I am super excited to have well-known author Usha Narayanan on my blog today. She is the reason that I read books in the mythology genre these days. Her books are unique as they touch so many areas of the human heart – for example, Prem Purana is a story of mythology with love story. Then her latest, Awaken the Durga Within, connects with the modern Indian woman with goddesses playing an important role. So here is Usha.
Sue: Hi Usha. Thanks so much for making the time to be here.
Usha: My pleasure, Sue.
Sue: Tell us how your writing career started and how you choose your genre?
Usha: Post graduation in English Literature, a passion for reading, a successful writing career in media and the corporate world, a yen for challenges — these led finally to my becoming a full-time author. My creations hop merrily between genres such as thrillers, romances and mythological fiction, as my only criterion is that the subject matter should
inspire my passion. My recent book, ‘Awaken the Durga Within,’ is a unique genre altogether, combining motivation and mythology, drawing on my experience and expertise.
Sue: So how did the latest book take shape?
Usha: Times of India praises my latest, Awaken the Durga Within (Rupa), as a ‘sweet slim guide that helps women understand their power and worth’, while DTNext labels it ‘a book to inspire modern Indian women.’ I introduce my readers to a simple, three-step process that they can use immediately at work and home, in order to gain excellent results.
As a bonus, I also offer inspiring stories of goddesses to help them transcend their limits. For instance, the Sita you meet in my book is not the silent, sacrificing soul you normally read about, but a valiant warrior who demolishes a thousand-headed demon.
Having fought many battles in my life before uncaging my inner shakti, I wished to help other women speak up and claim their rightful share of opportunities and rewards too. The heroines in my books — Mayavati in Pradyumna, Mandodari in Prem Purana, Valli in Kartikeya and His Battle with the Soul Stealer — are firebrands and the nucleus of positive
change in their worlds. What better way than to distil my experiences as well as my knowledge of our puranas into an easy guide to transform the lives of our women?
Sue: What does your writing routine look like?
Usha: Mornings are my best time to write. Unfortunately that is also the time when chores need to be done! I set myself no target of writing a fixed number of words each day, for then the writing becomes dry and forced. My chapters are more like scenes in a drama, where I visualize settings, characters and conflict — the dancing eye, the curled lip, the rampaging
demon, the fiery goddess. What hampers my writing flow? My tendency to keep revising instead of continuing to write, a result of my obsession with grammar, flow and finding the right word at any cost!
Sue: What do you think is the best part of being a writer? And the worst part?
Usha: The best part is the freedom. Flying to the heavens, the netherworld and beyond. Watching a magical world unfurl from my fingertips on the keyboard. Creating dauntless heroes and heroines, talking birds and picturesque backdrops. What’s not to love about all this?
The worst part? When the real world intrudes and drags you back to the mundane. And the obverse when you know that it’s time to sacrifice to the Muse again but you are not brave enough as yet!
Sue: So true. Time for a quick fire round
Your favourite books…
Usha: Before I Go to Sleep (S J Watson), The Grand Sophy (Georgette Heyer), Killing Floor (Lee Child)
Sue: Your favourite authors…
Usha: Lee Child, Georgette Heyer, our ancient bards
Sue: Your favourite fictional hero…
Usha: Jack Reacher. Imagine being able to travel the world carrying just a toothbrush!
Sue: Your favourite fictional heroine…
Usha: Georgette Heyer’s vibrant and irrepressible Sophy who sweeps into elegant London society tossing conventions to the winds. She commandeers the household as well as the heart of Charles, the handsome heir of Lord Ombersley, winning our hearts too along the way.
Sue: Your favourite movies…
Usha: Dil Chahta Hai, Agni Nakshatram, Gone with the Wind.
Sue: What can your readers and fans expect from your next?
Usha: A grand two-book idea that is likely to swallow me up whole, before hopefully resulting in a fresh and original take on our ancient lore!
Sue: Wow! Good luck, Usha 🙂
Get your copy of Usha’s latest book here: https://www.amazon.in/Awaken-Durga-Within-Caged-Carefree/dp/9353047668