Listed as one of the top ten influential authors in India in 2016, most of his work is inspired by real-life incidents. Many would not believe that today’s best-selling author, Tiwari once even tried to give up on his life when in college. However, fighting against all the odds, today Anuj is a TEDx Speaker and has 5 top-rated books in his name. The recent one- Give Your Heart a Break is an amazing tale of the unbreakable sibling bond, the exhilaration of romance, domestic abuse and vulnerability.
Now, without any further delay, let me present to you Author Anuj Tiwari at Talk Stock.
Talk Stock: I read somewhere that there was no inspiration from any authors that brought out the writer in you. Writing just happened to you. However, there is always a beginning. Something must have triggered you to pick a pen and sit to write. Which moment was that?
Anuj: I would say, my writing was the outcome of the medication I was on for more than nine months for severe anxiety and depression. We all have dark days; we might even give up at times. However, I decided to share my story and from there, I got the inspiration.
We all have stories to share and when we can share them, we grow; we become human. The writing was cathartic for me.
Talk Stock: Becoming an author is still not a conventional career choice in our society. Were there any restrictions from family, or suggestions from friends or even your own conscience- did anything ever stop you from pursuing writing and may be think of something more traditional in terms of career?
Anuj: What happens in Indian families that if your neighbor is an engineer or a doctor, anyhow you have to be. And unfortunately, I had both.
So looking at the Return on Investment (ROI), my mom decided that I should go for Engineering though I had an interest in Biology. So I fulfilled my family’s dream, and completed my Engineering, worked with Accenture for five years. During that, I did my MBA, as well.
I never started writing for money, I think that’s the wise decision I could take because I had another job in hand, but I had the passion of books, which I could do for my inner peace.
Talk Stock: Your first novel came out in 2012. Since then you have 5 books in your name. The latest one- Give your Heart a Break is being received very well by the readers. How do you look upon the journey you have covered so far?
Anuj: First of all, I am fascinated with the title. We all need a break, don’t we? This book has been the closest to my life, and it was painful and heart-wrenching to write a story about my sister’s life. Now, I feel a kind of calmness, holding the actual book in my hand. It also has the romantic side, which is something I don’t want to reveal as of now. 😀
Talk Stock: If you are to rank your own novels from 5-1, 1 being the top most position- what will be the sequence? Also mention the reasons for that novel being awarded that particular rank.
Anuj: My new work has been better than the previous. That’s all I know. That’s the basic rule I have set to measure my success. Rest, come, and go.
Talk Stock: Which genre excites you the most or you think may be a challenge for you to write?
Anuj: I am fascinated with epics. I love mythologies because that’s what I have watched and listened to my grandparents. If you are born in a Brahmin family, the primary education you get knowing about stories about your culture, religion, and other great beliefs.
Talk Stock: Writer’s Block- How do you break it?
Anuj: Don’t know, what’s that.
Talk Stock: Coming to the technical and marketing part, what challenges do you think are there for authors in India and ways to overcome them?
Anuj: “Good content always sells well, whether it’s a book or a movie. For the marketing part, always remember – how your mother used to introduce you to relatives for the first time.”
Talk Stock: Self-Publishing or Traditional Publishing- which one do you prefer and why?
Anuj: “Always traditional publishing. I got 25 rejections for my first book, and then again, I worked on my manuscript. If I could go ahead with self-publishing, but I would have compromised with many things – learning, challenges which helped me to grow later, quality of the script, on which I again worked for a year. Today we have sold more than 2.5 L copies of it, with ZERO marketing budget. I could definitely not do that with self-publishing.”
One word or One sentence answer for following-
Any literary pilgrimages you have been to?
A message for your younger-self
You used your first earnings from writing in-?
My friend and I bought an Activa so that we could keep books and deliver to bookstores in Mumbai, we both are authors, make a guess 🙂
Monetary success or Reader’s Satisfaction- which one defines real success for you?
Have you ever Googled yourself ? 😉
Lastly, what’s next on the table? When and what readers expect in your next book?
There is a big table, and there are so many things lying on it, but there is something in 2020, for sure 🙂
We are waiting Anuj!