She completed her MBA from Osmania University then took up a course in creativity with Stanford University, and also a course in technical writing with Nano Science and Technology consortium, New Delhi. Currently she resides in Visakhapatnam.
Jaya Murty is currently working as a ‘senior feature writer’ with a local magazine called Yo! Vizag. She is also freelance writer with a Hong Kong based magazine, volunteer for a local NGO and also take up soft skill classes. She has worked as a copywriter with Triton advertising, written for the Economic Times and for various websites as well. Her short stories have been published in Savvy, efiction, Spark and other online and print magazines.
What inspired you to start writing?
I started writing when I was probably ten years old. I enjoyed the process of writing poetry and was thrilled when my first poem found its way into the pages of The Times of India. Well, from there, there was no looking back. I’d write for fun; a story, an essay or a poem and file it away. Eager to convert my passion into profession, I went on to work as a copywriter with Triton Advertising, wrote for the Economic Times and haven’t stopped since then.
What did you liked to read when you were a girl?
I read a lot of Enid Blyton when I was little. Being the youngest of three siblings, both my sister and brother would get me a different set of books to read. Summer vacations for me meant a trip to Hyderabad from Lucknow, where I lived at that point. My father would buy me a book at the Bhopal station and I would finish it by the time we reached Hyderabad. It was a ritual, I looked forth to. I went on to read the entire ‘Famous Five’ series, followed by ‘Agatha Christie’, ‘secret seven’ and many others.
What is the greatest challenge in writing a book?
The biggest challenge in writing novel length fiction is consistency. You want to tell a powerful story, but as you go along, the tone of the story tends to shift. You don’t want your story to lose steam midway. And I feel, one needs to have tremendous patience and will power to not only keep it on track but keep up that tempo.
How much research do you do before writing the book?
I do research before and even while writing a book, however I do try to avoid bringing all of that research into the story. For Canvas of Dreams, the protagonist Riya was an art-curator, so my research revolved around studying how art curators worked. I also read at length about pop art and the various forms of Indian art.
What motivated you to write the book “Canvas of Dreams”?
The desire to write a good Indian romance story with real characters one could relate to was a strong motivator. I wanted to write an unputdownable romance, a story that readers could connect with and relate to. Under the cover of romance, the story also conveys how today’s women are more independent-minded and stronger. It also talks about how life tends to present choices and how the outcome depends upon the choices we make for ourselves.
Can you tell us more about your latest book “Canvas of Dreams”?
Canvas of Dreams is the story of Riya, an art curator who on a trip to Singapore bumps into her first love, Ryan. While old flames are rekindled, returns aren’t always rosy. Ryan is a married man and Riya, widowed, carries with her a burden of unspoken guilt. Riya returns to Mumbai where life brings her closer to Rehaan, a caring co-artist. Life is presenting choices when she doesn’t want them. But then, what will Riya choose to paint her Canvas of dreams with?
How did you came up with the idea of writing romance genre book?
Well frankly, while I do enjoy writing stories that emphasize on human element and relationships, writing novella-length romance was uncharted territory for me. Indireads Publishing was looking for romance genre stories and that was how I sent in my first draft. So the idea to write in the genre came from the publisher, rather than the other way round.
Who are your favourite authors?
Well, it’s a long list that keeps growing. I do love O. Henry and Roald Dahl for the twists in their tales, Dan Brown and Sandra Brown for their extensive research and pacy writing, Gerald Durrell and PG Wodehouse for amazing humour and James Herriott for the love of animals he instills.
How much time do you dedicate for writing on a daily basis?
I’m not a very disciplined kind of person, so I usually write when I feel like it. This amounts to approximately 3-4 hours every day. As soon as I’m up in the morning I write for a while. That usually works out as the best time for me. Ideas often have a tendency of striking when I’m stuck in traffic or getting bored at a party or in the middle of the night. I try to write stuff down instantly, behind bills or on paper tissues, whatever plain pages I can find at that time.
What words of wisdom would you like to give to aspiring writers?
Enjoy what you’re doing, if you don’t enjoy the process of writing, it’s just going to get tougher. Secondly, be at it every day. There’ll be days when the writing doesn’t make any sense at all, and it is those days where you need to still be there, show up and write. That perseverance makes all the difference.
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