Richa started her writing journey as a child, scribbling away poems and stories for her father, every time he travelled on work. Her career as a journalist and advertising professional after completing her MBA, and becoming a mother has given her writing more dimension and her creativity, more juice. Her curious mind helps her look at people and situations in a unique way and she hopes her observations continue to inspire her in this lifelong pursuit of expression. Her debut novel has been published by Harper Collins and Black Ink Books and she can’t wait to spin yarns and churn out books for the rest of her life.
How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
There are disciplined, structure driven writers and there are fluid intuitive writers. I realised that it is important to balance both, otherwise, sometimes, you land in a definitive soup and cobwebs in your head towards the latter half of your draft. Thats what I am taking into my next book.
How do you balance making demands on the reader with taking care of the reader?
I try not inhibiting my writing with expectations. If I did that, I would end up doing exactly what I felt was the worst part of corporate jobs, the burden of expectations. Twitching nervously and biting every nail available is all I’d be doing. I want to enjoy the process of writing. And I pray that the purity of that intent will reflect in how a reader identifies and connects with what I write.
What do you owe the real people upon whom you base your characters?
Gratitude! Imagine not having daily fodder around you for building characters. And this is especially important for the initial books. W.R.T my first book, I’ve apologised in advance for making fun of some of the people who were the ‘inspirations’ and outright denied any connection with the ones that contested the characters 😀
What’s the best way to market your books?
Keeping your ears and eyes open for any and all kind of opportunities. Gone are the days when writers could sit in their cozy nooks, writing books, hoping someone or something will help them sell. Its about creating buzz, touching varied audiences and always being available for a conversation, even if you find it exacting. It’s your baby and everything you feed it matters!
How many hours a day do you write?
This is a tear inducing question. (sighs dramatically) I would love to be more disciplined about this but I must admit that with work, child, home, travel etc, there is no set time or number of hours. I write in fits and starts but I try and write something, even if a small poem, or just a few lines everyday. Keeps me connected. My next book will take a concerted effort to finish so I’ve promised myself more planned and frequent writing in the coming weeks. And I predict some amount of success as the punishment for not meeting this goal is no desserts.
What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?
Living inside the characters. Immersing myself in their world. That is hard to do with squawking maids, blaring phones and a child stuck to your leg. I do miss some alone time when I need to do delve deep into a character and figure out a way forward.
Does your family support your career as a writer?
Absolutely. They are my pillars of strength and inspiration. I am an advertising professional and am working reduced hours now post my daughter came on board. But they always knew there was a book in me, languishing somewhere, even before I knew it!
How long on average did it take you to write your first published book?
Oddly, around the same time it took me to deliver my daughter. Around 10 months or so. Thats why they are both my babies!
Favourite writing snack? Green tea and nuts with muri (puffed rice)
Independent bookshop or Amazon? Independent bookshop (But I’m afraid these days there is no reach without the arms of Amazon)
E-Book Or Physical Book? Always always always Physical Book.
A Book You Want Everyone To Read? A million thoughts by Om Swami
Recommend An Underrated Author? Manu Joseph (He deserves much more)
Weirdest Thing You’ve Used As A Bookmark? A bottle cap
Do You Ever Judge A Book By Its Cover? It’s natural to but I try and not get overtly swayed by a mere cover.
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