“Life itself is an inspiration in my writing journey. The roses and the thorns, both make my writings glow.” – Neelam Saxena Chandra
All of us are writers, some mere diary writers while others who are actually born with the most creative minds.
Can you imagine a world without our writers, authors, composers poets? What if we did not ever get to read poems, the proses which have contributed to so much in making our childhood days the most beautiful ones.
Let's come forth to get more insights from the life of some phenomenal writers. What inspires them and how did they become one is something we always wonder. One such writer, author, and composer is Neelam Saxena Chandra, Author of Lines of Fate: First Love and Other Stories.
Time to get inspiration from answers to a few questions answered by an eminent writer, that we have always been wondering about-
Q1. Tell us a bit about yourself.
I work as an Additional Divisional Railway Manager, Pune. I am an Engineering graduate from VNIT and have done my Post Graduation Diploma in IM&HRD and also in Finance. I have completed a summer course in Finance from London School of Economics. I have authored 4 novels, 1 novella and 6 short story collections, 32 poetry collections and 13 children’s books to my credit. I am a bilingual writer; writing in English and Hindi. I hold a record with the Limca Book of Records -2015 for being the Author having the highest number of publications in a year in English and Hindi, besides two other records. I have won II prize in a poetry contest organized by American Embassy and in a National poetry contest organized by Poetry Council of India, 2016. I have received, Sohanlal Dwivedi Puraskar for children’s literature by Maharashtra state Hindi Sahitya Akademi for the year 2018, Humanity International Women Achiever Awards 2018, Bharat Nirman Literary award in 2017, Premchand award by Ministry of Railways, Rabindranath Tagore International Poetry award, Soninder Samman, Freedom award by Radio city for Lyrics along with other awards and honors. I was listed in Forbes as one among 78 most popular authors in the country in 2014.
My short story collection “Lines of Fate” remained in the top 10 on bestsellers list on Amazon (India) since its release and was under no 3 on new hot releases for almost a month. Similarly, my latest Hindi poetry collection कई बसंत देखे हैं मैंने was on no 1 in the bestsellers list once.
Q2. How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
Since I began my writing journey with publishing my stories/poems in leading magazines/anthologies (national as well as international), and had established my place as an author, the publishing of the first book was just another step. It made me happy, but I wasn’t exultant. I knew that I had many more milestones to achieve and after halting for a little while, I got up and moved ahead.
Q3. If you could tell your younger writing self, anything, and what would it be?
My younger self never knew that I would be writing so much and would be known as an established author/poet! I would love to tell her that you are going to undertake this journey and it’s going to be an interesting one.
Q4. What does literary success look like to you?
Since I am an Engineer, and not really an expert in any subject of literature, the literary success makes me really satisfied and boosts my confidence. For my mind, writing itself is a booster and a motivation to carry on my daily chores, including my job.
Q5. Does your family support your career as a writer?
Oh yes! Without that, I wouldn’t be able to move ahead. My daughter, Simran, is also an excellent poet/writer and she is my first critic. She has also edited a few of my books. Even my mother, sister, brother, and sister-in-law are extremely proud of my journey.
Q6. What one thing would you give up to become a better writer?
I wouldn’t like to give up anything, because it’s these experiences that make me a better writer.
Q7. Who’s your Inspiration in the literary field?
Life itself is an inspiration in my writing journey. The roses and the thorns, both make my writings glow.
Q8. What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
It depends upon the type of book. If it’s a book based solely on relationship (which is normally the most preferred field I love to write in), I don’t really have to do much of research, for I am working on emotions, characters and plots. However, if it’s a book based on facts, I do a complete research and don’t write till I am completely satisfied.
Q9. What’s the turning point of your life when you realize you want to be an author?
I have been writing since I was a kid. However, the incidence which really raised my confidence was the prize won in a contest in which Gulzar sahib was a judge (organized by American Embassy and Arushi).
Q10. How long on average does it take you to write a book?
There’s no consistency in the time taken to write since I am also having a very hectic job. I wrote one of my novels titled “Can I have this Chance” in two months, but there have been books which took several months or even one or two years.
Q11. What are your favorite literary books?
I will just name five of my favorite books:
1. The Class by Erich Segal
2. The Time is Noon by Pearl Buck
3. The Last lecture by Randy Pausch
4. Gora by Rabindranath Tagore
5. The Journey by Brandon Bays
Q12. Why have you selected to write in this genre?
I write in various genres such as novels, short stories, poetry, children’s stories, etc. On what genre I am writing at that instant depends upon my mood at that point. (After all, writers are very moody persons )
Q13. Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?
Oh yes! That’s always the strength of a writer and I too love to write in that particular manner.
Q14. Do you view writing as a kind of spiritual practice?
Of course it is! There’s no doubt! I think that it’s like meditating since one is concentrating on only one idea. You are in a way focusing your thoughts.
Q15. What’s the best way to market your books?
Various authors adopt various methods. Initially, when I started writing, marketing was done exclusively by publishers and only those authors going for self-publishing really marketed the books. However, things have changed now and most of the authors are going for marketing. However, one should be very careful in choosing a marketeer/promoteer in case the publisher is not doing the marketing himself/herself, since a lot of fraud is taking place in this world. Ask for the list of authors whom the promoter has marketed and talk to them. You can also search for their brand on internet, which does give a fair idea. Of course, not all information available on internet is correct and needs to be used intelligently. We are honored to get in touch with such an amazing author and person. We hope for the best future ahead for Author Neelam Saxena Chandra.
Many more Author Interviews awaited !
To read more about such Interviews, Click Here : https://www.nazmehayat.com/category/author-interview
Thanks for visiting !