ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Anuja Chandramouli graduated from Women's Christian College Chennai and was the college topper in Abnormal Psychology. She also holds a master's degree in English. Currently, she is studying classical dance. Her debut novel, Arjuna: Saga of Pandava Warrior-Prince, was named as one of the top five books in the Indian Writing category by Amazon India in 2013. She is also the author of bestselling novel Kamadeva: The God of Desire. Anuja is the mother of two little girls and lives in Sivakasi.
Q. Characterize yourself in one word?
Q. Please describe what the story/book is about in one sentence.
Shakti: The Divine Feminine is an intense experience that will help you gain an insight into an elusive, enigmatic and misunderstood Goddess.
Q. Briefly, what led up to this book? What were you writing (and getting published, if applicable) before breaking out with this book?
I had finished writing my second book Kamadeva: The God of Desire. Kama was a devotee of the Goddess and so I caught a glimpse of her during the writing process and she really intrigued me. Plus, I felt strangely drawn to her and it just felt like the right time to get to know her better and experience the power of Maya!
Q. What was the time frame for writing this book? Tell us an interesting detail or two, if applicable. For example, did you finish the first draft after one week?
I took about a year to research and write the book. The really interesting thing is that my synopsis and the finished manuscript bore the barest resemblance to each other as nothing could have prepared me for the crazy, exciting and unpredictable journey that was Shakti: The Divine Feminine. I can honestly say that nothing like this has ever been written on the Mother Goddess before.
Q. Looking back, what did you do right that helped you break in?
I think my timing turned out to be perfect. When I began work on Arjuna: Saga of a Pandava Warrior – Prince (my debut novel), I was pregnant with my second child and most folks insisted that the strain would be too much to cope with. But being the obstinate soul, I am, it made sense to bust my hump and figure away to deliver both my babies safely. And it was a good thing too, because though there was no time or inclination on my part to carry out market research, it was a boom time for mythology writers and the rest, as they say, is history. Arjuna hit the stands shortly before my daughter’s third birthday and could not have been happier, that all the hard work and tenacity had paid off.
Q. Did you have a platform in place? On this topic, what are you doing to build a platform and gain readership?
I did not have a platform in place despite being a freelance writer and hopeless blogger. But thankfully, my readership base has steadily expanded over the years thanks to social media, networking, fellow book lovers, testing, speechifying and relentless hounding of media personnel begging them to write about me or my book instead of Sonam Kapoor’s fashion choices or all things Sunny Leone. My family and friends have also been instrumental in spreading the word about my books by bragging about me to anybody who is willing to lend an ear and even if they are not!
Q. Favorite novel?
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott is my sentimental favorite.
Q. Something personal about you people may be surprised to know?
I am quite the actress or so I am told. If the Booker Prize guys and the Nobel committee persist in ignoring me, I will be forced to give this all up to take the silver screen by storm and give the likes of Jennifer Lawrence a run for their money!
Q. What’s next?
Hopefully, many more best sellers and even a starring role opposite Leonardo di Caprio which are a sure shot at an Academy award.
Q. Future of SALISMANIA.com through your eyes?