Author Manali Desai – Noting down ideas about the characters of my book helps me write better.

By Aryeman



A brief introduction about author Manali Desai (in her own words)I’m a writer by both passion and profession. A full-time freelance content and creative writer, I also run my own blog A Rustic Mind, where I share my experiences and anecdotes about life through travel blogs, open letters, and stories about inspiring women.
I’m an author of four published books, which include two solo books and two anthologies. I have also edited a book written by another author.


How long did it take to get your first novel / book published?
It did not take long to publish; however, the compiling and completion took many years. You see my debut book is a collection of poems and these consist of those poems which I have been writing since I was in school.
So, you can say it took about 10-12 years to complete and another year to get it published, so roughly around 13-14 years.

What mistakes did you make with the publishing of your first book which you try not to repeat?
The only mistake I think I made was not approaching more publishers with the manuscript. I jumped on the wagon right away when the third publisher I had sent the manuscript to, said yes.
I wish I would have approached more publishers, checked their goodwill, negotiated harder, looked at what was being offered, etc and taken more time to get the book out.

Can you focus on working on two books or stories at the same time?
Interesting that you ask me this question now. Coincidentally I’m currently working three books simultaneously.

For Theatre reviews, do click HERE

Is there a modus operandi you follow and formulate before you actually start writing your next book?
Journaling or noting down whatever ideas that popup in my head related to whatever book(s) or stories I’m working on at that point of time, and getting on these ideas later, making a rough draft, then a fair one, then editing it at least 3-4 times. That’s how I roll!

Does the writer’s block actually exist? Any tips you would give to come out of it.
Oh yes, it definitely does. Here are a few things that work for me when I’m not motivated to write, or the writing ideas just refuse to come.
-         Read (preferably re-read your favorite books)
-         Engage in a hobby or activity you like (other than writing) like painting, baking, etc

What was the book that most influenced your life, and why?
There are three books to list here actually
-         Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie because it was the first book, I read which talked about the reign of Indira Gandhi and the major events (India Bangladesh division, emergency, etc) that took place during this time in our country
-         The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand because it talked about architecture and how design can bring about a revolution. I had never read any other book/story like that before and it blew my mind
-         The Unforgettable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera because it was my first experience of reading a translated work and also because it deep-heartedly charts the main characters’ struggles against communism which again was a first of its kind reading for me.

How often do you read other novels? Who are your favourite authors?
A few favourites include
·       JK Rowling (only the Harry Potter series though, haven’t read any of her other books/works)
·       Ruskin Bond
·       Enid Blyton
·       Agatha Christie
·       Arundhati Roy

 Books published by the author:

A Rustic Mind- a poetry compilation
The Untold Stories- a collection of microtales
Ten Tales- an anthology. It is a collection of short stories written by authors from across the world. My story in this book is titled 'I'm Glad I'm Not Beautiful'
Zista- an anthology. This is a collection of three short stories by writers from India. My story in this book is titled 'The Walls Have Ears'

Book Links:
A.    A Rustic Mind
B.    The Untold Stories:
·       Flipkart
·       Ukiyoto
C.    Ten Tales
·       Ukiyoto
D.   Zista
·       Ukiyoto