I have some good news to share in this week’s post. A fellow writer, Ritu Anand, who I had the good fortune to meet online while we were both participating in Renee M LaTulippe’s Lyrical Language Lab course, is welcoming a new book into the world.
Kara’s Dreams is about a little tree, Kara, who dreams of standing as tall and as strong as Utsa, an elder tree, who’d been standing for more than 200 years. Kara fears that she won’t be able to make her dreams come true.
Kara seeks out Utsa for guidance. The elder tree gives Kara the strength to overcome her fears, and to believe that she will reach her dreams.
Kara’s Dreams is available at Barnes & Nobles.
It will also be available from Amazon on March 15th, at https://www.amazon.com/dp/195508808X
Ritu graciously agreed to share a little bit about herself, and her book journey with us.
About the author:
Ritu Anand started writing when she could hold a pencil, but life kept getting in the way. For the past four years, she has chosen writing as her career. She draws her inspiration from nature and her scripture, Sri Guru Granth Sahibjee.
Ritu lives in Sarasota Florida with her loving husband. Her interests include reading, writing, singing Indian classical music, dancing to Bollywood music, traveling and playing golf.
Do you write every day?
Yes, I write every day, before the world starts chatting with me. I jot story ideas while watching kids dig the white sand, on Siesta beach.
When did you start writing? What drew you to writing?
I started writing when I could hold a pencil. As a young girl, I used to write on newspapers, inside old books, new ones, on walls and even furniture. My muse made me do it.
At a very young age, I was drawn to words on a page. Words moved me. They seeped through me, made me happy, sad or thoughtful. Secretly, I thanked authors for giving me the privilege to belong to their world.
What was the first piece you published?
The first piece I published was a literary translation of an excerpt of a speech in Punjabi. My grandfather delivered a riveting message about the concept of Universal Brotherhood of Man. A Sikh Journal published my article and it was distributed to all the Sikh temples.
Do you have a special place where you prefer to write?
My preferred spot at home is the big chair in the corner of my living room.
Do you have a critique group?
Yes, I belong to more than one critique group. When I attended the Mira Reisberg’s Children’s Academy, I befriended Heidi Yates, Lakshmi Thamizhmani, Connie Dow and Adrienne Pankey. They were my first critique group. Their critiquing of Kara’s Dreams was beyond helpful and I gained tremendous strength from their words of encouragement.
Meera Sriram, award winner author of Dumpling Day, A Gift for Amma, The Yellow Suitcase and other books, guided me as a developmental editor. I feel privileged to be able to reach out to her and view her as my mentor.
As I am working on writing a middle grade novel, I joined another group formed by Mindy Weiss of the Florida SCBWI.
Without the help of critique partners, I wouldn’t be able to improve my writing.
How has your writing changed over the years?
I feel passionate about writing and bring my heart to it. I just have to feel my own writing. When I first started writing, I had a hard time recognizing myself in my writing. I didn’t know how to connect with the world through my writing. Once I decided to focus on the immediate, the tangible, I found a way to communicate with the world. I have a broad view of the world we live in. I always see the forest first, then the trees. But once I started seeing, smelling, hearing, touching and tasting the immediate, I started to recognize ‘me’ in my little world and that led me to expand my view to the bigger outer world.
Do you have any writing advice that has helped you?
Read, read and read. In my imagination, I love living in the fictitious world of my characters, talking to them, and riding the waves of enchanting discoveries. Unleash your imaginative power. Observe sounds in nature. Watch an iguana project his tongue forward and retract it inside his body. Compare him to the way humans project their tongues forward to lick dripping ice cream, and slurp it in their mouths.
Thank you, Ritu, for sharing your writing journey and your good news about Kara’s Dreams.