The last name Subramaian is one always on the best seller list in India, however this was a more special occasion for the father and writer Ravi Subramanian to see his daughters second attempt at writing, at such a young age. Anusha Subramanian is one of the country's youngest young adult authors. She was only twelve when she wrote her first book, Heirs of Catriona.
Daughter Anusha with father Ravi Subramanian
Sonali Bendre launched her latest book 'Never Gone' on last Friday at Crossword Bookstores, Mumbai. Bendre opened up to the audience confessing being the only author in her family; and that she would love for her son Ranveer to read books, as books have been her best friend.
Actress Soanli Bendre with author Anusha Subramanian
We decided to know more about this young writer who is an inspiration at such a young age about her journey into writing and much more. Here are snippets from the conversation:
Q: How does it feel to be India’s youngest writer?
A: It feels great! The sense of achievement and the validation that comes with writing a book is just phenomenal. I take immense pride in my two books and it’s incredibly comforting to know that no matter what happens in the future, I’ll always have these two books to my name. You can’t take that away from me.
Q: What motivated you to be a writer?
A: I’ve always loved writing and I guess when I started writing, my main aim wasn’t to be a published author. I just wrote because I liked it. I guess that that love eventually evolved into me wanting to get published. The process was also speeded up by the fact that my dad was writing a book at the same time and I could see first-hand how things are done in the writing industry.
Q: You are a two book old writer now. Describe your experience, the response to your first book etc?
A: I absolutely loved writing this book! I don’t think I’ve had this much fun ever! This new book made me realize that this is the kind of writing that I want to do! The emotional kind where you can connect with your readers so much better. A writer’s job doesn’t always top once the book is finished. Then there is the editing, the title discussions, cover page designs etc. I love that part! It’s so much fun to discuss the titles and throw around cover page ideas and when you finally see that finished product – wow. It looks nothing like the haphazard word document that you poured your heart into. Everyone was super proud of me when I released my first book and now my second book is also getting a much better response than I could have hoped for. People tell me things like “It reminded me of my school days” (if they are adult readers) or “I related to X character so much” and this genuinely makes my day.
Q: Are you a voracious reader? Does it influence your craft?
A: Definitely. I love reading. Reading how I wind-down after a long day. I don’t think it influences my craft but it definitely inspires me and shows me what level of excellence I should be aiming for.
Anusha Subramanian signs the first copy of her latest book -Never Gone
Q: How has the response to your first book been?
A: Everyone was very proud and few were very surprised that I had actually pulled it off. I was a little surprised as well to be honest. Some people gave me very constructive criticism. Apparently there was just too much food in my book hahah, which could be the indication of the Enid Blyton phase I was going though at that time. Also my characters were always too white or black when in reality people aren’t like that. People are grey and in this book I found that working with grey characters – characters that have flaws – was so much more fun than characters that are just too good or bad.
Q: Tell us about your current book, how did you come to the story, its characters, etc.?
A: Penguin approached me to do this book after seeing an article on my blog. The article was about the death of a classmate and all the things we miss out on because we think we have time to do it later in life. (Blink of an eye – anushasubramanian.wordpress.com). They wanted me to do a similar YA novel and I thought COME ON it’s PENGUIN. The story just evolved from there on.
Q: How do you take the comparison/ expectations between your father and you? What are the good and not so good things about being a “best-selling writers” daughter?
A: Funnily enough that’s never been an issue at all. Maybe because we both write in different genres and there isn’t any competition as such between us. My dad has always been completely supportive of me and he often says I write better than him (that’s just paternal bias hahah). Hopefully one day he will be known as being a ‘best-selling author’s father” and not the other way around!
Q: What are the biggest challenges you have faced in your writing and how did you solve them?
A: The biggest challenge in writing is trying to convey your exact emotions through your writing. And also character development because as a writer you really want to do justice to them. I’m so glad that my editors made sure that I planned everything out before I started writing. That gives you a rough plot to work with but also the flexibility to change it.
Q: What is the most important ingredient you try your best to incorporate in your stories?
A: I don’t have too much experience yet but I guess good characters are so important. You should always know your character a little bit better than everyone else and truth. If you are writing something that you don’t believe in – then why are you writing in the first place?
Q: Are you already writing your next book? Please tell us a little bit about it?
A:No, I’m not writing anything at the moment. And I don’t have even the vaguest idea about what I will be writing next!
Q: Describe yourself as a person
A: Total introvert but I’m so out-going and crazy once you get to know me. It’s all about comfort for me. If I feel comfortable around a bunch of people, then I’m a lot more confident. I use writing as a way to express myself and my friends and family are very important to me.
Q: What are your career goals ahead?
A: Right now I’m focusing on what I want to study rather than what I want to become. I would love to get into Biochemistry or Genetics in future.
So what are you thinking about? Rush to your nearest Crossword bookstore and grab a copy of 'Never Again' today! Do let us know how it is in the comments section below.