Preethi Venugopala, a civil engineer turned blogger, painter and story teller, is our author of the month.
Hailing from the God’s own country, Kerala, she is at present settled in the Garden City, Bangalore. Starting her writing journey as a blogger, she had her first book, a novel titled ‘Without You’ published in 2015. Both common readers and the critiques have spoken very highly of the book as can be sensed from the Goodreads and Amazon pages. To know more about her and her work visit the about page in her official website – A Writer’s Oasis.
‘One Life is not Enough’ caught up with her for a chat session.
Q: How smooth was the transition from Civil Engineering to authoring novels?
A: Thank you, Durga Prasad, for inviting me. It is a pleasure to be featured on your blog.
I took a sabbatical from my job after the birth of my son. I used to journal regularly. It was my husband to whom I had shown a particular journal entry who asked me to consider writing as a career. I had won story writing competitions while in college but had not pursued it further. When my son started playschool, I began to get free hours during the day and I started blogging. Blogging made the transition to becoming an author smooth and easy. In fact, if hadn’t started blogging, I might not have become a writer.
Q: When did you discover you could paint as well? Or, was it your first love?
A: I used to draw and paint while in school but had stopped once I left school. Then in 2011, my father passed away and I went into a mild depression. It was during that phase that I took up painting. It healed me from within. I still turn to painting and portraiture whenever I need a bit of cheering up.
Q: How do you effectively juggle various roles – as a mom, blogger, story teller, artist and other roles?
A: It just happens naturally. Women are, after all, experts at multi-tasking. Yet, on most days I am just a mom. I give myself a few dedicated hours every day to be a blogger, writer or artist according to the mood of the day.
Q: It is nice to see you continue to blog regularly even after becoming a published author. What role does blogging play in your overall creative journey?
A: Blogging has played a significant role in my creative journey, especially my writing journey.
As I said, I might not have become a writer if I was not a blogger. It was through blogging that I got acquainted with many other writers and publishers. My first publishing opportunity came via a pan India writing contest which was declared on the blog of author Bhavya Kaushik. I participated in the contest and got selected to be published.
The first readers and reviewers of my debut novel were my blogger friends.
I also display my art work on my blog.
Q: Tell us about your first book and how did it come about?
A: The idea of my first book came when I heard about the Mangalore plane crash on May 22, 2010. I was disturbed by the tragedy as it was the same route that I used to travel while I was working with the Dubai Metro. There were so many miraculous escape stories that filled the newspapers right after the tragedy. The many what if questions that troubled me then led me to write the book.
Q: What was the inspiration behind your compiling a Malayalam alphabet book for kids? Do you think regional languages in India are in danger of being side-lined?
A: The book was born out of a request made by my son. We live away from Kerala and hence it was difficult for us to get hold of study materials to teach him Malayalam. He learned the basics but wanted my help to read the words. He told me to write down the pronunciation of the letters in English so that he could read it easily on his own. I created a PowerPoint presentation for his sake and then thought why not make an eBook that would be available for anyone who might need it.
No, I don’t think regional languages are being side-lined. Regional languages have survived for centuries. Our mother tongues bind us to our roots. Of course, because of migration, the new generation might learn a different language than the one their parents speak. It is something that cannot be helped. Parents can help the kids to get in touch with their roots by teaching them their mother tongue. That is the only way.
Q: Is there anything else that you would like to say to our readers?
A: Thank you for all the love that you have given me over the years. Do continue to shower your love on me.
Do check out her books if you haven’t read them yet: Books by Preethi Venugopala on Amazon Books by Preethi Venugopala on Juggernaut Visit her blog: A Writer’s Oasis Follow her on Social Media: Twitter: @preethivenu Instagram: @preethivenu Facebook Page: Preethi Venugopala