Writer Spotlight : Chaitra Anumula
Capturing your audience's attention and making their minds go numb is one art that is most definitely possible, only for writers. When comparing a movie with a book, the former always tends to fail, because a movie is one man's vision, but a book just opens up your imagination with a motto that is "To each, his own". We all read the same story, but our way of imagining things in the story is different and personal.
Embarking on such a personal journey is our very first writer to be featured in Spotlight. - Chaitra Anumula, who's shot to fame, or should I say, the stepping stone to achieving many followers, was way of telling explosive stories with characters who are hard hitting and relatable at the same time. Excerpts from the interview.
1) What made you start writing and how passionate are you about writing ?
A) I don't think there was any point in time when I said, OK, I will start writing now. It was something I was always doing, in school, college, while working too. I was always told that I could tell stories well. In fact, in college, some of my friends, would ask me to repeat Sanskrit, English or Social lessons over and over again, as it was easy for them to understand when I explained it to them. While in collage, I would often give speeches extempore, for Republic Day and Independence Day Celebrations. Winning Essay Writing and Elocution competitions was common. After I started working In a UK based BPO, I would often be asked by colleagues to draft mails for them. In fact, I would very often be asked to draft mails for handling any tricky situations. They felt my mails were crisp, to the point and without beating around the bush.
I have always written stories as a child too. Of course most of it is atrocious stuff, which I can't even bring myself to read. But serious writing began, while we were living in Senegal, (West Africa). My husband, Ganesh Rajmohan, was required to travel 2 weeks every month and most often , it would be me, with my daughter Diya and a maid, alone at home. So, to keep myself occupied, I stared writing Mauli Abheek. I wrote the first chapter and the last chapter of Mauli Abheek and then wondered, how I could bring it all together.
I would play various scenarios of how the story could progress in mind, this way and that. I would keep thinking of situations days on end, until it came to a point, where it was impossible to go on without writing out these situations down. I would be weighed down so much by the burden of all that was playing on in my mind, that I would have no option but to write it all down. And then it would start all over again, a new situation, a new dimension would just pop up and then the mind would think up all the various permutations and combinations to link it to the story in the most logical manner.
I don't know if it is a passion or hobby or profession. What I do know is that it is a necessity. It's not something I control. It's just the way my mind works. It reads about some news, some interesting piece of information, some movie, some song and then it begins to build on it. What if this was like this? What if this was like that? And before you know it a story is born. I have so many stories to tell, so many things going on in my head, sometimes I wonder if this lifetime will be enough.
2) Stories often tend to have a beginning, a middle plot and an end. How well do you think you are able to juggle between these three plot points?
A) Yes, very true.I am of the belief that if in the first 10 pages, your audience is not hooked, then chances are they will not pick up your book. Hence, whatever I have written so far, begins with a sense of intrigue. The readers are forced to ask the question WHY? I also believe that if in the first few pages, the readers have developed an emotional connect with one or both of the lead characters, half the battle is won.
The end, has to be breath taking, has to have a shock and awe effect. After the reader has put the book down, he/she needs to take a moment to catch his / her breath. They must have experienced an exhilarating feeling. I am also a firm believer in happy endings. I am not sure, I would ever be able to write a tragedy. I would like my audience to put the book down, with a feeling of triumph, a feeling of fulfillment, they must feel like they want to stand up and applaud the characters of the book.
The Middle is the tricky part. This is where the audience can loose interest. However, the rule I follow is, to never reveal all my cards at once. I always have one ace, up my sleeve, that is revealed slowly and steadily. Also how a chapter ends makes a lot of difference to the interest of the readers. A chapter must end , at a point, where the reader cannot resist turning the page and reading the next chapter.
3) Who is your inspiration for Writing
A) I take inspiration from the great Indian Sages, Sage Valmiki and Sage Ved Vyasa. They composed some of the most epic accounts of real life incidents, that have ever been known to man. Yet, their aim in doing so, was not fame or money or any other material riches. They composed these Epics, as they believed in the values these Heroes stood for, for the love of composition, so the human race can have a legacy they can look up to.
Although it is impossible to replicate the Ramayana or the Mahabharata, I am truly inspired by these visionarys
4) How well do you think your stories have reached or connected with your audience.
A) I was completely surprised by the response I received for my stories, both on the Juggernaut Website, as well as on my FB page. FB has been a great medium to get direct reviews from the readers, firsthand. They have been extremely encouraging and most of them have asked for Paperback Copies of the stories they have read, so they can pass then on to more people. It is a great feeling, when the readers, you write the stories for tell you that they had tears in their eyes, while reading a chapter or when they tell you, please don't let anything happen to the lead character. It shows how attached they have become to the characters, how much the characters have touched their hearts. This I consider my greatest success
5) What are your upcoming projects or books
A) Well, Mauli Abheek is completed and so is a short story, called Two Sides of A Coin. There is another short story I am beginning and it is called Bullet-Proof Coffee. Then I have An Ounce of Love and Arohan - The Ascent, These are projects I am working on currently. There are also a couple of untitled ides, that I have written down, which I will start working on once the current projects are completed.
Besides, these, I would like to adapt a few English Classic Literature Epics to the Indian Sub-Continent.Each book will showcase a different state of Indian during the British Raj.
But my long term goal and actually my first work, which is still incomplete, is a 3 part series on Kalki. I would not like to reveal much about this project yet. But this is my dream project.
I would like to thank TuneLyric, for featuring my work on their website. This is indeed a great platform for budding artists like me, to showcase their work. I would like to offer my best wishes to the Mastermind behind TuneLyric, Abhay Shashank, a visionary, who is working tirelessly on building a platform for artists across mediums to be able to reach out to a wider audience. I wish TuneLyric, great success and millions of subscribers and hope to be a part of this success story.