Saturday, April 05, 2014

Author Interview: Preeti Gupta: I Will Put 3 Chips on God - just in case there is one

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She's a Financial Planner by day (Certified Public Accountant and Certified Financial Planner), writer of Spirituality books by night!  Yes, the two are a bit opposite, but not as much as one would think.  She thinks balancing the material world with the spiritual world is what we are all seeking.  She's also a bookworm herself and loves to spend hours and hours at her local bookstore.  She lives in New Jersey and also hail from New Delhi, India.

A very warm welcome to Preeti Gupta

When did you start writing? What is the purpose of your writing?
Well, let’s see—I was getting close to my 40s, was in the middle of a divorce, and was realizing that my numerous entrepreneurial attempts were not working and I would have to return to the corporate world. That was enough for me to dive headfirst into the lap of Spirituality!

When I did, I realized that a lot of existing material is written from a “purist” point of view, i.e. the idea of Karma or Detachment is not questioned, rather the focus is on how to incorporate these concepts into one’s life. I wanted to take a step back because I was not sure whether I even believed in these ideas in the first place.   So I had to do my own analysis of all that I came across. I wrote the book because I simply wanted to share whatever knowledge I've acquired with those who might think similarly to me.

Would you like to share a synopsis of your work?

The book is about Spirituality, analyzed from an agnostic point of view.  I take a look at common spiritual concepts such as the Ego, the Soul, Karma, Detachment, Heaven, God, Meditation, Vegetarianism, and Astrology, and examine them from an objective, “devil’s advocate” perspective.  In other words, I analyze these ideas from all angles, including the possibility that they are valid, and the possibility that they are not.  I do come to some conclusions at the end of the book, but it is less about preaching and more about the use of logic when exploring Spirituality.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced? How did you overcome it?
This is my first book, so my writing was pretty juvenile at first.  I had written short articles for local newspapers before, so I wasn't a complete novice.  However writing a book is much more challenging.  There is more opportunity to ramble on and not be clear and concise when trying to make a point.  I tried writing my first draft almost three years ago, and it was awful.  I made another attempt a year later.  Then one day, I was reading a book that was written very naturally, with a lot of humor, and I realized that the “voice” of the author was similar to the “voice” in my head.  No, I was not a crazy person, what I mean is that the way he wrote was the way I thought.  And I realized that if I simply write whatever I am thinking, without trying to formalize or alter it too much, I can communicate much better.  So that’s what I did, and voila! . . . the words started flowing.

What is your favorite genre and why?
I love reading historical fiction, like Memoirs of a Geisha.  I like learning something about different cultures or history, but through a well told story.

What are your future plans?
Hopefully in the next few years I’ll be the author of a few more books, and the owner of a thriving Financial Planning practice.  And maybe doing some public speaking on both topics, I always love meeting people and engaging in intelligent debates.

Your favorite book and why?
My favorite book was “Nectar in a Sieve” and “A Handful of Rice” by Kamala Markandaya.  Very well-written books about rural and urban life in India, the style of the author just draws you in and her books are such a pleasure to read.

What top most thing you took care of while writing the book?
I gave myself time to “forget” the manuscript while writing.  It was REALLY tempting to just edit quickly and get the book out.  It’s exciting to see your name in print, after all.  However I made myself resist, and took the time to set aside the book for 2-3 months between edits.  That really made a world of difference as to how I was able to revise and improve the book.

State your signature line/ tagline/ best quote:

“You may call me an agnostic, but I do not share the crusading spirit of the professional atheist whose fervor is mostly due to a painful act of liberation from the fetters of religious indoctrination received in youth. I prefer an attitude of humility corresponding to the weakness of our intellectual understanding of nature and of our own being.”

--- Albert Einstein


I want to thank you for taking the time to learn about 3 Chips On God, and for the opportunity to share my thoughts.  Thank you for your support, and I hope you enjoy the book!
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