16-year-old author Anusha Subramanian was only 12 when her first book, Heirs of Catriona released in 2012. That made her one of India’s youngest published authors, a title that according to the young author ‘feels great.’
“The feeling is compounded by the fact that I love writing and to actually do well in something that I’m so passionate about is a wonderful feeling!”
Anusha’s second book, Never Gone was released on September 28 this year by well-known Bollywood actress, Sonali Bendre. The reason behind the 4 years between this book and the previous is plain simple. She refuses to do injustice to her characters by writing when she’s not in the right state of mind. This led to her spending time working on the character sketches and story line – a move that has paid off well.
“Thanks to my editor, I spent a lot of time developing my characters and storyline before I even started writing. My characters matter to me a lot so there were times when I would rewrite parts over and over again until I was satisfied that every sentence reflected the character that I’m writing about properly.”
Working relentlessly on the characters and storyline meant that the end product brought a sense of achievement to Anusha.
“Absolutely nothing compares to the feeling when you see the finished book for the first time with your name across the cover and as you flip through the pages, you realize that all those tiny words in the professional looking font in the 200 pages of the book were all written by YOU.”
Anusha’s first book had a great plot. But she confesses that her characters weren’t as well-developed as those in Never Gone.
“When I wrote Heirs of Catriona, my writing method was one where I would just start writing and then see where my ideas took the book. It turned out to be fantastic for the plot but not so much for the characters. They were very good characters except that they didn’t develop much in the book because in my head they were already perfect. I feel like my latest book Never Gone this aspect has come out beautiful and the character and their development really shines.”
Writing is a recuperative, healing experience for many. But in the process, as Anusha says, it is important to have fun while writing a book. All other reasons fade a little when compared to the fun quotient of writing a book.
“If you don’t have fun while writing, why are you writing in the first place? Writing a book isn’t an assignment that you are racing to complete for a good grade or something. It is something that you should want to do with every single cell in your body and something that you look forward to.”
Anusha describes her experience of writing this book as fun and relaxing. It was her way of distracting herself from the stress that comes with studies.
“Honestly I don’t think I have ever had so much fun writing! I wrote this book when I was in 10th grade and it was such a great distraction (in a good way) from studies and the stress of Board Exams! There were so many days when my dad and I used to go to Starbucks after dinner and sit there till around 1:00 am writing our books. Writing this book was something of a kind of relaxation time for me. After a long day, I would love to play some music and just sit and write.”
More About Anusha Subramanian:
Anusha is a great bibliophile and is a self-confessed lover of all genres. Her reading schedule contains phases in which she reads only particular kinds of books. These genres range from history and mythology to crime and murder mysteries to classics like Georgette Heyer. When asked about who made up her top 3 authors, she replied without hesitation:
“JK ROWLING ALWAYS. Then Rick Riordan and Cassandra Clare. I think Clare is the most recent addition in this list and my god her writings should be worshipped. She is so talented and I can never read her books in one go. I have to consciously keep the book down and take deep breaths because my heart is beating so fast. I love it.”
New authors on the block tend to want advice from established ones. Anusha Subramanian, too has some words of wisdom for those aspiring authors looking to establish themselves.
“Pour your heart and soul into the book. Never lie in the words that you write. And write because you love it, not because you want it to be successful.”
With genes that come from her father, bestselling author Ravi Subramanian and more importantly, exceptional talent, Anusha Subramanian has carved a niche for herself in the world of books and storytelling. From history and mythology in Heirs of Catriona to a contemporary coming-of-age story in Never Gone, Anusha has made sure that she keeps the subjects of her words interestingly varied.
Author: Anusha Subramanian
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Release: September 2016
Genre: Fiction / YA
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