but I consider it a very pure form of competitive spirit.
- I’m a bit of a patisserie fiend.
- I’m an information junkie, I’m endlessly fascinated by information about things like history, science, people, psychology.
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