‘On Writing’: This is a new series of author interviews where authors talk about the creative process behind their books, their passions and about things that make them tick. They offer tips to aspiring authors in their own unique, special way.
I am honored to present our first guest to you. Today we have the vivacious, witty, talented and beautiful Preeti Singh. Preeti has been working as a professional writer since last 15 years before authoring her two best-selling novels. Her debut novel - Flirting With Fate was published by Mahaveer Publishers, India in 2012, followed by Crossroads which was published by Authors Press, India in 2014. Her second novel Crossroads has entered the Indian Book of Records as the First Indian Fiction to Have Real Life People as its characters. Her third novel is on its way!
She inspires aspiring authors daily through her interactions on Social Media. In this interview she talks about her latest novel 'Crossroads'.
Welcome to ‘On Writing’ Preeti Singh.
(Image Source: Author)
Tell us how your career as an author began. Was it a most cherished dream or was it a particular event or incident that gave birth to the author in you?
Writing was always my passion, since I was about nine years old but slowly as I grew up and tried my hand in various fields like teaching etc, I realized my real calling was in writing…a haven where I find peace and happiness when I write. Circumstances tempted me to channelize my passion into my profession which helped me fulfill my dream of being an author & reaching Wikipedia.
‘Crossroads’ is unique as you have named the characters based on persons that you know in real life. How effective was this technique in framing the characters? Did it help you in creating more authentic characters?
Well… I always aspire to do something different in everything I do…whether it’s in career or building lifelong bonds. Crossroads took birth mainly because I wanted to thank few people in my life…those few who stood by me during various high and low moods…it included published authors as well as Facebook friends and acquaintances. With God’s blessings, Crossroads earned its place as the First Indian Fiction to have real people’s names as its characters. This itself was a reward for each member of the Crossroads family. Each character has been most supportive and kind during the journey of Crossroads and I remain eternally grateful to each one of them. You can read about this award HERE .
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What is ‘Crossroads’ all about? How long did it take to complete writing it? What is different about it when compared to ‘Flirting with Fate’?
Many people compare both my books but both genres are totally different so comparison is futile, really. Flirting with Fate is a crime thriller which took me about 4 years to write as it was complete fiction, as I am no murderer…lols. It was a challenge writing FWF as I wrote it from the perspective of a man. Crossroads, on the other hand is an emotional saga on behalf of every Indian woman. A lot of real life feelings, emotions and situations were weaved into it. Crossroads has been a journey which almost every man or woman can relate to. Thus, due to popular demand by readers, we also translated Crossroads into Hindi, so it could reach a wider audience. The hindi version can be picked up HERE
How difficult was it to bring about the characters of ‘Crossroads’ to life on paper? Was there anyone who was not pleased by the way their character appeared in the book?
Well..like they say….you cannot please everyone. The characters of Crossroads were created with the consent of all the characters and most of them could relate to their own roles, easily. Yet, some, who had to play a negative role, were left disappointed but not for long…..when they understood that a villain only enhances the story further….only with the importance of a villain, the hero can be outstanding. Moreover, everyone was kind enough to understand that only their names were used with their consent and not their real lives, natures and careers. They have been most kind and helpful in making Crossroads reach, globally.
Which form of fiction writing comes easily to you, short stories or novels? Do explain why.
Definitely novels…simply because I keep flowing and do not know how to stop my word limit and in short stories one has to limit the word length as per the guidelines.
Do you have a fixed writing schedule? What is your favorite time for writing?
Lols…never ask a writer that question. Jokes apart…no routine as such…I just get up and write when words and ideas swim in my head…maybe at 3 am when the world is asleep or during a movie in a hall…the reason why I carry pen and paper with me always…never know when an idea pops up! Having said that, sometimes when you are continuously in the flow of writing and a break happens, its little tough to get back in the ‘author mode’ ! Yet, when the bug bites to write, one can’t sleep…eat and be normal till you don’t take it all out of your system.
PS:That’s just my personal experience…of course each author’s routine is different.
Do you read your reviews? How do you respond when someone writes a bad review of your book which has received many rave reviews?
Yes, I do read my reviews and I do not pay anyone to write a positive review, neither do I remove any negative feedback from anywhere. As I said before, you cannot please all readers…so one should write for oneself...many maybe upset with the way an author writes but that’s part and parcel of the package. It happens. Finally, the reader is the King…and when one reader writes and gives reviews…negative or positive, it should be respected so other readers are not misled into buying a book not worth it’s price.
If you are offered a chance to write the biography of one famous celebrity, who will you choose and why?
Amitabh Bachan…simply because I am in love with him since I was 10 years old..lols.
Which part in the whole process of creation of a book do you dislike the most? Writing, Editing, Querying, Publishing or Marketing? Why?
Well…I don’t dislike anything about conceiving a book as it’s a beautiful process but yes the most challenging part of the whole process is the publishing and marketing process. Writing a book is like pregnancy…simply a cakewalk but marketing is like the delivery stage…most tough! Simply because, you can write books, but you cannot force readers to pick it up …it really has to be their choice.
What are the three tips you have for readers of this interview who are aspiring writers?
1) Write to express with simplicity…not impress with your degrees and difficult words. If a reader has to pick up a dictionary while reading your book, you have lost the purpose as the reader’s flow will break.
2) Be humble and helpful to the ones who seek your help….sometime ago you were like those aspiring authors…never forget that!
3) Never write for money…you may land up with nothing…write to fulfill your passion…you will find contentment and peace!
Thank you, Preeti Singh for the interesting answers. It was a pleasure having you over here. Wishing you the very best in your career as a writer and awaiting your new book eagerly.