I often wonder whether people have the time and the inclination to listen to what another person thinks about or wants to share. This belief motivates me to put down my thoughts in my writings and share it with people so that they are free to 'listen' to my thoughts at the time & place of their choices-maybe with a cup of coffee as well! I feel written words permeate deeper because the readers are more receptive than the listeners. Isn't it a wonderful feeling to imagine that someone will 'hold' the bundle of your thoughts in their hands sitting in a cozy corner?
2. How did you feel after publishing your books?
It's so fascinating to see something abstract in a material form. Being my debut book, everything about it was a never before feeling, a strange feeling- my eyes confirming it but the mind was still questioning its existence.
3. What are some of your favourite novels and authors?
I just pick up and read anything that I come across. Thinking about favourites may make me biased towards a book, so I can't say if I have any favourites. The autobiography of Rishi Kapoor- ‘Khullam Khulla’ and ‘Calling Sehmat’ by Harinder Sikka are the books that lingered on to me for quite a long time after having read them.
4. Is there a specific reason for naming your novel?
Yes, the name- “The Six Life Lessons Hidden in LUDO” came naturally. The lessons are about life and they are hidden somewhere in Ludo. The black cover also emphasizes that there is something hidden and the underwater dices signify that the hidden lessons need to be explored.]
5. Where do you write from? Do you go to some specific place, like beachside or the hills?
Ha...Ha...! I hope to be able to afford such luxury in writing someday. I just keep writing mentally- anytime and anywhere. When I feel it's accumulated so much that it may vanish away, I write it down on any piece of paper or even on my mobile notes. As soon as I get the time to sit on my desk at home, I write it down in a proper way on my desktop.
6. What inspired you to write the books (in general)? Any tales to tell…
Talking about "The Six Life Lessons Hidden in LUDO", it started just minutes after getting up from losing a game of Ludo to my daughter. Although I lost the game, there were moments in the game when I felt things are turning up so similar to what happens in our personal lives and how we can handle them more effectively. I sat down to sum up those life lessons and wanted to write a small article but gradually started exploring about Ludo on the internet. Day by day, my thoughts branched out further; many more ideas started flowing in and it began to take the shape of a book.
7. What was your biggest learning experience throughout the writing process?
As I said, this being a debut book, everything- right from writing the first sentence to this day of giving an author interview- has been an immense learning experience. Gathering random thoughts and converting them to a manuscript, editing, formatting, creating the cover, abiding by the publisher's guidelines and eventually, publishing-everything was a lesson. But the biggest realization dawned after the book release- that all the hard work is worth only if the book reaches loving readers.
8. Looking back, what did you do right that helped you break in as a writer?
Wow, this gives me an opportunity to touch upon one of the life lessons in my book itself! It's about positive imagery and visualization. Although treading into unfamiliar territory, I kept visualizing positively about the milestones on my way to publishing the book. On many occasions, it felt like I would drop the idea of completing the book but I persisted, even if it meant moving one step a day! The visual images of the upcoming book kept me motivated throughout this fascinating journey.
9. Any best piece of writing advice that you would like to share with new or struggling writers?
Well, I'm not sure if I can advise new writers or struggling writers. I believe that most of the writers can feel the difference- when they have words flowing through and when they are just groping for words. The former happens when you are just yourself-the original you. Simply be true to yourself, be original. Please try not to be a mimicry artist of the writing world.
10. Something personal about you people may be surprised to know?
The good thing about being a writer is that you don't need to decide & declare it in your childhood that you want to be a writer when you grow up. You can choose any profession and yet be a writer. My readers may find it interesting to know that I'm a doctor - an eye specialist and an MBA in Healthcare Services.
11. Any future books that you would like to discuss now?
I have received an inquiry from a reputed publisher- whether I'm interested in writing a book on Ophthalmology, but it's too early to say anything at this stage.
12.What other profession excites you the most?
Ophthalmology and Healthcare Administration are my consciously chosen professions, so I'm always excited about them. Any profession that offers creative freedom excites me the most. I would also love to take up your job as a Book Reviewer and Author Interviewer as well, ha...ha...!
13.Any special mention about your reader (be it with reviews/feedback or anything else)
Yes, although the book was released on 10 Aug 20, the COVID -19 situations delayed the delivery by about 10 days. Now the things are streamlined and the orders on Amazon are reaching the readers within 3 days. So the reviews and feedback have just started pouring in. The response of the readers is amazing. So far, every reviewer on Amazon has given it a 5 Star rating- a truly rewarding experience for a debut, isn’t it? The curiosity is immense among readers of all ages. Those who haven’t read the book but have seen only the cover of the book are complimenting on the cover itself! It’s a gratifying feeling. Thank you, readers!
14.Do you write the story at a stretch or you take your time to complete it? If you take a longer time, wouldn’t you be forgetting the story? How do you tackle it?
After enthusiastically writing at a stretch for some time, I let it ‘cool down’ and read it again the next day. If I feel the same passion for my narrative I retain it, otherwise, I rewrite it. I just write down major points on a sheet of paper and keep doing the mental exercise or any research on each point separately. So the chances of forgetting are reduced.
15.Traditional or Self-Publishing? Why?
I have no experience of traditional publishing but I have heard that it takes a very long time. For new authors, I feel self-publishing is a very useful option, you get to do so many permutations and combinations on every aspect of book writing. You are involved throughout the process and have a sense of pride in it. Although marketing the book is a huge challenge.
16.How is the response so far for the book?In the absence of any professional marketing or any book launch ceremony, the response that the book is generating is overwhelming! As more and more readers start sharing their experiences about the book, especially how they relate to the lessons elaborated in the book, I think it’s going to be one of the most lovable books.