Tonight we have Ruchita Misra, the author of The (In)eligible Bachelors BTL, for a short discussion on life, books, writing, etc.
Biography: The (In)Eligible Bachelors is Ruchita’s debut novel. She is a 2009 MBA graduate from the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, Delhi and a 2007 B. Tech graduate from the Institute of Engineering & Technology, Lucknow. Prior to that she did her schooling from La Martiniere Girls’ College, Lucknow.
Ruchita currently works in London where she lives with her husband.
Q. First of all, congratulations for your first book! Why have you taken writing up writing as a profession after doing B. Tech and MBA?
Thank you :) And no, I have not taken up writing as a profession. I work full time in an MNC in London and use the after work hours and weekends to write. It is just because I love to write that I started penning down the story of Kasturi Shukla when I first came to London. In fact my MBA degree (in Marketing) is coming in very handy as I plan the marketing strategy around TIB!
Q. Who is your inspiration for writing? And what is the funny or interesting thing you find in your own writing?
The thoughts and stories in my head inspire me to write. I have realized that I am a story teller at heart. There are times when I feel an incredible urge to write no matter what I might be doing then. So often you will see me running out of the kitchen and darting towards my laptop, of course with the flour still stuck in bits and pieces on my hand, just because I have just visualized a scene for the book and just HAVE to pen it. That really is how i write. In bursts but only when I am fully convinced about what I wish to write.
Q. What do you prefer for writing- keyboard or the good traditional pen and paper? And why?
It is the laptop without any doubt. It makes life just so very simple. You can edit the manuscript with any problem and taking prints becomes very easy. And of course, spell check is really helpful too ;)
Q. What do you think is the very essential and most important thing for anybody to take up writing?
Passion. And not just the desire but almost a need to tell a story. Unless you are very sure you want to write a book, you will find enough reasons to push it back. Also you need to be able to enjoy the process of writing and also the story that you are telling. Without these things, I think it would be very tough to write a novel. Also, i think the easiest part about writing a book is just that- writing it! So you need to have patience and resilience to see your book through till the end. Also very important is to have a set of people you can implicitly trust.
Q. Who is your favourite author? And has he/she been any kind of inspiration for you in this book?
Well, books are my oxygen :). My travel bag and bed side- both always have books. Since I read extensively, I have many favourite authors and taking a pick is always tough for me. However, one of my all time favourite is P G Wodehouse. And now that I think about it, there is some common ground between his work and mine (of course, there can be no comparison!). TIB, like Wodehouse’s work, is good, clean fun. It is a light read. The events tickle your funny bone. So yes, P G Wodehouse can definitely be called an inspiration!
Q. Has the stay outside this country in any way inspired or influenced you in your story?
Not really, no. When I was writing the book, I had just left India, so I had not been in London enough for it to influence me in any which way. However, the one big way living in London has helped me in is that in Europe jobs have a better work life balance. That allows me room to write. However, work is an undisputed priority and writing is my passion. So it becomes tough when the deadlines clash. The good thing is that most people I work with for TIB understand this and are very accommodating. :) So, really, the credit goes to them.
Q. What kind of plot should the readers expect from this book?
TIB is a fun, frothy take on arranged marriages, love and friendship. It is about Kasturi Shukla , a 24year old MBA pass out who is forced into meeting boys for ‘marriage purposes’ by her dominating mother leading to (hopefully) hilarious outcomes! The response for the book has been great so far and all the long hours that I put in for TIB seems worthwhile now that I know people like it! So big thank you to my readers!
Q. Was it easy for you to get to the publisher for your book? If not then what kind of difficulties did you face?
It is not easy to get the right publisher for your book for a first time author. While it seemed tough, in retrospect I feel that I was quite lucky as I found my publishers quite quickly. The challenge for someone like me was to find enough time to give to TIB as I was juggling a full time career as well.
Q. In what ways did you plan to reach out to the people?
I have mainly used the online medium. The biggest issue was that I was living in London, far away from where all the action was so it was not possible for me to do the book launches etc. But it was very clear that my readers would have an online presence. That made my strategy quite simple! I have been interacting with readers on the Facebook page of the book and my website and I can only marvel at the power of online marketing. The reach is immense. The readers love to give their feedback and it is an excellent way of getting to your readers well.
Q. When can we expect your next book to be launched in the market?
Well, TIB is my first book. I am still trying to ensure that it reaches where it should so I am currently spending a lot of time on TIB. At the same time, I have started writing my second novel. As for the plot, you will have to wait ;)
The author on Facebook: Ruchita Misra’s The (In)eligibleBachelors
The novel on Facebook: ‘The (In)Eligible Bachelors by Ruchita Misra’
The author blogs at: http://smilethesmile.blogspot.com/
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This interview has been conducted by Somdutta Sarkar, herself a book lover and a music fanatic. Keep an eye on BTL for more from her. A bit media shy that she is, BTL has taken the responsibility to push it to awesomeness. Like, totally.