Author Aditi Chopra has written a number of romantic and woman’s fiction novels that would sit comfortably in a Bollywood film, see A Painful Ordeal. But her talents don’t end there; she also has non-fiction books published that range from leadership skills to practical writing guides – try Nurturing the Leader in your Child. You can browse all of her books by clicking on the above picture. Okay, that aside, let’s see if we can get an insight into what in her writing world makes her tick.
Welcome, Aditi, and thank you for breaking from your work schedule to chat with us here today. Before we talk about where you are now, would you mind telling us about how life led you into writing in the first place?
Thanks for inviting me to share my experiences! I have been a reader throughout my life; I read fiction in my early years and mostly nonfiction in my adult years. While I never thought I would author my own books, my introverted personality and observant nature probably led me towards expressing myself on paper. I have to admit that writing nonfiction came naturally while I had to struggle to unleash my creativity in order to write fictional stories.
That’s interesting, tell us a little about your work. Are your past experiences in any way filtered into your stories?
I am quite sure that a writer’s personality somehow finds a way into her work. I may not be able to see it objectively but I am pretty sure my thinking, values, experiences have definitely shaped my stories. I do write both fiction and nonfiction with a purpose whether it is an emotion I am highlighting or a life lesson. I don’t write frivolous stories.
Is there anything you would like to share about choosing settings that might bring light to an aspiring writer?
Great question, I give quite a bit of importance to the setting of a story. That means I give it as much thought as I would when I am choosing a character. Setting and the descriptions of a place can definitely bring a story to life! When I was growing up in India and I read fiction books, the description of places that I hadn’t seen always fascinated me. There were a lot of places that I wanted to go visit after reading about them.
How long were you writing before you considered your style became your own?
I was comfortable with my style from the beginning since I believed in writing with a purpose. It was the length of the story that I struggled with for some time until I realized that I preferred reading and therefore writing novella length stories.
Would you describe your work as being realistic? If yes, did it grow from experience or imagination?
Yes, my work is very realistic. It is probably because I am fascinated by human psychology and motivation behind people’s actions. I am an extremely emotional person myself and I love portraying emotions in my stories. It is somewhat cathartic. Of course, there is a lot of imagination involved but the sentiment is very real.
Do you consider your works different to others in your genre. Yes, how so?
My contemporary romance stories are unique because I focus on Indians living abroad. I am most familiar with the psychology of an NRI (Non Resident Indian) and I was told to write what you know about. Using your strength to your advantage is what I preach and follow.
How important do you think social media is and which of the many platforms is your favorite?
In today’s world, social media is extremely important for any business and it is crucial for promoting books as well. However, an author cannot afford to get overwhelmed with so many social media tools. I would suggest every author to find a few tools that provide a good ROI and stick with those. I prefer LinkedIn and Twitter over others.
I have been in many areas of IT and modularity in the programming side of things is all important. Bringing this with me to my writing career has made creating a storyboard that much easier. What kind of work have you done and has it helped you with your writing?
Actually my engineering career and mindset was a hindrance when I was learning how to write fiction. Fiction writing is an altogether different process and I struggled with it in the beginning. But the challenge spoke to my left side of the brain and kept me motivated until I cracked the process. What helped me was my reading habit since I had read numerous fictional stories growing up so I could use the knowledge of what a reader might like.
There are many choices; fame, money, respect, or maybe just someone enjoying one of your books. What is your take on success?
Great question, I agree that success means different things to different people. If work can stimulate my brain and provide me with a sense of achievement, I am happy and satisfied. I get bored when there is no challenge. It is definitely rewarding when someone finds my books useful (nonfiction) or they can relate to the emotion portrayed in my stories. Authors love to be read.
Again, thank you for coming along today, Aditi. Your answers have been both enlightening and enjoyable.