Vashima Jain is an author of THE FOUR STORIES
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Vashima is a corporate strategist, a social media enthusiast, a nature lover, a food maniac and above all, a woman. In past twelve years, she has led marketing teams in brands such as Dell, Aditya Birla, Etisalat and IBM. Digital marketing and super blogging is a forte and languages are her love. She writes prolifically in both, Hindi and English and is now exploring Spanish for her new adventures of writing. A trained Bharatanatyam performer, she has also tapped her feet to the Salsa’s and Zumba’s of the world.
Vashima holds an MBA degree in marketing from IMT-Ghaziabad, B.Com(Hons) from Delhi University and schooling in DPS, RK Puram. She lives in Gurgaon, with her husband Sumit and their four-year-old son Vansh.
For her, the essence of life is found in travel, food and people. She is currently working on her second book which is in the non-fiction genre.
1: What inspires you to write?:
Writing has always been my passion. Well, more of a liberation. I am so passionately involved in writing that it always makes me feel high on energy levels. If I am not writing I am thinking about it, drawing notes from the world around me, taking inspiration from all the conversations and the people around me. The books I read, the movies I watch, the places I visit, the people I meet, everything inspires me to write.
2: How long does it take you to write a book?
It took me about six months to write and three to edit. This has been clearly a journey of nine months. Maybe that’s why I keep saying that the book is no less than a ‘baby’ to me :)
3: In which genre you would write your book other than this Genre!
Non-Fiction! In fact, that’s where my next project is headed towards. I am looking at creating a crowd-sourced ‘journey through a sabbatical’ and how it may or may not change a person’s life. I am currently in the conceptualisation stage of the book.
4: How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
Just thinking about the fact that someone found your book interesting enough to buy and then took time out to read it, is very motivating. It is a roller coaster ride with its own thrills and low points. But overall, I would say that it adds oodles of ‘confidence’, without a doubt! The process of writing would more or less, remain the same, otherwise.
5: What are common traps for aspiring writers?
Interesting question! When I started my first story, ‘Rajani’, I detailed out the character and the climax to a great extent, before actually penning down the story. Once I started to write and the character of Rajani really spread her wings, I had to change the climax of the story. That really surprised me. Am not sure whether it is a ‘common trap’ or not, but one thing I learnt from the process of writing is, ‘do not over plan your script’ before writing it. Once you start detailing out the characters and putting them in various situations, the story might take its own shape. That may or may not be same as you planned for. So, let the story be the real hero and not you!
6: How often do you write?
The question gets me thinking… Even if I tried, I could not stick to a certain timetable. It could range from spending 6-7 hours at a stretch on some days to actually running away from my ‘writing desk’ on the others. There were times when I would write about a thousand words in a day and then after two days, erase it all and write again. So there is a constant wave that one is riding while authoring a book.
But what one can do to make this job interesting is; make a nice, clutter-free zone for one to work. Get some funky stationery, diaries, maybe a new laptop that stimulates the mind and of course brew up a nice beverage to treat yourself generously while at work. Maybe change the workplace, at times. Interestingly, Starbucks became my second home while I was writing this book!
7: What does literary success look like to you?
Numbers don’t lie. And trust me, they speak a lot! But the icing on the cake really is the ‘feedback’ that readers post on websites or tell you in person, about the book and about how it has touched their lives. That’s what really gets your heart thumping loud enough for people sitting next to you to hear…
8: What are your hobbies, passion other than writing?
I love reciting Hindi poetry and dohas. And since I read a lot, I love to talk about it as well. My workout conversations usually comprise of these. That’s how I have smartly introduced another of my fetishes, I love a good workout! Fuels me up with the energy and positivity for the day.
9: Which of your novels best describes you as a person?
This is my first novel, and it is so me. Readers who know me say that the novel is almost like a conversation that they seem to be having with me. I love to hear that over and over again…
10: Have you ever written a character based on the real you in some part?
All the characters of the book found their inspiration from people and situations around. Though I cannot really pinpoint any one person on whom the character may be based on, but it surely has bits and pieces from the very real world.
11: Which is your favourite character in the book? why?
It is almost like that question one is asked as a parent of multiple children, “who is your favourite child?” Well, candidly speaking, though all the characters are very close to my heart, I spent the most time crafting “Sarthak’s” Story. It took a lot of research and talking to people around to really understand the challenges and joys of single parenting and speech disorders that the story delves into.
12: A message for aspiring authors
Stop overthinking whether you should write or not, whether it is worthy of being written or not. Write what you really believe in. You could begin by writing blogs, journals, movie or food reviews, everyday anecdotes….whatever. Just start, somewhere!