Interview with Rajalakshmi Prithviraj

What are your five favorite books, and why?
It is really very difficult to narrow down my choices from a plethora of awesome books. Well, the Big Five for me definitely have to be To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee, The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy, The Townsman by Pearl S Buck, Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell and Only Love is Real by Brian Weiss.

Each of these five books has an associated story. I fell in love with books when I first read To Kill a Mocking Bird. The book gave me a whole new perspective about judging people. Sometimes, we tend to takee people for granted based on their background. This book taught me to set aside my differences when dealing with people.

Thomas Hardy's books, except for Far from the Madding Crowd, have a tinge of melancholy and pessimism in them. Yet, the Mayor of Casterbridge has been an all-time favorite. Maybe, because I definitely empathize with the protagonist. I would probably have done the same thing that the protagonist did in a given situation. It made me realize that decisions can change the course of one's life.

What can I say about Margaret Mitchell's Gone with the Wind? After all, tomorrow is another day!! Scarlet O'Hara undoubtedly made be believe in hope and accept that there is a next time for things and moments, if they go wrong.

The Townsman is a book written by Pearl S Buck using a different name. Through this story, she inspired me to accept whatever opportunity is available and make the most of it. This book encouraged me to dream and believe in miracles.

And finally, when my chips were truly down after the death of my spouse, Brian Weiss' Only Love is Real made me accept death and loss. It opened up a whole new realm from the spiritual world and made me realize that it is not the body but the souls that are connected.

Besides these five, there have been many other books that have touched my heart. I become a child when I read Enid Blytons. Mitch Albom and Nicholas Spark make me weep like a sentimental fool. John Grisham and Dan Brown evoke curiosity. Shakespeare, O Henry, Ruskin Bond, oh, there are so many writers whose writings I love...
What do you read for pleasure?
When I really want to loosen up, I turn to books by Enid Blyton and Ruskin Bond. They instantly bring a smile to my face. Also, I love browsing through cookbooks and food stories. They help me relax. Besides these, I at times, pick up books by contemporary authors based on their blurbs. If the first few pages pique my interest, I continue. In short, any genre, except erotica and pure sciences, make a pleasurable read.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I prefer reading on my smartphone using the Kindle app or ePub reader. Its small, portable and most importantly, I can keep it away from the prying eyes of my kids
Describe your desk
For a change, I do not have a desk, all to myself, at home. Hence, I write during my work breaks or sit in my office overtime and write. In fact, there have been times, when I have used my smartphone or netbook to key in my thoughts and stories.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in a small, insignificant town, now a city though, in India. Yet, whatever I am, professionally and personally, I owe it to the place I grew up in.
When did you first start writing?
I started writing when I was in school. Published my poems, essays and stories in local media as I grew up and as a college goer. When I joined work, I wrote for the in-house publications as well. However, it was only when my husband died, two years after his death, that I seriously took to writing. It was therapeutic for me. It was my first novel, Silence Under The Blue Sky which healed my heart and soul.
What's the story behind your latest book?
When two helicopters of the Indian Air Force had a mid air collision on 30th August 2012, little did I know that my world was going to be shattered. I lost my husband to death in this accident.Life moved on, I became a workaholic, my kids had their set of issues. It was after two years had passed that I realized I had to pull my acts together and stop behaving like a victim. It was then that I wrote my story. And seriously, I realized in the process that whatever I am today, I owe it to my support system, my organization which is an extended family for me.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
My story, the story line of Silence Under The Blue Sky was so personal that I did not want to sell it away or give up its copyright to a third party. Indie authors are doing well and the freedom that going the Indie way gives to an author attracted me to join the bandwagon.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Well...had heard a lot about Smashwords. My journey is just beginning and I see my association going a long way ahead with this awesome platform.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The greatest joy of writing for me is that my stories will be there for posterity for my children long after I am dead and gone. I want my writings to help discover new worlds, meet new people and travel to different time zones. The biggest high for me is to write straight from my heart. I want my stories to evoke feelings, appeal to senses and remain etched in the hearts and minds of my readers.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
To tell you frankly, the fact that I have to prepare a rainbow for my children's lunchbox makes me get out of bed. Also, the thrill of donning my uniform and carrying on the legacy of my husband brings a smile to my face as I wake up.
Published 2016-03-22.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Silence Under The Blue Sky
You set the price! Words: 20,120. Language: English (Indian dialect). Published: March 15, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Cultural & ethnic themes » Asian American, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
Set against the backdrop of the Jamnagar Helicopter crash on 30 August 2012, where two helicopters of the Indian Air Force had a mid-air collision, this story is a reality fiction, loosely based on the true story of an Air Warrior from the Indian Air Force. A contemporary reality fiction, this story brings out the universally common language of pain.