We are back with another author interview. Today, with us, we have Dr. Sarika Jain– the author of ‘SHE’. In this interview, she talks about her writing aspirations and the route to getting her books published. Stay on...while we chat with her.
How did you choose the title?
I always wanted to write something on girls and women, as I get to read every day in the newspaper that in India and across the world females are raped and are killed before birth. They are tortured and are burnt for dowry. Many girl children are forcefully married and are compelled to sacrifice their dreams at an early age. They become the victims of honour killings and domestic violence everywhere. Girls and women are always discriminated, broken, ill-treated, hurt, belittled, and abused in their daily lives, so I chose the title for my debut book as – SHE; where SHE is described as ‘Stop Hurting Me Every Day’. I chose the same because whenever I wondered about the pains and sufferings of girls and women, I thought that this title would be apt for my book.
What inspired you to write this book? Any tales to tell…
Thank you for this interesting question. I don’t have any such tales to tell. But yes, I would like to mention that I was inspired to write this book after I read about the Nirbhaya and Kathua rape case in newspaper. I hold the belief that writing is the easiest way to change the world. So, I am glad that I have taken up this job to write about all those problems that females face in our country and beyond. I want to make people aware about many problems that girls and women face in their day-to-day life along with few examples and inspirational stories of women and girls achievers, including my own ideas and opinions as solutions to those problems. I thought that writing about the topic is the only way to change people’s thinking towards girls and women and create some difference in society. Devoted to better ideas for a better world, I have authored my debut work SHE: A Message for those who Belittle Girls!
What message would you like to convey through this book?
The main message I would like to convey through this book is that Girls are not less than Boys! Girls and women can do anything. They can climb the mountains, can become a business leader, can reach the space, can play any sport, can become a soldier and sacrifice their life for their country, can win many medals for their country, and so on and so forth... because females are powerful, strong, and brave just like Goddess Durga, Kali, Sarawati, and Lakshmi. Through this book, I want to convey that feminism is not about competing with men or complaining that we are not males... so we can’t achieve this or we can’t achieve that... rather feminism is all about being proud of born a female and despite being a female achieving anything and everything. Thanks for giving me an opportunity to answer such a wonderful question.
What else drives you other than writing fiction?
The best answer that drives me will be “what I want out of my life.” No one except myself is stopping me from doing anything. I want to take new risks to explore my life and don’t want to die one day without knowing whether I gave my best shot at life. I always keep an idea that whatever happens... I am going to do what I wish for and I don’t want to be like others... I want to be different. I want to have my own signature of life. I want to embrace pain and cherish happiness because finally nothing is permanent. The other thing that drives me other than writing fiction is that I want to help others. I want to see changes in people’s lives and want to make the world a better place to live in.
How did you find your writing chord, or were you a born writer?
No, I was not a born writer. I believe writers are not born, they are made. The first time I found my writing chord was at a “Pen Drive” writing skills competition conducted by my college. The jury members appreciated my work, and I was awarded a merit prize of rupees 500 (the first earning of my life) and a certificate of competence. Then, I started writing small poems and short stories and shared the same with my family and friends.
How do you handle the response of this book, especially from your friends and relatives?
I handle all the responses for my book with positivity and with an open mind. I don’t let praise or criticisms get into my head or heart, because it’s a weakness to get caught up in either one. I always welcome criticisms and use those criticisms to motivate myself to be better, do better, or do more, and write better.
What are some of your favourite novels and authors?
Robin Sharma’s The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari and Who Will Cry When You Die, Paulo Coelho’s Alchemist, Sherlock Holme’s Mystery Novels, Jhumpa Lahiri’s Namesake, Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things, Shiv Khera’s You Can Win, Stephen R. Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Rashmi Bansal’s Connect The Dots, Chetan Bhagat’s One Indian Girl, and Ravinder Singh’s I Too Had a Love Story are few of my all time favourite books that I would love to read again and again and again.
What was your biggest learning experience throughout the publishing process?
My biggest learning experience throughout the publishing process is that I never ever bowed down to the rejections and fought hard and found my path to publish my book and realized my dream to become a writer.
Looking back, what did you do right that helped you break in as a writer?
I always aspired to become an author and had a dream that my first book would be based on females and feminism... but taking that first step to begin my journey as a writer was very crucial. So, I think this is one of the right things that I have done which helped me to break in as a writer. As it has been rightly said, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
Any best piece of writing advice from your side that we haven’t discussed?
My advice to every aspiring author would be to not give up and keep trying until you succeed. Rejections are a part and parcel of the journey; just believe in yourself and your abilities.
Where do you write from? Do you go to some specific place, like beachside or into the hills?
No, I don’t go to some specific place, like beachside or into the hills. I prefer writing early in the morning as it’s an ideal and peaceful time of the day and nature, when no one disturbs me and I can continue calmly with my writing.
Something personal about you people may be surprised to know?
The one fact that surprises people that even know me well is that I am an introvert. I am usually perceived as shy, silent, and mind her own business kind of woman everywhere I go. And, I am surprisingly sentimental, though it doesn’t show often.
Any future books that you would like to discuss now?
It’s not perfectly planned... but yes, I would continue with my writing in future and perhaps, my future book could be a novel with women at the centre.
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