On writing a book

A lot of people write to me asking me where I get the ideas from to write a book. Also,  Satish did a post yesterday which spoke about what it means to be married to an author which generated a lot of interest. So I thought I would do a post on  what it involves to write a book.(giving you a view from my side)

Writing a book is really like giving birth to a baby. At first there is the inception of an idea. Then you carry it around. Then there is labour and finally you give birth (with all the accompanying labour pains) and lo behold--a book is born! After that it is not yours anymore. It is out there. For all to see.

For me, for an idea to take inception,it has to be something which I feel  really enthusiastic about. For all those who have read my books and my blog, you would know that I always do something different.

"34 bubblegums and candies" was  a non-fiction book. It was, to be precise, creative non-fiction. It was a first book straight from the heart. It was a compilation of my very popular blog-posts adapted to suit a book, written with a lot of humour. Many people who read it write to me saying they really laughed out loud and they don't remember when was the last time a book entertained them or moved them so much.

"Life is what  you make it" was  based on a true story which deeply moved me. I did a lot of research to write this book. I spoke to people in the Mental health field. At the time I was living in the U.K where there is a lot of awareness about Bipolar disorder. There are associations for people who are suffering from it as well as support groups. I attended a painting exhibition organised by the Bipolar artists association. The depth of the images they painted, blew me away.  When I traveled to India, I visited NIMHANS and spoke to people there. The real life Ankita of course gave me a lot of inputs too. It took me two years to write this book.
I put myself in the shoes of Ankita and truly lived her life. It showed.  I have got hundreds of mails where people have told me they cried reading the story.
The phenomenal success it has received has taken me by surprise and I am elated about it. The book was in  "Top books of 2011" as per the Nielsen list which is published in Hindustan Times. It was also on Times of India.

Both my books are also among the 'Top selling books of 2011' on flipkart.

Of course, I worked even harder for my third book. I have put in much more effort than I did with the first two.The third book has nothing to do with Mental disorder.  The second book was set in the eighties. But the third book is a story of our times. The closest people to me, who have read it told me that the story was so gripping that they could not put it down. They simply had to know what happens next. The third book is again based loosely on some true incidents. Of course, any identifying details have been changed.

There are many many revisions and changes that happen before a book goes into print. The manuscript flies back and forth. Each and every sentence is dissected, mulled over. Each comma, each full-stop has to be analyzed. Not easy when there are 75000 words! Some days I  truly felt like I had been reading and re-reading till my eyes bled!

In a regular job, you can switch off on weekends and take a break. But when your work lives inside your head, it is hard to switch off. The characters in my books really feel like my long lost friends. One of the places that the book is set in is Pondicherry (a place that I have lived in and loved). After I wrote one particular scene in the book, I was so engrossed in it and I was so carried away myself, I very badly wanted to visit the place! (And we all did. We drove down and took a  holiday there where I also caught up with one of my closest friends who lies there :-))  Pondicherry is indeed a gorgeous place.

As you can see, I really live my stories. I go through everything that the protagonist goes through. For a while, I become a different person. At times,I feel like I am living a double life as of course I have to switch back. I have to do my mummy bit and housewife bit. I am always home when the kids come back from school. I spend a lot of time with them. I read them stories, we talk about stuff. I also tell them about my book and how many words I wrote that day and whether or not it was a good writing day.

But I enjoy it so much. As much as I enjoy my art.

And though it is an awful lot of hard work, I wouldn't have it any other way!

The Author picture for my third book (yes, yes, I will announce details for pre-order soon! Pre-ordered copies will be signed by me too!) was finalised yesterday. This is the photo (clicked yesterday) that will be in the book.

I am really excited about this baby of mine which is going to arrive soon! (Watch this space!)

And yes,  as always, I do need your wishes and support too. You will help, won't you?


You can interact with me on my Facebook page too. I do reply back  :)


  1. Mewants a signed copy!!

    Love your dedication and work ethic. I've told you a million times already. I really, really do. Guess it comes naturally when you do what you love and love what you do.

    Hugs and best wishes. Always.

  2. Do nice people who comment first get a signed copy? ;) just kidding.. :) Looking forward to ur third book.. You are very talented and strike a chord with ur readers instantly.. Keep up your multi tasking and writing all the amazing books like always.. My best wishes are with u.. All the very best! :)

  3. Hearty congratulations on baby #3!!

    Can't wait to lay my hands on it :-)

  4. All the very best, Preeti :) We will definitely do our bit by buying your book :)I am already excited! :D god bless you with lots and lots of happiness, great health,prosperity and everything you require :) :)

    Kavya Mysore

  5. Hi Preeti, wish you all the very best for the 3rd book :) I will definitely do my bit by buying your book :) *eagerly waiting*
    May god bless you with lots of happiness, great health, success and everything u require :) :)

    Lots of love,
    Kavya Mysore

  6. Enjoyed your Both the Books.Adding positivity to the readers.
    Surely I'll get the third one also.

    moreover,Well impressed by your balance in Life.

    Best Wishes...:-)

  7. Super pic....n I can see d satisfaction in ur smile....I too need a signed copy....all d best.......

  8. Good luck for the next one..It will be a another milestone in your success story, I'm absolutely sure about this :)

  9. ooh so all pre-order copies will be signed by you? In that case I must just order one and send it to my parents - they will then send it to me either via courier or someone traveling back. For a change, I liked your post better than Satish's :P!

  10. I have been interacting with you through this blog since I read your second book. And as I told you yesterday I was reading it for the second time. Preeti, your writing forms into pictures as it moves on. It's writing so candidly and deeply which is very very inspiring. :)

    I'm waiting for your third one and I want a signed copy!
    Something special given by Preeti herself, right?

    You are absolutely right when you said that you can never take your characters off your mind even when you're on a holiday. This must be the spirit. You're wonderful person with a fortuitous life that undoubtedly designed by you. Keep Smiling. :)

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  12. So do u write chapter by chapter or the whole book is written first and then bifurcated?
    Also, wana know how writing a blog different from writing a book? The protocol must be different...right?

  13. Hi preeti,
    Much thanks for visiting my blog! I'm honoured by your presence in my blog! I've been reading your blog quite regularly, but silently! I haven't really had a chance to read your books, but am really keen on reading them! Being an author + mother of 2 is a difficult task. And that is impossible if the husband is not understanding! With what your husband wrote yesterday, it was awesome! It seems he will soon write his book "What it takes to live with author" :)
    Good luck with your third book!

  14. Waiting to read your third book!! :)
    Hope I would get a signed copy :D :D

    All the best and cheers!

  15. Hi Preeti..

    Can't wait anymore!!! Pls... announce the details for pre-order soon.. these posts create an urge to read the book. U'r going to be on the best seller's list for ur 3rd book also..NO doubt about it!! :)

    Wish u all the success and happiness in life!


  16. Hi Preeti..
    I am sure U are gonna rock again with ur third book..Today morning I was really wondering If there is way to pre-order a book which is yet to come in pre-ordered section.. ;)waiting eagerly for ur signed copy and I want to be among the first ones to give orders for same.. because who knows Flipkart would say 'signed copies available till stocks last ;) And when would you disclose the book name?

    love and luck

  17. Hi Preeti,

    For first time in life, I am eagerly waiting for Feb 14th ;) [since you announced that your third book will be out on Valentine's day]

    I love your 2 books and blogs and many of my friends liked your books.
    I will do my bit to make your 3rd book a success by buying more copies (for me and friends) ... hoping that I will be lucky to get signed copies....just waiting for the pre-order to start ....

    Best wishes for your book.


  18. Great to hear dis...really exicted to see d new baby :)

  19. Ya...I just wanna ask..MERA NUMBER KAAB AAEGA...I too want a Signed copy of ur new baby.......Tons of Love...Hugs & success...ALL THE VERY BEST....M THEIR WD U (of course after Atul, Purvi Satish & ur 3rds Baby..)...to spread the positive Vibe...Spread LOVE...laughter....Care

  20. Hi Preeti,
    Am eagerly waiting for your 3rd one.. As i had already told you, i was very much impressed reading your 2nd one.. What you have said is absolutely true.. When the Author gets into the skin of the character, the best comes out and that is very much evident in your second one.. I want a signed copy too.. All the best for it. Wish you success..

  21. Riki: thanks a ton. For signed copy, please pre-order!

    Ruchika:really appreciate the offer to spread the word. Thanks! Please pre-order for signed copy!

    Karthick: hope u like the baby :P :)

    Tony:Thank you so much! Please tell your firends about the pre-order too! I will put up the link as soon as it's announced. Pre-order will be much before feb 14th. Feb 14th is when it hits the stores.

  22. Nitu:Thank you so very much. really appreciate the heartfelt wishes. I am also waiting to announce title along with cover and pre-order. Soon!! Flip-kart will be putting up pre-order link soon.

    Bhavika: You have no idea how eager I am! I am waiting for go-ahead from my publishers! Thanks a million :)

    Swetha: i hope so too! Thanks!

    Vaish:Thank u so very much! :) yeah he is supportive :) But then I never neglect my 'house-duty' if u know what i mean ;-)

    Suhail: Did you read satish's reply to you in my previous post? I wtrite chapter by chapter.

    Rachit:Thank you so very very very much :)

  23. Shachi: :-* <3 :)

    Aish: thanks a ton!

    Gayu: Yup! Pre-ordered copies will be signed! :)

    Sand: much appreciate your telling me so! Thanks a lot :)

    Kavya: Thanks u so very much. lots of love to you!

    Mama-mia:Thanks a lot! me coming to Kolkata in Feb! we should surely try and meet!

    Sango: if the nice people kindly offer to pay my children's school fees they get three signed copies :) Just kidding :D Thank u so very much! really appreciate :)

    Sucheta: Cant wait for 21st! ;-)

  24. I'm so excited for U Preeti....2012 is starting off with a BANG huh:-)).

    Wishing U all the best!!!!


  25. loved this post! all the best for the third one, you mother of just two, but author of three ;-)

  26. Mommy dear cant wait to lay my hands on your third baby..When is the due date ? ;) Many Many congratulations
    and wishing you loads of success :) Wishing you many more babies too ;)
    And such a pleasant photo you have there :)

    All the very best and as everyone ME too wants a Signed copyyyyy :)

  27. wow...That is great going!! Hey when will this pre-ordered copy be sent out. Wondering which address should i give, present or future (shifting residence this month end).
    All the very best!
    Looking forward to holding your baby#3 soon:-)


  28. Wow...great going!!
    Hey when is the due date??:-)
    Going to pre-order, wondering which address do i give - present or new(shifting residence this month end).
    Looking forward to holding your baby#3;-)

  29. yes I read his post n it left me in deep trouble..now m not sure whether I shud stick to my earlier decision or should I mention in my profile on matrimonial portals -- Groom looking for writer bride (No other criteria required to be fulfilled) :P

  30. Suhail: It's not whether you should stick to your decision..It also depends on whether the writer wants you! :D (and girls who write, they are really msart ;-) )

    Durga: Likely to be sent out in feb 1st week or 2nd week.

    Mridula: pre-order has been announced--see my FB page pls!

    MS: hopefully author of many more :)

    Nancy:Thank u! :)

  31. ha ha ha ... lolz ... actually u r right, writers r really smart n I shud start thinking the other way round..'what qualities a girl writer will look forward in the guy she wants to marry?' ...N shall start working on those!! ;-)

  32. Satish can guide me very well for that...will follow him....Is he on FB? ;-)

  33. gud luck for the success of ur third book :D
    pondicherry is indeed a wonderful place.... ( i m from pondicherry :P )
    n pre-order is open on landmarkonthenet.com too. So will we get signed copies for orders on flipkart only or for landmark pre-orders also??


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