She's a former journalist turned writer. 'The Recession Groom' is her first fiction novel. It is a contemporary story that tracks the journey of a young IT professional from India across the period of global credit crisis and the adventures he faces to find his 'perfect partner'.
Your real name and pen name?
Please share some of the best memories of your childhood.
Staying awake all night to prepare for exams because I couldn’t be bothered to study during the day, taking favors from friends to finish homework, fist fighting with my younger brother, sneaking out food to stray dogs.
About your education.
I have an MBA degree from Kingston University, London and a Master’s degree in Economics from Panjab University, Chandigarh where I was also a Gold Medallist.
What career did you plan during your education days?
I wasn’t cut out to be a doctor or an engineer. The sight of blood was quite unwholesome to me, it still is. I hate Maths/Physics/Chemistry/ or anything close to these subjects, clearly not the types to pursue engineering. I was always very expressive and loved to write. Learning languages was also an interest. I thought about joining Foreign Consulates and/or Indian Foreign Services when my parents felt that IAS would be a better choice. I may not remember everything I wanted to be, but one thing I know for sure, becoming a writer and writing novels of my own never crossed my mind.
What languages you can speak and write?
I am fluent in Hindi, English, Punjabi and French. I can understand Tamil.
What is your biggest source of inspiration in life?
Good books. Music. Movies. Clean, vibrant settings with a comfortable bean bag where I can sit and write for hours.
What hurts you most in this world?
What is the biggest challenge you have faced? How did you overcome it?
Writing my first novel, ‘The Recession Groom’ was my biggest challenge. I had a real tough time training myself to be patient, first, to complete my manuscript and second, sell it to a publisher.
If you had to live a day of your life as one of the living or dead personality, who would it be and why?
J R R Tolkien. A master craftsman with such splendid writing skills! Who wouldn’t want to be in his mind for a day!
What is your favorite genre and why?
I am a sucker for fiction and read across genres. I love everything from fantasy to thriller to crime as long as it can hold my attention. No particular favorites.
When did you start writing? What is the purpose of your writing?
When I didn’t write novels, I was writing exam papers. I can bet no one ever filled more sheets than I did. I started my professional writing journey in 2002 working as a business journalist for ‘The Times of India’ and then ‘The Financial Express’. However, it wasn’t until 2011 that I started work on my first novel, ‘The Recession Groom’.
A good story touches our soul. The purpose of my writing is to create such stories.
Which of your work has been published so far? Would you like to share a synopsis of your work?
‘The Recession Groom’ is my first fiction novel and is out on 22nd December. Here is a synopsis of my novel:
Parshuraman was named after the sixth incarnation of Lord Vishnu. His namesake was a great warrior and maybe, his parents thought he’d be the same. He, a warrior? Nah! He wasn’t cut out to be one. He is an IT professional and quite happy with his choice, except for frequent skirmishes he has with his colleagues, particularly one, a girl called Jennifer. Aside that, he’s young and single, settled in Canada, which somehow makes him hot on the Indian wedding market, so his family tells him. However, this is set to change. As the credit crisis grips the global economy, the little world he’s created for himself begins to fall apart. Will he be able to pull himself together to face the challenges posed by a tough economy? More importantly, will this Recession Groom find his 'perfect partner'?
What are your forthcoming writings?
I’m writing a sequel to ‘The Recession Groom’. There’s a 3rd one that wraps up the series.
What genres you write in and why?
My first three novels are commercial fiction. No particular reason for my choice. It just depends on the ideas I’m getting at that moment.
What keeps you motivated towards writing?
I have no boss to report to, no job to dress up for, and no one who needs me up at preparing business reports and working on excel sheets, so long as that’s the case, I get a terrific draft of ideas, one after the other, all the time.
If Writing a Book is taken as a project, what are the key essentials you take care of in Project Management?
My laptop, bed/sofa/bean bag, fast internet connection, light music, blanket, pen, paper, phone, kindle, my books, dictionary, tea bags, hot water kettle.
How do you plan, schedule and monitor your writing commitments?
By being disciplined. I plan at least a few good pages a day and stick to it no matter what.
What are your future plans?
What is generally your preference in reading – a paper book or ebook? And why?
Both. I love the feel of a paper book and the convenience of an ebook.
What four top most things you take care of while writing a book?
I like punchy dialogues, witty one-liners, memorable characters and enough drama in the story to keep the reader engaged.
How much real life goes into a fiction writing?
Many authors have been known to borrow heavily from real life incidents. I do, too. But, there’s a lot of imagination involved. I do not have to be a boy to write from a boy’s perspective, nor a witch to write about one.
Is high level of imagination important to have for an Author?
Yes, it is one of the core essentials.
Your dream destination on Earth?
Iceland. I want to see the Northern Lights.
Your origin of birth and other countries you have visited/ stayed. What best things you liked in these countries around the globe?
I was born in Garian, Libya and stayed there for a few years. I spent many years in India, then in the UK, the US and a few months in Canada. Everything is very systematic and organized in the West.
Your favorite time of the day?
Morning 5 until the sun sets.
Your zodiac/ sun sign?
Your favorite color and why?
I love vibrant colors. No particular favorites.
What is the last book you finished reading? What is the current book you are reading?
Last read- The Krishna’s Key by Ashwin Sanghi. Current book- Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky.
Your favorite book and why?
The Lord of the Rings, Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice, A Song of Ice and Fire series, The Alchemist, The Secret, Fahrenheit 451, Fault in the Stars, The Old Man and the Sea, Life of Pi, Harry Potter series and many more. These books touched my soul and set a high benchmark for me.
Your favorite movie and why?
Pursuit of Happyness. It inspires me.
Your favorite celebrity and why?
Robert Pattinson and David Beckham for the way they look.
Malala Yousafzai and Oprah Winfrey for what they are.
Your favorite food?
Punjabi, Gujarati, South Indian, Chinese, Sri Lankan, Polish, Italian, Mexican, Thai, Lebanese, anything that is vegetarian.
Your favorite sports?
I don’t play sports.
What is the force that drives you?
My own ideas.
What comes to your mind when you think of India?
Energy. Enthusiasm. Love. Family.
Sun or Moon: Sun
Laughter or Smile: Laughter
Morning or Evening: Morning
Coffee or Tea: Tea
Mountain or Sea: Sea
Long Drive or Short Drive: Short drive
Silence or Conversation: Silence
Water or Fire: Water
Air or Earth: Earth
Mars or Jupiter: Jupiter
Tulip or Rose: Rose
Red or Blue: Red
Left or Right: Right
Glance or Stare: Glance
Fame or Money: Both.
Boy or Girl: Boy
Day or Night: Day
Tree or Plant: Tree
Love or Passion: Both. Lots of it.
What three words come to your mind for each –
Technology: Wonderful, Sharing, Convenience
Life: Aspirations, Dreams, Achievement
God: Caring, Loving, Doting
Humanity: Trust, Love, Respect
Terrorism: Abhor, Incomprehensible, Waste
Racism: Loathsome, Unjustified, Disgusting
Childhood Abuse: Deviant, Inhuman, Apathetic
Love: Beautiful, Unconditional, Warm
Parenting: Responsibility, Maturity, Commitment
Old age: Patience, Fear, Dependence
First thing you do in the morning after waking up?
The last thing to do before sleep?
If one fine morning you wake up and find your sex changed to an opposite, what will be your first reaction?
Happiness. I don’t have to bother about threading my upper lips, not worry about waxing my legs. I can admire many more women than I care to without feeling jealous.
State your signature line/ tagline/ best quote
If you think the time is right, go for it.
The last line of your autobiography would be…
It was the last page of my book but it wasn’t my last book and so, I got up, made myself a cup of tea and started writing my next one.
The title of your autobiography would be…
The other side of me.
Links & other relevant details:
Publisher: Leadstart Publishing
Twitter handle: @Vani_Author
Facebook page: www.facebook.com/Vani.Author
Goodreads author page: www.goodreads.com/
Any other links:
Amazon Kindle: http://goo.gl/fhcvh6