Indie author Simran Munot is on cloud nine, for her first-ever book entitled ‘Cordially Yours’ is now published. The book is not only receiving rave reviews from various quarters but also challenging the beliefs of the twenty-two-year-young Mumbai-based writer, who had initially thought books on letters wouldn’t do well. Speaking to the Literary Express in an exclusive interaction, Simran, who has previously co-written two poetry books, says the plan to pen down her thoughts and come up with Cordially Yours came long ago, only she wasn’t confident enough. ‘Cordially Yours is basically a collection of heartfelt open letters. I have seen and read various poetry books, different kinds of novels, and novellas but hardly one or two books on letters. A book full of letters is rare and definitely a recent concept. So, I was very sceptical about publishing it,’ she shares.
Letting ‘Letters’ Flow
Stating that she began writing while in seventh grade, Simran lets us know that she adored writing articles and letters as a child and that she decided after to pursue what she had always been passionate about. On being asked how her writing journey exactly began, Simran, who is also a computer engineer, says, ‘Well, I was once travelling in Southeast Asia, and at the time we didn’t have such a high-tech camera. Also, we did not know how to make videos. So, to remember the places and the speciality, I started writing travelogues. I fell in love with writing soon after.’
As she felt she was great at composing letters, which she has hitherto considered her ‘superpower’, Simran finally thought of writing a book full of letters on various topics. ‘The team of Lapsus Creations, which is my publication house, guided me in the entire phase of writing. ‘Had the team not encouraged me, the book would have been just a document on my laptop,’ she pronounces. She then adds, ‘I remember being very nervous before the launch of the book, so much so that I had asked them to cancel it,’ she divulges, letting on that despite her nervousness, Lapsus Creations never gave up on her. ‘And Cordially Yours was thus born,’ she says, beaming with pride.
ENGAGE WITH EXPRESS: Fancy reading Cordially Yours? Well, you can buy yourself a copy right off the bat by clicking on the book’s cover image underneath.
Inspired the most by Sudha Murthy
When we ask her if she tends to derive inspiration from any authors, Simran lets us know that there are many authors whom she admires and that it is difficult for her to pick one or two amongst them. ‘I am a Potterhead too,’ she laughs. ‘So, J K Rowling tops the list. Enid Blyton, Dan Brown, Agatha Christie and Stephen King are some of the authors whose books I will always pick up no matter what mood I have,’ she explains, adding that the one who inspires her the most is Sudha Murty, a renowned Indian writer. ‘For me, she is an absolute gem. Not just as an author but also a human being. We all write and somewhere try to add some difficult vocabulary as compared to the regular vocabulary that we use, but her way of writing and presenting the story using simple yet effective words is something worth learning,’ Simran shares.
Being a silent observer and a keen listener, Simran tends to pen down some of her opinions about what she sees and hears. ‘I write when I have an urge to pen down my thoughts or rant about anything around me. For me, writing is like a therapy,’ she declares.
Taking the World by Storm
When asked if becoming a writer was a conscious decision she made, Simran says that it sure was and adds that she always wanted herself and the people around her to try not to look at their surroundings from just one perspective. She tells us, ‘I have always believed in having a three-sixty-degree perspective and writing helps me express the thoughts that I may have otherwise suppressed.’
Be that as it may, after having decided to become a writer, Simran, who always keeps a diary with her to jot down the ideas she gets while performing various tasks, tells us she began posting her works on Instagram and Facebook. ‘And that’s when I came to realise that my writings could captivate the audience as many of my followers appreciated what I shared. I thereupon decided to come up with a book that won’t be restricted to just one phase of life or theme but on life itself and the different experiences that you may have to encounter in the future,’ she explains.
‘Publication Houses Can’t Help in Sales’
Talking about her works-in-progress, the author, who possesses a mini-library at home, says she is planning to come up with a collection of short stories next year. She, however, clarifies that becoming a full-fledged author is something she may not consider, for her priority is coding.
Nonetheless, does she have something to tell other budding authors? Says Simran, ‘Well, I interacted with many authors while promoting my book, and I realised that the main problem is with sales. Authors believe and always crib that publication houses don’t help them in sales. Well, they can’t. They can just guide you. If you love Harry Potter, then you remember J K Rowling and not Bloomsbury. So, you as an author have to make a lot of effort towards marketing and promotion of the books.’
The Final Word
Going on to aver that regardless of whether or not a book does well, many things can be learnt throughout the entire journey of publishing a book, Simran stresses that absorbing and learning as much as possible is important for a writer. ‘Just don’t give up,’ she pronounces, adding, ‘Because you won’t believe it until you do it, but you can learn way more than you think.’
And is there a thing or two that she wants to be changed in the world we dwell in? ‘Greed!’ she exclaims. ‘Many people suffer because of their expectations and greed. So, ridding ourselves of it would bring up a drastic change in the world,’ she states, signing off with a mesmeric smile.