I have been writing since before I hit teenage. It was mostly short stories and stuff, with one full-length novel over 200 pages long. I wrote that one when I was 16, then deleted it because I was not satisfied with it. Only, it turns out that I backed it up to OneDrive before deleting it, so I still have it.
Anyway, the point is, I've written lots of things, and they all have one thing in common - Radha Bose. She was a full-fledged character in my head for over 6 years before I used her properly in a novel. Over the years, she has evolved from a one-dimensional ass-kicker to someone with a bit more depth, but yeah, Radha Bose is a character who is very close to my heart.
Bose is ex-military, a resourceful, no-nonsense private investigator who works hard and is good at her job. She quit the military after a traumatic event made her develop PTSD, and spends her free time drinking whiskey to drown the overwhelming guilt she feels over the death of someone close to her. She is pretty, a tall redhead who does not put too much effort into her looks. Instead, she lets her work define her. She does not shy away from the monotonous grind of investigative work, and likes to keep her head down. Since I get this question a lot, no, I did not model Radha after anyone I know. She is a completely original and independent character that my imagination came up with.
Aditya Gokhale, on the other hand, is me. Well, a modified version of me, at least. He is a clinical depressive who gets regular panic attacks and cuts himself to deal with all the pain he is forced to go through every day. A cynical, short-fused wiseass, he often does things without thinking, and has to suffer the consequences. He is ruled by his heart, not his mind, and follows his instincts unquestionably. He is tall, curly-haired, and lean. He uses sarcasm to keep everyone at a distance, because he refuses to believe in the goodness of people anymore.
When Aditya's mom witnesses him cutting himself while having a panic attack, she forces him to go to a therapist. The latter refers him to Radha Bose, who is looking for an assistant, and thus begins the tale of Birth of a Duo. The newly formed duo must look into an apparent suicide to determine whether there is more to it than meets the eye. It is a well-received tale, too, for all the reviews that it has gotten so far range from good to great. I honestly was not expecting that, and am incredibly grateful for all the kind words everyone has had for the book.
I wrote Birth of a Duo during a particularly low point in my life. I had dropped out of the first year of my new college, after having failed to get into a National Law University. I was not thinking straight, and was juggling a lot of negative thoughts and emotions. The book was an outlet for me; looking back, I could have written it better, but I am extremely happy that people seem to like it.
After the events of Birth of a Duo, Aditya and Radha continue to struggle with mental health issues, but grow closer together. Three months after they started working together, Radha, having grown disillusioned with her work, decides to shut down the agency. However, they accept one last case. A 16-year old girl was kidnapped seventeen years ago and, after the ransom was paid, burned alive. Now, her grandmother approaches the duo to get some closure before illness takes her away from this world. Radha finds herself in a constant war with her anger. Aditya grows even more unstable after a voice from the past pushes him further towards the edge. Radha comes face to face with a past adversary. And someone breaks into their office in the middle of the night and attacks her.
In The Rage Within, I wrote Aditya as a character, and not as an extension of me. So now he is his own man. Basically, things happen to him that have never happened to me. Radha's inner darkness has been focused on more. She has become a little more villainous. I was in a significantly better state of mind when I wrote this one, and I think that is reflected in the book. If I had to judge my own work, and absolutely no one asked me to, I'd say that The Rage Within is a much better book than Birth of a Duo. No spoilers, obviously, but things happen in the second book that make it more of a drama and a thriller than a pure detective fiction piece. I hope everyone enjoys reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
You can get Birth of a Duo here.
You can get The Rage Within here.