Interview with Ruchi Prabhu, Author of The Gift
Ruchi Prabhu, Born & Bought up in Mumbai, has completed MBA (Finance), B.com (Banking & Insurance), has accomplished masters from Dr. V N Bedekar Institute of Management Studies, Thane and Graduation from NES Ratnam College, Bhandup. She had completed her schooling from Holy Cross Convent High School, Thane. She is currently working with an MNC based out in Powai, Mumbai.
She has also done SPSS course from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences. She has contributed extensively to the world of Banking & Finance with publication appearing in the International Journal of Research in Economics and Social Science, International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research and Development. She is also a winner of the “Young Achiever Award” for the quality of research work done in the finance domain. She is an IBM Certified Specialist in running SPSS Software and guides Ph.D. Students for the work in research and helps them with the Data Interpretation (SPSS Analysis) of their Ph.D. Thesis.
She has published 3 books – SPSS is just a cakewalk for researchers (2018), The Gift (2019), Financial Regulations (2020). She is also a winner of a National Award “Best Debut Indian Author”, “Author of the Year -2019” and “Voice of Indian Literature” for her Debut Book “SPSS is Just a Cakewalk for Researchers.” She has also been featured as an “Inspiring author for 2020”. She is being nominated for “The Lit Digital award 2020” and the nominated book is - The Gift.
Ravi: What’s your favorite short story?
Ravi: The Best piece of writing advice?
Ruchi: No one can give advice in terms of writing not even an author it just needs two things a heart who will pour out feeling and hand who will express it. I believe in writing with your heart and not with your brain. Write a story you would love to read.
Ravi: Where do you write?
Ruchi: You mean some specific space then I would say there is none. I can write anywhere if the story flows. I have once written a haiku when I was stuck in traffic while traveling to the office. A lot of reader things that authors write in some cozy place where there is no one to disturb them. There is a misconception about writing place but I believe if you are a writer and if you allow yourself to listen to stories, when the story flows in your mind you cannot stop yourself. You just need to grab something and scribble on it.
Ravi: Where do you get your ideas?
Ruchi: Imagination based on Life Experiences.
Ravi: Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Ruchi: Writing has never exhausted me. It always refreshes me it is always like I have discovered something beautiful. I live every character's life when I write and it gives me happiness.
Ravi: How long on average does it take you to write a book?
Ruchi: It totally depends on how the story reveals its secret to me. On average it takes a year to finish a book.
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?
Ruchi: From childhood, reading was my habit. I used to read short stories and pocketbooks, children book but if I would have ever known what my future beholds then definitely I would have started writing short stories, articles from childhood.
Ravi: What is your favorite childhood book?
Ruchi: Ah! Such a tough question to answer, as a child we all love to listen to stories and read them some favorite stories of mine are Panchatantra Tales, The Hare, and The Tortoise, Beauty and the Beast, Pinocchio, Goldilocks and the three bears, Thirsty Crow and the famous of all Cinderella. Coming to your question my favorite childhood book is Cherry Tree by Ruskin Bond.
Ravi: What are your favorite literary journals?
Ruchi: My all-time favorite literary journals have been Sahitya, Desh Patrika, The Times, Little Magazine. I read a lot of online literary journals like The Bombay Literary Magazine & The Indian Quarterly, Different Truths, and a lot more.
Ravi: What one thing would you give up to become a better writer?
Ruchi: Surfing net without reason and repeated edits or redrafting.
Ravi: What was your hardest scene to write?
Ruchi: I feel everything I write is difficult for me in one way or the other. I will tell you why, even if the perspective is simple enough but things get messy especially when you have the entire plot outline already stitched out and ready. You want your book to go one way, and your characters want to go another way sometimes the characters are so super stubborn and do what they want. They don’t listen to anyone else, and sometimes, they don’t listen to me either. As you can understand, that leads to a spot of bother in terms of writing and redrafting it, again and again, is difficult as it may lose the set path.
Ravi: Do you Google yourself?
Ruchi: Yes, but it’s very rarely.
Ravi: Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?
Ruchi: No, I have never hidden any secrets.
Ravi: Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
Ruchi: Yes, I do. In the beginning, I used to take them very seriously. It took some time and conscious effort to teach myself that you cannot impress everyone. I write to express not to impress. So, it is okay if people write bad reviews. I do not let the negative reviews get into my head. At the same time, I will accept any constructive feedback and work on that.
Ravi: Have you read anything that made you think differently about fiction?
Ruchi: “Until we meet again” by Ajitabha Bose. It is a heartwarming tale of love, trust and a forever you might have never read before.
“Only you understood my dreams” by Shashi Bhushan. A story of Love, Friendship and dream which will keep you engaging from start till end it will make you cry and laugh at the same time.
Ravi: What did you edit out of this book?
Ruchi: Nothing, I don’t see there is something major that will be edited out of fiction book.
Ravi: How many hours a day do you write?
Ruchi: Totally depends on the mood. Sometimes a few lines or a full page or a full chapter too.
Ravi: How long were you a part-time writer before you became a full-time one?
Ruchi: I am a part-time writer even now. I have a full-time job as an Associate in MNC. I love writing and can’t stop it. Writing for me is as important as eyelids to an eye.
Ravi: What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
Ruchi: There was no research as such to write the book. I just check I wrote what my heartfelt and there was no book available in the market with this theme and this idea came from a famous quote from Beverly Cleary - “If you don't see the book you want on the shelves, write it.”
Ravi: What’s the best way to market your books?
Ruchi: Create a brand of your name first for that take the most trending like a YouTube channel, going live and talking, participating in a public forum something which will make your presence felt and then write books it will help to make your debut book sale high.
Ravi: How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
Ruchi: Currently, I have only one and the title of the book is “Things my father said”
Ravi: How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
Ruchi: The success of my first book gave me confidence in my writing style and also made me introspect my presentation of thoughts and to some extent marketing of the book.
Ravi: If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Ruchi: Nothing much! as I published my book at the age of 22 when I was pretty young.
Ravi: What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
Ruchi: I have author friends like Shashi Bhushan, Arpit Vageria, Sudeep Nagarkar, Novoneel Chakraborty, Ajitabha Bose who give me advice on basis of his experiences so that I won’t repeat the mistake he has already committed.
Ravi: Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
Ruchi: Originality is Everything. If I can’t write original, then I am not a good writer. Readers have the choice to decide what is right and what is wrong and it is my duty to write everything that I think not what readers want to read.
Ravi: What advice do you have for writers?
Ruchi: My advice to them is just written from the heart and if you want to publish start with a small publishing house or self-publishing platform and then create your brand name. If possible then first create a brand name by talking, writing quotes, small stories, or something which random people can connect once you gain many followers, people, reader base then comes up with a book and it will surely get sold as you had already created a brand name.
Ravi: What are the most important magazines for writers to subscribe to?
Ruchi: Indian literature by Sahithya Academy is the only one that comes to my mind.
Ravi: Tell me about your recent book to our Ravi Reads Blog Readers?
Ruchi: “The Gift” is just about my share of experiencing romance, hatred, longing and drops the most. An individual observes a bunch to pick up the nuisance of personalities and relationship dynamics of those around him/her. Unlike other books that depict love as an affair, this book expresses love not just as an affair but love as a feeling that is over and above being defined, be it a parent-child relation or the relation between two friends. The Gift is a complete package that speaks not just about love but also about time and the relevance of self-improvement. This book contains my way of expressing through haiku or Epigrams which evoke my personal feelings dealing with a good ending and sometimes with the ray of no hope in scalding weather.
Thanks to Ruchi 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.