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What it is really like to be married to an author. Behind the scenes :) --A guest post by satish


What is it like to be married to an Author. A behind the scenes account
 By Satish Shenoy

 I am an avid reader and collect every book of certain authors whom I like reading. It’s great when an author is recognized and the book becomes a national or international best seller. So when people ask me what does it feel like to be married to an author (a best-selling one at that) there is a lot I have to say. There’s an awful lot that takes place behind the scenes before a book comes out in print. It seems quite simple and straight forward to a layman - write a book, get it published, make a name and earn some money too. Simple eh?!! Not sure why it takes so much time for books to get published.

 Any idea what it takes to write a book? My dark side, the one which suffers in silence, would probably say “A lot of effort, stress and work for the spouse and family”. My other side (the sane one – which is well disguised and does not show up too often) would highlight a few key points which go in to producing a good read:

 1. A sharp brain: High intelligence and tremendous forethought is required to write a book. The reader finishes the book and discards it after a read. But has one ever thought of how difficult it is to come up with the plot and then actually pen it down in a way that would entice a reader and hold someone’s attention? Make no mistakes – you need to have a real sharp brain to be able to write and hold someone’s attention, , apart from of course the literary skills.

 2. Gigantic Effort: Running a home is not an easy task. In fact it a much tougher job than going to office and dealing with all kinds of people, which by itself is bad. No questions about it. Added to that, if you also have to write a book it becomes extremely challenging. The only time available after incessant demands on your time ( I must hasten to add, no demands at all from me on Preeti. I am that proverbial Gem with a perfect halo around my head), is probably late in the night after everyone has slept and you finally find some peace. An author, who manages a home, has to first unwind after more than a full day and then be able to get in to the writing act late in the night, as if the day has just started off.

3. Passion: Responding to each comment on a blog or at the very least reading every comment is very onerous. There are some comments which make you smile, some which make you think and then there are the idiotic ones. I classify idiots as those people who have never written two bits worth in their life (including an essay or a letter in school leave alone a love letter) but whose parents gifted them the right to criticise writing of all and sundry. I am a smoker and I believe it is extremely creditable for a smoker to bring in a ban on smoking. But if you have never smoked a cigarette in your life and bring in a ban then it’s no big deal. So write first and then criticise is what I would say.

 4. Sacrifice: Spending time on writing is a lot of sacrifice, as it does eat into the time you could have spent in the company of your loved ones or whatever gives you kicks in life – it could be just watching a movie, sleeping late on the weekend, going on holidays & not picking up calls, getting unexpectedly licked in the face by this huge black Doberman or just curling up in a hammock and reading a book. Majority of the time as an author you end up sacrificing many little things that bring you joy.

 5. Stress: There is a lot of work to be done and very stiff deadlines. You need to make choices as to what aspects would work best. Most people assume this is a fun and easy job and “what the hell – I can do it too. If you get money for it too, then even better”. Let me tell you – It’s not easy at all. There is so much tension and worry which one goes through that at times it makes you feel it is all not really worth it. And then the book becomes a best seller, people like it and write back some really sweet comments and the smile on the face for your effort makes it all worth it again.

 Having been married to an author and an artist for 16 years, I must tell you I truly deserve a medal. Like Preeti says life has had its fair shares of ups and downs. Artists & authors are quirky (literal translation--insane) and Sagittarians are crazy too and she is both. Would I change any of that? The answer clearly is no.


Preeti has been working non-stop for the last few months on her third book. It’s been a very tough & challenging job, full of stress and hardly any sleep for her. Am glad this is the last stretch – but then I guess there will be book 4 and 5 and …. more to come and life goes on. There are days when we hardly ever speak to each other since she is busy writing, or on the phone or penning down some ideas that struck her and does not want to be disturbed or just catching up on a bit of sleep. She has gone through a lot, spent many many sleepless nights apart from having to put up with me and the kids interrupting her, every now and then. She is extremely passionate about her work and would prefer answering comments on her blog and writing out a plot, as compared to just spending time with me. Imagine! Okay--Not really but what the hell, this is my post so I get to say what I want. Ha ha.

 There are times when she has got so stressed and in turn stressed me out. She comes up with scripts  that are amazing and at the same time so simple. So many people relate to it and write in to her. I just wonder why I could not have done all of that, as well as she does. That cannot, be my fault as I am sure you would agree.

 I have had the pleasure of going through her third book as it unfolded chapter by chapter and I must tell you it has come out beautifully. I am sure you will enjoy it too (the law of averages says that there will of course be a few idiots, described above, who will of course contribute their bits). But I am sure the majority would love it. And after seeing what it takes to write a book I take my hat off to Preeti and also to all you authors out there and say well done.

 I have the best of ALL worlds. Married to a wonderful person, an artist, a published author (three times over and counting and National bestsellers to boot), have something imaginative, creative and nice to read all the time in-house, not to mention the lovely discussions we have about the characters in the book and how the plot turns. I have absolutely no ‘Kidas’ in me which make me want me to sit down and write a book – would rather just enjoy life as it comes.

But if I did catch the bug someday, then would dedicate that book to Preeti at the same time giving her the first hand experience of what it feels to live with an author.

  PS – To any intelligent ones who may raise the question after reading this post. Just to clarify, I am not part of the minority group mentioned above - after all even though I have not written a book, have written this blog post, right.
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Pre-order to Preeti's third book will open soon! Follow her Facebook page for details!

Comments

  1. Hey Satish!
    All I can say after reading ur post is, "HATS OFF TO YOU TOO MAN!!!"
    It's truly difficult to manage the stress and demands that u have mentioned in the post. You are really MADE FOR EACH OTHER!Wish u all the happiness in life!

    Love,
    Bhavika

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  2. Preeti, I think this is the greatest appreciation for your third book... Excitement to read it increased after Satish's words...

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  3. very nicely written Satish - I think you guys are made for each other. God bless u!

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  4. Loved it, Satish! Such an insight. SO looking forward to the book :D

    And ya, I think am one of those people who can "criticize" a work of lit because I read like crazy and blog regularly. But I still don't feel qualified enough to behave like these "idiots" do. But then, "consider how stupid the average person is, and realize that 50% people are more stupid than that!" :P

    I have got a glimpse of how Preeti works, and her amazing level of dedication. There is a man behind a successful woman as well, y'know ;)

    Also, hugs to Preeti. For the new book :-)
    Love,
    Sucheta

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  5. Behind every sucessful married writer is her family supporting and encouraging her ... I can see you and your wonderful kids have a great share in bringing out that creative writer in her nurturing that talent and encouraging her in her ventures & hobbies ... unless she has a strong support from home , Though she has a A sharp brain,makes gigantic effort, passion , sacrifice and taking all the stress .... she wont be able to bring out the wonderful ideas which she pens in her books.... Thankyou and your loving family for gifting us this wonderful writer :)

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  6. Behind every sucessful married writer is her family supporting and encouraging her ... I can see you and your wonderful kids have a great share in bringing out that creative writer in her nurturing that talent and encouraging her in her ventures & hobbies ... unless she has a strong support from home , Though she has a A sharp brain,makes gigantic effort, passion , sacrifice and taking all the stress .... she wont be able to bring out the wonderful ideas which she pens in her books.... Thankyou and your loving family for gifting us this wonderful writer :)Thank you Satish

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  7. P & S: It's indeed important to have an understanding spouse to succeed in any phase of life. And both of you are blessed that way. Keep it going and Cheers !

    Love !

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  8. Yeah....waiting for the pre-order...:)
    Loved the way Satish wrote it. One needs a lot of support from the spouse...or else it becomes quite difficult...and you both are lucky to have each other as partners.
    *touchwood*

    YOU BOTH ARE SIMBLY AWEESOMEEE!!!

    Gayu

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  9. And the kids too....!!

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  10. :) It was a nice read!
    And lucky Satish, you get first hand autographed copies - straight from the author ;)

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  11. Hey Satish, You're a fabulous writer too! :)

    Loved the simplicity and candidness in your words. It's very tough and challenging to be a writer and even more to be writer's partner. Preeti is lucky to have you as her support and I'm sure you're more than happy too!

    And kudos to the best selling author for publishing regularly here with that hectic schedule. :D

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  12. that is what called as manly love.... preeti's hubby u really touched my heart :D

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  13. Hey... All the best for ur next book Preeti and this post certainly raises the level of appreciation I have for authors!

    -Ramya

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  14. Nice post Mr Satish:) The way you summed up 'living with an author' was truly a delight to read.

    PS- I like most of your guest posts on the blog:P

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  15. ha ha..

    Very nice reading your guest post satish! The inside details are from-the-heart and at the same time made an interesting read..

    No doubt, you could write a good book, but cant imagine the kids, having to put up with two authors in the household!!!!!!!

    Anyu ways , well written post.. n the effort and the sacrifice that goes in to writing a book are indeed huge!!!

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  16. nice post satish..

    Interestingly written and they are from the heart too..

    No doubt , u can make a good author too.. ut cant imagine the kids having to deal with 2 authors in the household!!!!! ;)

    n Oh.. sooooooo much effort n sacrifice goes behind making a good book!!!!!!!!!!!!! hmmmm..

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  17. I m still single, n thanks Satish as after reading this blog I would make sure atleast NOT to marry a writer coz I know I can't be as supportive as U r... hats off to u :)
    Preeti- U r lucky to have Satish as one can see he is d one making all compromises in lyf 4u :P
    God bless u both! :)

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  18. Sir, This was awesome! It not only tells us about the life and stress related to being an author, but also how much you love and support you're giving!

    1. Sharp brain- absolutely. It's no small deal racking brains over plots.

    2. Passion- True true. and I also agree on the criticizers part.

    It's such fun reading this blog, getting insights about authors and their lives ;) I love it (maybe because I would like to be an author too, someday ;)). Thanks for writing this!

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  19. Hi Bhavika,

    Thanks. I think an author's life is tougher than anything else. What Preeti does is tonnes more than what I do, including bringing up the kids, managing thge house and then writing. She is brilliant and I am really really proud of her.

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  20. Remya, Totally agree with your comment. This post was indeed to apporeciate the gigantic effort Preeti puts in. She truely is a star. The book is also awesome. You will enjoy it for sure and that is not a fond husband's views.

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  21. Thanks so much Sathya. Much appreciated.

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  22. Hey Sucheta.
    Much as I would like to take some credit it is a solo Preeti show. She is a star and has not only the talent but also puts in enormous effort to make things succeed. While in jest I may claim to help and support her it is she and only she who does everything. I just go to office and come back at the end of the day and she handles not only the house, kids but also then writes. She is an inspiration to a lot of us (me leading the pack). And no I dont agree with the point that behind every successful women there is a man. Its completely her effort and total dedication which makes her succeed. There's a lot to learn from her and she has been the one who despite everything works passionately on writing and art. I would have probably given up and slept but she goes days without sleep when she writes. I can claim no credit in all of this - lets be honest. I enjoy her writing and therefore look forward to each chapter eagerly when she writes. That is about my only contribution.

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  23. Rajashree, Thanks but see what I have said to Sucheta. Preeti only and no one else deserves all the credit and not the rest of us. I genuinely am amazed at her effort to do all of this. I personally would not be able to and would have given up long back. Its a very tough ask and she delivers it so easily. She manages everything herself and while my post jokingly says the rest of us do contribute, that was more in the lighter vein and in all honesty it is only she and no one else responsible for all of this and much more.

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  24. @D yes it is good to have an understanding spouse, but it is still a lot of effort required by the individual. That credit cannot be taken away from that person. :) She is amazing

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  25. Gayu. The luck is totally mine. Dunno what I did to deserve her. She is a star. And yes even I am desperately waiting for the printed copy even though have read the book a few times. Am certain the effort she put in will pay rich dividends.

    Not many days left for it to be published.

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  26. @MS - Yes am blessed that way. Do manage to get the first copy of each book with a personal line in it in her handwriting. And being her spouse also get some dedication though not fully deserved. What more can i ask for
    :P

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  27. Hey Rachit. Thanks. Comments such as yours whilst good for my ego are misdirected. Not a patch on Preeti in terms of writing. There are a number of other things I am better at no doubt, but this is not one of them. Yes would like to believe I support her but its actually a single person show. She does most of it and I get the credit and some dedication in her book also. Good deal for me I must say.

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  28. Thanks Phani Kumar. Yep that I think is what love is all about.

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  29. Ramya. You hit it spot on. After seeing Preeti work and come up with books my appreciation for her and authors in general too went up miles.

    :)

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  30. Thanks Ashwarya.

    I said a lot in jest in my post, but living with an author is actually great and if it is Preeti then its even better.

    Now if she wrote a story about living with a CA am sure it would be a very different ball game. But then lets leave that and keep her busy writing books instead. Much better to read right?

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  31. @Hunter. The bits about the effort, dedication and passion were completely from the heart. The effort bit that I put in was completely in jest.

    The effort and sacrifice put in to writing a book are actually by her. My kids and I are extremely proud of her. Would be trade her for anyone else and avoid sacrifices - no chance in hell. And given that the kids hero worship their mom so much for being a successful author I actually may end up writing a book just to impress them. But there again it will never be as good as hers. Thats the only problem or else that has always been my alternate career plan.

    And last but not the least. She makes enormous sacrifices. There are weekends when everyone but us is going out because she has a deadline to meet. She hardly sleeps more than a few hours a day and then is up before me in the morning to send the kids to school. When they are back she has a hot meal ready for them, when I am back coffee. And post all of that she writes late in to the night without complaining. Yes it is a big deal indeed to me and am super proud of this lady.

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  32. @Suhail - I can only say it will completely be your loss then.

    While my post is full of jest, neither me or the kids would have it any other way. Who would want to be married to a person who did not have the spunk or charecter or some zest in life. Friendly advice from me free of charge - seriously rethink your strategy before you get married. If the clock turned back and I had to choose all over again I would do thye same blindly seven days a week and twice on Sunday ;)
    And like I mentioned above (but dont quote me loudly) - its not me who is making the sacrifices. Its her, but lets leave it at that. Happy to take credit even though not deserved. :)

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  33. Hey Ashna, thanks. Actually She puts in the effort and supports me and I give her the stress. :)

    Completely agree with your points. :)

    Yeah like I mentioned above she is just fab. I would not have it any other way.

    All the very best to you in your litereary career. Hope you succeed as an author and what's even better would be if your better half writes a similar post about your work in the future and Preeti and I visited that blog and commented on the post. What say??

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  34. A very vivid and well said explanations.... Really a great work of appraisal.

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  35. Wow...Satish you actually took time to read all the comments and reply to them...:)

    That's cho chweet of you!!!

    Gayu

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  36. It was lovely reading your post. somehow i am not surprised. Through Preeti's posts it was quite clear to me that she has a wonderful hubby.

    Even the dedication in her bestselling novel, Life is What you Make it"... she says, To Satish and my kids, without whom i am nothing". A touching tribute from her to you.

    Even writing a Blog post at times requires a lot of thought and planning,so can imagine the tremendous amount of effort it would require to write a book. It takes all of intelligence passion,sacrifice and more.

    Hats off to you,for being her anchor and making it so easy for her to focus on her writing.

    Made for each other couple :)

    Waiting for your third Preeti!

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  37. This is one of the sweetest things I've read in a long time...and believe me, it's true as I am in the business of reading sweet things ;-D

    God bless!

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