I hope this can inspire you to become a successful author too! Why is it important to hear the story of a successful author?
Having the vision to become an author is great. Making it happen is another story!
The story of real people, like you and me, who decided to take their life into their hands and make their dreams come true, for the greater good! The story of a real successful author, who built their success from scratch: thanks to their passion, their authenticity, and their vision!
In that frame, I had the pleasure to interview Jyoti Patel, an Author of 5 books, A World Record Holder, A Global Goodwill Ambassador.
1. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
To be honest, I never really thought that I would become a writer someday. A few years ago, I found an online platform to read amazing books and to share my short stories, poetry and novels. This gave me the chance to publish my works online, which can be available to a wider audience from all around the world. The votes and comments came flooding into my stories and every poem I published online, not immediately but from next few days; I’d never experienced anything like it before. Each day I woke up to messages of encouragement from readers wanting to know “What I’m writing next” & saying “How inspiring my books are” so, that’s how my writing journey has been started.
As days and months passed, I received so many opportunities to publish my works and I started contributing to many anthology books, I was very much happy with the response by my readers and so, I decided to write and publish my first solo book.
2. How long does it take you to write a book?
My first solo book ‘Sensation of a Soul’ was published in 2016, the second ‘The Mystic Soul’ in 2017 and the third book ‘Whispers of the Soul’ in the year 2018. It takes around 7 to 8 months for me but, it may take around ten months or more to work on a full-length Novel.
3. What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
I prefer to stay offline, I completely try to focus on writing, editing and researching for the book! I relax with music and watching movies once in a while. I try to make the process of writing a book exciting in my own ways.
4. What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
* I talk to my characters like they’re real, probably because, most of them really are! I talk to the characters in my poetry, short – stories or to whomever I create with my imagination in the belief they are alive somewhere.
* I prefer to write in the notebooks sometimes! In the process of character-building, or when it comes to the chapter/poetry titles, I always first write them in the book.
* I always pay attention to everything around me and take the mental notes of tiniest details.
* This might sound hilarious but, I write in my pyjamas most days. I can never really focus on writing at the time of travelling or when I am others. I prefer to sit down in one place, and PJs actually help me a lot!
5. How do books get published?
Writers spend hundreds and thousands of hours writing a book, receive some rejection letters in the end, and so, many writers choose self-publishing.
Publishing a book independently and at one’s own expense is easier than handling the rejections from the top publishers, however; Self-published authors should expect to spend only 30% of their time writing and 70% of their time marketing the book. And, the Traditional book way of book publishing is when a publisher offers the author a contract and, in return, prints the book, publishes, and sells the book through booksellers, other retailers and online. The publisher buys the right to publish our book and pays us the royalty from the sales. (Not to forget, receiving a royalty remains as a dream for many authors.)
Some books never sell enough copies to earn back the advance, so the author never receives royalties. Most of the publishers actually charge authors for publishing books. Some publishers don’t pay advances, and authors only get royalties. Others pay only advances and not royalties.
I would also like to say, there are a lot more of publishers in India than the writers, many of them are into this business only for the sake of making money and nothing else. They charge too much from the young newcomers who have no idea how it works!
6. Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
For me, Inspiration, information and ideas come in various ways and I always learn something from every person I meet. No matter who it is, what their background is, I firmly believe that everyone we meet has something to teach us in one way or other.
I know so many young writers and established ones who are very good in their own way. I learn something from their books, writing style, ways of marketing and promoting the books. Depending on the plot, poetry, articles or stories I am writing, I do a lot of research. The importance of research is very high, it’s so very important to read as well. I generally get all the required information online, sometimes; I talk to people who are in the writing field to learn something new from them.
7. When did you write your first book and how old were you?
My first book was published in the year 2016 when I was 17 years old, and in the second year of graduation!
8. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I like to sing, I like to cook, I like reading books and articles. I focus on my other important works. I paint sometimes, and listening to music is my favourite thing to do! I was an active blogger but, I had to take a break! I was never a big fan of movies or TV shows but, I am giving more of my time to them these days as I feel, there is a lot to learn from movies and shows as well, especially, for the writers!
9. What does your family think of your writing?
They support me and understand the reality of this industry! We don’t make big money out of writing. This is not for someone who wants to make money immediately, it takes ages to grow! There would be a lot of ups and downs, frustrating nights, over-thinking days!
10. What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
That, I can create a great hero out of a bad villain, and that it’s hard for me to kill a character.
11. How many books have you written? Which is your favourite?
I had contributed to various books as a writer; my three published solo books are ‘Sensation of a Soul’ ‘The Mystic Soul’ and ‘Whispers of the Soul’
My fourth book ‘The Curved Rainbow’ and the fifth, ‘The Forest of Feelings’ are ready to release by the end of March 2019. I have no favourites but, if I have to choose one, it is my last published book ‘Whispers of the Soul’ for; I feel I have given my best as a poet! Over the years, I learned so many different things and improved myself. One can clearly notice the difference in my third book and so, I choose it!
12. Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?
* Read. Read a lot! Read random stuff, articles, and books.
* Don’t be an ‘aspiring writer’ for years, instead just write! I feel the aspiring writer is someone who wants to write but doesn’t.
* Trust yourself, support yourself and go for it. Give your hundred per cent!
* Try whatever you want, whenever you can, you don’t have to think about publishing your work and to make it big instantly! It doesn’t work that way.
13. Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
Oh yes! I hear from my readers at times and I feel so good! I just cannot define my happiness in words. It feels so great when we see a good review or hear from our readers for; we spend years creating a book! I truly feel grateful when readers talk to me personally, perhaps, we don’t receive the lovely emails and texts every day but, until now, I received a lot of texts from my readers saying that my books have somehow changed their life, helped them to overcome depression and sadness. I feel so great for I always wanted to inspire people through my work.