This month I interviewed Sandhya Acharya, author of lovely children’s books.
Tell us about your book Big Red Firetruck! What was your inspiration for this book?
I have always dreamed of being an author. After a long career in corporate finance, I gave myself the permission to pursue my passion for writing. I write different genres and earlier this year I took on a fun project by publishing my first children’s book on Kindle. I partnered with a very talented friend of mine Rashmi Menon who did the illustrations for this. In this humorous short story, young Idu (Ee-doo) teaches his younger brother Adu (Aa-doo) all about fire and fire trucks. It is perfect for little children just learning about vehicles including trucks, firetrucks, cranes, cars – you know – everything that moves! The best lessons are learnt through play and seeing my sons interacting and learning about things around them, which inspired me to write this story. As an aside, Idu and Adu mean “This” and “That” in Kannada which is my mother tongue.
I would like to let folks know that Big Red Firetruck is FREE on Amazon until 10/14. Do download and enjoy. You can read it on any device with a Kindle app (including your phone)
Tell us about your upcoming book “Ten Gulab Jamuns.” What was your inspiration for this book?
I am really excited about this book. With my earlier book, I loved the outcome and the process. On the way I also realized there was a huge gap in the children’s books market.
With my next book I hope to close that gap a little.
What is your writing process? Tell us one unique or quirky habit you have when it comes to writing.
My first draft is more about getting whatever is inside of me out on paper. Then I rewrite and rewrite and rewrite. Sometimes if I am not satisfied I leave a piece alone for days and even months and come back with a fresh look to edit. I love to sit in coffee shops and write. It stimulates my thinking process and gives that perfect balance of having enough subtle distractions to concentrate.
What is your advice to aspiring writers?
Biggest advice is – Keep at it. Writing, like any other trade, takes a lot of practice and a lot of hard work. If you have a passion for it, keep at it. It is of course not easy to break into the top. It also takes a lot of time to build a body of work and gain appreciation for what you do. I also believe that you have to listen to your heart. If writing is what brings you satisfaction, make sure you keep some space in your life for it. Whether it is full time or part time, make sure it is part of your routine. The satisfaction from pursuing a passion and giving it a 100% is wonderful. I am also surprised how important other skills are when you are writing. Whether it is writing for a column, self publishing or writing fiction there is a good mix of market research, marketing, sales, communication, operations and believe it or not numbers involved too.
What is your most important message to your readers?
Thank you so much for stopping by and reading. I hope to put forth views, stories that entertain you and add some value. You may not realize but you are making a HUGE difference to authors, writers when you appreciate their work. Be it with a like, comment, share, tweet. You won’t believe the joy I feel when I hear from someone who may have liked an article or blog post I have written. Writing full time has been an exhilarating journey for me and I hope to continue with your support and love.
Sandhya Acharya grew up in Mumbai, India and now lives in the Bay Area. She previously worked in corporate finance and is now a writer. She is mother to two young boys, a dance and running enthusiast. Her articles have also featured in NPR.org , India Currents and IMC connect Big Red Firetruck! is FREE on AMAZON until 10/14/16. Hurry while the offer lasts!