30-year-old Mumbai based author Ruhee Advani started writing when she was just eight! She tells us all about her literary escapades and more in this exclusive chat.
What does a normal eight year old do? Well, have a happy go lucky childhood, go for picnics and be the apple of everyone’s eye. Ruhee Advani had all of this and also managed to write her first book at this age. As a child, she recollects, she was “sensitive, softhearted, shy, inquisitive and pretty much just a smaller version of the current me. I knew I wanted to be an author when I was eight.” After completing her schooling from Maneckji Cooper, and Dhirubhai Ambani International School, she did her BA in Sociology from St. Xavier’s College and Masters in English Literature from Mumbai University.
An avid reader, she says her mother used to read stories to her sister and her all the time. “Reading was a passion back then, I devoured books. And when I was eight, I wanted to try to create some of my own stories. I wrote my first book around then and discovered that creating was one of the most exciting and enriching things I had ever experienced.” With three books published, ‘Girls and Boys’, ‘Finding Utopia’ and ‘Strangers in the Night’ her fourth is a book of poems titled ‘Growing Up’ that is ready to be published soon.
The first book Ruhee self-published was one of the first books she wrote, a collection of short stories for kids called ‘Girls and Boys’. “The process of getting the book published was smooth, though not completely without challenges. I tried going the on self-publishing route which is harder to crack as all my work got rejected by traditional publishers. I think that was the only obstacle I faced in the process of getting my books published. My post publishing experience was great too. I think it is relatively easy to publish with a self-publishing company.” Her books are only available online.
Since Ruhee has been continually writing since she was a child, she has a huge collection of books in her kitty with 700 pages of poetry, 30 incomplete books of philosophy, 17 complete novels, 50 incomplete novels, 3 incomplete plays and reams and reams of autobiographical stuff.
Her advice to upcoming writers would be to believe in themselves. “Write for the joy of writing, for the joy of creating and don’t worry about the commercial aspect while writing. I feel like commerce and creativity don’t exactly go hand in hand, it is better not to mix the two.”
This story first appeared in The Sindhian Oct-Dec 2018 issue here: Ruhee