We got an opportunity to interview one of the best Indian Authors. We interviewed Anuja Chauhan for her book The House that BJ Built. She was born in Meerut and is youngest of the four sisters. She has done her schooling from Army Public School. She holds an honours degree in Economics from Miranda House, University of Delhi.
She holds a Diploma in Mass communication from RMIT, Melbourne. Right now she resides in Bangaluru. She has an immense experience of over 20 years in the field of advertising and has created popular slogans for various brands. Some of the popular slogans include Yeh Dil Maange More, Kitkat break banta hai and Darr ke aagey Jeet hai.
She has won more than hundred national and international awards. Few of them to be mentioned are Gold in Abbies, Ad person of the year at FICCI Frames 2009. Gold in major international advertising festivals like Spikes Asia, Cannes and Clio.
Her debut bestselling novel The Zoya Factor had achieved the position 5 in India`s Top Ten Fiction List in 2008. Film rights for her book were bought by Red Chillies Entertainment and later by Walkwalter Films.
Her second novel Battle for Bittora is now in process of being into a film starring Fawad Khan and Sonam Kapoor. Her third book Those Pricey Thakur Girls is currently showcased into daily TV soap Dilli Wali Thakur Girls on &TV channel.
Apart from her awards into the fields of advertising and writing, she has won a position into India`s 10 hottest creative directors list in 2010. Femina`s list of 50 most Beautiful Indian Women. Also featured in other premier Indian media assets.
What inspired you to start writing?
I worked in advertising and while fun, it was also very restricting. You can only write 30 to 60 second scripts and there are so many variables involved – the brand, the budget, the client. the director, the censor board. Writing a novel freed me. and gave me total creative control.
What did you like to read when you were a girl?
I read all sorts of books growing up – Narnia and Enid Blyton. Alice in wonderland. then those saga type books which were so popular in the eighties – Daphne Du Maurier and Susan Howatch. The westerns by Louis Lamour and Oliver Strange, Alistair Maclean, Georgette heyer romances, PG Wodehouse, Hitch-hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy…
What is the greatest challenge in writing a book?
The slog of it. Day by day, it’s a lonely job – and one that needs discipline.
How much research do you do before writing the book?
I’m lazy – I pick topics I’m already surrounded by. That way, the research has already been done and it doesn’t feel like work. But usually, I like to chat with people who know, rather than just googling, which feels very dry.
What motivated you to write the book “The House That BJ Built”?
I wanted to write about Delhi – how it’s changing – going from a city of genteel sprawling bungalows, to this high-rise metro with gated condos. So I thought, why not pick one particular family that once lived in a bungalow and is now selling it off? I thought that could be my metaphor for change in the city, change in our outlooks, our moral codes and ways of life.
Can you tell us more about the book “The House That BJ Built”?
It’s all about loving your family!
Who are your favourite authors?
Vikram Seth, Joseph Heller, Georgette Heyer, Meg Cabot.
How much time do you dedicate for writing on a daily basis?
6 to 8 hours a day.
What words of wisdom would you like to give to aspiring writers?
Keep writing! Don’t just talk about writing – write! Write everyday.
You can buy her book now: