As a freelance writer, she has worked with several print and online publications, both in India and abroad. Her bylines have appeared in Femina.in, Good Housekeeping, Home Review, Investors India, Dogs and Pups and Womens Era, to name a few. She has also worked with corporate clients such as The Princeton Review and Skyscanner, apart from many medium and small businesses.
She owns a small writing firm called Pixie Dust Writing Studio. She is an experienced copywriter and editor, she is new to fiction writing. Some of her short stories have found a place in anthologies such as ‘Love Across Borders’, ‘Stories for your Valentine’ and New Asian Writing’s upcoming collection. Done With Men is her first book.
She holds a degree in Optometry from the Bausch & Lomb School of Optometry. She pursues Masters in English Literature just for the sheer love of it. She has also studied Creative Writing from Writers Bureau, England.
She has been awarded as a Writers Bureau Writer of the Year Runner Up in 2009. She is listed among 12 Highly Successful Non-Native English Freelance Writers in an online magazine.
So let us know more about her in her own words.
What inspired you to start writing?
I have always found solace in writing, even as a child. I remember writing little poems and stories although I never tried to get them published. All through my school years, my writing skills were my only saving grace as I had no other talent to speak of. I can’t say I wanted to become a writer because those days (using those words makes me feel very old), it wasn’t really seen as a career option, at least where I came from. But I did maintain a personal journal and won the occasional writing/essay competition.
My journey as a professional writer began in 2005, when I was working as an Optometrist at an eye hospital. I took up some academic writing assignments just to escape the drudgery of 9-5 (which was more like 7-9 at the hospital where I worked) and it was only when I received my first payment that I realized that I could make a full-time career out of this. I quit that job, took the plunge and kept at it. Looking back, I feel so glad that I did. I wouldn’t trade my career and lifestyle for anything else in the world.
What did you like to read when you were a girl?
I grew up on a steady dose of Enid Blyton, and I feel so nostalgic when I revisit them now. My all-time favorites however were Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Jungle Book.
What is the greatest challenge in writing a book?
Writing the book was an immensely satisfying and enjoyable process. However, the marketing activities leading up to release were a royal pain in the butt.
How much research do you do before writing the book?
Done With Men did not really require a lot of research, per se. But yes, I did spend some time sketching out the characters and locations. The story is set in Goa, where I have been before, but I needed to look at a lot of pictures and read about the place to be able to bring the setting alive in my book.
What motivated you to write the book “Done With Men”?
I have had the author itch for as long as I can remember, and Done With Men was a stroke of destiny. Naheed Hassan, the founder of Indireads had approached me sometime in late 2011 to work for them as an editor. We got talking and then she suggested that I write a book, a chick lit to be precise, because she believed I had the voice for it. Before I could make sense of things, the contract was signed and I was on my way to becoming an author. The interesting part was that I had signed the book contract even before I had a synopsis of the story!
Can you tell us more about your latest book “Done With Men”?
‘Done With Men’ is all about the romantic (mis)adventures of Kairavi Krishna – serial dater and ditzy girl extraordinaire. She is a travel writer and is urban, young and…single. After an unfortunate rash of loser boyfriends, she is pretty much done with men and ready to focus on her career. But her latest assignment, to cover Sunburn in Goa, packs more surprises than she bargained for. In the middle of partying, falling off her balcony, food allergies and ex-boyfriend encounters, Kairavi develops a hopeless crush on her dreamy doctor, but she isn’t sure if he would possibly be interested in more than her broken clavicle. And then we have Kay’s best friend Baani, Kapil (Baani’s fiancée), Ravi (Kay’s boss), Ricky (Kay’s latest ex) and the The Thought Bubble (Kay’s alter ego) to add to the mayhem. From the entire cast of ‘Done With Men’, I love The Thought Bubble the most.
How did you came up with the idea of writing Romance genre book?
I always turn to chick-lit whenever I am in the dumps or just in need of something that doesn’t require too much brain power. There is something strangely uplifting about these books – perhaps because the characters are so relatable and are going through the same life problems as you. I just wanted my first book to be entertaining and fun, which is why I chose this genre.
Who are your favourite authors?
There are just too many! I have been a voracious reader since childhood and I never missed a chance to bury myself in a book. From the Bronte Sisters to Sudha Murthy, and Shakespeare to Sophie Kinsella, I’ve lapped them all up. I believe that my writing style carries the influence of all the authors I have read till date.
How much time do you dedicate for writing on a daily basis?
It varies, but I do make sure I write something every day even if it is just a paragraph. My freelance work keeps me occupied and there are days where I have to clock in 16 hours to meet deadlines. When workload is low, I usually devote my time to fiction writing or update my blogs.
What words of wisdom would you like to give to aspiring writers?
I am just one book old so I’m not sure if I am the right person to dole out advice, but I would just say that don’t wait for the perfect moment to write that book cooking in your head. Set a routine, write a few words everyday and FINISH that first draft. Don’t waste time on fancy words and expressions when you are writing – just let the story flow.
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