Sunday, December 08, 2013

Author Interview: Gita V Reddy: I Wrote My First Story In 1998 For My Son

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We had a review of her fantastic book (a bouquet of 15 lovely stories) just a couple of days back (here). She is a storehouse of lot of talents as can be seen in the conversation below.

Your real name and pen name?

Gita V.Reddy is my real name. I don’t have a pen name so far, though I’m considering it, as I write for both middle graders and adults.

Please share some of the best memories of your childhood

My best memories are of long summer vacations spent in reading books. I had access to a good library, and discovered the world of literature at a very early age.  

About your education

I am a postgraduate in Mathematics from Hyderabad Central University. In spite of my love for literature and writing, I branched out into sciences. But I don’t regret it; mathematics is a beautiful subject.

What career did you plan during your education days

I don’t think I had a roadmap. For that matter, and this is my personal view, even today very few students in our country chart out their future. It is mechanical, like college after plus two, and so on.

I did graduation after junior college and post-graduation after that. Bank jobs were considered prime jobs and were very competitive.  I happened to do well and was selected as a Bank Officer. I worked in a Public Sector Bank for twenty-six years, and quit in 2011 to take up writing.    

What languages you can speak and write?

I speak Hindi, English, and Telugu. I write Hindi and English.

What is your biggest source of inspiration in life

My father.

If you had to live a day of your life as one of the living or dead personality, who would it be and why?

Rabindranath Tagore.

I sense in his writings an inner balance, and a harmony with the external world, that I think is rare. 

What is your favorite genre and why?

Anything well written, though there are some genres I will just not read. I think most of my favorite books will fall under the Literary Tag. There is so much of diversity in this genre.

I also love humorous books, and a good detective story.

When did you start writing? What is the purpose of your writing?

I used to write since my school days but those were mostly articles; or what we were to call essays. I represented my school in essay writing competitions and also wrote for the school magazine.  But I never wrote a story.

I wrote my first story in 1998, for my son, who was then eleven, and haven’t stopped since.

I have never consciously looked for a purpose in my writing. I wish I could say I write with a higher purpose but that would be untrue. I write because I get story ideas and they trouble me and make me restless. I have to get rid of them for the peace of my mind; the only way to do that is to write.

There is one thing I would like to mention. I am very careful about not repeating themes. 

Which of your work published so far? Would you like to share a synopsis of your work?

I write for middle graders and for adults. I have published thirteen books so far.

The Vigil and Other Stories is in paperback and ebook format, and is published by Leadstart Publishers. It is a collection of fifteen short stories, with diverse themes, and touchwood, the feedback has been very good.

Take 2: A Collection of Short Stories is a unique experience. I have co-authored it with L. Meadow, who lives in South Africa. I used the word unique because of two reasons; 
1. I do not know my co-author. We 'met' in an online forum and decided to write the book.
2. The book has ten photographs. For each photograph, I have written one story and Meadow has written the other. The stories are our individual 'takes' on the photograph, and bring our cultural interpretations to it.

I have published eleven books for middle graders. They include action and adventure, mystery, fantasy, science fiction, and even an animal story. 
I hope the readers will check out the details from my website.

What are your forthcoming writings?

I have just finished a novel, Cheetaka, Queen of Giants. This is a fantasy novel for middle graders. I’m still debating whether I should scout for a publisher or self-publish as a kindle ebook.

I have also completed Outside the Magic Circle, which is a short novel for adults. It is based on certain incidents in the life of Charles Dickens and his wife.

What are your future plans?

What four top most things you take care of while writing a book?

Foremost is the story, followed by presentation (how it unfolds), language, editing.

Your dream destination on Earth?


Your favorite time of the day?

Sunrise / Sunset. 

Your zodiac/ sunsign?


Your favorite color and why?


Your favorite book and why?

The Prophet by Khalil Gibran. I find something new and meaningful in every reading.

Your favorite food?

Indian, both north and south Indian. 

State your signature line/ tagline/ best quote

‘Be yourself; everyone else is already taken,’ Oscar Wilde

The last line of your autobiography would be…

Thank you God, for everything.

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