Tell us about yourself
I am a former business journalist turned fiction writer and blogger. I was born in Garian, Libya in a traditional Hindu Punjabi family. My parents prized good education above all else, and when I was still small, they decided to move base to Chandigarh, a modern city in the North of India, famed for its educational institutions.
As a child, I loved reading, but writing stories of my own never occurred to me, much like everything else. Becoming a doctor wasn’t an option, for the very sight of blood made me retch. Maths and Microsoft excel sheets bored me no end, leaving humanities as a last resort. I could easily compete for the civil services, my parents reasoned, although, sitting for an exam with a million potential candidates vying for one job didn’t make much sense to me.
Fortunately, life took a better turn and it was a Masters degree in economics alongside a programme in mass communications that set my foundation for a career in business journalism. Luckily, I was able to work in some of the best organisations in India, like ‘The Times of India’ and ‘The Financial Express’.
In 2004, I was hit with the desire to write a novel. However, a few drafts and several ideas later, I gave it all up to pursue an MBA degree from Kingston University in London. Of course, I dreamt about MNC firms coveting me – the Deloittes and the McKinseys of the world chasing me with multiple job offers, the likes of Accenture begging me to work for them. The reality was quite different. The completion of my course coincided with the start of global recession and my dreams could never be realised. My situation, nevertheless, prompted me to write my first novel, ‘The Recession Groom’.
I currently spend my time reading books. I love good stories, regardless of their genre. My dream is to have a big library of my own, something of the sort old Bilbo Baggins had in his hobbit hole. First editions of ‘Pride and Prejudice’ and ‘The Lord of The Rings’ are on my wish list, as are selfies with my favourite authors. I’m a student of Bharatnatyam and enjoy performing on the stage. I’m working on my second novel, a sequel to my first book, and also blogging for The Huffington Post.
Tell us about any current projects or initiatives you wish to promote?
I wish to promote my first fiction novel, ‘The Recession Groom’. It tracks the story of a young Indian IT professional across the period of global credit crisis and his adventures to find his ‘perfect partner’.
The book blurb:
Parshuraman Joshi, 27, handsome, Hindu-Brahmin, IT Professional, settled in Canada, earns a high-figure salary.These are credentials that would make any young man hot on the Indian wedding market, so it’s no wonder that Parshuraman’s family is inundated with matrimonial proposals.
While so far all attempts to ‘settle’ him have gone kaput, he has bigger issues vexing him – such as Jennifer, his ‘fireball’ of a colleague, and their efforts to save Project Infinte. To top it all, as the credit crisis grips the global economy, the little world he’s created for himself begins to fall apart. Will he be able to pull himself together to face the challenges posed by a tough economy? More importantly, will this Recession Groom be able to find his ‘perfect partner’?
What has been your biggest challenge in achieving your success?
Writing my first novel, ‘The Recession Groom’ was difficult. I had worked as a business journalist for several years, but writing a full length fiction novel was a different ball game altogether. It required me to unlearn my old rules, lest I end up writing my book in the inverted pyramid style of news reporting. However, this didn’t even come close to the challenge of finding a publisher. It was a journey that spanned two and a half years and took me through several submissions across Europe, India, US and Canada, pitching my manuscript to agents, scouts and publishers. It was exciting and taught me patience and discipline, but above all I learned to value determination and perseverance. Had I not believed in my manuscript, I’d never have seen my novel in print.
What has been your greatest achievement personally?
Becoming a published author. It’s a dream come true.
If you weren’t doing what you do now, what would you be doing?
Working as a journalist from nine to nine.
Who has been your biggest inspiration?
As a writer, I take inspiration from several authors who have written stories that have survived them and have given pleasure to generations of people after them. Jane Austen is my favourite and first edition of her work, ‘Pride and Prejudice’ is on my wish list. J R R Tolkien and his work, ‘Lord of the Rings’ is also a favourite. There are a lot of contemporary authors who are also a source of inspiration, notable among these are Stephen King, George R R Martin, John Grisham, John Green, Yann Martel and J K Rowling.
What does the future hold for you?
I plan to write good stories; stories that touch the soul. ‘The Recession Groom’ is the first milestone in my journey and I hope it’ll be appreciated by the readers.
I’m a former business journalist turned fiction writer. As a child I loved listening to stories, until I grew up and started writing my own. My first fiction novel, ‘The Recession Groom’ is out now and I currently spend my time reading fiction and working on my second novel. I’m also a blogger and write for The Huffington Post.
This article was provided by WATC Mumbai Committee Member, Abhishek Chandola.
Here are a few links:
Publisher: Leadstart Publishing
Twitter handle: @Vani_Author
Contact: [email protected]
Facebook page Vani: www.facebook.com/Vani.Author
Facebook page The Recession Groom: http://goo.gl/29YaBN
Goodreads author page: www.goodreads.com/goodreadscomVani