Dr Anuradha Prasad is a post graduate in English literature and Phd (English) from Mumbai University and has been writing since she can remember. She is a feature writer, worked and published with Times of India, Free Press house, Body and Beauty Care, Incredible India, Woman’s Era and other notable publications. She has worked as a senior editor for lifestyle magazines, developed and edited web content, as a natural progression towards her journey into writing. Times West Side Plus had featured her for their second anniversary issue. She has, to her credit, hundreds of published and edited work. She teaches journalism on invitation to youngsters that she enjoys immensely. ‘Two Winters and 365 Days’ is her first book as a writer. She has just launched her second book, ‘Coming back Home’. I am very thankful to her for giving me this opportunity to interview her.
Thank you, Dr Anuradha for the interview. At the outset, could you please tell the readers about yourself?
You have already given such an introduction that I am at a loss of words. Further on the topic- I also love traveling, observing nature, gardening, cooking exotic foods and spending time at home in front of the idiot box. Very few people know that I aspired to be a model in my college days and even featured in some brand modeling. Destiny had other plans. As I matured, I became more intellectually inclined. I started looking at more permanent options for a career, as I realized that a model’s shelf life was very short. Focus on learning, wisdom and intellect took centre stage. I swear by constant learning that promotes change and growth. I lead a simple life, taking care of my family, spending time with friends and loved ones. I strongly believe that things happen for a cause.
You are a post graduate in English literature and Phd (English). Did this in some way help in your writing?
It was actually the other way round. Because I was good at English language, I took to studying English literature and yes, I must say that after completing my PhD in English I realized that I had not given wings to the writer in me and determined to do so.
You have written hundreds of articles. What motivated you to write a full-fledged novel?
I wanted my work to outlive me. A book is eternal. It is a legacy you pass on to your kids and the generations next. So I decided to write one. Another reason why I wrote a novel was I had never written a single short or a long story in my entire career as a feature writer so it presented a greater challenge for me and I love challenges! It also hit me that there was nothing new in the field of feature writing that I could explore, as I had experimented with all the genres.
Lastly, often I had heard from friends and colleagues as to how difficult it was for a writer to get recognition. So I guess I wanted to experience all the pitfalls and exhilaration myself.
What were the challenges faced while writing the books?
Surprisingly my second book flowed. Believe it or not, I have not so far edited a single situation or a page, unlike the first that had many.
The first biggest task was thinking of a realistic story line with realistic situations, creating characters and writing dialogues, researching for global audiences, so on and so forth, I have aspired that the readers should take away something from my fist book without it being very heavy on the psyche or sounding preachy. Coming to the point, the first book was challenging (as it was first) and also I had no clue about how to put so many pages together. As for the second one, I had visualized the concept and I decided to make my story unique and it came up to my expectations. I wish readers would love it and take away something from it as well.
Are your books based on someone you know or heard of?
No. Not at all!
The covers of both your books are very nice, did you have a say in designing it?
Yes absolutely. I had a say and the designer worked on the inputs given by me. For my second book I got an awesome person who worked on every concept detail I provided with and came up with the amazingly stunning cover. I love it!
Who is your favorite author?
My all-time fav author is Danielle Steel and I can also add Sydney Sheldon, Jeffery Archer, Harold Robins, Barbara Cartland, Ernest Hemingway, Shakespeare, Wordsworth, Milton, Mahatma Gandhi, Arundhati Roy, Khushwant Singh, Robin Sharma, Chetan Bhagat, Rhonda Byrne and J.K Rowling.
I don’t stick to a particular author now. Sometimes, I pick a book on my own or the one suggested by my friends.
Which book are you currently reading?
Right now I am not reading any book.
What is the next project that you are working on? When is the next book scheduled for release?
I have not yet started to work on the next book. I might after sometime.
What will be your advice to the upcoming novelists and writers?
It’s easier saying than doing but rejections are a part of life. Take it with a pinch of salt and move on. Keep an alternative career on the side. Write to express and feel happy rather than to become famous or to make money. More you will run after name and fame less you shall get it. Don’t push yourself. If your work is good or if you are destined to, you shall surely get recognition. Write honestly from your heart! Chill, Chill, Chill at all times. Do not expect your home fires to burn with your writing talent. Believe that there is a place for everyone in this universe and every dog has its day. Your day shall come very soon. Move with this faith and strength. All the best!
Her website is www.anuradha-prasad.com.
Anuradha’s books are available: On all the online stores as well as off it. You can grab your copy maybe from a store nearby.