Interview with the Author of 'A Price to Love': Smita Das Jain
Smita Das Jain is the epitome of grace, resolve and diligence. Her journey is one of inspiration that depicts that you can have it all if you dream big. She is a versatile Author, TEDx Speaker, Blogger, Writer and Coach whose novels 'A Price to Love' and 'A Slice Of Life: Every Person Has A Story' have become raging hits. We are proud to present here on our website.
Q1. Tell us about yourself (education, career, family)
I am a Personal Empowerment Life Coach and Executive Coach by profession and a writer by passion. My father was from the Armed forces owing to which I have been brought up embracing diversities of the great Indian culture, and so I consider the entire country my home. Currently, I am based in Gurugram, India, where I stay with my husband and daughter.
An IIM-Indore and SRCC alumna, I have worked for 14 years in the corporate world in leadership roles with Fortune 500 companies such as KPMG and JLL. In 2021, I quit my corporate job to pursue my passions and took up coaching and writing simultaneously. It has been an incredible journey since then in both of my careers. I am also a TEDx speaker and have been a speaker and panellist at several corporate conferences and seminars.
Q2. Who/What inspired you to become a writer?
My late father instilled the love of reading and writing in me. I honestly feel that he is the greatest writer that the world has never known. He used to write many stories, essays and creative memos but never took it further because of his job obligations. Influenced by him, I also took to writing.
I was twelve when I wrote my first story. It was published in my school magazine, and I became an overnight sensation for three days. I followed it up with an article. Then another. The series continued, and eventually, I became the Chief Editor of my school magazine. Then I entered college life, and balance sheets and corporate strategies took centre stage; creativity is the last thing someone associates with an MBA professional from IIM Indore. I did write many thought leaderships, whitepapers, and business articles during my 14-year career in the corporate world; however, creative writing took a back seat.
Then in 2018, following my desire to learn something new, I enrolled in Stanford Continuing Studies for their Creative Writing and Novel Writing courses. With their world-class techniques and marvellous faculties, these courses rekindled my love affair with creative writing. I completed the first draft of my novel and produced some forms of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry, which were much appreciated. When the course finished, I knew that I would be an author someday- it was a matter of time.
Q3. Tell us about your book/books and your whole experience with that.
I have written two books. The first is a short story collection, A Slice of Life- Every Person Has A Story, published in September 2021. It became an Amazon bestseller within two days of release. I have written something every day since April 2021, and A Slice of Life was the fruit of that endeavour; the stories dealing with human emotions wrote themselves. The book was adjudged among the top three fiction works in India in 2021 by Writefluence.
The tremendous feedback from the readers made me polish the draft of my novel. Readomania published my debut novel, A Price to Love, in October 2022. The book’s strong and career-oriented female protagonist on a quest for self-love is trending in Amazon New Releases and has generated great reviews and feedback from readers. I am blessed to see readers appreciate both of my works so much.
Q4. Which character from any of your books is your favourite and why?
I have two favourites here and can’t decide between them. The first is Sameep, the protagonist’s husband from my novel A Price to Love. He has flaws, but he also learns from his mistakes and evolves as a person with time. Everyone makes mistakes, but few learn from them, making him stand out in a women-centric novel. Further, he stands by his wife through thick and thin-—we need more men like him in real life!
The second is Rohan from the story of Forever Love from my book A Slice of Life. The story in the book revolves around his wife and her ex-boyfriend, yet he steals the show by appearing in the last scene towards the end. How does he do it? Readers would need to read the book to find out.
Q5. What more genres do you want to explore?
I focus on telling stories as a writer; the genre is something that follows. I have written 85+ short stories plus a novel to date, besides close to 100 blogs and non-fiction articles. I have explored every possible genre in my short fiction- romance, thriller, mystery, horror, paranormal, mythological fiction, historical fiction, science fiction, speculative fiction, literary fiction, and more. Some readers have called A Price to Love women’s fiction, while I consider it a romantic thriller! So, the perception of genres differs.
I am focused on telling more and different kinds of stories to the world and do not want to get limited by genres. Some genres may be out of my comfort zone for the time being, but then I will push myself out of my comfort zone to improve and evolve as a writer.
Q6. Tell us about your favourite book.
I am an unabashed Jeffrey Archer fan and have an entire collection of his books at home. My favourite among his books is A Twist in the Tale, which comprises twelve short stories where the expected never happens. I loved how each story had a twist, as implied in the title, leaving the reader either laughing out loud or thinking for long. The guessing game throughout the book keeps the reader engaged throughout.
The writing style of A Slice of Life- Every Person Has A Story is partly inspired by Jeffrey Archer’s style, which I have also acknowledged in the book.
Q7. What are your three writing tips?
I have quite a few. But my top three are:
Read something every day- One of the prerequisites to being a good writer is to be a reader. Reading every day means you are enriching your writing skills daily. Appreciation of different writing styles will enable you to develop your own.
Write something every day- Commit yourself to a daily writing routine- either time based (one hour daily) or output-based (five hundred words daily). Practice makes perfect, and writing is no different.
Create the best writing environment for you- You need to find a corner, either at home or outside, with everything you need to write. Find out what tools and environment work for you — your writing jam.
My blog post, A Beginner’s Guide to Writing Fiction, will help readers to get some more valuable tips.
Q8. What advice will you give to someone who wishes to get published?
You actually don’t need to write a book in today’s world to get published—there are numerous forums to submit fiction and non-fiction online. If you do wish to publish a paperback, don’t take shortcuts; get feedback on your work by publishing in online forums first. Take part in writing contests and competitions, join writing groups, and get mentored by other writers to hone your craft.
Also, editing takes more time than writing and never really finishes, and marketing entails more effort than writing and editing combined. So don’t think the journey is over when you have completed the first draft.
Q9. Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If yes, then how do you deal with it?
I do not, for the simple reason that I write something every day. Of course, there are days when I am in a flow and words come naturally, and there are days when I struggle for words. But you end up writing something if you have allotted a fixed time daily.
You can only beat writer’s block by writing; there is no other way. I have written an entire blog post on overcoming writer’s block, which the readers can read here.
Q10. How would you feel if your book was turned into a movie?
It would feel great. The first time I am sure I will walk in the cloud for a day or two before something happens to bring me back to earth with a thud.
Seriously, book-to-screen adaptations are an incredible feeling, and they will come eventually when you have a body of good work behind you. As a writer, my main job is to write and write well. If I do that honestly, good results are bound to follow, as it already has in the last two years.
Q11. Tell us about your upcoming books.
I have the first draft of my second novel based on the conundrum of complex relationships and a series of short stories revolving around strange happenings ready. The work on the former will take time, while the latter will entail more pick and choose. I haven’t yet decided which of these I would publish first; the publisher will also have a say in this. All I know is that I will come out with one book every year, and something will definitely be out in 2023.