Preeti Shenoy: I faced countless rejections for my second book

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After writing her successful debut book in 2008, Preeti Shenoy has never looked back. Today, she is an author of 13 well-received books. When asked about that one quality that a person needs to be a successful writer, she promptly says, “You have to be in love with writing!”

Being a successful author among a plethora of authors in the country from various backgrounds, has not been easy. She reminisces, “I faced countless rejections for my second book, which did so well later and was even translated into various Indian languages as well as Turkish. I am glad that my books are translated into Marathi, Hindi, Malayalam and Telugu, to name a few, and have been well received across the country. I am appreciated by people from all backgrounds and that is humbling as well as overwhelming. The journey so far has been great. I’ve worked hard to get where I am.”

Preeti reiterates that to be successful as an author, one of the most important things needed is dogged perseverance. “One has to be committed to the craft of writing. One has to constantly feel a need to write better and hone their craft. The books have to make the reader feel deeply, and often it is the emotional connect that the reader experiences, which makes them recommend the book to their friends and loved ones.”

She continues, “The second is discipline. I have written 13 books in 12 years. That takes a lot of discipline. I also try to do something different with each book. My books are not just love stories, they deal with various things like gender disparity, neglect of the aged, mental health issues and self-worth. These are woven into gripping stories with relatable characters. Many people tell me that my books helped them get back to reading, as they couldn’t put the book down.”

Master storyteller Ruskin Bond is someone who inspires Preeti a lot. “His writing is brilliant, nuanced and yet, he manages to retain the simplicity. His stories transport you to a different world, and leave you feeling deeply,” she says.

Preeti’s latest book is a young adult fiction novel. “It’s about 19-year-old Puja and 20-year-old Arush. It deals with finding oneself, sibling rivalry, family relationships and parenting. It is a gripping and fun read,” she states.

So, what has been Preeti’s take away during the lockdown? “That man is helpless in the face of nature. Fighting with each other over trivial issues is futile. Respect nature, be kinder to Mother Earth; be nicer to fellow humans. Fill the world with love,” she signs off.

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