Hemalatha Gnanasekar, a self-made author of 7 published books, works as a Secretary in Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited. She writes on the problems of women, including man-woman relationship. She lives in Chennai with her husband and two children. Let’s get to know her more-
- Hi Hemalatha! You are first author I am interviewing who has published 7 books! What an achievement! 🙂
Thank you so much Madhuri!
- Please tell us something about each of your books:
WOMEN HOME EXCELLED MEN is a book of essays about my experience of growing up as a girl child in Chennai city four decades back. A few people whom I had come across in my life taught me lessons which I follow to this day. (Read my review of this book here)
THE PRICELESS GIFT is a novel which deals with the problem of sexual abuse at workplace. Priya is sexually exploited at her workplace. Twenty Years later, life brings her face to face with the man who had ruined her. Vijay pleads with her to forgive him but Priya is not willing to even see his face. However, one fine day, he comes to see her with a priceless gift. (Read my review of this book here)
ENLIVENING STORIES OF MARRIED MEN AND WOMEN is a book of short stories which depicts characters who give you lessons for a smooth marital relationship. They are willing to adapt and also accept the fact that you cannot change your partner. They teach you that for a happy marriage, it is not enough to simply adhere to the “give and take policy”. They tell you that you need to go a step further and “give and only give”.
AWE INSPIRING STORIES is a collection of short stories about people who live amidst us and whom we come across in our day-to-day life. The characters depicted in this book spring to life and become your friends, your family or even your enemies. The stories will give you comfort and reassurance in lessons learnt from the mistakes of others.
THE GUILT IS ALIVE is a Memoir. With the intention of making my family rich, I had sent one of my brothers to Jamaica, West Indies. However, on reaching Jamaica, my brother realized that he had been duped and he was stranded with no money to return. Filled with an acute feeling of guilt, I felt that it was my responsibility to bring him back to India. Did I achieve this goal? Read the book to find out 🙂
NO TURNING BACK is a novel based on parent rivalry. Swaminathan is married to Shanthi who turns out to be of a nit picking character. A malicious act on her part makes Swaminathan so wild and he walks out of her life one day without as much as a word to anyone. Many years later, Ramanathan, a family friend of Shanthi, bumps into him and is bent upon uniting the couple.
THE HEART OF GOLD is a novel intended for young girls who are too infatuated and fall out with their parents in relentless pursuit of their love and pleasure. Mukesh is dumbfounded when his newly married wife says that she is forced into marriage. One fine day, Nithya takes a bold step and goes out to meet her ex-lover. She lands up in trouble for she is kidnapped and forced into prostitution. There is only one person who can rescue her.
- When did you start writing?
A book titled “The Wreck” by Rabindranath Tagore was the first novel that I read in my life at the age of 13. After I finished the book, I thought, “one day, I must also become a writer! Thus the seeds of my dream to become a writer were sown in my mind at a very young age. However, it came to fruition about 20 years later. One person who contributed to this is Late Mr.Uncle Pai, the Director of Tinkle Magazine. His advice in a small post card while rejecting my story reads: “Don’t get dejected that I am not accepting your work. I too have a bad experience of getting my work rejected many times. But today, I am the Director of Tinkle Magazine. This has been possible because I did not give up and instead started reading more books which slowly improved my writing. Only if you read more books will you be able to write well.” I immediately enrolled myself in a library and started reading books written by Sidney Sheldon, Jackie Collins, Kushwant Singh and Shobha De. This reading habit has stood me in good stead.
- Reading inspires writing — how true! What is the purpose of your writing?
Doing good to others gives me immense joy and a sense of fulfillment in life. Sharing is caring! Books are enlightening, entertaining and informative and by writing a book, I am able to achieve this end much better as I am able to reach a large number of people. Also, writing is a means of getting away from oneself – far from the maddening crowd!
- What inspired you to bring forth these ideas as a book?
I intended to share my life experiences, good values and lessons I learnt in life with people across the world. And also to bring an awareness in their minds about the atrocities taking place around them.
- There have been so many books written by you, are they fiction or inspired from real life ?
“Women Home Excelled Men” and “The Guilt Is Alive” are stories inspired from real life. My other books are fiction which are based on true stories happening around me. However, I cover it up a little and try to give it a positive or fairy tale ending; concomitantly highlighting the awful behavior of people around us.
- What is your idea of love, family and relationships on the whole
In any relationship, be it with our family members or friends, we should be careful not to hurt the ego and feelings of others. The more attention and time you give to them, the more beautiful life becomes. You must also have less expectations in order to nurture and keep the relationship green. Today, due to advancement in technology, it is possible for one to be wrapped up with gadgets and get lost in to a different world altogether. People are so stressed in achieving their goals and in fact they are not contented with their lot and wish to reach beyond the sky. Amidst all this chaos, one must remember to stop by and express their love and appreciation to their spouse and children for you will realize in the end that all you have got is your family, who will stand by you when you are sick and lying in bed.
- That is such a lovely piece of advice!
So how was this journey of becoming a published author? Give some insight to your efforts in getting your book published.
The journey of becoming a published author had been very rough indeed! Without elaborating and to put it in simple words, I would say, it was like climbing mount Himalayas! But ultimately after you reach the top, you forget the hardships! Your joy is unbound and the satisfaction of having lived a life to the fullest is overwhelming!
- You have self-published all of your works. Why didn’t you follow the traditional approach ?
I did follow the traditional approach. All my books were first published by a Traditional publisher. Later, I converted these into E-Books through Amazon Kindle.
- Which approach is better according to you and why?
Actually, I like the traditional approach for I can leave all my burden of editing, book cover, publishing and marketing to my publisher. However, the scenario has changed nowadays and the publisher is expecting the author to help with promotion and marketing of books. If the author is not good at shouting out/promoting their books, a good book never gets noticed or reach the hands of avid readers. This is when I stumbled upon an article on Self Publishing which showed me some light at the end of the tunnel. Immediately, I converted all my books as E-Books after obtaining the rights from my publisher. Here, I wish to thank Author Rasana Atrea, but for whose encouragement, I wouldn’t have entered into self publishing. I feel immensely proud and happy that all my books can now be read by people all over the world 24 x 7 which is a great feeling indeed.
- Impressive! What is your take on book publishing as you see the current scenario?
Finding a traditional publisher to publish a book is an arduous task. I had to publish all my books on a cost sharing basis. On the other hand you don’t have to pay through your nose for self publishing your book and it is also possible for an author to market their book through social media like facebook and twitter.
- What are your forthcoming writings?
I just finished my Eighth book titled “The Blackmail” which is about affairs which people encounter in their middle age and the role of detectives in settling the marital problems.
- Interesting! I look forward to reading it soon. 🙂
What are the four top most things you take care of while writing a book?
- I first make an outline of my novel – planning the beginning, middle and the end and decide about the places where the twists and turns in the novel have to be incorporated. Later, I do some research on the subject. I do not begin writing until I am very confident.
- Since my plots are based on true stories about atrocious behavior of people around me, I try to cover it up a little and always see to it that the novel ends on a positive note.
- Once I finish a chapter, I read it several times and don’t proceed further unless I am fully satisfied.
- I make it a point to write something which I myself enjoy reading.
- What / Who is your biggest source of inspiration in life?
My father had been a big source of inspiration in my life. He had inculcated in me the habit of reading at very young age. He would bring home copies of old Reader’s Digest and Women’s Era for me to read and would keep insisting that I read the newspaper daily. Probably it was this reading habit that got me hooked to writing.
- What is the biggest challenge you have ever faced and how did you overcome it?
When I learnt that my brother whom I had coaxed to go abroad for a job suddenly was stranded on the streets without a penny, I was filled with an acute feeling of guilt. I took it as a challenge to bring him back to India and to achieve this goal, it had taken me nine long years. My book “The Guilt Is Alive” is based on this grueling experience.
- If you had to live a day of your life as one of the living or dead personalities, who would it be and why?
I would love to be like my mother who passed away on 19th August 2015. She was a fighter until the very end of her life, battling with diabetes, heart and kidney problems. But never did she complain to us about her ailments and bore the pain in a stoic manner. Her five children meant the whole world to her and no matter how harsh I spoke to her, she would never take it to heart and simply say, “cool down a little and first have a glass of water.” She had no goals or targets for life and always lived in the present; taking things as they came to her. Though ignorant, she had strong faith in God and believed that He would help her tide over the problems, no matter what!
- Our prayers are with her and may her soul rest in peace.
Finally, any message for our readers?
Books are the best stress busters which transport you to a different world altogether. Therefore, the best gift you can give to your children is to inculcate the habit of reading. For books are powerhouses which would transform their lives by entertaining and educating them in a better way. They are sure to find good advice on everything like developing better habits, learning to make good decisions and becoming happier in ways that are meaningful and lasting!
So that was Hemalatha for you, author of 7 books!!
Read my review of her books-
You can get in touch with Hemalatha directly at: http://www.hemalathagnanasekar.com
Contact Madhuri for your author interview and getting your book reviewed: firstname.lastname@example.org
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