1) Tell us a bit about yourself.
Ans- I am an author by passion as well as profession. Though academically, I belong to a scientific background, that never stopped me from pursuing my passion. In the year 2016, when I was in my third year of Ph.D., I decided to quit it and pursue writing in a professional manner. Though initially I was brutally criticized for being a Ph.D. dropout, later, this decision turned out to be a game-changer for me. To date, I have published four books, including two novels, ‘The Veil of Disguise’ and ‘Chasing Dreams,’ one short story – ‘The Promise’ and one Children’s Illustrated Book – ‘Baby Fights Corona.’ I like experimenting with my work and don’t find it necessary to limit my imagination within the boundaries of a particular genre.
2) What inspired you to take up writing?
Ans- Some great writers such as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, William Shakespeare, Dan Brown, Agatha Christie, Sidney Sheldon, Nicholas Sparks, Paulo Coelho, and many more whose books I read instilled the magic of words in me. Apart from that, my mother, who is herself a writer and a poet, had ignited my love for literature at a very young age with her guidance. But what transformed me from a research fellow to a writer was life itself. The situation I was in, the incidences I came across, the pain, the shame, and the harsh criticism I had received in my life from several corners had really inspired me to take to writing. With my first book till today, I had always tried to paint real life with the elixir of imagination.
3) What is your take on plagiarism in the writing community? Any suggestions on how writers can safeguard themselves from such practices?
Ans-I think plagiarism is equivalent to stealing and thus should be a punishable offense. Though I have never encountered any plagiarism with any of my works on a lucky note, I come to hear about it more and more these days. Every author toil day and night to nurture his/her creativity; leaves no stone unturned to improvise his work, and then if someone just copy-pastes it, it leaves the author really devastated. So, my advice to every writer will be to practice caution in sharing their work. Also, it is a good idea to get the work registered with the copyright office.
4) Which is your favorite genre to write on?
Ans-Honestly, I don’t have a favorite genre as such. I like experimenting with varied topics, which gives me exposure to a greater audience. But then, crime thrillers and romance attract me a bit more than others.
5) Tell us a bit about your writing journey so far.
Ans-In 2016, after quitting my Ph.D. I stood at the lowest point in my life, both economically as well as emotionally. Quitting a Ph.D. was easy but making my mark as an author was not. However, after several rejections, my first novel, ‘Chasing Dreams,’ got published by Olympia Publishers, London. But then, no one was ready to accept me as an author and started calling me a chance author. I realized I needed to work harder and started writing my next book, ‘The Promise.’ But again, I was into a transition as I shifted to Israel. Homesick, depressed, and unrecognized, I published ‘The Promise’ in 2018. Though lately, I realized that the major setback in my career was the lack of proper marketing and promotion. I had a notion that it was the publisher’s job to market my book, but then reality struck me hard. But even before I could invest time and energy towards this, motherhood took up all my time. I was on the verge of giving up. I started doubting myself. But then the writer within me was not ready to give up. And so, with endless sleepless nights and days, I completed my second novel, ‘The Veil of Disguise.’ But before publishing it, the pandemic hit hard. While every other writer poured their heart into it, I wanted to try something unique. Being a mother, I realized how difficult the situation was for kids, which led me to publish my first Children’s Illustrated book, ‘Baby Fights Corona’, with due help from my husband. Finally, in Dec 2020, I published the crime thriller ‘The Veil of Disguise’ from Bigfoot Publications, and that turned out to be a masterpiece. I won the Best Thriller Award from Elite Book Awards and R Crit 100 Author Awards for this book. Apart from that, I have also been awarded the Sahityakosh Samman 2021, Bharatiya Youth Face of India Title, Best Writer Award, and The Pride of India Awards for my contribution to literature. My journey as an author has been a roller-coaster ride on an adventurous path. Failures, rejections have come hand in hand with a generous amount of success, but what keeps me going as a writer is my love for writing.
6) What, according to you, is your best literary work till date?
Ans-Each of my books is very close to my heart, but then ‘The Veil of Disguise’ is truly a masterpiece, and it also proved very rewarding to my career.
7) What are your upcoming projects in the literary field?
Ans-My upcoming book is a poetry book where I have my mother, Ms. Ratna Guha as my co-author. Besides that, a romantic fiction, a travel book, and the sequel to ‘The Veil of Disguise’ are all in the pipeline.
8) Who is your favorite writer? What would you do if you get to spend a day with your favorite writer?
Ans- Well, there are many favorite writers whose work really inspires me, but then if I had to spend a day with one of them, it would be Dan Brown. I would like to learn his amazing skill of detailing and research work. I might also end up asking him to co-author a book with me. (Giggles)
9) How does it feel to be an award winner for your amazing work?
Ans-It really feels great when your hard work pays off! Receiving the Best Thriller Award from Elite Book Awards is surely a milestone in my career. This piece of recognition and encouragement is sure to take me a long way in my writing career. The platform Elite Book Awards is providing to all the budding talents is truly commendable.
10) What would be your two-line advice to upcoming writers?
Ans-Please don’t give up and keep trying. As in one of my quotes, I say, – ‘Success comes to those who are tired of trying yet cannot give up.’ Do your part wholeheartedly and leave the rest on destiny.