Happy Book-versary to Me!

“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

All I wanted ever since Readomania planted the idea, was a novel against my name. 

How much could you stretch a 300-word story? Stretch I did!

It was a tremendous learning experience. Multiple layers were added and characters with enough back stories surfaced. Slowly, the story began to stitch itself seamlessly.

‘When Padma Bani Paula’ has been my second chance at acing Karma. 

 

  1. #WhenPadmaBaniPaula was in the Top 100 Hot New Releases Contemporary Fiction - every single week for 3 months since its launch on Amazon on 5th April 2018. (Books or Kindle version)
  2. ‘When Padma Bani Paula' was one of the biggest selling books of Readomania. Many bookshops across NCR have restocked the title at least thrice.
  3. My book garnered 54 reviews in about three and a half months
  4. ‘When Padma Bani Paula' has been listed one of the 5 best books of 2018 - Fiction, by readwriteinspire.com  
  5. As an author of this book, I spoke at Hyderabad Lit Fest 2019 and Pune Lit Fest 2018.

 

These are all mere statistics. Before all this happened, how often have I warmed the benches of glittering book launches wondering if my time under the sun would ever come? How many silent tears have I shed, fighting those debilitating bouts of self-doubt? 

Finally, much to my relief, magic happened and my novel was a reality.

The pleasure of holding your book in your hands for the very first time or seeing it in a book store and watching a reader buy it is beyond words. 

And when you have the added bonus of your family taking you as their foremost project… My family was mighty worried about the impending fate of  WPBP, seeing how emotionally invested I was in penning my debut, did their good deed of the month by pitching in wholeheartedly. My brother in the US ordered some copies to be delivered to my parents the moment the book went live on Amazon. And if any foe, friend or relative was foolish enough to arrive at my parents’ doorstep, they were given a full account of how my novel came about. The folks were then given a copy, asked to put up a review ASAP. The relatives scooted as and when they spotted a tiny chance of escape. Never did they return even though my mother had served lip-smacking fare. Never did they put up a single review.

But slowly, the book picked up steam and gathered goodwill through word of mouth. Just as it takes a village to raise a child, many platforms like GurgaonMoms, Momspresso, Women’s Web Juggernaut, Mompreneur Circle gave this offering of mine a big thumbs-up.

I saw #WhenPadmaBaniPaula figuring in Instagram stories of readers utterly unconnected to me. Friends of mine sent me screenshots of readers happily discussing my novel. I met a husband who was made to take some time off from work by his wife and collect a signed copy for her, at my book reading session at  Crossword, Cyber Hub, Gurgaon. 

Let me confess that none in my family apart from my mother has read WPBP. My husband often nods vociferously when asked if he liked my novel, and almost immediately changes the subject to weather, IPL, elections and more.

My father told his friends that WPBP is semi-autobiographical and my son explained to his friends that I had written an entirely confessional tale about a South Indian’s ache to belong in the big bad world of NCR! Be aware, nothing can be further from the truth and still I’m supposedly the story-teller of the family!

Somewhere in my youth or childhood, I must have done something good. That’s how I explain to myself, the amount of goodness that has come my way with WPBP. 

The firsts of the first one are always very special and April 5th has become an important day of the calendar for me. 

What next? 

Now that the writer bug has bitten me hard, hopefully, another book that is relatable. 

Till then, to the second chances of life!

Salut!

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