Interview with Prasenjeet Kumar

How did your writing journey begin?
I started my career at a law firm as a corporate lawyer. I spent two years there and then a few months more with another Company as their in-house legal counsel. Legal work by definition involves the churning out of long, almost unintelligible pages of prose, day in and day out but that kind of writing can leave you somewhat burnt out. Even though I was quite enthusiastic in the beginning but working gruelling long hours and that too on very dry commercial matters left me unsatisfied and insatiate. I realised that despite being well-paid, this couldn’t be the end all and be all of my life. I considered myself to be a creative person. I used to enjoy writing short stories and participating in theatre in my college days which I certainly missed now. So, I decided to take a break from my job in search of a journey of writing and self-discovery. And I’m glad I have made that decision.
Describe your writing process?
Every day (even on Saturdays and most Sundays), I start my day at around 9:30 a.m. after my breakfast as if I’m going to work. I work on my laptop. I spend a lot of time creating a structure for my book, which consists of short chapter headings, before writing the actual chapters. My family members have been very helpful in supporting my decision to work from home and in giving me useful advice, whenever I ask for the same, relating to the structure, language or the general outlay of my book. I find coming out of the “writer’s block” every day in the morning to be the most difficult part of writing. When you start writing a book, you are not sure how to start, what to write and when to write. I start writing whatever comes to my mind first and then proof read and structure the sentences or paragraphs later.
What are your other interests apart from writing?
In the evenings, I usually take a break and spend time on working out for almost 50 minutes. I love cardio exercises, Latin dance, Yoga and Pilates (which is my favourite). I feel tired if I don’t work out! I also love gourmet food, music, films, golf and travelling. In fact I have already covered sixteen countries including Canada, China, Denmark, Dubai, Germany, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Macau, Malaysia, Sharjah, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, UK, Uzbekistan, and the USA.
Acting is another hobby. I participated in two plays-“The Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens and “The Government Inspector” by Nikolai Gogol at Netherhall House which is a Hall of residence located in the most beautiful part of London known as Hampstead. This was when I was studying in London from 2005-2009. The parts that I played were very well received. If not a writer, I would definitely be an Actor!
Isn’t it unusual for a 28 year old man to write a cookbook?
I believe it is. Sadly, we still live in a world where cooking is considered as a woman’s job. Most cookbooks are addressed to women and I find that on many discussion forums on cooking on various social networking sites I would be the only man participating (which is perhaps a slight exaggeration)! My first stint with cooking began when I had to go to London to pursue a Law degree from University College London. I was living in a Hall of residence in my first year which did not serve any meals during weekends. I was 20 years old then and like any other happy go lucky man, I didn't know any cooking. However, I had to experiment and learn cooking quite the hard way as simply surviving on salads and sandwiches from supermarkets left me pale, skinny, and quite undernourished. The surprising part was that when I finally learnt cooking, I started enjoying it. You can find more about my story of “bumbling about in the wonderlands of cooking” in the sample pages of my e-Book or on my website www.cookinginajiffy.com.
In writing this e-Book, the audience I had in my mind were those countless students, newly employed people, single moms or dads who were, quite like me, didn’t know how to boil (and peel) an egg properly and genuinely needed to learn cooking from scratch. I strongly believe that you are doing a great disservice to your body if you don’t cook, and instead try to survive on takeaways, factory-made sandwiches or instant noodles (including the ones that you don’t even need to boil). As the title and the sub-title of my e-Book suggests, this book is for anyone and everyone who wishes to learn about the magical art of cooking even if he or she has never boiled an egg before.
There are so many “student cookbooks” around, how is yours different?
While most student cookbooks that I have come across are very well written and indeed helpful, the places where my book scores over other “How To” cookbooks, I think, is first, the perspective of the bumbling and harassed student that I bring forth based on my own first-hand experiences of surviving in London for over four years. The second is the manner in which I describe a step by step “graduation” process where you start with some very basic cooking techniques such as how to break, poach, fry, boil (and peel) an egg, then learn how to handle chicken, vegetables and fish and only after that “graduate” to making such “complicated” recipes as cheese omelette, vegetables au gratin, baked chicken or French Onion Soup.
I have yet to come across a student cookbook that addresses the issue of creating a full meal in a short span of time (at least to my knowledge). So, the third USP (unique selling proposition) of my book is that it teaches the concept of “sequencing and parallel processing” in cooking that should enable busy people to create a 3-4 course meal in less than 30 minutes.
Any other details you would like to share about your cookbook?
Yes, it took me nearly three months to complete this e-Book. A lot of people spend money on editing, proof reading, formatting and cover designing. I, however, decided to be very frugal for this first venture of mine and relied on my friends, family members and some freely available online resources for all these “chores”. There are, for example, a number of YouTube video tutorials that can provide you with some extremely useful information regarding e-Book formatting and uploading your e-Book on various platforms. Learning e-Book formatting does take some time but after that the actual formatting process was quite a breeze. For the cover page, I’m grateful to William King’s blog (he too is an author and you may want to google him) who gives some excellent tips on how to create a beautiful cover art using Microsoft’s Power Point that at least I was quite familiar with in my earlier corporate avatar. In my limited experience, therefore, if you are an author and on a tight budget, you don’t really need to spend too much money on editing, formatting, proof reading and cover designing. You can easily learn and overcome all these “hurdles”. It may be a little time consuming but an Author already spends a lot of time creating an e-Book, so why not make a little more effort to learn formatting and cover designing! You only need to learn these skills once.
Any new projects you are thinking of working on?
I actually wish to create a whole series under my “How To Cook Everything In A Jiffy” repertoire. My maiden e-Book was written from an international perspective where I have deliberately omitted Indian cooking as Indian cuisine, with its mind boggling use of spices, can be a little overwhelming for a student newbie. However, I would very much like to write a basic cookbook for Indians, and those interested in Indian cooking, who would like to learn to make Indian home food absolutely from scratch. This is the second book I should be writing. Next, I may consider writing a gourmet cookbook for more experienced cooks. May be I’d even try my hands on fiction which would be a completely new genre for me. I used to write stories in my school days but I would certainly want to acquire some more skills in novel writing before I dive straight into fiction.
Which marketing strategy has been the most effective for you?
Currently, I’m struggling with marketing myself, so I cannot give many tips. There are a lot of ways you can promote your book without spending any money and I would strongly recommend exhausting all such free options before venturing out for paid advertisements. I have read about the tremendous benefits that Goodreads (a social networking site like Facebook for readers and authors) has to offer. I’m also experimenting with pricing. The most I can suggest is to never ever give up on your dreams and remain persistent even if your initial marketing strategies do not yield any positive results.
Any other author/s whose writing style you really like?
I think Stephen King does a great job of character building. From the books I’ve read, Stephen King, made me fall in love with his main characters despite their so many negative traits. He always made me sad by killing his main character in most of his novels in the end, but that never harmed his sales! I am also a great fan of Dan Brown (despite the controversies associated with Da Vinci Code). Dan Brown is a great story teller and he hooks you up in his novels. I also admire J.R.R. Tolkien (Author of the Lord of the Rings series) for his breathtaking vision and exquisite narration.
What is the greatest struggle for indie authors these days?
Self-publishing has empowered many authors. Publishing a book has become very easy but the three biggest hurdles that an indie author faces are: discoverability, getting reviews and establishing credibility. There are thousands of e-books being published every month and so it is very easy for your book to get “drowned”. And if your book is less discoverable, the less would be its chances of getting reviews from readers. But if your book does not get any reviews, search engines of various book retailers would not recommend your book to prospective readers. Readers too would be hesitant to be the first to try out your book. And all these factors may negatively impact your reputation and credibility. Sometimes I feel that this is quite a Catch-22 situation.
Published 2013-09-29.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

When You Can't Trust Love
Series: Romance in India. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 75,140. Language: English (Indian dialect). Published: May 20, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Suspense, Fiction » Romance » Clean & wholesome
Fast paced like a thriller and electrifying in intensity like a romance novel When You Can’t Trust Love will keep you at the edge of the seat and shake you to the core when you finish reading it. Always posing the question— should love be blind to reason?
Still Missing...
Series: Romance in India. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 54,570. Language: English (Indian dialect). Published: September 28, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Suspense, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense
A gripping tale of love, terror, and the indefatigable human spirit that starts out to rescue love but ends up saving the nation…
Autistically Yours
Series: Romance in India. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 42,650. Language: English (Indian dialect). Published: July 21, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Clean & wholesome, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
The world of Dev Singh and Meera Desai is different. Both are diagnosed with autism. And both perceive love and beauty differently. Their challenge: Forget about love; nobody wants to be even friends with them. Not in school. Not in college. And not even in their workplaces. But Dev and Meera believe there is someone special waiting for them. Somewhere in this vast, wide, world.
The Outsider’s Curse: A Memoir of the First “Outsider” Lady IAS Officer of Jammu & Kashmir
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 67,070. Language: English. Published: May 27, 2017. Categories: Nonfiction » Biography » Political biography, Nonfiction » Politics and Current Affairs » Government
You will find plenty of books on Kashmir by politicians, journalists, army officers, Kashmiri Muslims and Pandits narrating their experiences. BUT you will never find—an outsider IAS officer’s perspective.
You Can't Kill My Love: A Kashmir Holocaust Love Story
Series: Romance in India. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 66,760. Language: English (Indian dialect). Published: April 11, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Suspense, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
A Holocaust in Kashmir destroys two lives till love unites them. Again. From the #1 Best-Selling Author, comes a tender coming-of-age love story of two Kashmiri Pandits, whose lives are torn asunder by Islamist terrorists.
Romance in India Books 1-3: Legally in Love, Love Karma Crossed, When Ganges Met the North Sea
Series: Romance in India. Price: $9.99 USD. Words: 142,900. Language: English (Indian dialect). Published: February 16, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Clean & wholesome, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
From the #1 Best Selling Author Prasenjeet Kumar comes a box-set of three powerful tales of love that will bring a smile to your face and tears to your eyes—at an unbeatable price. >>> Legally in Love >>> Love Karma Crossed >>> When Ganges Met the North Sea Buy a copy or download a sample now!
How to Have a Happier Writer Mindset Without Spending a Dime
Series: How to Self-Publish Without Spending a Dime. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 25,180. Language: English. Published: December 14, 2016. Categories: Nonfiction » Reference » Writing skills, Nonfiction » Self-improvement » Creativity
Be A Happier Author Before Becoming A Best-selling One. From the #1 Bestselling author of the “Self-Publishing Without Spending A Dime,” comes this DIY manual of practical tips and advice that can make you a happier writer before making you a best-selling one.
The Ultimate Guide to Cooking Desserts the Indian Way
Series: How To Cook Everything In A Jiffy. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 29,070. Language: English (Indian dialect). Published: October 8, 2016. Categories: Nonfiction » Cooking, Food, Wine, Spirits » Indian, Nonfiction » Cooking, Food, Wine, Spirits » Desserts
70 JIFFY Ways to Prepare Delicious Desserts from Everything—Rice, Wheat, Paneer, Khoya, Yoghurt, and Hold Your Breath, Lentils and Veggies! As Only Indians Can.
When Ganges Met the North Sea
Series: Romance in India. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 54,430. Language: English (Indian dialect). Published: August 30, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Clean & wholesome, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
From Prasenjeet Kumar, the # 1 Best-selling Author, comes a romantic tale of how two lives, one from India and the other from Sweden, converge in London in the most unexpected and shocking of ways.
The Ultimate Guide to Cooking Vegetables the Indian Way
Series: How To Cook Everything In A Jiffy. Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 48,140. Language: British English. Published: August 15, 2016. Categories: Nonfiction » Cooking, Food, Wine, Spirits » Indian, Nonfiction » Cooking, Food, Wine, Spirits » Specific ingredients / vegetables
101 Tastiest Ways to Cook Veggies as Snacks, Soups, Curries, Full Meals and hold your breath, Desserts! As only Indians can.
Celebrating Quiet Artists: Stirring Stories of Introverted Artists Who the World Can't Forget
Series: Quiet Phoenix. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 24,870. Language: British English. Published: June 10, 2016. Categories: Nonfiction » Psychology » Personality, Nonfiction » Self-improvement » Personal Growth / Success
Finally a Book that Celebrates the Creativity and Rich Imagination of Introverts.
Love Karma Crossed
Series: Romance in India. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 46,680. Language: British English. Published: May 31, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Clean & wholesome, Fiction » Holiday » Family
He vowed he’d love her so much that even death will be scared to come near her.....
Legally in Love
Series: Romance in India. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 46,830. Language: British English. Published: February 25, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Clean & wholesome, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
From the #1 Best Selling Author Prasenjeet Kumar comes his debut Legal Romance Novel that will bring a smile to your face and tears to your eyes.
How to Market Your Books Without Spending a Dime
Series: How to Self-Publish Without Spending a Dime. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 40,490. Language: British English. Published: January 14, 2016. Categories: Nonfiction » Business & Economics » Marketing / direct, Nonfiction » Reference » Writing skills
Finally a Book on Marketing that cuts out the Fluff and Focuses only on the Essentials. From Prasenjeet Kumar, the #1 Best Selling Author of “Self-Publishing Without Spending A Dime” series of books, comes a book that after discussing threadbare all the fluff and jargon that marketing gurus spout establishes why ‘less is always more’.
The Ultimate Guide to Cooking Chicken the Indian Way
Series: How To Cook Everything In A Jiffy. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 33,090. Language: British English. Published: December 13, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » Cooking, Food, Wine, Spirits » Indian, Nonfiction » Cooking, Food, Wine, Spirits » Specific Ingredients / Poultry
51 mouth-watering “Home-Style” ways to cooking chicken in a JIFFY as only Indians Can. From Prasenjeet Kumar, the #1 best-selling author of the “Cooking In A Jiffy” series of cookbooks, comes the absolutely Ultimate Guide to Cooking Chicken with such exotic spices and taste that you will be left asking for more.
The Ultimate Guide to Cooking Fish the Indian Way
Series: How To Cook Everything In A Jiffy. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 24,680. Language: British English. Published: December 13, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » Cooking, Food, Wine, Spirits » Indian, Nonfiction » Cooking, Food, Wine, Spirits » Specific ingredients / seafood
43 Mouth-watering Ways to Cooking Fish in a JIFFY as Only Indians Can. From Prasenjeet Kumar, the #1 best-selling author of the “Cooking In A Jiffy” series of cookbooks, comes the Ultimate Guide to Cooking Fish with such exotic spices and taste that you will be left asking for more.
The Ultimate Guide to Cooking Rice the Indian Way
Series: How To Cook Everything In A Jiffy. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 26,640. Language: British English. Published: December 10, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » Cooking, Food, Wine, Spirits » Indian, Nonfiction » Cooking, Food, Wine, Spirits » Specific ingredients / rice & grains
From a Bed for Curries, to Pilaf, Biryani, Khitchi, Idli, Dosa, Savouries and Desserts, No One Cooks Rice as Lovingly as the Indians Do. From Prasenjeet Kumar, the #1 bestseller of the “Cooking In A Jiffy” series of books, comes the ultimate rice cookbook that anyone looking for gluten-free food should just grab with both hands.
The Ultimate Guide to Cooking Lentils the Indian Way
Series: How To Cook Everything In A Jiffy. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 23,130. Language: British English. Published: December 8, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » Cooking, Food, Wine, Spirits » Indian, Nonfiction » Cooking, Food, Wine, Spirits » Vegetarian and Vegan
58 Tastiest Ways to Cook Lentils as Soups, Curries, Snacks, Full Meals and hold your breath, Desserts! As only Indians can.
Healthy Cooking In A Jiffy: The Complete No Fad, No Diet Handbook
Series: How To Cook Everything In A Jiffy. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 38,990. Language: British English. Published: December 6, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » Cooking, Food, Wine, Spirits » Health & Healing / General, Nonfiction » Cooking, Food, Wine, Spirits » Diet cooking
A Complete No Fad No Diet No Nonsense Handbook for Healthy Cooking and That Too in a Jiffy If you have ever wondered how you can be healthy without dieting, following any peculiar fads, eating any esoteric foods, injecting any hormones or downing any pills, potions or supplements, you have come absolutely to the right place.
Home Style Indian Cooking In A Jiffy
Series: How To Cook Everything In A Jiffy. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 38,730. Language: British English. Published: December 4, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » Cooking, Food, Wine, Spirits » Indian, Nonfiction » Cooking, Food, Wine, Spirits » Asian
“Home Style” Indian Cooking Demystified With an amazing compilation of over 100 delectable Indian dishes, many of which you can’t get in any Indian restaurant for love or for money, this is unlike any other Indian Cook book. What this book focuses on is what Indians eat every day in their homes.
How to Translate Your Books Without Spending a Dime
Series: How to Self-Publish Without Spending a Dime. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 15,230. Language: British English. Published: December 2, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » Publishing » Self-publishing, Nonfiction » Reference » Foreign languages
Enca$h the power of translation Without Spending a Dime From the #1 Bestselling author of the “Cooking In A Jiffy” and “Quiet Phoenix” series of books, comes this DIY manual of practical tips and advice that can take your writing dreams to literally translation Nirvana.
How to be an Author Entrepreneur Without Spending a Dime
Series: How to Self-Publish Without Spending a Dime. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 18,790. Language: British English. Published: December 1, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » Publishing » Self-publishing, Nonfiction » Reference » Writing skills
Are you making the same costly mistakes that Authors usually make? Then here is a book that helps realize your author-entrepreneur dreams without spending a dime.
Celebrating Quiet Leaders: Uplifting Stories of Introverted Leaders Who Changed History
Series: Quiet Phoenix. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 32,110. Language: British English. Published: November 28, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » Business & Economics » Mentoring & coaching, Nonfiction » Self-improvement » Motivation and inspiration
What do you think is common between George Washington, and the Buddha, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and Nelson Mandela, Rosa Parks and Florence Nightingale……… That they were great leaders? True. But did you know that they were also all introverts?
Quiet Phoenix 2: From Failure to Fulfilment ( A Memoir of an Introverted Child)
Series: Quiet Phoenix. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 36,460. Language: British English. Published: November 27, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » Parenting » Childhood psychology, Nonfiction » Self-improvement » Personal Growth / General
Celebrating The Quiet Child: A Must Read For every Parent, Teacher, Mentor, Sports Coach........ From Prasenjeet Kumar, the author of the best-selling “Quiet Phoenix” series of books, comes a sequel that no one who deals with introverted children should miss.
Quiet Phoenix: An Introvert's Guide to Rising in Career & Life
Series: Quiet Phoenix. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 41,330. Language: British English. Published: November 26, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » Self-improvement » Motivation and inspiration, Nonfiction » Business & Economics » Office management
Awaken the Phoenix Bird inside You. Rise in Your Career. Attain personal growth and development. In a first-of-its-kind tell-all memoir on the inside working of a top Indian law firm, #1 Best-selling author Prasenjeet Kumar, shares his experiences in as candid and no-holds-barred manner as never disclosed in this genre before.
Celebrating Quiet People: Uplifting Stories for Introverts and Highly Sensitive Persons
Series: Quiet Phoenix. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 15,190. Language: British English. Published: December 30, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - single author, Nonfiction » Self-improvement » Motivation and inspiration
A unique collection of motivational, inspirational and uplifting True stories for introverts and highly sensitive persons that you shouldn’t miss.... These stories highlight the importance of hard work, persistence, self-discipline, and having a vision or a rich imagination which all Quiet persons are fortunately, naturally endowed with.
How to Create a Complete Meal in a Jiffy
Series: How To Cook Everything In A Jiffy. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 20,870. Language: British English. Published: November 5, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Cooking, Food, Wine, Spirits » Asian, Nonfiction » Cooking, Food, Wine, Spirits » Methods / Quick & Easy
Presenting a Cookbook Like No Other Cookbook in the World. From the popular website www.cookinginajiffy.com and the author of numerous Bestseller cookbooks comes a cookbook that doesn’t focus on recipes. Instead, it shares the secret of creating a Full Meal in around 30 minutes.
How To Cook In A Jiffy Even If You Have Never Boiled An Egg Before
Series: How To Cook Everything In A Jiffy, Book 1. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 27,180. Language: English. Published: September 15, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Cooking, Food, Wine, Spirits » Methods / Cookery for One, Nonfiction » Cooking, Food, Wine, Spirits » Methods / Quick & Easy
Never boiled an egg before but want to learn the magic art of cooking? Then don’t leave home without this Survival Cookbook. The Book recounts, with wit and humour, the author’s own first hand experiences of “bumbling about in the wonderlands of cooking” in London for four years. Where this book scores over other “How To” cookbooks is in the manner in which it treats no question as “too stupid”.