Life would have been very different, but for the choices we make.
7 years ago, we all had a very different life. And what it is today, is a culmination of the choices we made along the way. Our lives are indeed about the choices we make.
A group of crazy book lovers, set out to start an online abode just to hang out with books and try their hands at creative writing. They named it ‘Writersmelon’ after a fruit (just like apple) with a slightly humorous and a rather unusual chutzpah added to it. Little did they know, that it could start a completely new and unusual chapter in at least one of their lives.
I am Priyanka, one of the founders of Writersmelon. And last year I decided to finally quit my corporate career and jump into managing and growing this community full time. Something that I created and nurtured for all these years, with a job and practically ‘on the go’ while getting stuck in traffic jams during my daily commute. Frantically calling and Whatsapping my equally crazy colleagues, who I found along my way into the world of books & blogging, quite miraculously! Not many of you know about this but what is life without some really crazy stories to tell?
To leaving my job,
Yes, finally after 7 years of stable income. Big deal, no? It was indeed a tough decision. I can still picture my moist eyes and a shaking voice as I delivered my farewell speech, cutting that cake in my office, right next to my cubicle. But I am glad I finally made that choice and the fact that universe also pretty much conspired what was coming next. I was not just leaving a cushy job but also the city I made my home after countless days of struggles. Something that the city of Mumbai is known to offer, sparing barely very few lucky ones. My new life is very different from the old one. I live in a foreign land now, where I am still grappling with finding the right school for my son, the authentic Indian spices and an affordable tailoring service. Well, good luck on the last one though! But, I do have abundant time to think about the purpose with which I created Writersmelon and where I really want this to go from here.
To finding order in chaos,
I spoke to countless professionals – authors, publishers, marketing professionals & bloggers about this initiative – Melonade. While book marketing and blogger outreach were working fine for us. This publishing bit was tricky. Is the writing competition making any sense? Are the publishers finding it worthwhile to publish the stories we compile year on year? Can we become a Chicken soup for the soul? Should we self-publish? Pool money from authors? What is the best way to promote the book and the cardinal question- “How many copies can we really sell”? With all these questions and a lot more, I went to India last year.
I met Dipankar, owner of Readomania, a fledgling publishing house in Delhi. I believe a lot in serendipity, signs that universe tries to show. For me the biggest testimony was, the publisher really cared about the manuscript. Yes, trust me for all those who are starting out, it is a big deal. And not just that, they actually read the stories, handholding us throughout the process of creating the blurb and an overall selling proposition for the book. Most importantly and thankfully, absolutely ‘nothing‘ in the area that makes an author uncomfortable. Yes, something that is generally kept under the wraps initially and eventually shows up on your face, like a shopping bill you never anticipated! Heard of this term called ‘author investments’, ‘buying back copies’ etc? Well has several absolutely insane manifestations to it.
One thing lead to another, we found a super designer in Shikha Medhekar for the cover and the very gracious Preeti Shenoy who was not only one of the judges for the writing competition Melonade but also graciously read the final manuscript and agreed to gave us a glowing foreword.
“The stories had me enthralled, mesmerised and spellbound.” – Preeti Shenoy
With that, we were all set to go. Fearlessly marching ahead. Ready to take on love & criticism anything that was coming our way. This book therefore is literally a journey from chaos to order.
14 authors of Jukebox, and a guest author Archana Sarat share stories of hope & choices that shape some interesting lives and beautiful stories. Jaibala Rao – a prolific blogger, Priyanka Roy Banerjee – the super talented and meticulous editor of this book, share their very interesting personal journeys. A glimpse of which you will find right here, very soon, in case you are yet to buy the book.
So ladies and gentlemen, presenting our latest, Jukebox and the very special first one – First brush on the canvas.
Our latest book – Jukebox – A collection of stellar short stories by budding writers of India, is a book that will help you make a choice, a choice from chaos to order. And has some very interesting stories that will stay with you for long.
Our first book – First Brush on the canvas – Celebrating that special feeling of doing something for the first time, is a collection of short stories across Romance, Comedy & Drama.