It feels really nice when I get to interact with talented people in this world of creation. I read the book Beyond School by author Chitra Anand and the essence of the story forced me to know the author closely and so here I am presenting the session with author Chitra.
1) Chitra my readers will like to know about you as a human being and also about your background. So share some thing which you feel is unique in you?
Samata, to each person the journey of his life may seem unique. But I believe, our experiences of joy, pathos or anything can be common with some others in the world, albeit in different circumstances and context.
I come from the working class background of Mumbai, where personal aspirations cannot forge ahead of the immediacy of survival and livelihood. And yet, there are so many of us who manage to find purpose in all the challenges and strife. Live every moment by contributing your best to it, I wish to say.
2) You are a part of education field so how the concept of authoring a book came into your mind?
Physics, that explores nature and feeds the future with useful technology fascinates me. So does education, the concept itself being unique to mankind. The writer in me walked along as an educator, I think. But at some point of time, the dominant writer had to take over. I chose ‘’Beyond School’’ as my first work for publishing as it allowed me to share my hands-on experience with the likes of seventeen -year old Shail whose lives were being revealed to me everyday
3) Share us the moment when you saw the first copy of ‘’Beyond School.’’
It was good to see ‘’Beyond School’’ published. As a writer the readers are all the time before you, yet it is a challenging effort to actually reach them. And I have a long way to go in this regard.
4) What are your promotion plans for Beyond school
These days it seems entirely up to the author to reach the book to the readers through smart marketing.
I had a fractured ankle when ‘’Beyond School’’ was released. Unable to walk for three months, there was not much I could do for the promotion of the book. Then, I was duped by a firm that promised a package to promote the book and did nothing for three months. I am yet to recover my money from them. I share this to signal a word of caution to writers like me. Now, I am finding some movement in the review front of the book after registering with Reader’s Cosmos Review program.
5) How the concept of the story of this novel came to your mind?
‘’Beyond School,’’ was inspired by my everyday experience with adolescent students in the throes of a school system that is indifferent, inadequate but mandatory. The question was- why not look for alternatives ?
6) Is there any obstacles you faced while searching for publisher of your novel?
The first agent to whom I submitted ‘’Beyond School’’ said he was not enthused by the premise of the novel and recommended critique/ editorial service. I agreed only to find that I would get my manuscript back after months of following up with him. I realized that your work needs your tenacity and reviewed my work again and re -wrote many pages. Thereafter I decided to submit the work directly to the publishers. Leadstart Publishers were the first to respond with a letter of intent and I moved ahead with them.
7) what was the response or review about this novel from readers
Generally, the readers have given positive response to ‘’Beyond School’’. I am a keen learner and hence wish to improve further with every work.
8) Which is the next novel which is in pipeline?
My next novel has the working title of ‘’Of Dreams and Tragedies,’’ in which I work upon a theme that is close to my heart- If you dare to dream, you need to work for it, with it, nurture and sustain it. Otherwise the tragedies that befall failed dreams are harder to live than a dreamless life.
9) Do you have any other passion apart from authoring book?
I enjoy oratory. I hope to reach many people some day through this effective and compelling form of communication.
10) How you rate yourself as writer?
I may, without arrogance consider myself a writer with some merit in the writing. However, I hope to give my best in terms of effort and acumen to this craft so that I am able to give the best to every reader who chooses to take my book in his hand.
11) How you want to continue your career as an author or a teacher or Both?
Five years down the line I see myself in association with as many readers as possible, where we live stories and lives of all of us and others with sensitivity, empathy and entertainment.
I think the writer and educator would cling to each other then, with the writer chalking out the course.
Read the review of the Book: Beyond School