If You Write From Your Heart, Your Writing Is Bound to Connect to Someone's Heart - Charu Vashishtha

1. Tell us more about your background and journey.

I am an architect by education, a software engineer by profession and writer by choice. I was born in Belfast UK and brought up in the serene town of Roorkee. My father was a Lecturer at Queen's University and later joined erstwhile University of Roorkee (IIT Roorkee). Growing up in the IIT campus, it was my dream to get into IIT too. And this was one of the few dreams which did come true!

Another dream was to be an author for writing made me content and fulfilled. Last year with my book of short stories "The Lady in the Mirror", I was able to realise this long-cherished dream. The journey up until here has been winding and bittersweet. After having my manuscript rejected by many reputed publishing houses, a short story contest by Storymirror landed me with a book deal.

I am very happy that my stories have found an audience and my book is doing decently well for a first-time author. My writing continues and so does my journey of self-discovery.

2. When did you decide you wanted to be a writer?

I had been writing ever since I was a teenager but they were not structured pieces but shall I say, more like ramblings. I started blogging and my blog brought me some recognition. I realised that my writing is not vain and people do connect to it. I wrote more. I enjoyed more. I discovered myself a bit more.

Roaming about in book fairs, I dreamt of the day when I too would be signing copies of my book and interacting with my readers.

3. Is it a financially stable career?

Writing, just like painting, dancing, singing and acting is a creative pursuit. It is very difficult to make a lucrative career out of it. The only sure shot way to make money off writing is content writing. But content writing is bound and may not provide the freedom of expression we writers look for.

A traditionally published author would get a royalty of up to 10 per cent which is not much to live on unless you have written 100 books. Any way to make money out of writing is if you have entrepreneurial skills. You self publish your book, and then you sell your book like a product and market it well.

4. Who is your favourite writer and why?

Paulo Coelho. Because his writings touch a chord. His writings are deep, meaningful and philosophical. Like me, his characters too are on a journey to self-discovery. They explore and evolve. While I love all of his books, Brida, Zahir, The Fifth Mountain and The Alchemist are my favourites.

5. Where does your inspiration lie?

In life and people. I am in awe of life. So many situations, so many ironies and so many keys. The situations I have faced and the people I have met inspired me to write. Most of my stories have fictionalized versions of people I have encountered in real life.

6. What does your typical day look like?

Getting up in the morning, a little bit of housework and then settling down to carry on office work. In the evening I unwind with the kids at home: my niece, nephew and daughter. I write in the middle of the night, in peace and silence.

7. What piece of advice would you like to give to future aspiring writers?

Not an advice but a request. Please, please and please, no matter what people say, no matter if things look bleak...DO NOT GIVE UP!

Continue your journey. You will definitely reach there. I believe every story has an audience. Not everyone may like your work but some would definitely. If you write from your heart, your writing is bound to connect to someone's heart. There is a reader waiting to read your story. You just have to discover them and let them discover you.

8. Which is your favourite book and why?

Gone With The Wind.

It's an epic. The characters are so raw, so real and so full of life. I fell in love with the characters of Scarlett O'Hara and Rhett Butler. These were the protagonists who knew they were flawed and the reader knew that too and yet couldn't help being charmed by them.

Interview By - Amatullah

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