Today on #AuthorChatter, we are going to meet a Content Marketer with a creative streak. She has written content for corporate films and many kids learning applications. Based on her experience of her stay in London, she has authored a comic book – ‘Samaria and the Gang in London.’ And then she wrote a book about her journey of writing the comic book! Often as writers, we probably do not give enough thought to illustrations, images etc. But illustrations can make or break a comic book. Priyanka candidly shares details of interactions with her illustrator. You are also acquainted with the author’s light-hearted nature through her writing.
So without much ado… let’s meet Priyanka Vermani.
1. You wrote a book about the journey of writing a comic book! You candidly touched upon a lot of aspects including design, editing (including contract clauses!!) as well as dealing with criticism in the second book. What are your takeaways from writing the second book?
- Be honest and pour your heart out. Let the editor do his job later. You do justice to your feelings at the time of writing.
- Be confident of your writing. Your writing has an audience and your book and its audience will find each other. Give it time.
- Once the book is finished move away from it and start the next one. If possible outsource its marketing and sales. This will give you an outsiders perspective to your work.
- Listen to all criticisms. Filter and accept. The best suggestions will be hidden in some negative criticism. Have the courage to accept it.
2. According to you, what are the similarities and differences in the voice of a blogger, content writer and an author – since you wear all three hats?
A: Whenever I have written as a blogger, I have written from my heart, as if it’s my online diary. As a content writer, the objective is very specific – driving the audience to a website, app or services so such content has to take care of SEO, content plan, content strategy, promotional channels etc. For an author, ideally, one theme/ genre should be selected at the outset, with one lesson or take away for the audience.
3. What tips would you give working mothers out there who aspire to become published authors?
A: The journey is arduous. But some dreams just don’t let you sleep. If you have one such dream, go ahead and do it. Since the day I published my comic book, I have been at peace with myself. I have not promoted it yet. Just an interview with ‘Sheroes’ where they featured me as a Shero. Even this, they discovered me and reached out to me. So, I am relaxing for sometime before the passion of promoting the book takes over me.
4. Gender equality seems to be a topic close to your heart. You mentioned that you tried to ensure that your characters were not stereotypical. Do you think, like stand-up comics, who usually take an anti-establishment stand while trying to make people laugh, authors should also try and highlight social issues through their story-telling?
A: Yes authors should highlight social issues without sounding patronizing because people like to read stories and derive their own meanings. No one likes moral science lectures. So while the backstory of your character should have all these points, your story should not directly say these things.
5. In this internet generation, what does an author have to do to attract youngsters to pick a book up to read?
A: People are getting tired of the internet and too much of social media. This’ll happen automatically when interesting books lure youngsters to them.
6. Tell us about the person/ people in your life who champion your writing.
A: No one actually.
7. If you could meet a historical figure, which one would it be and why?
A: Indira Gandhi. I would like to know what made her so bold and fearless.
8. How do you overcome Writer’s Block?
A: Discipline. But I do lack this time and again and I am not sorry about it because as a creative person I can’t force myself to write. So till the writer’s block lasts I try to read and get inspired.)
- Describe your process for research while writing.
A: Research about the place, facts etc is important. Since the first book was visual I had to Google a lot of images for events that took place. I used personal photos and memorabilia too. Since the book had incidents that I was a witness to, like the Queen’s Silver Jubilee in London, it was easy to build it up in the book. It’ll be difficult to imagine a scene which I was not a part of..like they say you don’t have to be a murderer to write a murder scene. Let’s see if I choose to write a thriller…how it pans out.
- Share some valuable tips for publishing and marketing your eBook.
A: As far as marketing is concerned, an author had once shared that if you intend to write a book 3 years from now, you have to start building social media following today. Though it’s right, I feel creative people don’t have that kind of bandwidth. And too much spending time on social media can affect creativity. So I guess outsourcing marketing is the best way.
Book Blurb: This book illustrates Priyanka’s journey of writing her first comic book – ‘Samaira and the Gang in London.’ It showcases the highs and lows of a first time Author.
You can download ‘How I wrote my comic book, the journey’ from BlogChatter’s page and from Amazon to understand the challenges the author overcame while writing her comic book. Fellow blogger and author Nidhi has reviewed Priyanka’s ebook. Do read it. You can also download the author’s comic book ‘Samaira and the Gang in London’.
Best of luck, @Vermanipriyanka, for your eBook as well as all your future endeavours!!
Hope you enjoyed this interview. Please comment and let me know.
This interview is a part of a series conducted jointly by @anshuwrites, @priyreflects and me. I had a lot of fun carrying out virtual interviews with Arjun Gupta, Rashi Roy, Tomichan Matheikal, Varad, Saba, Kanika G, Neha Tambe, Monika Davessar, Reema D’Souza, Deepa, Namratha, Rashmi and Dr Amrita Basu. In case you haven’t caught those interviews, please do so and share your thoughts! Our aim is that each one of you finds something to take away from the honest and heartfelt experiences shared by the authors.