Today we have Guest Post from Usha Narayan. She had a successful career in advertising, radio and corporate communications before becoming a full-time author. Her bestselling novels span multiple genres: ‘The Madras Mangler’, a suspense thriller; ‘Love, Lies and Layoffs’ (Harlequin) and ’Doctor Stalker Spy’ (Juggernaut), lighthearted romances; ‘Pradyumna: Son of Krishna’, ‘The Secret of God’s Son’ and her latest ‘Prem Purana’ (all from Penguin) that have been praised as ‘Indian mythology at its fiercest and finest.’ Two new books are in the offing. When she is not travelling, writing or editing, Usha reads everything from thrillers and romances to the puranas.
Here what she had to say about her journey of becoming a published author
How has been your journey to become a published author? Any advice for aspiringauthors?
From my personal experience, I would say that your success in the crowded publishing field is determined by the style and substance of your writing. All my books have been submitted online to the email IDs of publishers. I have no agent. I live in Chennai which is far from the publishing hub in Delhi. Even so, my manuscripts were picked up by leading publishers such as Penguin, Harper Collins and Juggernaut. So, what would I advise young authors? Keep polishing your writing skills. Keep reading talented authors and keep writing. Get a good editor to ensure that not only the plot and characterization, but also the language is perfect. You don’t want to give the impression that you have not given sufficient time or thought to your novel, do you?
Do not blindly follow trends. If mythology is successful one year, romance may thrive the next and thrillers in the year after that. Always write what excites you, what you would read yourself. Follow your heart like I did. I started with a thriller, moved on to romance and then mythology. And my next will be in an entirely new genre altogether!
The key points to remember here are passion, perfection and perseverance. Research the publishing houses, their criteria for choosing manuscripts and then send out your query to as many as it takes. Even if the first few reject you, there are always others available, as well as the option to self publish.Just check your manuscript again with a fresh eye, make any improvements necessary, and send it out to the next five on your list. You will have to wait awhile for their response, but don’t they say that good things come to those that wait?
Good luck! Hope to see many of you in the ranks of authors in the future.
Thank you for your thought-provoking question, Amar.
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