Tell me a bit about yourself….
Born in Calicut, Kerala holding a Master’s Degree in Communication and Journalism, I currently work for a leading online education company in Bangalore. I am not philosophic, just a random person who thinks a lot about mundane things of life. A novice poet and an aspiring writer. My passion for reading has slowly translated into my love for writing. My major stint as a writer was writing small pieces of articles in Indian Express while working as an Intern there. Other published works include random poems or articles in college magazines.
What genre/s do you write in?
I have published my first book, a collection of poems, and I am currently working on my second, a novella of the Thriller genre.
How long have you been writing?
Though I have been writing on and off for ages, it’s only recently that I have taken it up more seriously.
Do you have any published books or articles? Tell me a bit about these and what publishing route you took.
I have published my first book, a collection of about 40 poems. Voice, as this collection of poems is called, is an attempt by me to give voice to feelings, as could have been felt by others in certain situations. From the lighthouse to the tree or as a random person’s musings, I have made an attempt to express their feelings under different scenarios. Though I tried approaching traditional publishers, either the waiting period was too long or many were reluctant to accept a novice poet, as the genre is not too marketable in India. Finally, I went with a hybrid publisher in India, Goya Publishers. I took up with them mainly because I did not want to get into formatting and other stuff involved in self-publishing the book.
Did you use an editor? If so who?
No, I did not use an editor.
Did you use a book formatter and cover designer?
Formatting and cover design were done by the publishers themselves, following my instructions and inputs.
Did you self-publish or get traditionally published? How did this go for you?
I self-published with a hybrid publisher for a minimal cost. The process was pretty smooth, and the book was out within the month from when I submitted my manuscript.
How do you market your work and promote your brand? (Include links)
I have mostly promoted by brand by word of mouth, or on my social media handles such as my personal accounts of FB, WhatsApp, and Instagram. I have also shared my amazon links on FB groups that promote indie authors. Also, a review for the book is available on my friend’s bookstagram handle. I also have the author page on FB.
My personal account on FB: https://www.facebook.com/vgopinth1/
My facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/VVGNath
What social media and writing platforms would you recommend?
Both FB and Insta are good as far as reach, I think. However, the best way to reach the audience is via genuine reviews, book trailer videos, or reviews/recommendations on popular bookstagram handles(if you can find any to do it).
Do you use an agent?
No, I did not use an agent
Do you use paid advertising? If so, what?
Haven’t tried much-paid advertising except for a random FB Ad or two.
Do you have a blog or website?
What inspires you most to write?
I love words, and I feel that I have stories or poems within me that are worth telling.
What do you do to help with writer’s block?
Hmm, have encountered it, yes. The only thing I did is stay away from writing for a while, and that seemed to have worked for me.
How do you plan your writing and start?
I don’t really plan my writing. The words just flow out of me and I type as I think. Afterward comes the more elaborate editing or expansion or whatever involved.
Is writing your full-time job? If not, what else do you do?
Well, writing is my full-time job in the sense that I work as a Senior Content Writer for a leading e-learning company in Bangalore, India.
What are you working on at the moment?
I am currently working on a thriller novella. The first draft is midway through.
What is your target audience?
My target audience, at least for my first book, is people who love to read and enjoy poetry.
How long does it take you to write a book?
My poetry book, the collection of 40 poems, was done in a month, whereas my novella has been in the works for some years now. So, I guess it all depends.
When did you first discover you enjoyed writing?
As a very young kid, I knew that I loved writing, even if I hadn’t published anything much.
What is your writing schedule look like?
Currently, I don’t follow a schedule, I just write when the mood strikes me.
What does your family think about your writing?
I always received full support and encouragement for writing from my parents and family.
What do you do when you are not writing?
Apart from work and writing, I love to read. I read a lot of genres and enjoy them. I also like to listen to music.
Where do you get information and ideas for your writing?
The idea comes from what I may have seen, just a random thought, a conversation, something I experienced. It could be anything. It could also be something I may have read.
What do you think makes a good story?
A good story is something that touches the heart of your reader. If the book connects you to the reader, then it means that you have succeeded in writing a good story.
Thank you for the chance to get to know you better Vidya the information you have shared will help us all on our writing journey.
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