Interview for Okiedoks Foundation on Writing, Emerging India and Social Networking!

Welcome to the Part II of our interview with Madhuri Banerjee. And this one has turned out better than the first, in terms of learning. The link to the first part of her interview is here.
Some of Madhuri’s gems:
“Everyone has a story to tell. Many can write it. A few get published. Some make it to the best seller list. And one or two become uber popular.”
“We underestimate the younger generation. If we listen to their voices, we'll learn far more than our experience tells us.”
“Always believe in yourself. `Cos if you don’t, why should anyone else?”
Team Okiedoks wishes all the happiness in the world to Madhuri.
Let’s get to know the other side of hers...
If you get a chance to dine with a writer you look upto, who would it be and why?
I would have loved to dine with Erma Bombeck. She made the “family” a source of international humour. I’m sure she would have been a laugh riot throughout dinner and I would have learned how to write and look at life with more wit! And the second would be Rumi in the 13th century just to imbibe as much Sufism and poetry that I can, to last lifetimes. A living author would be Toni Morrison. For sheer magnificence in her writing.
Does the writing field involve luck? If yes how would you define luck in the writing world ? If no, why?
Yes the writing field involves luck! Everyone has a story to tell. Many can write it. A few get published. Some make it to the best seller list. And one or two become uber popular. The popular ones, who can define the market, demand their royalties and be declared a household name are Lucky.
It is often said that due to the facilities like self-publishing and paid-publishing, the difference between good authors and the not-so-good authors is increasing. Your take on it?
If your book is bought by even one person then you’re a good author. Someone has spent money in believing your story. Self publishing is a great alternative when publishing houses don’t back you. It’s the difference between the Critic’s Award and the Popular Choice Award. You still want to be nominated. You should just get your book out there and let people decide.
Social networking is full of cheeky humour wherein many stupid-fame-chasers take digs at celebrities for their 15-minutes-of-fame. What is your take on authors jumping onto the social networking bandwagon?
Authors think they are mini celebs. They come after actors, directors, people in the film and TV industry, standup comedians, singers, technicians and everyone else. But they still like to feel important and get some appreciation for something they’ve put out there to the public. With a lack of visibility in book stores, non availability on Kindle, and unrecognized in coffee shops, authors have no option but to be on the social networking wagon to get their books sold, be heard or get their egos a bit inflated. And even that is no guarantee. And yes, many people criticize authors, take digs at them, blast them on their blogs, send hate mails, and spread vicious rumours even if they haven’t read the book. Authors are extremely sensitive people who get hurt with all this but (some) try and maintain a dignified silence through it all. Others use it in their next plot.
How would you define the concept of Emerging India by any one of the quotes orlines from any of your books?
We underestimate the younger generation. If we listen to their voices, we'll learn far more than our experience tells us.
The younger generation is our Emerging India.
What are the pros and cons of being a writer who is also known for other things(read other creative fields)
The pros of being a Director, Mother, Blogger, Tweeter, apart from being a Writer is that everything combines into each other. A thought is like water. It can mould into so many forms, ice, dew, rain, snow, clouds. Writing heightens your senses and increases your creativity. The more I write, the better I am at other things as well. While I’m directing, I know the words to use to describe what I want from my actors. The cons are that I don’t get enough time to relax. I’m always doing something that could lead to one thing or another. It challenges the mind but my mind is working even on vacation.
What do you do in-between writing books?
I write blogs, I write film scripts, pitch for TV shows and ad films, network and be a great mom. After all motherhood is a full time job.
What is the one thing which would-be writers and poets need not do to have a successful career as a writer?
The one thing they should not do is pin their hopes on people on social media sites to like them or buy their books. You need to be on social media sites simply because you enjoy it. If you get good feedback, be happy. If you get negative feedback, don’t let it affect you. Also don’t let publishing houses’ rejections make you depressed. If you have a great story, hire a marketing guy and figure out how to get published. Always believe in yourself. `Cos if you don’t, why should anyone else?

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