Being an author is no big deal. You must have in you a story to tell and tell it in style, the language and creatives and marketing will follow. Debutante author Tony V Francis was lucky to come into contact with ace director Raj Kumar Hirani of Munna Bhai MBBS, 3Idiots and PK fame, who had advised him that each chapter of his book should make the reader laugh, cry or tell a compelling drama that would keep them interested and whet their appetite for more.
The guest author of the 54th session of An Author’s Afternoon used this Hirani formula for his first book The Autograph Seeker and clicked. As a Xaverian from Kolkata, Tony spent a part of his life in an around the iconic Park Street, a stretch whose lanes, by-lanes and the buildings have a history waiting to be told.
Tony’s multi-faceted career spanned different fields namely, theatre, radio, public communication and book writing. Flashes of which were evident as he spoke to the audience. Conversationalist Professor Debnita Chakravarti guided the conversation rather adeptly.
Thanks to the Tony effect, the 40-minute adda-like session seemed like fourteen minutes as he took the audience on a bittersweet nostalgic ride to his school days spent at the St Xavier’s Collegiate School.
Talking about The Autograph Seeker Tony said, “It is completely a Kolkata book. I wrote this for the people born in 80s and 90s.” Many real characters find a place in his novel, the names of course changed. “A crisis is a must to become an author,” he said.
On his way to the venue, the young author was surprised to see himself on An Author’s Afternoon poster in one of Kolkata’s most strategic locations. “It is not every day you get to see yourself on a poster,” said Tony who is currently the Senior Director of WPP Group, one of the leading companies dealing with advertisement, marketing and communication.