Welcome to my blog Jyoti. I’d like to start off by asking you what prompted you on this journey of writing?
Thanks, it’s a pleasure to be interviewed by you.
I have always loved reading. My love of reading encouraged me to pursue B.A. in English Literature. Before that, I had only read books to enjoy. But studying them made me realize what art and skill went into creating a book. My love and respect for the written word strengthened. That was when I felt for the first time that I too wanted to be read and appreciated just as I was reading and appreciating the works of others. I too wanted to practice the art of writing and to create novels that readers would love. By the time I finished my Post Graduation in English Literature, the feeling had become a decision. After that, I did Post Graduation in Applied Psychology only because I felt it would help me in creating better characters. I also did a creative writing course from UK to train myself as a writer. That course gave me a confidence boost and helped me start my journey as a writer.
Can you tell us about your engagement with the genre you write and how it came about that you chose to write in it?
Both of my novels, Dream’s Sake and Lemon Girl, are general fiction and tell a love story. That’s what I enjoy reading. My second novel Lemon Girl can also be called Women’s Fiction or Feministic as it is about a rape victim and her quest to regain her lost respect and self respect. Lemon Girl raises a cry against the mentality of treating a victim as the culprit just because she is a woman.
What are the challenges of being a writer for you?
I think every stage of a writer’s journey is a challenge. From planning the book to writing it, and then getting it published. Even when the book is published, it is a challenge to market it and create the buzz about it. All this requires patience, determination and lot of hard work.
But my greatest challenge, as I feel it, is my limited scope of experience. Being a patient of Thalassemia Major, I have been forced to live a very restricted life. And so, there’s a lot of life that I have no way of experiencing. I could not go to school after class seventh. All my study after that has been through correspondence courses. I never went to a college or worked in an office. All that has made my experience very limited. And experiences are the seeds from which the ideas blossom. And I do feel my imagination hampered by my limited experience.
Also, it is difficult for me to go out and research for my books. I minded that a lot while working on my second novel Lemon Girl.
Tell us about the conception and writing of your books?
My first novel Dream’s Sake was inspired by O. Henry’s famous story The Gift of Magi. It was this story that made me want to write a beautiful love story too. And although the story of Dream’s Sake is very different, it too shows the protagonist sacrificing for love.
My second novel Lemon Girl rose out of my anger. In the past few years, we are witnessing a rising rate of crimes against girls and women. Even baby girls are getting raped. What’s worse is that the blame of such crimes is again and again thrown on women. I found this disgusting. No matter what the situation, rape is a crime. And blaming the victim for the crime is utterly unjust. I wrote Lemon Girl to protest against this victim-blaming mentality.
Did you self-publish? How was the experience if so?
My first novel Dream’s Sake was traditionally published by V&S Publishers. But my second novel Lemon Girl is self published. V&S Publishers no longer publish fiction. And the theme of Lemon Girl is such that I did not want to wait a long time to see it in print. Lemon Girl is based on rape and victim-blaming which is a raging issue in India currently. So I decided to self publish it. The increasing popularity of ebooks and online bookstores gave me the courage to do so. I found the process of publishing quite easy. I got the book critically reviewed before publishing to ensure that it was good. And I am confident that the readers would like the book and won’t find it lacking in quality, despite it being self published. The only thing that I am worried about is that my book is not available in offline stores. It can only be bought as ebook or as paperback from online retailers.
Who’s your favourite writer? Why?
I love reading classics best. And since Pride and Prejudice and Jane Eyre are my all time favourite books (I call them my comfort reads), I suppose the favourite authors would be Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte. I also love books of Charles Dickens.
Among the new authors, I greatly admire the books of Khaled Hosseini.
If you were to change genres, which one would you be most likely to pursue?
I think I would enjoy writing romances or horror fiction. I can try my hand at a fantasy too. I also enjoy writing for children and want to develop some cute stories or books for kids.
What does writing and/or being a writer mean to you?
“The goal, I suppose, any fiction writer has, no matter what your subject, is to hit the human heart and the tear ducts and the nape of the neck and to make a person feel something about the characters are going through and to experience the moral paradoxes and struggles of being human,” said Tim O’Brien.
And I love doing that. I love making my readers fall in love with the characters I create. I love it when readers write to me saying that my books made them feel this or think that.
I love being a writer. I always find writing a hard work, full of frustrations. But I love reading my own words. And I love them being appreciated by my readers.
Writing is neither a hobby for me, nor a profession. It is my dream, my ambition and my sustenance. I don’t know what hopes my future would have had I not the belief that I am a good writer.
If you could be a character from any book, which would it be?
I would love to be Elizabeth (Bennet) Darcy.
What is next?
I haven’t yet started work on my next book. I’m going over some ideas but haven’t been able to decide yet which of them I like best. But I do believe that it will be a happy, positive and optimistic book.
About jyoti Arora
Jyoti Arora is a Post Graduate in English Literature and Applied Psychology. Her writing achievements include two novels, three blogs, several wins in national level blog competitions, over five years of freelance writing experience, developing books for kids and abridging 24 famous English novels like Jane Eyre, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn etc.
Jyoti’s first novel, Dream’s Sake, was published in 2011 by V&S Publishers. It received great reviews and much appreciation from readers.
Books have always been Jyoti’s best friends. In fact, books so fascinated her from early childhood that she learnt reading, by herself, even before she started going to school. And she considers herself most fortunate that she is able to pursue her dream of being a novelist and work at what she loves best.
However, if books are Jyoti’s first love, and she’s still very devoted to them, the thrilling and steadily advancing world of technology also fascinates her. As a result, one of Jyoti’s blog is a technological blog called Techn0Treats. In 2011, a post in this blog won her the title of Samsung Mobiler when Samsung made her a part of the team of twenty bloggers chosen from all over India through a blogging competition. In this team of twenty bloggers, she was the only woman and perhaps the only one who had studied literature instead of science. As a Samsung Mobiler, Jyoti acted as the promoter and ambassador of Samsung on her blog.
Jyoti is a patient of Thalassemia Major which forced her to stop going to school after class seventh. After that, she continued her studies on her own through correspondence courses. Her zest to overcome her medical problems and zeal to achieve success keeps her striving on to make her dreams come true.
Jyoti is currently living in Ghaziabad, India.
Given below is the important information and links of her two books.
‘It’s all your fault.’
Mere words these are.
“But words can possess a shadow invincible enough to rob even a soul of its eternity.”
In a society that finds it easier to mark sins of a victim than the culprit, Nirvi is a young girl punishing herself for the faults she did not do and avenging her hurts by defeating her own truth.
She is scared of her future, and ashamed of her past. She is failing herself, and knows it. She has had a long line of boyfriends, and hated them all. She detests the guy she is living with, runs away from the one she loves , and seduces the one who can never love her.
When Arsh first sees Nirvi, she’s a free and frank girl in whose eyes sparkle the lemony zest of life. The next time he sees her, she is a voiceless doll draped in clothes that cover her body less and shroud her soul more. And Arsh can’t rest till he finds out what made Nirvi give up her own real self.
Nirvi knows she is dragging herself on a path from which there can be no recovery. Can her spirit survive the treacherous downfall? Or is the pull of fear and push of desperation just too strong to withstand for a girl who believes she has “nowhere else to go” but down.
“When it’s time for you to fall in love, even a lemon can become the cause of it,” says Arsh
But can love survive, when even the self love dies?
Can love survive when respect is no more?
Does true love have the power to revive a dying soul?
Find out in the pages of this brilliantly woven, intense, heart-warming and thought-provoking saga of RISING IN LOVE…
Preview and all availability links at- http://jyotiarora.com/lemon-girl
Flipkart (delivery within India): http://www.flipkart.com/lemon-girl-english/p/itme24q6srhhu75f?pid=9789351749622&otracker=from-search&srno=t_8&query=lemon+girl&ref=b86762bd-8a80-4781-8831-029bf07b971e
Pothi (International delivery): http://pothi.com/pothi/book/jyoti-arora-lemon-girl
She believes she has a right to fight for her dreams. She believes a little bit of selfishness is necessary to survive in this world. Abhi, however, has not learnt that lesson. And he can’t accept the fulfilment of his hopes when they seem to rise from the ruins of Aashi’s dreams.
His sister Priyam and friend Sid are made from much the same mould. And in the path of their love too lies a dream – the dream of a dead and betrayed mother.
Feelings rise, and are suppressed. Past grips the present and threatens the future. Memories refuse to wane their shadows from the heart. Hope and despair fight a battle. Guilt rises up and resents the forgiveness. Revenge weaves a web. Friendship is tested. And love demands a sacrifice. A tumultuous battle wages on…
What lies at the end of this battle?
How far can a person go to fulfill the dreams of someone else?
Lose yourself in the pages of this gripping saga of love and friendship to find out.
Preview and availability link at- http://jyotiarora.com/dream-s-sake
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Jyoti_Arora_Dream_s_Sake?id=ppuNAwAAQBAJ&hl=en