Celebrated American author James Patterson has collaborated with Indian author Ashwin Sanghi for his popular series, Private. The author is kicked about this ­experiment and says that with India’s vibrant and chaotic cities, he couldn’t have found a better place.
“I set my Private ­adventures all over the world. And India, with its rich history and heritage, is perfect for a Private ­adventure,” says Patterson.
His upcoming book, Private India, the eighth book in popular Private series, is the first case for the Mumbai-based office of the fictitious agency, run by the protagonist Santosh Wagh. It follows the team as they track down a killer who is murdering ­people across the city and leaving strange objects behind. The series will also see a first-time collaboration of two different sensibilities and cultures.
Talking about the popular trend of books getting ­translated into feature films, Patterson says, “I definitely feel like some past projects on my books didn’t quite live up to their potential. But I have hopes for a couple of projects: the very first Maximum Ride movie, which has Avi Arad ­(producer of Spider-Man), Catherine Hardwicke (director of Twilight), and Don Payne (writer for The Simpsons) on board, and two TV series being ­developed with CBS for Private and Zoo.”
Sanghi adds to this, “A good book does not always make a great movie. The adaptation and approach in conversion is the key. The adaptation trend is catching on, but we need more specialist screenwriters who can focus on adaptations rather than original ­screenplays. We live in a world where the script is becoming as much a star as the hero.”
Asked about the censorship of creative works like the recent Wendy Doniger controversy, Sanghi says, “I disagree with several observations in Wendy Doniger’s The Hindus, but I defend her right to make them. Equally, I defend my own right to provide counter-arguments and prove her wrong. I wish that we could resort to nuanced debates and a methodical research to present the counter view rather than simply eliminating the initial view, flawed though it may be.”