Today, I have the distinct pleasure of featuring Ritu Bhathal on this edition of A Perfect 10. Ritu is a respected blogger and author and I’m glad she stopped by to tell us more about herself.
Please enjoy this special installment of A Perfect 10
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Writing gives me a reason to go on. It can create an amazing energy within me, but having said that, when I really focus my mind on a project, like I did during the month of August, it can also drain me!
Do you ever write under a pseudonym? If not have you considered it? Why or why not?
There were times I wondered whether I should, due to my career as a teacher. Pupils and parents do like to fish for information about their teachers! But I decided not to, as I have not written anything to offend. Maybe if there was a genre I decided to write which would be a bit risque to put my daily name to, then I would consider it.
Does a big ego help or hurt writers? Why or why not?
I think a big ego can hurt, but self-confidence is crucial. None of us know whether what we write will be read or not, but we need to have that self-belief at least, that what we have poured our souls into may just be successful!
What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
At this stage, I haven’t spent huge amounts, but going forward, I will be looking to find a good editor for my novel! So far, the most expensive thing I have invested in (got for a birthday present, actually!) is my Microsoft Surface, which I use to write on. It is small and versatile, with all the features of a PC!
What does writing success look like to you? Have you achieved it?
To me, it would be amazing to see my books on real bookshop shelves! Also, hearing from readers that they genuinely enjoyed what they read. The bookshelf thing… just a dream at the moment, the feedback from readers, well I’ve had a few lovely reviews which make the hard work worthwhile!
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book? What sources do you use?
My poetry is not something I would research much on, it comes from the heart, but with fiction, there is definitely an element of research that is necessary in order to create a story that is worth reading. My WIP has been developing for a long time and when I started writing it, I used my own experiences and knowledge. Continuing it now, I have used the internet, interviewed people, and again dug into my own personal experiences of visiting the locations I have mentioned in the story. I would say that for me the research started after I commenced the writing, as I learned more about how to craft a book.
How do you select the names of your characters? Have you ever regretted choosing a particular name? Why?
The character in my book is a young British-Indian girl. I was conscious of choosing a name that was not used by anyone I knew, in case they thought I was writing about them! The additional characters have names that are common within Sikh families, so they are believable names. So far I haven;t had a reason to regret choosing a name!
What is the hardest type of scene to write?
For me, sometimes the hardest scenes to write are the ones filled with emotion. It is easy to fill a page with gushing dialogue, and poignant pauses, but I end up going in too deep and the one page turns into three! Another type of scene that can be difficult is the intimate one. There are places in my story where the inevitable happens, and I am conscious that I want the events to be insinuated, rather than described blow by blow… it’s not Fifty Shades of the Kama Sutra that I’m writing!
If you could have dinner with four people, living or dead, who would they be and what would you want to ask them?
I am pretty sentimental, and family orientated and whenever I am asked this, the answer is the same. I would want my four grandparents there around the table with me. I never met my paternal grandparents, and I would just love to get to know them, and allow them to meet the family they never got to see. My maternal grandfather died when I was six years old. He was a pioneering man in Kenya where he lived, working hard to provide for family, but charitable beyond comprehension. He believed in education for all, and sent my mother away to University, unheard of in our communities fifty years ago. He also paid for many of the children of the workers on his farm to good schools and colleges, and they, to this day, remember and appreciate him and our family for the opportunities this provided. I’d love to ask him if he’s happy with how the family have tried to carry on his legacy.And my maternal Grandmother. She passed away the year before I got married. She was so happy to know I was tying the knot, but never got to meet her grandson-in-law. I’d love to know if she was happy with my choice!
What platform has brought you the most success in marketing your books?
I have yet to work out the best way to market books. My poetry anthology is on Amazon, and I have mainly promoted it via my blog. I think the power of blog tours is immense. I have been convinced to buy books myself after reading interviews of other authors, so when this WIP is finally finished, I would definitely attempt to embark upon one of those!
Connect with Ritu:
About Ritu’s Book:
Poetic RITUals – Ritu Bhathal
Delve into a book of verse exploring different topics and different genres, all with a RITUal twist.
A collection of poetry drawing on the experiences of the writer, ranging from matters of the heart, love for the family, situations in life and some verses written with a humorous twist.
By clicking the following link, you get to my author profile on Amazon, where you can find the link to my poetry book, Poetic RITUals.
Ritu Bhathal was born in Birmingham in the mid-1970’s to migrant parents, hailing from Kenya but with Indian origin. This colourful background has been a constant source of inspiration to her.
From childhood, she always enjoyed reading. This love of books is mostly credited to her mother.
The joy of reading spurred her on to become creative in her own writing, from fiction to poetry.
Winning little writing competitions at school and locally gave her the encouragement to continue writing.
As a wife, mother, daughter, sister, and teacher, she has drawn on inspiration from many avenues to create the poems that she writes.
A qualified teacher, having studied at Kingston University, she now deals with classes of children as a sideline to her writing!
Ritu also writes a blog, a mixture of life and creativity, thoughts and opinions, which recently was awarded first place in the Best Overall Blog Category at the Annual Bloggers Bash Awards.
Ritu is happily married, and living in Kent, with her Hubby Dearest, and two children, not forgetting the furbaby Sonu Singh.
She is currently working on some short stories, and a novel, to be published in the near future.