Presenting the wonderful interview of Rucha Pantoji, author of What Does Your Dad Do? by Priya S (Authors Tree Publishing)....✍️
Priya S: When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
Rucha Pantoji : It has been my dream since I was in school. I used to write small poems, then started participating in school plays and activities that flourished my writing skills. I kept writing all these years and finally, 2 years ago, I decided to quit my IT job to become a writer and an Author.
Priya S : How long does it take you to write a book?
Rucha Pantoji : It depends on so many things. The book length, editing time, and sometimes it doesn’t go as planned. From my experience, writing goes fast. I wrote my recent book in 1.5 months. But the editing is a bit complicated. I spent around 4 to 6 months on editing, added some new chapters, deleted some unnecessary details to make the book simple and easy. So I would say, if I plan my day Job and my book with a dedicated timetable, it’s achievable in a few months. But if not, I go with a flow and don’t rush myself.
Priya S : What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
Rucha Pantoji : I usually prefer writing in the morning when I am fresh. During the evening, writing in a cafe with a cup of tea helps me achieve daily tasks. And my late evenings are reserved for reading or researching something for my book or regular work.
Priya S : What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Rucha Pantoji : I like to create positive characters. Someone who gives good vibes. And something I recently realized, I enjoy describing small things, like an interior of a house. Because here I can use my creativity, so I hypothetically design places and write about them in my story.
Priya S : Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
Rucha Pantoji : For “What Does Your Dad Do?” my source of information was my dad of course. He explained the technical terms and working of train signals. And the internet is full of information. Combined, I had a clear vision of what I wanted to write. But if I am writing fiction, then along with the internet, reading books has always helped me.
Priya S : When did you write your first book and how old were you?
Rucha Pantoji : If I consider a story collection that I wrote in the summer holidays of 10th grade, then I was 15. But my first published book was in 2020 when I was 23.
Priya S : What do you like to do when you're not writing?
Rucha Pantoji : When not writing, I spend hours on my kindle reading a book. While fiction is my favorite genre, I try to explore the non-fiction genre once a month. Otherwise, I love to watch sitcoms, movies. Going out and enjoying street food. Going to a stationery store. And sometimes doodling.
Priya S : What does your family think of your writing?
Rucha Pantoji : Oh they enjoy my stories and poems. Everyone around me has been so supportive that I could spend as much time as I needed to become a writer. My loved ones praise me for my work and encourage me to write more. I am really grateful and wouldn’t have been able to achieve this without family support.
Priya S : How many books have you written? Which is your favourite?
Rucha Pantoji : So far the count is on two and I love them both. And, God’s Grace, I’ll write more books in coming years, all would be my favorite. It’s a good feeling to have books under my name and thank you tons for helping me publish it.
Priya S : Do you have any suggestions to help anyone become a better writer? If so, what are they?
Rucha Pantoji : I believe the writing phase is different for everyone and advice could be confusing. But there is one thing that always helps and will always show results, and that’s reading. Whenever someone DMs me on IG and asks for advice about writing, I try to give a solution and my final advice is always to read more. Read a similar genre and don’t judge your writing too soon. It will get better. I read great advice in one of Sudha Murthey’s books and I think it will help all the writers- “A language is but a vehicle. It’s the person inside who is weaving the story that’s more important. You are a storyteller. So get on with your story and the language will fall into place.”
Priya S : Tell us something about your recent book published?
Rucha Pantoji : “What Does Your Dad Do?” was in my mind for years. My father had a very busy, hectic, and rather crucial job field. The signaling department of Indian railways is not a very explored area. Very few people know how tough it could be to work for the railway’s safety and smooth working. But I never knew where to start and how to start writing. My initial plan was to write in a native language (Marathi). But I wanted this story to reach maximum readers. Since English is a commonly understood language, I decided to go with it.
And secondly, I did not want the whole thing just about the technicality of trains. So the book is not just about Job in central railways but also about a simple Indian family, about Indian culture and towns and people. So I put everything together in 35 chapters. And finally, last year I wrote the first word. Fortunately, I found Author's Tree Publishing on Instagram and had a wonderful conversation with the team. They noted all my requirements for the book and released it the way I had planned. Many thanks to the whole team for the support and guidance.
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