Vani is a former “Times of India” journalist and now a novelist. She has done MA Economics from Panjab University. She is also a University Gold Medallist in MA Economics. She is MBA from Kingston University, London. So let us know more about her in her own words.
What inspired you to start writing?
I started my professional writing journey in 2002 working as a business journalist for ‘The Times of India’ and then ‘The Financial Express’. However, I did not want to limit myself to writing business stories and started work on a chick lit novel, only to abandon it a little later. In 2008, I left the comfort of a full time job in India to pursue an MBA degree from Kingston University in London and witnessed first-hand how global recession affected the Western economies. As redundancies, bankruptcies and foreclosures became everyday stories, I often thought about how it’d affect the life of an average middle class Indian and his chances of finding happiness. That’s what inspired me to write my first novel, ‘The Recession Groom’.
What did you like to read when you were a girl?
I loved reading from a very early age. My favourite was Jane Austen and I love all her novels, especially Pride and Prejudice and Emma.
What is the greatest challenge in writing a book?
Writers need to have a great attitude. You have to have your finger on the pulse of the reader because literary agents/scouts/publishers are often looking for novels similar to what people are reading. Sustaining oneself financially during this struggle period could be a big challenge. From writing a few pages every day to completing the final draft could be a daunting task. It requires patience and perseverance. The next stage is to look for a publisher, which might take months or years. However, nothing comes close to marketing and promoting the book. Guess what, you just don’t need to be a good writer but a good marketer as well.
How much research do you do before writing the book?
I do a lot of research before starting my novels. My first book is the story of an IT professional with a male protagonist. Now, I have a background in Economics and Management and clearly, writing about an IT professional, the triumphs and tribulations of his life wasn’t easy. I needed to know the terms used in the IT industry, had to understand the routines of IT professionals, how they work on projects and in groups, what are their day today challenges and how they deal with them. I read up a lot on the internet and also had help from friends and family members who are in this industry. Plus, I had to write it from the perspective of a male, can you imagine the challenge?
Can you tell us more about your latest book “The Recession Groom”?
‘The Recession Groom’ tracks the fascinating journey of a young IT professional from India across the period of global credit crisis and his adventures to find his perfect partner. I have given my work a uniquely Indian flavour, with its underlying theme being that of arranged marriages, a concept which has long piqued the curiosity of western readers.
How did you come up with the idea of writing fiction genre book?
I am a sucker for good fiction, no wonder, when I thought about writing my first book, I gravitated towards writing fiction.
Who are your favourite authors?
I am an avid reader and love several authors like Jane Austen, J R R Tolkien, George R R Martin, Stephen King, John Grisham, J K Rowling, Dan Brown, Ravi Subramanian and Amitav Ghosh. Alice Walker is also a favourite and I simply love her book, ‘The Colour Purple’.
How much time do you dedicate to writing on a daily basis?
I am a full time writer and have the privilege to work on my stories the whole day. I wake up early and work through the day, getting up for lunch and tea breaks. I am a sucker for books and so catch up on some reading before I sleep.
What words of wisdom would you like to give to aspiring writers?
Be honest. Write every day. Write first, revise later. Discipline helps, patience helps much more.
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