Here we go, for an exclusive interview with this power house.
Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I am today a total fun loving bindaaas person who has lived a painful past but left it behind to live in the NOW. I take pride in belonging to an army background which taught me discipline, integrity and how to focus on your target.
What were you like at school?
Lols..i was a complete back bencher, barely scoring 40% in academics but always was in the lead in co-curricular activities, elocutions , contests etc.
Were you good at English?
English was the only subject in which I often earned a distinction and it help me sail through my school years…lols…else I would have surely flunked 🙂
What are your ambitions for your writing career?
I have no ambitions…I have written one book and found contentment in that itself. Yet, if a reputed publishing house does accept my second book, I would consider myself truly blessed.
Which writers inspire you?
It may sound strange but I don’t read fiction anymore. The only book I read recently, the book I could connect with due to its simple language and deep message was Bhavya Kaushik’s ‘The Other Side Of The Bed’. I left reading fiction in college but books on spirituality and self help intrigue me as i try to inculcate the same in my life. My fav spiritual gurus are Eckhart Tolle and Wayne Dyer and reading them gives a message to me to follow a certain path of life.
So, what have you written?
I have just written one crime thriller ‘Flirting With Fate’ which was nominated for the Commonwealth Bookers Prize of 2012 and was also given the Best Debut Crime Fiction of 2012 by The Butterfly and Bee, a literary agency run by Sumit Sehgal.Where can we buy or see them?
You can find all my work at my website www.writingnaturally.com
Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?
The real me is a free bird who believes that we have only this moment to live. So live well, help others, love everyone, try to hate less because we don’t know kal ho na ho.
What are you working on at the minute?
I have finished scripting my second novel, awaiting publishers to reply. Its about the life of every Indian woman, her joys, struggles, pains and achievements. Let’s wait for the book to release to know more.
Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?
My debut book was written from a male perspective and the best actor I can fit in that role is John Abraham and the female protagonist of my second book can be easily portrayed by Rani Mukherji.
When did you decide to become a writer?
Writing was always my passion but I turned it into my profession only about 5 years back and believe in enjoying the job you are doing. Like me.
Why do you write?
Writing gives me inner peace, a bit of joy and contentment much needed in life.
What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?
Well I guess circumstances make you do things seriously –the same things you took casually once.
Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?
No time as such. Whenever I feel the urge within, words pour out.
Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?
On my laptop as I have a lousy handwriting, something I am not proud of.
Where do the your ideas come from?
I guess from experience, life, people…just the same for every author.
Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
Both…I set myself free and let the words just flow.
How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
I have learnt to be more patient through my writing.
What is the hardest thing about writing?
Facing the ‘writer’s block’ when sometimes I can’t write a word for weeks altogether.
What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?
Being a woman it was tough to write like a man, his thoughts, desires, feelings and actions. Without the helpful inputs of some male friends, ‘Flirting With Fate’ would not have been possible.
What is the easiest thing about writing?
The book is your baby..you can mould the plot, characters and flow as you wish.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
I never counted, I don’t wish to, let it happen as it comes.
Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?
Never fight it or you will emerge with a disastrous book. Just let the urge happen on its own. Like they say ‘ when you are ready , the teacher will arrive’ !
Do you proofread/edit all your own books or do you get someone to do that for you?
I am a qualified editor from Amity University, Noida so edit my books myself.
Do you let the book stew – leave it for a month and then come back to it to edit?
Absolutely. This is a very good question and a vital step for every author. You must return to your script now and then so you can identify your mistakes and edit them further to perfection.
Tell us about the cover/s and how it/they came about.
My debut book cover was hand painted by a talented painter from delhi who understood my theme and delivered what my heart wanted.
Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?
Yes it definitely does, but it should be in synchronization with the title of the book as well as the blurb behind the book. Each reader while reading the book, keeps referring to the cover and title.
How are you publishing this book and why?
Traditional as I do not have the finances for self publishing.
How do you market your books?
Online marketing as well as word of mouth.
Do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books?
Just spread the word as much as you can. Often I gave away my debut book free to passengers in trains or anyone I met anywhere, so that my book reaches almost every home. And it did as one book is often circulated among family members and friends. So do your best in promotions, going city to city, meeting readers, organizing events/contests and create advertisements about your book.
What do you do to get book reviews?
Never really done anything but if any reviewers asked to review my book, I sent them the book free by courier.
What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?
Each book is the hard work, passion and toil of any author. Reviews should be given about the book without judging the author. It is only fair to tell the readers about the flaws in the book so they don’t feel cheated with false praise. Having said that, an adequate balance of pros and cons of the book should be revealed so a reader can decide to buy it or not.
Any amusing story about marketing books that happened to you?
Yeah ! Once I was travelling by bus via Karnal and stopped at a book store there to see if any of my books were displayed. I gave the shopkeeper and he gave me a sweet smile and showed my books displayed on the shelf. A couple came by to purchase books and picked up my book instantly. The proud shopkeeper blurted pointing at me ‘She is the author’! The couple gave me a strange look as in my unkempt condition due to travelling; I certainly didn’t look like the lady in the book’s author’s profile section. After the generous shopkeeper showed them my card and I spoke to them, they seemed convinced and bought a signed copy. It was indeed overwhelming as well as hilarious. After that I have been careful about my appearance while travelling…lols.
What’s your views on social media for marketing?
Social media is very vital for marketing, I feel, since most global networking now is only a click away.
Which social network worked best for you?
Facebook of course.
Did you do a press release, Goodreads book launch or anything else to promote your work and did it work?
Yes..i held a book launch with a press release on 14th July 2012 in Chandigarh where I was covered in 18 newspapers as well as TV channels.
Did you get interviewed by local press/radio for your book launch?
Pls see above….links can be found on my website http://www.writingnaturally.com/glimpses-of-events.html
Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your own book/s?
My book trailer….. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-1Sj6QyhlxU&feature=youtu.be
Do you think that giving books away free works and why?
It worked for me as it helps to spread the word about your book.
How do you relax?
I unwind by listening to music, snuggle with my dog or watching TV.
What is your favourite motivational phrase.
Live NOW…Kal ho na ho. 🙂
Where can you see yourself in 5 years time?
Enjoying life as I am today, not more not less.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Do all you desire, don’t leave anything unfulfilled as the moment may never come again.
Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
Amitabh Bachan as I am his ardent fan. His energy and charm even at this age is inspiring.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Don’t write to impress, write to express.
How can readers discover more about you and you work?
FB Page.. https://www.facebook.com/PreetiPotpourri?ref=hl
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