By Siddhi Jain
New Delhi: As the author of several best-selling books like “Life Is What You Make It” and its sequel “Wake Up, Life Is Calling”, Preeti Shenoy has carved a niche for herself. She is on the Forbes longlist of the most influential celebrities in India.
Though she has been writing for as long as she can remember, the 47-year-old author says growing up she had never imagined herself as an author.
“When I was little, I’d write in journals and diaries. I’d also write for college magazines. It really just started as something I loved to do. It allowed me to express myself in a way I wouldn’t be able to otherwise. I had absolutely no clue that one day I’d be in the position I am in today,” she said.
The bestselling author also claims that all her books to be slightly autobiographical in some ways. “There is a little bit of me in every book of mine. And I think this is true for all writers,” she added.
In what is perhaps her most popular novel, “Life Is What You Make It”, Shenoy explored the different dimensions of the bipolar disorder through the story of Ankita – interwoven into narratives of love and loss. She said the book was inspired by a UK exhibition in which people suffering from bipolar disorder created works of art.
“I spoke to many of them and their families whose lives had been affected. I also travelled to the NIMHANS (National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences, Bengaluru) to research on the subject,” the Bengaluru-based author told IANS Life in an email interview.
A fan of Anita Nair and Shinie Antony among Indian women authors, Shenoy, however, feels there are hardly any women in the best selling league. “If you see the HT Nielsen list of Indian bestsellers, which is published every Saturday, you will find only male writers. So I don’t think much sale is happening,” she explained.
Discipline, perseverance, an affinity for solitude, empathy and observation skills top her checklist to become a good writer.
An avid reader herself, Shenoy makes it a point to buy books worth at least Rs 1,000-2,000 whenever she goes into any bookstore. Tongue firmly in cheek, she suggests “confiscating all the mobile phones and throwing them into the sea” to increase interest in books.
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Siddhi Jain can be contacted at [email protected]