An Interview with Business Mum and Author, Malika Gandhi
Hi Malika, thanks so much for taking the time to join us!
First things first, tell us about your books – genre, ideal reader snapshot and the kind of reactions you receive from your readers? I’ve checked them out on Amazon and they look fantastic!
Hello and thank you for having me, I started writing a book on Indian Independence – Freedom of the Monsoon – a story that was close to my heart. I have no connections to the era of 1942 when Mahatma Gandhi called for the British Empire to leave India, but I felt something in me to stir. So far, I had only read non-fiction books on the subject and I felt overwhelmed at how things turned out horribly for the natives of India. I wanted to show that as a human concept.
My second book, Where the Secret Lies, follows on from the first book but takes a totally different direction. This book is about a girl from the present who meets a girl from the past. It is a ghost story but not horror as such, but about a spirit.
My third book is also a ghost story and it is about an incident that happened hundred of years ago. This poor lady has been trapped inside her mansion (haveli) for that time, and she seeks freedom. This book is called Lost in the Haveli.
So, I suppose I don’t really have a genre as such. I am a multi-genre author and I like to write stories based on my current mood. Hence, right now, I am writing a Fantasy novel.
Can you tell us a little bit about you and where you are in the world?
I am a wife, and a mother of two boys and we live in Leicester, UK. From a young age, I have loved reading and writing stories and as I grew up, that love grew with me. I didn’t have a portfolio of ‘work’ as I grew up but my serious writing began when I was at university. That was when I began to write Freedom of the Monsoon. It was a very long journey.
I sent my book off to numerous traditional publishing houses and literary agents but as many authors, my book was rejected. When self-publishing came to be popular, I was delighted and jumped on board. The risks were low and I was in charge of what I wanted to do with my writing.
I am also an art enthusiast, I love music, theatre, and the movies.
What does your writing schedule usually look like? Do you focus on one project at a time or more?
My writing schedule is erratic. I try to catch moments when I am free and put in a few lines here and there. I mostly write at nighttime when the boys are in bed. It is when I can concentrate best.
I only write one book at a time. The reason behind this is to not lose focus of my characters and the story must move on. Another reason is family time, my day job (I still have one!) and other commitments. I am taking an A level course in English Language and Literature whilst I am writing my Fantasy novel as we speak.
What motivates you to write?
There are times when I don’t feel like writing at all and it can feel like a chore. I think it is my love of writing that is the catalyst to get me writing again. It is important to take breaks from writing because when you come back to it, you are refreshed and clear in the mind of what direction you want to take.
Another thing that motivates me is to see my books turned into movies one day, and I would love to win the Booker Prize. That is a great deal for me and I will feel like I have arrived home. This is the legacy I want to leave for my children.
What advice would you offer other Indie Authors who want to finish writing their books and are thinking of self-publishing?
Don’t give up and carry on. It may take a year or two, or even three for you to reach your destination. But enjoy the journey too. Make friends and connections, and talk about your current work-in-progress pieces with like-minded people and readers. There are loads online. You just have to find your audience.
Please share your social links so we can carry on the conversation!