Publishing is no longer an arduous process of finding the right publishing house, and of them accepting an author’s work. Progress in printing technology has given way to self-publishing where an author can print their book in limited numbers, avail of editing guidance, and design book covers within a few weeks at a moderate cost. The advent of social media has simplified the process of publicizing a book and announcing it to the world. The voices and stories of different people can now be heard in a manner the author sees fit.
One of our up-and-coming self-published authors is Mrs. Manjula Bhadraswamy who has penned a set of short stories in Kannada, titled Kathaa Gucchha. The book was published in 2016 and has received positive reviews. In an interview with us, Ms. Bhadraswamy talks about her book, her journey to become a writer, about her influences and inspirations.
SapnaINK (SI): Tell us about your latest book.
Mrs. Bhadraswamy (MB): Kathaa Gucchha is a collection of short stories in Kannada that was published in 2016.
SI: Tell us about the beginning of your interest in writing.
MB: I won many essay writing competitions in school and college. My father recognized my interest and ability to write and encouraged me to seriously pursue it. I never did, until 2012 when a break in my studies and career allowed me to write. I have been writing since 2012. I sent a series of stories I had written to Star of Mysore, an evening daily. They accepted and published the stories in series. The response I received from readers was heartening and I was encouraged to continue writing.
SI: What inspired you to begin writing?
MB: I developed a reading habit at a young age. I spent time in literary events and activities and have always wanted to write a book. These events have a positive atmosphere of encouraging writers and readers that I began writing. There was no looking back.
SI: How did you come up with the title of your book?
MB: Kathaa Gucchha was inspired by my life as a student and life in general in the US, in the San Francisco Bay Area in particular. The title seemed apt given its inspirations.
SI: Are the experiences in your book inspired by someone you know or events that occurred in your life?
MB: My stories have evolved from events in my life in the US.
3SI: If you could change one aspect of your book, what would it be?
MB: I have talked about US politics. In 2016 when I was writing the book, I was prone to many conversations with my professors about politics and elections. It was the hardest part of the book, and I wish I could’ve done their opinions justice by expressing them better in Kathaa Gocchha.
SI: Is there a message in your book for readers?
MB: Yes. I want to tell them that struggles and hardship are a part of life, and although they may seem unbearable at the time, think of them as a temporary phase in life. Winston Churchill puts it perfectly, “Success is not final, failure in not final; it is the courage to continue that counts.”
SI: Did you have to travel to write your book?
SI: How was the experience of writing a book?
MB: I learned that regularly writing is the best way to improve.
SI: What books have influenced you the most?
MB: Books by RK Narayanan, SL Byrappa, DV Gundappa, Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, Robert Frost, and Somerset Maugham have greatly inspired me. Robin Sharma’s, The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari is my absolute favorite.
SI: Who is your favorite author, and what strikes you about their work?
MB: Somerset Maugham and BL Byrappa. Maugham is a British playwright, novelist and a master storyteller. His stories are simple, yet interesting with surprise plot twists. Byrappa on the other hand, digs deep into human nature. His narrative skill is truly engaging and his work is well researched and is characterized by philosophical knowledge.
SI: If you could choose, which writer would you consider to be your mentor?
MB: I’ll name two. Somerset Maugham and SL Byrappa. I greatly admire their books.
SI: Have any of the new authors caught your attention?
MB: Yes, Khaled Hosseini and Michelle Schaper.
SI: What would you like to tell budding writers?
MB: Keep writing. That’s the only way to improve your skills.
SI: Is there anything you’d like to tell your readers?MB: Encourage the habit of reading books in this era of digitization. Support your friends who want to become writers and help them succeed.
We couldn’t agree more. Sapna INK is a self-publishing house that encourages and promotes budding writers and first-time authors to self-publish books. At Sapna INK, we’ve got you covered every step of the way to publishing a book including, editing, publicizing the book via book launch sessions and showcasing the book in book stores in India. Find out more at www.sapnaink.com