Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.
Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?
Siddharth Dalal, just Sidd is fine. 40.
Fiona: Where are you from?
I’m from Charlottesville, Virginia. Originally from India.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I’m a software engineer with a graduate degree in Computer Science. I live with my wife and 10 year old son in Charlottesville. I work for a tech startup – ChartIQ.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I’ve been writing online for a while at my blog and various financial websites doing stock analysis. But this is my first time finishing a book. Definitely not the first time attempting one.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
In my mind, I’ve been a writer forever. But the first time I really considered myself as a writer is when I finished the first draft of my book.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I’ve been working with my son to teach him code for a long time now. We’ve worked on many interesting projects and over the years I kept track of what concepts were easy vs. hard for him. Every project we tried, I tried different techniques to write code with him and as we progressed, I learned what kids can understand and how to keep things at a level that a 10 year old can grasp.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Two different things led to the title. First, my son is in elementary school. Second, my son thought that code was as hard as solving a mystery that only Sherlock Holmes can solve. But code should be “Elementary, my son”.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
Straightforward, direct to the point and simple. I will quote Dogbert – “It is hard to write a whole book when you are as gifted as I am at getting to the point” :D. It is extremely challenging to boil down complicated concepts into smaller bits that are easy to understand.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
As I said above, the entire book is based on what I learned about teaching programming to kids by trying things out on my son. He is probably scarred for life, learning a different way to do things with each project, but I hope his misery will benefit a lot of other children who are not blessed with a techie parent and want to learn.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I designed the cover with my son’s help. He helped me choose colors and Fonts and I drew with the tools I know – shapes in Powerpoint!
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Once you understand the basics, programming is easy.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?
My current Favorite author is Lee Child. What really strikes me about his books is that not only do I like the genre and the stories are interesting, but most of all I like the direct straightforward attitude of the protagonist Jack Reacher. The logical reasoning behind solving problems is fascinating. Every complicated problem can be broken down into simple solvable bits by thinking about it. Jack Reacher solves crime, I want to teach people how to do that to write code. For Reacher Creatures – Tom Cruise is NOT Jack Reacher.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
I have a lot of support and encouragement from friends and coworkers, many of whom have bought the book to support me. In fact, I’ve even had support from random strangers on twitter. My first positive review came for a draft version of my book from a person on Twitter!
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I’ll find out in a few months. There are a few small things I would change technically (Kindle Create addon for Word, I’m looking at you) but for the overall book, I’m currently stoked.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
Writing is hard, especially when working full time. It requires a lot of support from everyone around you.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
If Youtube tutorial qualifies as “Film”, I would love to have the children who use my book play the leads teaching each other code.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Do it because you want to and not for the money. Nobody wants to steal your book or your idea and if they do, better for you. Spread drafts out far and wide for free before you publish.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Anyone can code! Buy my book and take the challenge.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I’m reading two books:
How Google Works – generally I don’t read non-fiction but our CTO handed me this book and it turned out to be a page turner.
My son and I are both reading Flyte together, the second book in the Septimus Heap series
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
The first books I remember reading are Noddy books by Enid Blyton. I’ve always loved reading. There were times when I read 50 books a year. That is what I miss most while writing a book – not having time to read.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I’m not the emotional type so can’t say what makes me cry. I’m still an 8 year old inside so whatever makes an 8 year old laugh is likely to get me.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Yes – Nikola Tesla, I want to grill him about the secrets of the Wardenclyffe tower.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Kung Fu, Reading, Converting people to Solar power and electric cars, I’m learning to play the guitar and now I’ve added writing to that list.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
The last show I really enjoyed was La Casa de Papel. Can’t wait for season 4. Before that I enjoyed all the Marvel Netflix shows.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Thai! – I blog about food. The other two I’ve no prefernces.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Look at my list of hobbies. I only run out of time, not of things to do.
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
Eating some good food with my family.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
I will not have one.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Amazon Authors page USA https://www.amazon.com/Siddharth-Dalal/e/B07WMF2CT2/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1
Here is a 15% discount coupon to the eBook on my site: Link to the eBook:
The book is $5 cheaper at Barns and Noble than Amazon