Vani was born in Garian, Libya, in a traditional Hindu Punjabi family. Her parents prized good education above all else and while she was still small, they decided to move base to Chandigarh, India. As a child, she loved reading, but writing stories of her own never occurred to her, much like everything else. Becoming a doctor wasn’t an option, for the very sight of blood made her retch and Mathematics and Excel sheets bored her, leaving Humanities as a last resort. She could easily compete for the civil services, her parents reasoned, although, sitting for an exam with a million potential candidates vying for one job didn’t make much sense to her. Fortunately, life took a better turn and it was a Master’s degree in Economics alongside a programme in Mass Communications that set her foundation for a career in business journalism. Luckily, she got to work in some of the best organizations in India, like ‘The Times of India’ and ‘The Financial Express’. In 2004, she was hit with the desire to write a novel. However, a few drafts and several ideas later, she gave it all up to pursue an MBA degree from Kingston University in London. Of course, she dreamt about MNC firms coveting her, the Deloittes and the McKinseys of the world chasing her with multiple job offers, the likes of Accenture begging her to work for them. The reality was quite different. The completion of her course coincided with the start of global recession and her dreams could never be realized. Her situation, nevertheless, prompted her to write her first novel. So, it was all okay in the end.
Thanks Vani for agreeing for this interview.
It’s my pleasure!
From a business journalist to a fiction writer, could you please tell the readers more about yourself?
Journalism nurtured my creativity. It was exciting to meet new people, absorb their ideas, conceptualise and write stories. However, I did not want to limit myself to writing just business articles and started work on a chick lit novel, only to abandon it a little later. It was while working in London that I got back to writing again, this time to pen my first fiction novel, ‘The Recession Groom’.
How did you think of writing a book? Who/ What inspired you?
I left the comfort of a full time job in India to pursue an MBA degree from Kingston University in London. The year was 2008 and coincided with the start of global recession. I witnessed mass redundancies, bankruptcies, foreclosures in the western world and often thought how it’d affect the life of an average middle class Indian and his chances of happiness. That’s what prompted me to write my novel. The story tracks the journey of a young Indian IT professional across the period of global credit crisis and his adventures to find his ‘perfect partner’.
What were the challenges faced while writing the book?
I was working full time when I started writing my book. Initially, everything was a challenge, from writing a few pages every day to completing the final draft. The next stage was to look for a publisher, which was equally daunting. 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.
I know it is difficult for an author to choose between her books, but which is closest to your heart?
Thank you for such a lovely question. I have written a sequel, but still find myself attached to my first book, ‘The Recession Groom’.
How do you find time to write blogs for The Huffington Post?
I started writing for The Huffington Post in December 2014. My blog is called: ‘My Writing Journey: 101 Lessons I Learnt From My Mistakes’. I wanted to reach out to other writers like me and share my stories with them, help them in any way possible. Some mistakes I have shared with my readers are: Don’t write the way you speak, Verbosity doesn’t make you a good writer, Never underestimate an idea. (Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.in/vani-kaushal/) I was never an avid blogger, to be honest, but the response I received from readers on platforms like Goodreads and The Huffington Post helped fuel my passion.
When you pick up books to read, what is your favourite genre? Who is your favourite author?
I love good fiction and read across genres. If I’m not reading, I’m writing. My friends and I believe in having long reading lists. I love so many authors, it is difficult to name a few. Jane Austen, J R R Tolkien, John Green, Ray Bradbury, George R R Martin, Stephen King, John Grisham, J K Rowling, Dan Brown, Ashwin Sanghi, Amitav Ghosh. Alice Walker is also a favourite and I simply love her book, ‘The Colour Purple’.
Which book are you currently reading?
Mightier than Sword by Jeffrey Archer.
What is the next project that you are working on? When is the next book scheduled for release?
I am working on a sequel to my first book (can’t reveal the name) and there is a third one that wraps up the series.
Any word of wisdom for aspiring authors?
Be honest. Write every day. Write first, revise later. Discipline helps, patience helps much more.
Thank you once again for sharing your thoughts with your readers.
Social Media links of for people to find/follow/like:
Publisher: Leadstart Publishing
Twitter handle: @Vani_Author
Facebook page Vani: www.facebook.com/Vani.Author
Facebook page The Recession Groom: http://goo.gl/29YaBN
Goodreads author page: http://www.goodreads.com/goodreadscomVani
Get this novel today:
Available at Crossword, Landmark, Oxford Bookstore
Amazon Kindle: http://goo.gl/fhcvh6