Disclaimer: I am terribly biased towards this author, because, well, she’s a dear friend.
Parul and I first met virtually, in the blogosphere, on the mommy blogging circuit. She always intimidated me (confession time here) being all super cool, and witty and very pretty to boot.
And then, she proved to be an inspiration of sorts. While we were all twiddling our fingers and toes, posting the occasional blog post, she sat herself down and wrote Bringing Up Vasu. She swiftly followed it up with her second book, By the Water Cooler and proved that you didn’t have to do a ton of self promotion to have books to your name that sold well, were appreciated and most importantly, in these days of appalling grammar, were written well.
Her third book, Tuki’s Grand Salon Chase is a charming tale about Tuki, a hairstylist with big dreams and a big heart and for more you have to go buy the book.
Without much ado, here goes:
How did the character of Tuki come about?
She stared at me in the mirror as she cut my hair. Well, someone like her did. Young, hard-working, outstanding at her job and determined to make things work her way. As I looked at this Bandra hairstylist, I began wondering what sort of a life she led, who was in her family, who loved her and what excitement and disappointments awaited her as she went about her life. Therefore, Tuki.
How long did this book take you to write?
It took me a few months to get the first draft ready and after I had the go-ahead from the publisher, it took another year and a bit to accomplish two rounds of edits, proof-reading, design etc. Writing books is the best way to learn the tricky art of patience.
After two books do you find any change in your writing process? What sort of research did the book involve? Much holidaying in Goa?
My philosophy remains the same. Show up at the desk everyday come what may but yes, the process itself is evolving given the themes I am now working with. I worked much, much harder at this one than the ones before. There was practically nothing I could borrow from my own life, you see and every aspect needed to be researched. I interviewed many people who own or work in salons. I read countless books on Goa because my own experience was from a tourist’s lens, something I didn’t want at all in the book. I spoke to people who work in finance for the last part. I spoke to potters for Gopi’s character. It was great fun. I can’t wait to do it again. No holidays in Goa were involved in the making of the book though and that was the only sad part about it.
You have a demanding job, two kids…how do you carve out the time to write?
I went back to my old corporate job more than a year ago and haven’t written much since but I work with very supportive people and I am given the flexibility to manage my time. Writing, kids and work are all non-negotiable. That’s just how it is!
Have you begun your next book?
I do have a strong idea but that is all it is right now. I have to figure how and when I am going to write it out.