Frontlist | The journey was not easy: Indian author on International stage
Prachi Gupta, 29, from Ghaziabad is the first writer from India to get into the top 10 finalists of the Author Elite Awards 2020. Earlier known as the Author Academy Awards, this honour has come for her book, Right from the Start She Stole His Heart, published by Fingerprint publishers. Her brother Sanchit has co-authored the book.
Already an author of four books and a social worker, The Morning Standard spoke to Gupta on her achievement.
Tell us about your book.
Our book, Right from the Start She Stole His Heart, is a romantic comedy. It portrays the tangled lives of five friends (two girls and three boys) in a college.
They are totally different from each other and go through transformation in their four-year engineering journey to finally discover true love and friendship. It’s a funny take on teenager’s difficulties when they first step into college.
The things they learn that were never told by their parents and what makes it different is the philosophical approach used to teach people the hard lessons of life comically.
What led you to become a writer?
It happened accidentally. I was preparing for my civils and was at home. I would write in my free time. My brother Sanchit came for the holidays, and like most annoying investigating brothers, browsed through my laptop. He found this book, Accidentally Cupid.
It was a 15-page story by then. He read it and pushed me to complete, writing the suspense part himself. That way, those 15 pages turned into a full novel and us into writers.
What kind of challenges did you face when you started as a writer?
We were totally clueless with no writing background. We just had a perfect new story that was totally different from the rest and a lot of determination to get it published.
We researched and sent the proposals, but all major publishing houses rejected us for being debut writers. Things changed when we decided to self-publish the book and it soon became a hit.
At that time, we were approached by few publishers to republish it. From them we picked Fingerprint publishing and finally Sanchit and me became the youngest self-published best selling sibling pair in India in 2016. But the struggle didn’t end here.
The reader messages I got made me soon realise that it was writing which fulfilled my life mission and gave me happiness.
The day I decided to be a full-time writer was the beginning of my troubles at home. My parents didn’t support the idea. Almost all my relatives were against it, but we didn’t give up.
Tell us about Sanchit and your contribution in the book.
I wrote most of the romance and comedy part, while Sanchit supplied the suspense. He had a knack for suspense since childhood. We would discuss all scenes and come up with the best versions to write.
Tell us about your social work.
I joined Yuva Jankalyan Party as the State Women President of Uttar Pradesh in 2020, and am working for women empowerment.
Sanchit works as an ambassador for the world literary foundation. Also in September 2019, we launched a startup, Huddle Books, to help novice writers, and have launched 6 titles under our banner till now.
Any other book planned?
We are planning to bring out the third and last book in the series of Accidentally Cupid, and rigorously working on it.