When we came across Anita Gupte’s Renuka, we at thenotoriousreader knew that we had to get in touch with the author to know more about her book and her writing style.
Anita is a first-time author. With a background in allied health, research and management, creative writing was something she had only delved in for scientific papers, and projects; so far. A passion for travel, history, mythology, and culture lured Anita onto a path she had never trodden before; writing a book. Anita describes herself as a small-town girl. She was born in India in a remote region covered in thick forests. Anita takes pride in the fact that she grew up in a multilingual community where everyone was family. Today, Anita lives in New Zealand with her two children and a dog.
What inspires you to pick up your pen and write?
I will answer this question in the past tense and present tense. Between working as an allied health professional, my research, raising two children (and a dog), I never dreamt I would one day author a book. My children inspired me. Growing up away from India, I encouraged their questions about our culture and festivals. Before I knew it, I was writing. Today what inspires me is people.
Can you please give us some more information about your book?
My book. ‘Renuka: The Journey Unexpected,’ is based in Satyayug. More than 10, 000 years ago. Before the dawn of religion, even before the river Ganga. It is about Renuka and her life. The book is based on legends but is a work of fiction. I wrote about Renuka as I saw her. Many scholars may not agree with what I saw, but I have no intension of hurting anyone’s religious sentiments and do not claim to be a historian either. Just poured out on paper how this feisty, brave woman presented herself to me. Self-published on Amazon Kindle and paperback at Pothi.com.
Can you please tell us more about the main characters of the book?
The main characters are Renuka, Parashuram, and Jamadagni. There are also several other equally important characters who emerged unplanned. Maharshi Agastya, Tolkappiyar, Vishvamitra are few more; but one of my favourites is not human.
Why did you choose to write about this particular topic?
As I mentioned earlier, I started writing for my children. To rekindle their interest in history, culture, and, their ancient heritage. Most of the questions they asked were on Renuka as she is our clan Goddess. Looks like perhaps it was the other way round, she chose me to tell her story.
Why did you choose this particular genre? Will you be trying your hand at any other genre?
I am a history buff. I enjoy travelling and my favourite vacations have been digging around ruins, temples, and forts. Temples in South India, Palaces in Rajasthan, Ruins in Pompeii, getting lost discovering London, I just love it. Putting pen to paper to write was unplanned but after a few sentences, I was hooked to telling the story.
Don’t think one should restrict themselves to a genre if they write what they believe in. I will write contemporary too. Am writing a book of short stories which is inspired by people around me and their life away from their country of birth.
When should we expect your next book? What will it be about?
I have translated my first book, Renuka in Marathi, my mother tongue. This is scheduled to launch around Dussehra in October 2020. Next would be the breezy short story book scheduled towards New Year. The title is a suspense. Already knocking on my door is another princess from ancient times. She will be next year. I am planning a series on Unsung princesses.
If not a writer, what would have been the career of your choice?
I would always work in healthcare. The only difference is that I would still be writing scientific papers instead.
Can you tell us about your favourite author/ authors?
I love reading and enjoy all genres. Few Marathi authors- Shivaji Sawant, Ranjit Desai. English- Lobsang Rampa, Jean Auel, Big fan of J. K. Rowling (Never grew up I guess, and do believe in magic), Hindi- Munshi Premchand, Amrita Pritam, Dharmaveer Bharati Of course, grew up on a solid dose of Enid Blyton, Hardy Boys, Perry Mason.
What do you like to do when you are not busy writing?
If I am not working? Travelling.
Are there any words of wisdom that you would like to share with our reader?
Believe in your dreams. Start writing them too.