Friends, today we are pleased to have with us NEELAM SAXENA CHANDRA the winner of Limca book of records. She is an author, poet and a bureaucrat.
Quickly give us the title and the genre of your first book…
My first book? Well, it was a collection of stories for children (5-8 Years). The stories were based in the animal kingdom.
Now, Tell us a little about yourself. How did you begin writing?
I have been writing ever since I was a child. Back then, I used to write English Poetry. A few of them were even published in THE HITAVADA which is a leading newspaper of Central India. After I had my daughter, I would tell her a new story every day and in 2008, I decided to pen down these stories and I sent them to leading magazines such as Nandan, Champak, Chandamama etc. Their acceptance and publication was the necessary booster for me to write more and I began writing even for the adults.
Who was your intended audience and why you felt they should read your book or your story?
I write in various genres and the intended audience is different for different books. My USP is simple style of writing and the twists and turns in my stories. My audience can easily relate to the characters I build since these are everyday characters from different walks of life. Another characteristic of my writing is the imminent positivity in my stories.
Do you have any unique talents or hobby?
I can’t really say if they are unique, but besides writing, I love to act, I love anchoring quality programs and I like to paint.
What is your favorite genre in writing?
I can’t really state which my favorite genre is – but, I love to delve deep into relationships.
Who inspires you most to write and to whom would you dedicate your creative success?
My daughter is my biggest inspiration and I dedicate my creative success to her.
Could you describe yourself as a writer?
I am a passionate writer and put my soul and heart into my writings.
Do you have a favorite place to write or a scheduled time to write every day?
With a busy job, I can’t really schedule my writings. I write whenever I get time.
Who are your favorite authors and what is the genre that you like reading most?
My favorite writers include Erich Segal, Agatha Christie, Rabindranath Tagore, Gulzar sahib etc. I love reading about relationships which are the most complex things in life.
What are the difficulties you faced after you wrote the book and sent it to publishers?
Getting a good traditional publisher who has well laid marketing strategies was an issue.
How long had you to wait for their reply?
Not much. I had already established myself as a writer before I sent my manuscripts to publishers. Almost fifty of my stories/poems were published in various national/international journals/magazines and I was a known name.
What kind of publishing would you prefer, traditional or self? Why?
I have never gone for self-publishing. For me, it simply meant that my book didn’t raise the confidence level of the publisher enough to consider my manuscript a viable proposition.
Where do you see yourself in the next 10 years?
I would love to see at the place where Ruskin Bond is there today.
Which is that virtue that keeps you going forward in this line?
My persistence and my hard work.
What is the message that you want to convey to the readers through your writing?
Have a ‘Never-say-die’ spirit. Things will move the way you wish them to by and by.
What advice would you give young writers or would be published authors?
Have faith in yourselves. Use the time you are not getting a good publisher to improve upon yourself.
You can freely express something that helped you to move forward to write and persist in this area despite odds!
The belief that what I write is good. Moreover, I won several awards and the confidence level kept increasing.