One of the best jobs, I have held so far is at JustBooks – a retail library chain in India. Why the best job? Well it brought me closer to books. I worked with, for and everything related to books. More so, it gave me an opportunity to discover books and interact with new authors. That’s how I met Vani, the author of The Recession Groom. She has remained in my life, as a source of inspiration and happiness. Vani’s not just a wonderful writer but also an amazing person.
Say Helloo to Vani
Vani in a nutshell: “I am an extremely passionate person and then there is all the stuff that comes along with it – the madness, the creativity, the doubts…”
Vani is a Chandigarh based journalist turned author, who debuted with the book, The Recession Groom in 2015. She currently writes for Scroll, Quint, Huffington Post and DailyO, along with working on her next two books, which is more a part of the 3 part series. (Sequels of her first book).
Vani is a ball of energy, radiating happiness and warmth at all times, which rubs off on everyone who meets her. Ask her how she manages to be this way all the time and all she’ll say is: “Well, I am the way I am because there is no other way that I know.” You can’t argue on that, right?
The Recession Groom – Debut Novel
Vani published her first book, The Recession Groom with Leadstart Publishing. Having personally seen her through this journey, I wouldn’t be wrong to call it a roller coaster journey in itself. Vani not just wrote the book but also found ways to market it, breaking out of her comfort zone and doing it all on her own. Kudos to her for her perseverance and hard work to get the book its due spotlight.
Any other author would have either given up or blamed it all on someone. But not Vani. I prodded her to know, if there was a regret she carried through this journey of her first book. To which, she quotes J.K Rowling and shows you it’s only the positives that are her takeaway, not letting anything else affect her.
“My first book was a great learning experience for me. I spent a lot of time writing the book and even more time marketing it. There were some successes that I am incredibly proud of – my TV interviews, for instance – and many mistakes that I could have avoided. But then again, mistakes are a part of the game, anyway. Or as J K Rowling says: “It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.” So, truly speaking, there is nothing that I regret. Not at least at this point in time. “
Let’s talk books and writing
Talking about her current work on online publications, she says: “Writing for these publications has been a wonderful experience. I mostly write about literature and it’s exciting to connect with writers, readers, literary agents and publishing houses. Earns me a bit of money, too, and who would not like it J.” Vani is churning some amazing articles, drawing inspiration from her own experiences in certain instances.
The only downside she highlights is, “It’s slightly tough to write articles when I am in the middle of writing a novel and each minute is precious.” I wonder if she wants to change the world with her writing and this is what she has to say:
“I would continue doing what I am doing – writing good stories, that is. If I do that one thing properly, I think I am pretty much sorted for this life. At the end of the day, if my writing is able to entertain people, I would believe my life purpose is fulfilled.
Books have been a major part of Vani’s life. She wants to own a huge library like Bilbo Baggins from The Hobbit one day, just like any of us bibliophiles. 3 books that really stand out for her among the many are, ‘The Secret’ by Rhonda Byrne, ‘The Alchemist’ by Paulo Coelho and ‘Get Up, Walk Your Path, Live Your Life Your Way’ by Susan Sontag. “All these books came to me at different points of time in my life – mostly when I was down and out. And all of these helped me get rid of my fears and uncertainties. I read and re-read them just to clear all those cobwebs in my mind and get more clarity about myself and my goal. Now that’s something priceless, isn’t it?” she says.
We cannot agree more, each one of us have that one set of books that will always mean the most among others.
Vani Talks about Life and Feminism
Being the curious cat, I urged her to share an incident that changed her or the way she saw the world. I can’t tell you how glad I am to have asked her this. It was not just inspiring but also got something exclusive for the blog .
“2010, I was teaching Economics and coming back from my workplace in Central London on a bus. The lower deck was full, so I went to sit on the upper deck and found a book lying on the seat. It was the latest issue of the Stylist magazine with a bold headline: Why now is the time to write that book.”
“I opened the magazine and found the most valuable advice on how to become a published writer, look for agents, write your cover letter, draft your synopsis etc. Now, now, I had forever been thinking about writing a novel but hadn’t been able to get around to doing it. So for me, it was divine! It made me realise my true purpose in life and that is the starting point of everything. How will you know how to ‘serve’ the greater humanity, if you don’t even know what you are here for, right? “
Agreed, agreed. I yearn to find out too, but the answer to it never seems to come. Talking about feminism, Vani believes that women should have as much right to live and thrive as men. But she also says that playing the victim card won’t get anyone anywhere. “I feel inspired by women who achieve something in life despite their circumstances. Those women are the true ‘change agents’, and the sort of ‘human beings’ I look up to. They are the ones who inspire me – and millions like me,” says Vani.
Okay, a few more questions
I can never stop asking questions if you let me to it. Am sure Vani wondered, how much I actually have to ask and if I would ever stop. 😉
Asking her to rant about the publishing world, I expected an eruption as many other authors did, when asked about it. But Vani being Vani said: “It is pretty disorganized, but so are other industries. It’s all about your attitude and how you look at things, I guess. Nobody had it easy – not even those who are famous today – so why should things be any easier for me. To be honest, it’s been a tough ride so far, but exciting, nevertheless. Plus, I met a lot of people along the way who were all so very kind and helpful.” In the calmest way again, drawing only positives.
A dream to see her book rank Number 1 on the New York Bestsellers list and a movie based on her book. Vani is determined to shatter all possible ceilings to achieve it.
As a closing note, I requested her to give a piece of mind to our ‘so-called’ society. Vani makes an amazing observation, “At most times, people are so rattled about silly things. If we just remember to let go, forgive and forget; if we just allow ourselves to be calmer, loving and more accepting, I think this world would be a much better place.” How true! That simple you see.
Vani, You Rock!
One of the first people I thought of when I was to start the Interview series was Vani. What’s the most amazing thing is she didn’t even ask me anything about it, but said yes. Not worrying if my blog was even famous. Authors like Vani are who make readers like us more happy, other than their writing of course. Humble and true to her talent, Vani’s writing can strike a happy cord in you.
Thanks a ton Vani for taking out the time and entertaining all my questions. I love you and wish you the very best for everything you do in your life.
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