Interview with Author Ritu Sama
by Ritu Sama
(Bangalore, Karnataka, India)
1) Can you tell me a little about yourself?
I am Ritu Sama and my first book "Cups Of Coffee and a Few Friends,"
just got published. I currently reside in the IT capital of India, Bangalore. I am a BTech from MANIT Bhopal and have been working in the IT industry for twenty years.
I have been writing prose, poetry in both Hindi and English for almost fifteen years now with a few published in online publishing platforms and magazines. I also blog very regularly on my blogging site - ritusama.blogspot.com.
I write in what ever spare time I get from my role as an IT professional and also a mom of two daughters. I also try to squeeze in some time out for painting oils and acrylics and have commercially sold a few paintings. I love nature and it is one of the inspirations for me to write. I love tending to my beautiful garden. These are small ways that help me get creative satisfaction in a never ending hustle and bustle of our lives.2) How did you start writing?
I was never too inclined towards writing till I reached my twenties and I stepped out of my home. This gave me a lot of spare time, with no gadgets and television. It was then that I started to read a lot and also pen down my thoughts and couplets in a hard bound diary that I had bought for the same. Slowly, after procuring a laptop, I started blogging and writing articles. This paved way towards my first short story which was published by Indus Woman writers. There has been no looking back since then.3) What authors do you like to read? What book or books have had a strong influence on you or your writing?
I love fiction.
I have a few favourites - Bridge Across Forever by Richard Bach, The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough, The Bridges Of Madison County by Robert Waller. Among Indian authors, I love Anuja Chauhan's and Jhumpa Lahiri's writing. 4) What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Writing is purgative for me. It is a passion that fuels my soul and gives me immense joy. I cannot imagine my life now without it.5) Is there a message in your novel that you hope readers will grasp?
I hope that the readers are able to grasp from my novel that there should not be any bounds and hesitations to change. Change is the only thing that is constant. And if you are missing something in life, keep on looking for it relentlessly. You will find it one day. 6) What was the hardest part of writing your new book?
I didn't particularly find any part of writing as hard. But yes, to find continuous and ample time was sometimes a challenge. This sometimes caused long breaks in my writing and that meant when I picked up again I had to spend extra time to get into the feel of it. Now with my new book, my mantra is to write daily - even if it is just a page or a few lines.7) What are the upsides and downsides to being an author?
Upsides are numerous - first and foremost is the satisfaction you get by penning down. After you finish a good work of writing, its a feeling of enormous satisfaction. And the icing on the top is when it gets appreciated as well.
Downsides is undoubtedly it being rejected by publishers, especially when you are so confident that your piece is good. 8) What has been your favourite writing journey and what did it create?
My favourite writing pieces are my poems. I love writing poetry in both Hindi and English and if through these I can convey a message especially social, its even more enjoyable. I have written a couple of poems on Banaras that are quite close to my heart. These were written on my short trip to the holy city, a few years back. You can read them at :
Having said that, my favourite journey till now has been the creation of my fiction book - "Cups of Coffee and a few friends"9) Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
Yes, I do, without any doubt and I unashamedly ask for them from the readers, because without reviews from the readers there is no way I can look at my work from another person's perspective. They are very important.
Also, as I am human I do get affected by good and bad reviews. Good reviews are like beautiful songs that keep on playing in your mind long after you have listened to them and bad ones are like corrections which will stay for a very long time when you are writing next till you think you have overcome those.10) Please tell us something about your latest book.
The book "Cups Of Coffee and a Few Friends," spans the life of young people who had landed up in Bangalore in late 90s and early 2000s. The book is a story of Bangalore – of young people who have discovered themselves here, of love, of professions and of friendships. You will get to know the characters as we and they move on. It is about life in general as it unfolds and as we perceive it. How we learn and how we forget. It’s about the different chapters of our existence – how one ends even as the next one has already begun without the slightest hint.
The protagonist is a young girl, Sakshi, who throughout her life has been a middle-bencher, conveniently-lethargic till she is pushed by her mother, out of the safe, known lanes of her small town to the alien roads of a big city – forcing her to fend for herself. This is where her life takes a 180 degrees turn. ***