Shuchi Singh Kalra: She is all set to step in as an author with her upcoming debut Novel ” Done with men” on the special occasion of Valentine’s Day.She is a talented lady who decided to quit her career as Optometrist and switch to the world of writing. She is a confident lady who knows the art to shape her life in the way she wants. Expectations are huge from this confident author. To know her better check out the session which I conducted very recently with her.
Shuchi, say something about you, your education and family so that we can know you closely?
I belong to a family of academicians, mostly doctors and professors. Both my parents are independent medical practitioners, and my husband is an Aviation engineer in the Army. I am the first in my family to go take up writing as a profession. I hold a degree in Optometry from the Bausch & Lomb School of Optometry. Realizing that I wasn’t really cut out for the profession, I went on to pursue a Masters in English Literature just for the sheer love of it. I spent my growing up years between Libya, Lucknow and Hyderabad, and now I roam the length and breadth of the country with my fauji husband. When someone asks me “Where are you from?” I really have no answer because I feel that I belong everywhere and yet nowhere. I love traveling, books and food, not necessarily in that order. Oh, and Bollywood!
What’s the difference between a life of a regular writer and a creative writer?
Well, so far as a freelance writer, I have been used to writing to briefs and deadlines. However, things are different when you write a book – you have no deadlines and no reference points. Sure, you may have to carry out some research but most of it has to come from within you. I found creative writing a lot more challenging, and also a lot more satisfying.
What provoked you to be a part of writing world?
I have been fond of writing since I was a kid – it was something I was good at and I would often pen down my thoughts in a personal diary. While I enjoyed it, I never thought of it as a viable career choice (I come from a generation where everyone was expected to crack IITs and PMTs). I took up some freelance writing assignments to earn some extra money while I was interning as an Optometrist and only then did I realize the scope of it. Not surprisingly, I quit my job as soon as I could and got into it full-time.
When did you first decide to give your words the shape of a novel?
Writing and publishing a book has been on the top of my bucket list forever and I tried to write my first novel when I was ten years old. I watched a sci-fi movie on television and liked the story so much that I decided to pen it down as a novel (in one of those huge, hardbound registers). That was my first (plagiarized) attempt at novel writing. I have nearly half-a-dozen incomplete manuscripts lying in my computer, and as many story ideas in my head.
Who acted as an inspiration in your life?
It is difficult to name a single person, as there have been so many people who have helped me become the person I am.
How is your experience so far as an author?
The journey has just begun – I am yet to see where it will take me. So far the response to the book has been very good, as the online reviews suggest. I have been getting messages from eager readers (total strangers) asking me about the book and wishing me well, which is really heartwarming.
Done With Men is your debut Novel- what genre does it belong to?
Request you to give a small summary of Done With Men
‘Done With Men’ is all about the romantic (mis)adventures of Kairavi Krishna – serial dater and ditzy girl extraordinaire. She is a travel writer and is urban, young and…single. After an unfortunate rash of loser boyfriends, she is pretty much done with men and ready to focus on her career. But her latest assignment, to cover Sunburn in Goa, packs more surprises than she bargained for. In the middle of partying, falling off her balcony, food allergies and ex-boyfriend encounters, Kairavi develops a hopeless crush on her dreamy doctor, but she isn’t sure if he would possibly be interested in more than her broken clavicle.
The book is meant to be short, lighthearted read.
When is your book getting launched?
The book launch in digital format (mobi, epub and PDF) on the Indireads website as well as on various other distribution channels such as Amazon, Flipkart and Barnes & Nobles from the 14th of Feb. A print-on-demand version will also be made available for readers who wish to order a paperback edition.
Who is the publisher of this novel and how was your experience in finding a publisher for you?
Done With Men is being published by Canada-based Indireads. Indireads is a new South Asia focused publisher that is looking to revolutionize the popular-fiction genre. They encourage new, first-time authors and their USP is edgy, contemporary and compelling fiction set in South Asia. They have already launched 30 romance novellas by some very talented authors from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Srilanka and have many more in the pipeline. Done With Men is Indireads’ first rom-com offering.
I wouldn’t say that I found Indireads – rather they found me. I was approached to edit by Naheed Hassan, who had contacted me through my blog, and during our conversation she suggested that I write a book for them, a romantic comedy to be precise. Things just took off from there, and the book took shape after a lot of handholding and editorial guidance from Naheed and the team of editors at Indireads.
What are your expectations from your readers?
That’s a scary question! I am trying hard to keep my expectations at the bare minimum but it isn’t working out well. Of course I want people to enjoy and love my book, and recommend it to others too.
Shuchi, what are your other passions in life?
I’m crazy about travelling and I would be permanently on vacation if I could afford it.
Where do you see yourself 5 years down the line?
I am not much of a planner and I usually take each day as it comes. My ultimate goal is to be a successful author so let’s see where that takes me.
According to you, what are the qualities that an author must possess?
I believe more than being talented, an author needs to be disciplined. It is not easy to type out a 50,000-word book while keeping motivation levels high all the time.
What next after this novel?
Another novel, what else!
Any suggestion for budding authors?
I am a budding author myself, so I am not sure if I am the right person to give any advice on the matter. I am still trying to figure out the ways of the publishing industry and am learning new things every day. For anyone is writing a book, or wants to write one, I just want to say one thing – don’t give up!
Good News for Book Lovers: Done With Men is going to be available for free on Amazon on 3rd, 6th and 11th Feb – please spread the word to your friends .