Monica Bhide is not only a beautiful writer, but also an inspiring person. Writer of cookbooks, novels, short stories and poetry, she is sharing on my blog her experience with words and the publishing process. If you haven't read it yet her books, you can start with her last book, Karma and the Art of Butter Chicken. As usual, I am honored by her kindness and for her precious time for answering my questions about the challenges of being a full time writer and the process of writing Karma.
How did your love story with writing start?
I have always loved to write. Even as a young child, I would write poetry and create “worlds.” Whenever someone would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would say “story teller.” The practical world beat me into submission and I stopped saying that for many decades. But, here I am now, a story teller!
What inspires you most to write? Do you have any model writers?
Oh, everything. I love writing about things that surprise me, questions that I want answered, demons inside my head. Everything!
Model writers? There are so many! I love the work of Yasmina Khadra, Vaddey Ratner, Amish, Rohinton Mistry and so many more.
What is the most challenging part of being a writer? What are your recommendations for the aspiring writer?
I love the writing aspect. The marketing aspect.. not so much! That is the most challenging part for me. My recommendations: write. That sounds simple and silly but most aspiring writers will talk about it, discuss it, read about it, worry about it but will not actually DO IT! So sit down and write. That is it!
How do you find inspiration for your books, for instance, for Karma…?
Karma is largely based on a dear friend, a chef in Washington, DC, who works relentlessly to end hunger. I so admire what he does and it inspired me to create a young character who also aspires to do the same!
What is your next writing project?
I am working on a couple of different books. At this time, looks like my next novel will be based in Washington, D.C. and the genre is fantasy!
How do you spend your time in-between books?
Marketing the last book! Obsessing about the next one!
Photo: Courtesy of Monica Bhide