Author Stories

Anil Jena

Book: As She Told Me

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Top 100 Debut Indian Authors

Tell us about your childhood. When did you start writing and what was your first write-up?

Being son of a Headmaster and coming from a teacher’s family, my childhood memory was like always to be disciplined and to study well. The typical middle class values were taught and I learned at an early age that if I do something wrong, I need to face it. The good point is that this question makes me realize there are so many fond memories and they appear in a disordered jumble. Being youngest in the family, the feeling of being small, loved and protected is what I still carry in my heart. One small part, during summer vacations, my mother used to ask us to take a nap post lunch, so that I will have the quota of going out and play with my friends. I used to wait till the point my mother asleep and I slowly make my move go out without making any noise (Have caught many times though). I used to write short poems during my college days in the local language. They are all unpublished

You are a banker before you became an author. How penning a book came to your mind?

It’s very hard to say why I started writing.I am an accidental writer and never thought I can write a book in my lifetime. Tried many times, but I had failed. When I started my career as a Management Trainee, I thought banking job was pretty cool as I used to leave office sharp by 5.30 PM.As a bachelor, when your friends are coming back by 7 PM and you get bored in the room,I tried my hands in to writing and scribbling few paragraphs. That’s how it had started during 2006.It has helped me immensely in sorting out my feelings about the seminal moments of life. The reality is that it’s the people that inspires me ,the pent up emotions and how they deal with the things that life throws at them.

Tell us about your maiden book As She Told Me and its lead protagonist?

Aadi was a small town boy. He was not looking for love when he found it. One was in campus and the other was doing a job.She had it all. Beauty, money and career. Aadi met Trisha through a common friend. They started talking; exchanged numbers and their bond grew deeper. Their world turned upside down when they were about to get engaged. Someone else fell in love with Trisha. Its a different love story with lots of twists and turns and not like a traditional love story with a happy ending. It’s an epic saga of love, sex, romance, revenge, which will enthrall you till the end. You will laugh, frown, cry, feel happy and at the end you will also have to move on. Emotions never die...relationships change is what AS SHE TOLD ME is all about.

What, according to you, is the biggest perk and biggest challenge of being a writer? Also, what is that one moment you treasure most as a writer?

The biggest perk is recognition and adding one more line in your social networking site is Banker-cum-Author(Laugh).To be honest it’s the happiness you get for yourself .The biggest challenge is time and finding a publisher for a debut novel. But I was sure not to be published by the vanity publishers. As a debut author,that one moment I treasure when the very next day of publishing the book ,I saw the book was trending at No 2-Best seller in Amazon’s KINDLE and my books were also sold in the USA market in store.

What is the best compliment you have got from a reader?

There were lots of compliments my readers have given. If I remember one such compliment was from a reader that, he downloaded the book during his travel to Mumbai and completed the book in straight 90 minutes during the flight time without taking a pause and when he landed in the airport, his first task was to tag me in Face book and describing his moments of happiness that this book just took him through his memory lane of the student life and he asked me to write a sequence ,so that he will know when the Protagonist got the true love of his life.

Any message for aspiring writers?

Write if you believe that gives you happiness and not what u think will sell. Even if you believe your books will not sell (if selling is the purpose) and you are absolutely ok to get rejected and get one star reviews with all bad feedbacks,accept it with an open arm. Remember, there are authors in this world, whose books are rejected multiple times before they have created BEST SELLERS .Who am I and you to complain?