The Writing Life of: Anita Gupte
This week I am thrilled to be interviewing author Anita Gupte. Anita will be sharing with us details of her writing life, telling us all about her book ‘Renuka: The Journey Unexpected‘, which was released on 15th February 2016 and answering a few fun questions too. This post contains affiliate links.
Dr. Anita Gupte is an allied health professional with background in research and management. Passion for travel, history, mythology, and, culture lured Anita onto a path she had never trodden before; writing a book.
Anita describes herself as a small town girl. She grew up in a multilingual community where everyone was family. Today, Anita lives close to the South pole with her two children and a dog.
1) As a child did you have a dream job in mind?
I had two. Join the navy and travel the world, or, Become a healer.
2) Who was your favourite childhood author (s)?
Enid Blyton, Hans Anderson (No Grim versions please) and of course J K Rowling as the child in me lives on.
3) Was there a particular point in your life that you realised you wanted to be a writer?
Maximum punishment I received in school was for talking in class. Most of that chatter was telling my friends spooky stories. My assignments were returned with multiple strokes of red as my work had a good amount of fiction and tales, whether English or Science. The teachers who taught me these subjects have read my book. Their messages assure me that they loved it. But back then am sure they were exasperated by my absent mindedness in class and when the chemical equations were intercepted by poetry and Shakespeare sounded like he went to a girls boarding school😁
It was only after crossing half a century in life that I realised I could ‘write.’ My kids kept asking me questions about their country of birth, the culture and my interest was piqued. I started scribbling something, woke my mom with a phone call at midnight and narrated it to her. Mom is a tough critique and perfectionist (having been a teacher herself); when she grew teary listening to me, I felt I should continue to tell the tale.
4) What is your average writing day like? Do you have any special routines, word count, etc?
No routine or planned 4am writing. I am a dreamer and the characters present themselves to me while doing my mundane chores. I keep a note pad handy. For my day job, I travel around countryside and backroads so whenever I have a break, I pull over to regurgitate on paper.
5) How many books have you written? Any unpublished work?
Have published only 1 book. But have a couple in pipeline. One would include contemporary short stories- romance, mystery, drama and the other is again a mythological fiction. My second book in the Unsung princesses series.
6) Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Definitely a pantser! For my next book, I wrote the end first.
Concerning your latest book:
Unsung Princesses Book One
Publisher – Createspace
Pages – 481
Release Date – 15th February 2016
ISBN 13 – 978-1523902545
Format – ebook, paperback
Story of a civilization which flourished more than ten thousand years ago. A narrative reminiscing on the ancient history of a land surrounded by water on three sides.
This is the story of Renuka. A princess born in the mighty Ikshvaku dynasty; which could trace its origins to the dawn of mankind. Rejecting several princes and warriors, she chose to wed a Saptarishi; one of the wisest of men of those times.
Story of Jamadagni. An ascetic of unmatched wisdom and knowledge; his actions led him to be misunderstood and misquoted through the centuries to come.
Story of a son, Rambhadra. His devotion and love for his parents provoked him to annihilate clan upon clan of warriors; several times.
This is the tale of a journey; a journey to unknown times and unsolved mysteries. A work of fiction based on legends, this book is also a medium to set sail within, to our own soul.
7) How did you go about researching the content for your book?
My book is a work of fiction based on legends and stories which I heard from my grandparents. To answer the questions raised by my kids, I started reading the ancient texts, scriptures, interpretations and articles from scholars.
8) How long did it take to go from ideas stage to writing the last word?
To be honest, I was no professional author. So, the process was unplanned and went on for about 4 years.
9) How did you come up with the title of your book?
Writing the book has been a journey for me. A journey discovering myself and going back to my ancient roots. It would also be a journey for my readers to look at their culture and heritage through new eyes. So the title was Renuka: The journey unexpected.
10) Can you give us an insight into your characters?
My characters are well known to most Indians, Renuka, the central character is worshipped as a Goddess. The book explores her life as a woman and what could be the circumstances leading to her attaining that divine persona.
Jamadagni- The legends tell stories of his fierce character and anger; how he banished his wife and commanded his sons to kill her. He was one of the seven wisest men of those times; so this does not really sound right.
Ramabhadra- Their son. Who went on a rampage wiping out kingdoms and countries to avenge his parents.
11) What process did you go through to get your book published?
I did not follow the traditional path as did not know how to. Self published my first book.
12) What’s next for you writing wise?
Writing a book of short stories about experiences of women who immigrated to a foreign land. Possible title, ‘Ballads from my backyard.’
1) If you could have any super power for the day which would you choose?
To apparate! (Thanks JKR). Would love to continue my travels; to hell with the virus.
2) Do you have any pets?
A Labrador- Billy
3) If you decided to write an autobiography of your life, what would you call it?
Storm in my Sav (Sauvignon Blanc. No tea cups.)😁
4) Your book has been made into a feature film and you’ve been offered a cameo role, which part would you choose, or what would you be doing?
I would rather be behind the scene to ensure the characters emerge on silver screen as I envisioned them. If ever this happens would love to be part of the AD team – Free of charge
5) Where is your favourite holiday destination?
6) A baseball cap wearing, talking duck casually wanders into your room, what is the first thing he says to you?
‘Look up, get up, never give up!’
I would like to say a big thank you to Anita Gupte for sharing with us details of her writing life and for a wonderful interview.