Author Interview: Subramanyam Gunda
Ravi: What’s your favorite short story?
Subramanyam: I love reading my friend-Chirasree Bose short stories
Ravi: The best piece of writing advice?
Subramanyam: My piece of advice would be to come up with a non-fiction topic as that will give the natural flow of writing.
Ravi: Where do you write?
Subramanyam: My best writing buddy is always my Mobile phone. I keep typing my ideas, flows, pointers while on the move. This saves time and effort in editing the script.
Ravi: Where do you get your ideas?
Subramanyam: My ideas come out of my dreams! Yes, I have this habit of dreaming big every year in the month of January. I write my dreams, visualize, and prioritize as per circumstances. I pick 2 dreams and turn them into reality by the end of that year (December). Guess what, since 4 years I have been achieving my dreams.
Ravi: Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Subramanyam: Writing has been my forte since the time I realized that is one of my interest areas. Writing keeps me motivated, energetic and introspect my being.
Note: Lately my version of “writing” is “Typing” as it saved my time during editing and revisions.
Ravi: How long on average does it take you to write a book?
Subramanyam: To get the first draft, it took me 7 months each for my 2 published books. As my titles are Non-fictional, I had to carefully pen my thoughts, experiences and learning are keeping end users (readers) in mind. With the first draft in hand, it took 3-4 months to complete editing, cover design, get feedback from the designated SME’s and rewrites.
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?
Subramanyam: If I had to do something differently, then as a child I would have associated with cartoon artists to learn how characters are portrayed. As a teenager, I would have been with Media Journalist to understand how to present a topic in an appealing manner coupled with a Masters in Literature. Finally, as an adult, I could run a writing marathon and mentor the novice author’s.
Ravi: What is your favorite childhood book?
Subramanyam: Autobiography of a Yogi (Telugu version) by Paramahansa Yogananda.
Ravi: What are your favorite literary journals?
Subramanyam: I haven’t read nor followed any literary journals as on date.
Ravi: What one thing would you give up to become a better writer?
Subramanyam: To accommodate my family time and work time, I take a leisure approach to completing my book. Hence, it took me 7 months to complete the first draft. Writing has become a part and parcel of my life, so it continues.
Ravi: What was your hardest scene to write?
Subramanyam: If I start fiction writing, then every scene will be hard and tough for me!
Ravi: Do you Google yourself?
Subramanyam: Yes, I’m a proud Googler in many ways. I consume Google search engine results as well as train Google platform which offers services like-Google Maps, Google translator, and image identification.
Ravi: Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?
Subramanyam: My books are like an open text to readers, who can connect and implement in their jobs. So, no hidden secrets.
Ravi: Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
Subramanyam: Yes, I thoroughly read them. They are the reflection of my writings and communication style. Luckily, all the genuine and positive reviews received so far have been great ones. And there are these fake reviewers who keep posting negative comments on Amazon without reading the book or even purchasing. It’s hard to neither track them nor penalize them. We need to learn and move on with a smile on your face!
Ravi: Have you read anything that made you think differently about fiction?
Subramanyam: There are many Fiction books that made me think about the character’s shoes. But these remain my all-time favorites and send chills in the spine.
Bombay Rains, Bombay Girls by Anirban Bose,
The Mind Readers Series by Lori Brighton and Chetan Bhagat books
Ravi: What did you edit out of this book?
Subramanyam: I don’t see there is something major that will be edited out of non-fiction books.
Ravi: How many hours a day do you write?
Subramanyam: I spare a minimum of 2 hours on weekdays and 3 hours on weekends.
Ravi: How long were you a part-time writer before you became a full-time one?
Subramanyam: I need to explore this option! Job is my main income source and writing is my passion and secondary source.
Ravi: What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
Subramanyam: I write topic names on cards and keep them handy. I follow 3 step approaches.
I make a mind map and pen my thoughts, experiences, and learnings.
I get my writing reviewed by an SME or/ and mentor.
Then drill down to research- Reading blogs, interacting with authors, and gain insights.
Ravi: What’s the best way to market your books?
Subramanyam: I will be in touch with the readers and target audience as much as possible- like- writing blogs, mentor on the topics and conduct workshops. One thing, I’m planning is to participate in public forums and voice my thoughts and ideas.
Ravi: How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
Subramanyam: Currently I haven’t penned any new topics.
Ravi: How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
Subramanyam: A book is your visiting card which introduces your skill catalog in the market place. The success of my first book gave confidence in my writing style and coherence of thoughts but made me introspect on presentation styles and marketing the book.
Ravi: If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Subramanyam: Mind maps: Start with a mind map. Come up with your own mind maps on the topic, chapter or character of your choice.
Few Mind mapping tools you can explore are-
Ravi: What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
Subramanyam: My all-time best author, writing mentor and a friend would be Devika Das who instilled confidence and venture into writing and publishing.
Ravi: Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
Subramanyam: To me being original and deliver as per the targeted audience is the norm given the Non-fiction title. You always choose your target readers first and then pen the writing, so they both go hand-in-hand.
Ravi: What advice do you have for writers?
Open to feedback and be original: Be it any genre of Writing (literature, fiction, non-fiction, blogs, textbooks or manuals) you are into, please be open to feedback and be original.
Part and parcel: When you make writing a part and parcel of your daily routine, then you won’t feel like a burden or missed goal.
Mind maps: Come up with your own mind map on the topic, chapter or character. This would give visibility, content and track on the writing progress.
Ravi: What are the most important magazines for writers to subscribe to?
Subramanyam: https://www.writersdigest.com/ is my most heard magazine. I need to explore the site and magazine.
Ravi: Tell me about your recent book to our RaviReads Blog Readers?
My recent book titled “BUSINESS ANALYSIS LIFE CYCLE & IT- BUSINESS ANALYST ROLE IN TRADITIONAL, DIGITAL AND AGILE WORLD” .
This book is for graduates, novice and experienced Business analysts and Agile enthusiasts, who have a profound interest in the Business Analysis life cycle and in business agility.
You might wear thinking hat of a trainer, a project manager, graduated student, a BA, Scrum team member or an Agile Coach. This book has a learning content for whatever role hat you wear.
Thanks to Subramanyam 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.