Sai and I met online on Twitter. She motivated a group of us writers to do our own version of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) in May. She’s one of the most focused authors I know and knows her niche genre inside out. Let’s talk to Sai.
Sue: Thanks so much for joining us today.
You’re an engineer by education and have worked in that space too, how did the writing journey start from there?
Sai: Love for literature had existed long before ‘engineering’ came into my life. It started with my parents teaching me poems from Bhagavatam and other texts. But the idea to write a full blown story on my own happened after I read Krishnavatara by KM Munshi. The 7 volume series rekindled my passion. A couple of years later, when I had the draft ready, the surge in indie publishing or authorpreneurship, doubled my interest by bringing both my passions – writing and entrepreneurship together.
Sue: Wow. Now let me ask you something that I’ve wanted to know for a while. Your books are in a niche genre. How do you know so much about this genre?
Sai: The Puranic genre or Mythological fiction as the commercial name goes, is niche only in English Language. In Indic languages, we have a rich legacy re-imagining the ancient past with each poet or author adding his or her deep insights and interpretations. Fortunately, I was exposed to the Puranic literature as well as the later interpretations since my childhood. Being the eldest cousin of the family I also became a ‘defacto story teller’ of sorts to my younger cousins. Storytelling also used to churn my creative wheels and make me go in search of newer stories. I can never tire of discovering lesser known stories from our ancient texts and there is still a lot more to discover. Hope Goddess Saraswati blesses me in my journey.
Sue: Do you ever think of writing in another genre?
Sai: From re-imagining Puranic tales, I plan to expand to near historical fiction and historical romance genres. I might need a decade or so to finish the stories that I have in mind. Let us see what the future has in store!
Sue: What kind of writing rituals do you have?
Sai: I am trying to make a daily discipline of writing. Generally, the second half of the day is when I find myself productive.It gets trickier as marketing and selling start occupying my time. In the recent times, I am trying out short sprints and writing bouts which is helping me wrap up first drafts while toggling with other activities.
Sue: What can your readers expect from you next?
Sai: On the indie side, I am planning to launch Mauri – a standalone novella that follows the story after Abhaya, my first novel. It explores the journey of the daughter of Mura and Ghatotkacha, the son of Bhima. It also explores the story of Mahabharata from post Rajasuya from the perspectives of minor characters in the Mahabharata world. I plan to launch the Kindle edition towards May or June of 2018.
I am also working on a novel on Draupadi for a traditional publisher. Hopefully that would be my next. Then I plan to work on shorter works of fiction in the same genre.
Sue: Well, that’s a lot on your plate! Good luck 🙂
Any message for the aspiring/new writers who look up to you?
Sai: I look at myself as a career writer. I have my areas of passion too. It is very important to balance the commercial side with the passionate side. I would advise the aspiring writers to regard each activity, be it writing, editing, publishing, branding or selling with a professional commitment.
Grab your copy of Avishi here: https://www.amazon.in/Avishi-Vishpala-Rig-Veda-Reimagined-ebook/dp/B074MZV8MZ/