Anuja Chandramouli is an Indian author and New Age Indian Classicist. Her debut novel, Arjuna: Saga of a Pandava Warrior-Prince, was named by Amazon India as one of the top 5 books in the Indian Writing category for the year 2013. Kamadeva: The God of Desire and Shakti: The Divine Feminine are her other bestsellers. Currently all three books are being translated into Hindi, Marathi, Gujarathi and Bengali, a real achievement for one so young. Her brand new book, an epic fantasy called Yama’s Lieutenant has been launched.
According to Chandramouli, her work with youngsters in the rural belt helping them improve their Spoken English and Writing skills has been wonderfully satisfying and enriching. This happily married, mother of two little girls, lives in Sivakasi, Tamil Nadu. She is a student of classical dance and Yoga. Currently, she is hard at work on an awesome new adventure with Yama’s Lieutenant.
How do you feel getting interviewed again on WriterStory?
It is very satisfying, I must admit. The last time around there was an amazing response and I was touched to know that there are so many readers out there who appreciate my work and actually want to know my story (which it must be confessed is pretty boring compared to the likes of Sunny Leone)!
How to write a good manuscript and present it to the publisher?
This will sound clichéd but putting together a good manuscript is like delivering a baby. The process cannot be rushed and a lot of care, love, attention and good sense needs to go into it, not to mention the pain that has to be undergone. But the end result will always be worth it.
The next step is harder as the manuscript needs to find its way into the hands of a discerning publisher who will appreciate its worth and ensure that it is given its due. Most publishing houses have submission guidelines and aspiring authors will do well to follow it to the letter. After that there is nothing to do but wait for that blessed acceptance letter or email, while keeping your fingers/toes crossed and scrounging about for four – leaved clovers, wish – granting genies, rabbit toes and monkeys’ paws, all in the hope that you will someday be a published author. Now that is not too hard is it? 🙂
What is the greatest challenge in choosing the right publisher?
The big and established publishing houses are considered a safe bet because they have the experience and resources. However they usually have a stable of powerhouse authors and celebs who tend to hog the publisher’s attention and authors who are just starting out may get the short end of the stick.
Some of the up and coming publishers have the drive and enthusiasm but they may still be learning the ropes with regards to editing, marketing and distrubution. Ultimately an author needs to have the luck to choose and be chosen by a publisher who turns out to be the perfect fit.
How much research you did before writing the book?
A bit of research was involved regarding the God of Death and I enjoyed it immensely. But this remains my most creative work to date.
What motivated you to write the book “Yama’s Lieutenant”?
One of my readers emailed me to compliment me on Shakti: The Divine Feminine. He also mentioned that he had read Arjuna and Kamadeva. At the conclusion of that very sweet email, he suggested that I write a book based on Yama or Hanuman and I was intrigued.
But instead of devoting the entire book to Yama, I thought of doing a fast – paced adventure with Yama’s Lieutenant set in contemporary times.The rest just fell into place.
Can you tell us more about your latest book “Yama’s Lieutenant”?
Yama’s Lieutenant takes a closer look at something that fascinates all of us – death and what lies beyond. Who are the people who wind up in hell? What happens to them there? What if they escape?
The protagonist is Agni Prakash and he finds himself in the unhappy situation of tracking down escapees from the thousand hells of Yama using the weapons of the God of Death himself. If life isn’t hard enough he is summoned by the mysterious Silver Goddess who sends him on an impossible quest with the fate of the three worlds resting on his shoulders.
How did you came up with the idea of writing mythological fiction genre book?
I genuinely don’t dwell on things like genre, target audience, etc. For me, ideally an idea has to take root and capture my fancy to the point where I am unable to let go till it has been explored in its entirety within the pages of my book.
Can you enlighten on any of your marketing/promotion strategies which worked for your previous books?
Fortunately or unfortunately, I am no marketing/promotional genius. We all do the best we can to make sure the book gets noticed, but it is hard to say what works and what doesn’t.
In my opinion, it is best to keep honing your craft till you achieve perfection and create a fine body of work rather than expend all your energy going from door to door begging people to buy your book or bombarding people with promo materials of your latest offering on social networking sites (I have done that and believe me all it does is make you feel exceptionally lame when the desperation dries up and good sense finally kicks in).
How much minimum time should an author give on daily basis to writing?
It depends entirely on individual working styles. I am a part – time author and believe in devoting a few hours to writing every day, when I am working on a book. The rest of the time, I develop an allergy to MS Word.
Any tips or words of motivation you want to share with aspiring writers?
If you write because it matters to you irrespective of whether it makes your heart sing or drives you right up the wall, then stick to it. No matter what.
You can buy her book now: