The Lifesaver by Greeshma Manohar is a well-written book on depression that talks about the subject in focus in good depth. The book draws its essence from the meticulous research done by the author as well as her personal experiences.
In the conversation with Bookish Fame, Greeshma Manohar talked about her book, her journey as a writer, contemporary scenario of reading and writing, and gave some tips for the budding writers too. Read on!
1. Please introduce yourself to our readers.
My name is Greeshma. I am from Kerala and is currently residing in Bangalore. I consider myself an out of the box kind of person. I love art and literature. I love nature and traveling.
2. When did it dawn upon you that you wanted to be a writer?
When I was in high school, I used to write short stories and give for the neighbor to edit it and send it to the Balarama magazine so that my story gets published. He used to do the editing, but it never got published, little did I know that he never send it to the magazine.
It was a big dream of mine to see my name published in a magazine or book. I started writing again in WordPress when I was going through a bad phase in life, and my readers appreciated my work a lot, which made me realize that writing is my hidden talent, and from then on, it has become my passion.
3. What inspires you to write books? What are the things which catch your attention?
A story can change a person’s perceptive and even his life for good, and hence I feel as a writer, you are in a powerful place to influence others, and that inspires me to write. I also like the fact that my books will remain even after I am gone, writers are immortal.
I want to observe people and wonder about their stories. I want to check people’s background story to understand why they behave the way they do. Emotion is the same for everyone around the world, and hence it is like a language, I like to make people feel what I or my characters have felt and if they feel that, your job as a writer is done. I feel everything so deeply, and hence I am fascinated by feelings and emotions.
4. Tell something in brief about your latest book?
My latest book lifesaver is a self-help book for the people suffering from depression. It is a compilation of all the things that could help them to come out of depression. I share about my experience with depression and the methods I used to recover from it. I hope it helps people who are going through a low phase in life. It can be read by anyone to earn knowledge about depression. It also has certain eye-opening knowledge, which is useful for everyone.
5. How do you organize yourself, as a writer, to keep track of the world you’re writing about?
In the case of my self-help book, The Lifesaver, I wrote down the headings first in a proper order and essential things to be mentioned under those, then I elaborated on it. If I want to write a novel, I need to have a plot, and I should know well what the story is about and what message I want to convey. I have heard writers saying that they write without a plot and whatever comes to their mind, but I think it doesn’t work for me.
6. When you were young, did you ever see writing as a career or a full-time profession?
When I was in high school, I used to get very good marks in languages, and I used to love to hear the stories and imagined myself being in those stories. I wanted to study art-related subjects like a degree in English, history, archaeology or designing but I went on to study Biotechnology, which my parents wanted me to study and went away from art field and I rekindled that lost connection with language recently and then I started thinking of it as a career choice.
7. How did you approach the writing process this time around? Do you have a set routine, or does it vary? And how do you manage it with your full-time work?
I was into teaching, and currently, I am not working as I have a toddler to take care which itself is a difficult job than teaching. I wrote everything in a notebook at night after she slept, 1-3 am, and later I transferred it to a laptop in the morning. I feel comfortable writing in paper first. It took me 2-3 months to write the book.
8. How would you describe the contemporary scenario of writing and reading around the world?
I think that people are reading what they want themselves to feel. Stories about romance and heart-breaks will never go out of fashion.
9. How crucial are marketing and promotions when it comes to selling a book?
What I have observed is that marketing is as essential as writing, if I write a book and hide somewhere, how people going to find my work among millions of books, hence I feel that in today’s world marketing is important, but I like to believe that if your book is good, one or other day, you will get all the recognition you deserve, it might take time.
10. Do you read much, and if so, who are your favorite authors?
I was not into reading. I started to read two years back. Most of the things I read are self-help related books. I like Khaled Hossaini’s thousand splendid nights, and another book I loved is Karnan by Shivaji seventh, and hence these two are my favorites authors for now.
11. Any advice you would like to give to aspiring writers.
Knowledge is the most powerful thing and hence gain knowledge about anything that you need to become a successful writer. Read a lot of books as you will pick up more words and will learn how to tell a story effectively. Learn about grammar, vocabulary, etc. Learn about marketing and start marketing even before the release of the book.
12. Are we going to hear more from you in the future?
Of course, next will be a novel.
*We wish Author Greeshma Manohar all the best for her future endeavors.*