Today on 'On Writing', we have the charming and talented author and blogger Ganga Bharani Vasudevan.
Ganga Bharani works as an IT developer with an MNC but writes following her passion for creativity.
She has two award winning short films and two books titled 'Just you, me and a secret' and 'A Minute to death' to her credit.
She was awarded the 'BEST URBAN CHENNAI BLOGGER' by Ecovme and Urban Tree.
Welcome to ‘On Writing’ Ganga.
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How did your journey as a writer begin? Do you have a specific reason or reasons for writing each book? What led you to write ‘A minute to Death’?
My dad used to place newspapers that called for opinion pieces on my table when I was a school- kid. I kept ignoring him for a month. Later, out of pity, I picked one up and sent my entry for a photo caption contest. The next morning my caption won and I saw my name printed in the newspaper. The feeling of seeing my own name in the print can’t be explained. That’s when I started writing.
I wanted to become a filmmaker. But it was a distant dream for a middle-class girl like me. So I found a short cut to reach cinema from home; I started writing books.
There is no reason to anything I do. If I feel like doing something, I do it. If a story line occurs to me I immediately start writing it and it develops with twists and turns as I write.
What does your writing process look like? Do you have any strange writing habits or rituals?
I don’t force myself to write ever. But if I sit down to write, I write for hours together. I forget if it’s morning or afternoon. One the story stops governing my mind or takes a break from possessing me, I stop there.
Talking about strange habit, I try to experience the emotions of my character before writing it. This is one reason I don’t write horror much.
‘A minute to death’ features a cop Rohan and a writer Riya as the protagonists. Do you have a cop as a friend who inspired the character of Rohan?
I don’t have any cop friend, unfortunately. No inspiration as such for the character Rohan. But if we talk about Riya I can tell you she is a part of me. Even Febbon is a part of me. Febbon’s aspiration is mine. Riya’s thirst to learn is mine.
Who is your favorite character among all the characters you have created till now and why?
No doubt Riya. She emotes what I would have if I were here throughout the book.
What is special about ‘A minute to death’? How much was the writing process different from ‘Just, You, Me and a Secret’?
A Minute to death was written after I had signed a contract for ‘Just you, me and a secret.’ Both these were written as blog series before they were made into a book. I wrote my first book on my blog in 2011 before I started to work with TCS. During my training days, strangers (co-trainees) would recognize me and tell me they enjoyed reading it.
But ‘A Minute To Death’ was written when I was depressed. I had signed the contract for my first book and had no idea how long it would take for the book to come out. Two months passed and there was not much progress with publishing. I was so frustrated and depressed. I thought I should write a powerful story on my blog to quench my thirst for readers and that’s when ‘A Minute to Death’ was born.
If ‘A Minute to Death’ was made into a movie, who would you like to play your characters?
If it’s made into a Bollywood movie, I would like to see Alia Bhatt and Shahid Kapoor as the leads.
In Kollywood, Nazriya and Surya would be the best fit.
How important do you think marketing is for the success of a book? What is your best marketing tip?
Marketing is the key aspect of publishing these days and unfortunately, today it’s the writers’ responsibility. Marketing is not asking people to buy the book or forcing it on them. The best way to market your book is to make people know what’s there in the book and to make them want to buy it. If 50% of the people buying the book are disappointed with it what’s the point in selling so many copies?
Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? If yes, what is it?
Horror. I will try my best to avoid this genre. If I do so, I might die out of fear.
What kind of scenes is harder for you to write than others? How do you manage it?
Anything without suspense is hard for me to write. I can’t write a plan linear normal scene.
Say for example if a boy hugs a girl and kisses her on her lips I can’t describe it very well. But if I want to create a suspense in the introduction of, say, a photographer I will describe the above-mentioned scene very well and later reveal it’s a camera.
What are the three tips that you have for readers of this interview, who are aspiring writers?
1) Don’t listen to anyone and try to copy their style or success path. Do what your heart says.
2) Don’t consider yourself a celebrity after you publish one book. Publishing a book is no big deal today. Try to become good writers than best-selling authors.
3) Please don’t write your story as a book as long as you are not Abdul Kalam or Osama bin laden. Your story should have something for readers to take away. Plain love story just to impress your loved ones can’t become a book.
Wonderful Ganga. That was an interesting chat. I wish you the very best for all your future endeavors.
Buy her books by clicking the links given below.
A minute to death:
That is all for now folks.
Until next post,