Why do we hesitate to talk about sex freely? Why is it such a taboo? Why hush-hush tones? Author Apurv Nagpal attempts to change this attitude through his latest book, Eighteen Plus Duets. the book is a collection of saucy, tongue-in-cheek stories, which he has co-authored along with eighteen women. “The women have each added their own individual, fresh touch to the tales,” informs Nagpal.
Many have slotted the book in the erotica genre, Nagpal begs to differ. “I prefer not to call it erotica. Once you use that term, people begin to have different expectations altogether, like they would expect too much sex, love making scenes, et cetera.Yes, there is sex -- but not all the stories have those scenes.”
“These are just stories which everyone can relate to,” he explains. Unlike other authors who might hesitate with such themes, Nagpal knew what he wanted from the book, and didn’t let people’s opinion affect him. “I don’t hesitate much, and I don’t second-guess myself. Once I decided on the idea, I wanted to go ahead with it.”
“My father, who is usually my biggest support, completely flipped when he saw the cover.. He was so sure that there would be protests lined up outside our house. Even my wife was quite upset. It took a while to calm them down.” Not only did he have his share of troubles with his family, he faced various problems from his co-authors as well. “So many of them just walked out of the project. They would confirm, agree, and then after three months tell me that their husbands didn’t approve, or they can’t because of some upcoming events in their lives. Around 75 of them did this.”
Indeed, the book in itself is a strong overpowering message by Nagpal, as he, along with his female authors comes forward with strong themes intended to sweep away societal barriers. Nagpal is also a supporter of women empowerment, and this is another underlining idea behind his book as well. He is well-connected with the NGO, Sheroes, which is a career network for women. He said, “We spoke at the Sheroes Summit, and spoke about empowering women to write freely. It was a phenomenal response, as the women responded well.” In time, it is much to be hoped for that this book sets a trend and women come forward and openly talk about sex, without the fear of facing backlash for it.
Nagpal believes that publishers today need a vigorous shake up, which is why he decided to go for self-publishing. “There is a certain way of working, which has to be changed. I believe in innovations- and I want to innovate on the current publishing model.”