1. What motivates you to write?
I was born in Ajmer, Rajasthan, and saw at close quarters how women’s lives were in traditional Hindu and Muslim cultures, having interacted with many families and seen many villages. I came across many women’s issues, which moved me. I then moved to England at a young age and saw the socially liberated society where they were making efforts to move up the chain, so to speak. That being said, I noticed that both sides were suffering in different ways and came to realize that society has been unfair to our mothers, sisters, daughters, and partners for centuries. This set my mind up to write a book highlighting the issues faced by women from various cultures and arguing for the advancement of women in all societies.
2. How did you feel after publishing your books?
It made me immensely happy. It has exceeded my expectations and I feel like I can really make a big difference to humanity.
3. What are some of your favorite novels and authors?
My favorite books are ‘A Passage to India’ by E.M. Forster, ‘Passage to Africa’ by George Alagiah and Siddhartha. With regard to authors, I am fond of Shakespeare but have also particularly enjoyed works by the likes of Rabindranath Tagore, Jane Austen, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Charles Dickens.
4. Is there a specific reason for naming your novel?
The title makes me think of all these grandmothers together and deciding to do something important for their granddaughters. It is a simple way of conveying that these women set out to make something positive happen and put in hard work, planning, and effort. They had a vision, and they were going to make it succeed.
5. Where do you write from? Do you go to some specific place, like beachside or the hills?
Generally, I write at home – either in my garden shed or at the dinner table when no one is around.
6. What inspired you to write the books (in general)? Any tales to tell…
I would hope that my daughters and future granddaughters get to live in a society that fully respects women; a society in which they would not have to face the same injustices and lead their lives in fear of what could happen to them just because of their gender. We have certainly made progress as a society but there is still such a long way to go to ensure that all our granddaughters live without fear of men and are not held back to reach their full potential.
I wanted to help young women find their voices and power, and to make the most for themselves – not for their society. So many young women now are the living legacies of strong women who came before them, able to live their lives and enjoy their freedoms and identities because of the sacrifices made by their grandmothers. So many grandmothers went to their graves without telling their stories, for fear of the repercussion and consequences upon their families. Some understandably lacked courage, others lacked opportunity. But now they can be unburdened.
7. What was your biggest learning experience throughout the writing process?
I learned so much about how women and girls bear the brunt of suffering and abuse – especially in times of war, famine, and poverty. It was a real eye-opener in many ways. It is something that we know but until you read the extent of it, you don’t really believe it. Furthermore, we always associate this type of abuse with soldiers or the enemy, but in many cases, it was fathers, brothers, and friends inflicting this mistreatment. It makes it so easy to dismiss these women as casualties of war, but they are preyed upon by men who want to make themselves feel better about their bad situations.
8. Looking back, what did you do right that helped you break in as a writer?
I approached my publisher at the right time. Fred and Nimble Books have been really instrumental in helping me with this project – in a way, it gave me the confidence I needed.
9. Any best piece of writing advice that you would like to share with new or struggling writers?
It took one and a half years to write the book – mostly on the weekends, as I work full time. It was not easy to care for a young family and write a book at the same time, but it was time well spent – even if my book helps change just one life.
Perseverance is key! You cannot expect to write a book in a week, writer’s block is a very real phenomenon.
I think it is completely natural to face a block – whether writing or working. We all face creative blocks when some days are harder than others, but just being honest about it is healthy. Creativity cannot be ‘on-demand, sometimes it just needs to simmer for a while. Leaving things for a while and coming back to them or working on something else can often be inspirational.
Think about who you are writing for and why you are writing, that can help focus the narrative in a better direction.
10. Something personal about you people may be surprised to know?
I like running, hiking, listen to music, and traveling across the world. My favorite countries for this are Brazil and the Maldives.
London remains the most magical city in the world for me: I love walking in the parks, exploring the cafés and just being around the people.
11. Any future books that you would like to discuss now?
Yes, I have another book planned and am extremely excited to share more details when the time is right!
12. What other profession excites you the most?
I really enjoy numbers, so anything that involves numerate skills. Banking or anything Maths-related.
13. Any special mention about your reader (be it with reviews/feedback or anything else)
Thank you so much for taking the time to engage with the stories of these incredible women – Helga, Kamla, and Lynette. Each of these women represents the millions of women that witnessed the Holocaust, the Bengali Famine and the Notting Hill Riots- and it is through their pain and sacrifice that we enjoy the liberties we have today. It is up to us to ensure that these historic atrocities are not repeated. Through knowing their stories and not allowing future generations to forget, we can avoid repeating the mistakes of the past.
14. Do you write the story at a stretch or do 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?
I write in short spells two hours each or few hours each week. It also depends on my mood.
15. Traditional or Self-Publishing? Why?
Traditional Publishing as long as you have the right publisher and team behind you. They have been immense support for me, as I navigate the literary world.
16. How is the response so far for the book?
Really positive: my daughters love it and that makes me very proud. Family, friends, and business contacts have also given me wonderful feedback. It is truly humbling.
The book is available on Amazon
You can connect with him through his website