Author Interview: Devika Das
Devika has 10 years of experience in Content Marketing, Corporate Communication & Social Media Strategy. With qualities of willingness to learn, diligence, attention to detail, and translating ideas into words quickly, Devika helps organizations increase growth and revenue through concerted efforts in Content Marketing and Branding.
Creating a healthy work-life balance, she has successfully published 3 books titled '7 Vows of Marriage', 'The Mind Game' and 'Reminiscence'. All of them have received critical acclaim on Amazon. She also pursues other hobbies such as theater, music, and dance.
Ravi: What’s your favorite short story?
Devika: Malgudi Days and Stories by Ruskin Bond and another character I like is Fatty from Five Findouters
Ravi: The best piece of writing advice?
Devika: Write freely and pour your heart out through your words.
Ravi: Where do you write?
Devika: I have a study room. I write for 2 hours daily. But there isn’t any specific time for writing.
Ravi: Where do you get your ideas?
Devika: It just sparks off.
Ravi: Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Devika: Writing is a therapy for me
Ravi: How long on average does it take you to write a book?
Devika: 1-year minimum. Currently, it is close to 2 years since I am writing the novel.
Ravi: If you had to do something differently as a child or teenager to become a better writer as an adult, what would you do?
Devika: I would have started reading early.
Ravi: What is your favorite childhood book?
Devika: The Secret Seven by Enid Blyton. I love the dog, Scamper
Ravi: What are your favorite literary journals?
Devika: Muse India, Reader’s Digest, Desh (Bangla magazine)
Ravi: What one thing would you give up to become a better writer?
Ravi: What was your hardest scene to write?
Devika: The hardest part was to write about Emotional Intelligence and Anger management. It was a self-exploration exercise where I met the dark side of myself.
Ravi: Do you Google yourself?
Ravi: Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?
Devika: Not yet.
Ravi: Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
Devika: Yes. I have a balanced approach towards reviews and accept both types-good and bad- with open arms. As it is a reader’s perspective, it is useful for me to improve my writing style.
Ravi: Have you read anything that made you think differently about fiction?
Devika: Not yet
Ravi: What did you edit out of this book?
Devika: Made it less preachy and did not use much jargon.
Ravi: How many hours a day do you write?
Devika: 2 hours minimum. If I am in the writing mode, I sometimes end up writing for 4 hours as well.
Ravi: What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
Devika: 80% of my time is spent on research. For The Mind Game, the research was yearlong.
Ravi: What’s the best way to market your books?
Devika: Connecting with readers on all platforms – online and offline. Instagram has helped me with a wide reach. I have launched a video series on YouTube titled ‘The Mind School’ to spread awareness about mental health.
Ravi: How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
Devika: Only my poems are unpublished.
Ravi: How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
Devika: The writing style has not changed. I follow the same process of writing. But, yes. Writing fiction is a different challenge altogether compared to writing The Mind Game.
Ravi: If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Devika: Be kind to yourself. The first author's draft is never the final one that is submitted to the publisher. Vent out your thoughts honestly in the jargon first draft.
Ravi: What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
Devika: I have never discussed scripts or my writing work with author friends. There is a healthy discussion on different topics. The exchange of ideas helps me understand different perspectives about the same topic.
Ravi: Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
Devika: I am always original with my piece. I believe that number of readers does not matter but I want my books to find good readers.
Ravi: What advice do you have for writers?
Devika: Write for yourself and always remember that the number game and business strategy to market your book should not occur in your mind when you are writing.
Ravi: What are the most important magazines for writers to subscribe to?
Devika: I have subscribed to regional magazines like Desh, e-journals like Muse India, etc. to consume good quality literature.
Ravi: Tell me about your books to our Ravi Reads Blog Readers?
The Mind Game is a non-fiction self-awareness book that aims to help readers understand the importance of emotional intelligence.
7 Vows of Marriage is a collection of 5 short stories revolving around the institution of marriage.
Thanks to Devika for agreeing to this interview! If you know of an author who’d like to be featured in an interview (or you are an author who would like to be featured), feel free to email me at the address on my contact page.