Our second author for today’s spotlight session is Ms. Richa Sharma, author – Antah – Jagruti, published by Kaushal publications.
BNI: Tell us something about yourself and your background.
RS: I am a Resident of Rampur (U.P.) and live in Haridwar (Uttarakhand). I am an Ayurvedic doctor and did my graduation from S.D.M. College of Ayurveda, Hassan (Bangalore), Karnataka and pursuing my post-graduation from Dehradun (Uttarakhand) in same field. I have passion of music and dancing as well. I am always interested in writing poems and my own experiences.
BNI: So, What all you have written / published till date?
RS: I have written many spiritual and social related poems on just Facebook. I run my page as “Antah-Jagruti” on facebook. This is my first book which is published and for that I am always grateful to the Kaushal Publication to give me this golden opportunity.
BNI: What inspired you to write your first book and or this book?
RS: As whatever I experienced in the society and cultures. That compelled me to write something truth in different way.
BNI: A 30 word tagline for your book
RS: In short and simple words; this book is about Art of Living. This makes us to live better life with the help of opening our internal eyes.
BNI: How did you come up with the title?
RS: As I run a page by name “Antah-Jagruti” on Facebook since 1 year. And this title really suits to the content of the book. It brings the reality in our views and shows the actual mirror of our thoughts.
BNI: Who is your intended audience and why should they read your book?
RS: The book appeals to a wide audience. As many as people read this book; then only we may expect at least little changes in the society. They must read this book for making their life more valuable and realistic. But they must read this book with their open mind.
BNI: Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?
RS: For this book each human being is to be understood as main character; because it is applicable to all human beings.
BNI: What was the hardest and easiest thing about your latest release?
RS: I felt nothing hardest thing in this book as I have written my own experiences in my words so it is really easy when we don’t need to write something which doesn’t exist. I enjoyed writing this book because I wrote this book in my way.
BNI: Share some interesting story about the book writing/cover development.
RS: The cover development was really interesting as it really suited to the title of the book. Thanks to Mr. Kaushal Puneet who design my book’s cover page so nice n attractive. One woman is standing and opens the door to reach the goal of her life. And it motivates others also to reach the goal of their life.
BNI: Is there a message in your book/novel that you want readers to grasp?
RS: Yes sure; each word of this book has to be felt by reader then only it may help them to realize those words. And reader must visualize his own image in each sentence if this book. Then only this book will be successful in real and true manner.
BNI: Do you meet your readers at book signings, conventions or similar events? Any plans in relation to this book?
RS: Being a debutant author I don’t get much chance to do all those fancy things. But whenever I am given chance to interact with readers; I do it to the best of my abilities.
BNI: Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
RS: Everyone has been very kind and encouraging. Many readers have said me that I write life’s truth in simple way which they usually face in their life. Their feedback overwhelms me. There is nothing that equals their love and praise.
BNI: When and how did you decide to become a writer? Do you write full-time or part time?
RS: Usually we come across many unwanted things which we want to eradicate completely. But always we are unable to do so. Actually we can’t make anyone to follow our views forcefully. So I write based upon my experiences and which may help others to motivate and may help in knowing the truth and follow as well and of course if they want their life to be as healthy rich not as fake rich. I am not a professional writer and no one is related to this field in my family also. I write part time only.
BNI: Which writers inspire you?
RS: I am not inspired by anyone. I always believe to make my own path and to be original as well.
BNI: What draws you to this genre?
RS: I write my own experiences so I think in this way I could express myself better and might be able to change at least something in this society.
BNI: According to you, What is the hardest thing about writing?
RS: The hardest thing is to find time for writing. I am having 5 years old kid. Along with him I have to give time for my studies also.
BNI: What are your ambitions for your writing career?
RS: I want to create a special place for myself in the literary world. I want to give something creative and real view to the society. Need to establish the true and loving society which is not based upon myths and dramas etc.
BNI: What has been the toughest criticism and best compliment to you, as an author?
RS: Till now I have never received a negative feedback for the book, touchwood. Yes, people do give suggestions and I try to learn from those. The best compliment is “you really inspired me and helped me in taking decisions of my life”.
BNI: What will be your one favourite tip to get through the writer’s block
RS: Nothing. They are doing their jobs nicely.
BNI: What are your thoughts on book series? Would you like to have one for your latest book?
RS: Being a debutant author; I have not yet decided about that. This book is complete in itself. But I wish if I get any suggestions and ideas then surely will go for next series.
BNI: Any advice for writers budding or established?
RS: Just write without worrying about publishing. And write from your heart.
BNI: Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?
RS: I have no author struggle story. Publishers were too kind and friendly to me, and I hope now readers would do the same. I am lucky to have the publishers likewise.
BNI: What was your favourite chapter (or part) to write and why?
RS: This is really difficult to choose my favourite chapter. Because this book is having 10 chapters but each one is having its own importance. To understand this book, each chapter is like the 10 steps which must be followed one by one.
BNI: Did you learn anything from writing your book? What was it?
RS: I learned a lot. I implied things on me before writing it down. I am still learning from my book itself as I think whatever words came from my heart, I converted into a book but need to apply for myself also. I wrote each chapter after hearing my inner voice. And now whenever I read my own book then always get new thing to learn every day.
BNI: How about a snippet from your book that is meant to intrigue and tantalize us?
RS: All poems and paragraphs teach us something which we already know but don’t follow. But it helps in motivating us. This makes us to think at least once. Such as..
“Bhukh pyaas se bilakh rahe hain ham..
Koi to ek niwala ya ek gilaas paani pila do..
Thand se thithur rahe hain ham..
Koi to kambal dila do..
Hai bahut zarurat baccho ko shiksha ki..
Koi to unhe sahi raah dikha do..
Mat bolna ki paise nahi hai..
Qki abhi agar ham kahe ki teerth ho aao..
To bahut saare paise honge jeb me..
Kabhi to jeete-jaagte insaano ke bare me socho..
Karte hai naam likhwakar daan-punya..
Kabhi to hamaari benaam jindagi ke bare me socho.” (Pg. 68)
BNI: What are your expectations for the book?
RS: I am not expecting anything. Just need to wake up all readers from blind beliefs and dramatic society.
BNI: Do you think book cover an important role in sales?
RS: Yes. It plays a special role in sale. By which people get attract towards the book then only it may be helpful for readers.
BNI: According to you, what is the top most advantage / disadvantage of self publishing?
RS: Self-publishing can only give you the virtual satisfaction of being a published author. I did not self publish so I cannot answer more than that.
BNI: ebook, pdf, mobi, kindle or printed hardcover book, what’s your pick?
RS: Hard cover book. Nothing else gives the feel the physical book gives. It has the soul of the writer.
BNI: It was great learning about you and your aspirations. I am confident that the readers will realize the importance of such topics and appreciate your efforts for bringing such an issue into limelight through penning a book. I on behalf of my readers, wish you luck!