‘The best thing I could have ever hoped for… is being published!’
says Yashodhara Lal, writer, author, marketing professional and popular blogger.
Yashodhara Lal’s realistically hilarious writings are loved by all. But there’s much more to her personality…a new age corporate professional, a mother of three – Peanut, Pickle and Papad (these names of her kids make one wonder if she is a foodies too), a Zumba instructor on weekends, a Yoga and music enthusiast – so she basically has a lot of interests and often pulled in different directions, all at once! It was a wonderful experience to interact with her as a vibrant author. Here, Smita Dwivedi makes a sneak peek into her world of words!
Yashodhara Lal’s USP is in taking the ordinary and making it hilarious. She graduated from IIM-Bangalore in 2002 and has over 12 years of experience in the marketing domain across two large corporations in FMCG and media. She lives in Gurgaon with her husband Vijay, and three small children, all of whom never fail to provide her with material for her entertaining blog. Just Married, Please Excuse is her first book and then there was no turning back.
Being an author!
Yashodhara LalAfter having a successful corporate career, her writing career kicked off after the birth of her two little bundles of mischief…her twin boys, as she said, “I started in 2010 when I wrote the draft for my first book Just Married, Please Excuse. It was in the aftermath of a complicated surgery after I had my twin sons and realised that life was short, so I should better get down to doing what I was meant to do. I’d always loved to write, but had lost the ambition somewhere along the way in the corporate world. In fact, it’s the best thing I could have ever hoped for, being published!”
And within a short span, she has actually poured all the emotions…thoughts and plots that were churning inside her creative brain…for so long. And talking about her latest book There’s Something About You, which was released in July 2015, her third book she narrated “After my first book, my second one was Sorting Out Sid, followed by this new book, which is being positioned as a love story, but ‘not a typical love story’ for many reasons – it’s about an overweight, single, unemployed girl called Trish who is the star of the book, and her journey as she finds her own place in the world – and yes, she finds love in the process. It’s doing very well, and it actually debuted at No. 2 on the AC Neilsen charts in its launch week.”
Juggling…can be fun too!
It was obvious to enquire about her writing routine, and with a sigh and smile, she replied “For my latest book, it took me a few months. I tend to write in fits and spurts, so over a three months period; I’m usually done with a first draft. I don’t know if I write fast, but at least when I’m writing, I try to write everyday and tend to feel very restless until I can get the ideas down onto the pages!”
Sharing about a few hardships, she added, “The major challenge in my writing career is to try and consider it a serious career. I make much more of a living in the corporate world than I do from writing, and so have decided to view it more as a passion than a career.
I think that’s better anyway, because it takes away some of the pressure from it. Major challenges are always about getting noticed, even if you sincerely believe you’re writing something worth reading – there’s so much competition out there, and I don’t just mean from other books. People have short attention spans these days, and I find it strange that books aren’t valued much – I personally think they’re the most wonderful things to own!”
“The hardest part is usually having the courage to get started. Once you’re in the flow, it’s not that hard to carry on and finish. Just building up the necessary momentum is the hard part”, she added further.
All about books!
On asking about books that is her all time favourite, she added, “I have always really enjoyed the The Thron Birds by Colleen McCullough as a brilliant story that spans generations. I’d love to write something like that one day.” Further adding on what she is reading currently, she shared, “I’ve been reading a lot of non-fictions of late, so I’m reading a book called The Antidote, which is more about the downsides of positive psychology and talks about how negative thinking can actually be a good thing!”
And talking about her favourite, she said, “I love Bill Bryson’s writing as it’s just so funny and natural. I think he’s just hilarious and I am so happy that his A Walk in the Woods has apparently been turned into a movie. What strikes me about his work is his dry style, completely inimitable.”
On a concluding note!
On asking about her inspiration she added, “I think I am innately inspired to try and achieve my full potential. I’m a restless soul (which doesn’t mean I don’t get lazy sometimes!) – but in general, I need to be inspired to slow down, I think! And for my readers, I will bring something different from what I’ve done before. There’s a book for kids coming up his year. But in my genre, I’ll want to explore the corporate world in more detail, and may be writing something with a little more dark humour.”