I am Swati and I was born and grew up in Delhi. I write women centred romantic comedy aka chick lit. Before dabbling into writing, I completed my post graduation in business. Amazingly I have learned Spanish and German and have valid certification in both but sadly can’t speak any of it in decent fluency. Before writing Fashionably Yours, I have authored four coffee-table books and written for a lifestyle magazine. One thing very few people know about me that I am a clairvoyant and no it’s not a joke! Currently I live in Delhi with my extensive collection of nail polishes, lipsticks and with a very neat pile of fashion magazines. Drop by my facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/SwatiSharmaAuthor?ref=bookmarks) or Twitter (https://twitter.com/Author_Swati ) and say hi!
1.What got you into writing / what made you sit down and actually start something? Ever since I was a kid, I was good at telling stories. I was always one of those children who never felt lonely even when left alone because I had so many fictional characters and colourful stories going around in my mind to keep me busy. Though, I was bad at everything else, for example, making friends, holding a decent conversation, finishing my homework, reaching tuition on time, maths and basically everything else related to the studies.
2.What is a usual writing day like for you, how is it structured?
I wish I had an actual writing day. I am one of the most unorganised writers ever. I start my morning at 7 O’clock when I go for a walk to a local park or sometimes take Zumba and hip-hop classes. Usually by 9o’clock I am changed and fed and in my bed with my laptop and determination to write (yes, you read that right. I write in my bed!). But as soon as I switch on my laptop, the determination flies out of the window and I find myself juggling and struggling with facebook, twitter, instagram and pinterest. By the time I get my motivation back, it’s time for lunch and couple of episodes of DC cupcakes or any other reality show. It’s generally at 8p.m when I actually start to write and then I write up till 1 or 2 A.M. I find myself more creative and productive around this time. I generally write in mess and edit in a clean, scented room with dim lighting.
3.Do you get writers block? If so, how do you overcome it? Yes. I do get them and quite often too. I usually take a long bath and sleep on it or settle down with a good book and a cup of hot chocolate. I am usually out of it in two days max.
4.Are you a plotter/planner when it comes to writing a story? As I mentioned it earlier, I am the most unorganized writer ever. I didn’t at all plan my debut novel “Fashionably Yours” and worked on chapter to chapter bases but with my second novel I am doing everything properly.
5.What was the publishing process like for you,& any advice to aspiring authors? I got my publishing deal with Harlequin India in a very dramatic way. I sent out my entry into the Annual Passion Aspiring Authors Auditions 2013 only an hour before it was supposed to be closed down as I wasn’t even aware of this contest till the very last. After that I waited to hear from them for couple of months and when after the long, tiring wait they announced the result of the winners, I found out that I didn’t win. That was the heartbreaking moment for me and if truth to be told, I did cry a river. For two days straight I didn’t step out of my room and then suddenly something unexpected happened. I got the email from Amrita Chawdhary, Publishing Head of Harlequin India and in the mail she mentioned that though I didn’t win but she would like to read my full manuscript. I was over the moon. I couldn’t believe my luck! Without much delay I sat down to polish my book and after several mails back and forth and various rounds of edits, I finally got the deal.
My advice to the aspiring writers is never stop dreaming and keep writing. If I can do it, they can too.
6.What has been your highlight since becoming a published author?
7.Can you share a little of your next book with us? Well I have temporarily named it “Written In The Stars”.
8.Apart from writing, what do you do in your spare time? I read, a lot and watch the insane amount of Hollywood flicks and reality shows.
9.What tip would you give to new authors when trying to build a fan-base / get followers and market their books? (What to do and what not to do.) Writing a book and getting it published is only half of the task. The fate of the book is hugely depend on the amount and quality of marketing. Connect to people through facebook, twitter, pinterest, instagram and so on. Talk about your work. Make your presence felt but don’t overdo any of it as it could annoy the people and left them irritated.
10.How would you describe your writing style? My writing style is quite witty, funny and flowing. I don’t use dictionary wording, rather I hate it. I try to keep things simple and enjoyable. In the words of my publisher, my voice is my USP.