Interview with Supriya Sahai, The Author of Gadget [Less]
Supriya Sahai is a Life and Career Transition Coach. She has been a corporate facilitator and executive for International clients and has trained over 1,500 executives and counting. She is a CPCC at the ICF which is a Gold Standard as an International Coach.
Ravi: What’s your favorite short story?
Ravi: The Best piece of writing advice?
Supriya: Write through your heart and what you truly believe in.
Love what you write about and write about what you love… :) :)
Ravi: Where do you write?
Supriya: I write everywhere. The moment I wake up I journal on my bed, my washroom, my study desk, in cafes. Usually, I love writing in a beautiful serene cafe or my table in my room in the early morning hours...
Ravi: Where do you get your ideas?
Supriya: I get ideas from everywhere. But usually, I get the most when I sit down and start connecting the dots surrounded by my favorite books, my own journals and writing pieces, a nice set of stationery and my diary with blank pages
Ravi: Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Supriya: Writing to me is very therapeutic. It's like wotsapping inside my inner world and making a connection to my outside world. It energizes and inspires me to write and release my thoughts every day!!
Ravi: How long on average does it take you to write a book?
Supriya: My first book has taken me a year, but to really sit down and writes the entire manuscript took me 5 months.
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?
Supriya: Well I would have started much early and written more books by now
Ravi: What is your favorite childhood book?
Supriya: Rebecca and Pride and Prejudice
Ravi: What are your favorite literary journals?
Supriya: Literary Journals phew that's a big term for me. I am surrounded by - biographies, non-fiction, spiritual literature
Ravi: What one thing would you give up to become a better writer?
Supriya: laziness and overthinking
Ravi: What was your hardest scene to write?
Supriya: To envision the flow of the book and create specific measurable ways to share with parents to reduce and prevent gadget addiction for their young children was something I took a long time to build.
Ravi: Do you Google yourself?
Supriya: Yes absolutely, lately I do… Not too often though
Ravi: Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?
Supriya: nope I intend to only serve my readers to resolve something
Ravi: Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
Supriya: This is yet to come at that scale. But the topic is something I have been writing for a while. I haven't so far come with bad reviews on the same. Gadget addiction in young children is such a menace that I feel every parent is wanting options and support.
Ravi: Have you read anything that made you think differently about fiction?
Supriya: I just adore Rebecca and that has made my writing very descriptive and detail-oriented. Reading Rebecca opened me to the concept of the power of imagination and words triggering a beautiful gamut of emotions.
Ravi: What did you edit out of this book?
Supriya: I omitted a lot of spiritual and energy work that as parents we must understand to raise emotionally resilient children. I have included some important concepts but many studies and research had to be curtailed as the overarching intent of this book is more as an eye-opener to parents of today’s iPad and mobile dominated generation. I feel this book will be a good base for young parents to understand to help their young children lead an internally happy and focused life.
Ravi: How many hours a day do you write?
Supriya: It depends on the requirement. On a daily basis, I write at least 15 mins a day to just journal my feelings and dreams. When I wrote my book, I wrote an average of 3-4 hours a day.
Ravi: How long were you a part-time writer before you became a full-time one?
Supriya: I am still a part-time writer as I have completed my first book just now.
Ravi: What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
Supriya: I did research before I began my book and I realized there is no book tailored to young children specifically saying that gadgets are least important for the mental growth of young children. Everyone in the market is writing about how to embrace ipads and mobiles and help small children get used to gadgets.
I don't agree with this ideology as young minds are not developed to handle addictive products like ipads and video games. Hence as parents, we need a stark reality check of what is being marketed to us and our children.
Ravi: What’s the best way to market your books?
Supriya: I feel the best way is to have a good database of the real audiences that you are already engaged with and you know that your writing is genuinely helpful to them. Even if it's for fun you know that your readers will have a great time reading your work.
Ravi: How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
Supriya: Three in the pipeline
Ravi: How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
Supriya: I am more structured and organized and I know how to quickly create and research my content
Ravi: What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
Supriya: I don't have friends as authors but I consider all the authors I read as my soul friends and when I need inspiration I read them and I do get awesome insights through their styles and words.
Ravi: Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
Supriya: I try to be both and I feel that's a good combination. Too much originality will only make one lose touch with what the readers want and vice versa
Ravi: What advice do you have for writers?
Supriya: Write guys, be fearless, have to focus, and just write your heart out
Ravi: What are the most important magazines for writers to subscribe to?
Supriya: I feel the most important is to be consistent in reading. For me it doesn't matter what one reads, your interest in reading will follow you to pick what you intend to get inspired and eventually write about. So go with your inner flow and enjoy what you read for authentic inspiration
Ravi: Tell me about your recent book to our Ravi Reads Blog Readers?
Supriya: My book is for any parent or primary caregivers like grandparents and family members who are feeling lost amidst the digital clutter.
Gadgets are the new age - babysitters. They are validated by technology funded multi-million dollar companies. The future is prophesied by these global companies and their funded tech summits to prepare for AI. If we continue to sleep over such concepts and very expensively crafted stories we are heading for genetic mutation of AI within our children’s bloodstreams very near in the future.
AI can never be the future! It will always be our human mind. Unless we allow our small children to get conditioned way too early inside the world of screens.
Being a mother of two lovely children it didn’t take me long to realize the threat these gadgets were posing to my young children. Animated films were replacing the creative and exploratory pursuits of my children. If denied they would act abnormally like an addict. As a mother, this was not acceptable to me.
Being an army kid I was used to physical and exploratory activities and here I was a mute witness to the gadget addiction of my elder child. Enough I told myself one day and started finding ways and means to reduce this addiction 5 years back!
I am happy to say that today I have reduced the gadget exposure of my children to the minimum. Having tested and succeeded with my children I encouraged some of my friends to do the same and happily, the results were the same. Seeing our children physically and mentally active brings us joy and satisfaction.
Being a student of psychology I started researching the area of gadget addiction, especially its effect on the human brain during the formative years. The findings were an eye-opener and scary. Finally, I decided to share my learning outcomes and personal experiences with the parents of children between ages 1 to 14 through a book and hence the book.
I hope it would give some good food for thought to the affected parents. The essence of my book is that parenting is a serious business and needs involvement not participation.
Thanks to Supriya Sahai 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.