When words don’t just remain words

Prof Shiv Sethi holds an in-depth conversation with Author Sonali Sharma

Prof Dr Shiv Sethi

Words hold the power to make you travel the world, says author Sonali Sharma. Literature is a way to live a life, it showcases the essence of what it feels like to be alive. We all are the living examples of our own stories, words being the medium to connect those stories to the people around. Soanli Sharma shares about such light and heartwarming tales in her recent book “Life Explored”. Sonali Sharma is the founder of ContentBank- a content production agency and an author. Many readers know her because of her debut book “Small is the New Big” but very few know that she has also contributed in different literary sections and is a co-author in 50+ books.

Sonali is a versatile writer. From writing for the voices of the people and societal norms to writing for the people where the words heal their heart and calm their soul, she wishes to leave an impact on the readers and society. Through her stories she wishes to rekindle the essence of emotions and humanity. She has been bestowed with several awards like Indian Achiever’s Forum- Young Achiever’s Award, FemmeTimes 30 under 30, MTTV Media Awards, Emerging Author of the year by JPT Elite Awards and many more! In this exclusive interview, we embark on a journey to know Sonali Sharma in depth.

Can you share a bit about your journey as an author and how you venture into the world of writing?

Sonali: I have been surrounded by books throughout my childhood. Growing up reading the works of Sudha Marty, Ruskin Bond, Enid Baytown and many others somewhere made me more inclined towards literature. Looking up to my mother when she used to write the scripts for plays and dramas, prepare children for debates and elocution, I was intrigued as to how these scripts are written. I remember I was in 7th grade when I was returning a book I borrowed from my school’s library and the thought “I wish someday I will be able to see my own book placed on the bookshelf” stuck me. School life wasn’t good. I started writing to find peace and slowly I started enjoying it. I didn’t realise when loneliness became solitude for me! Till date, there’s not a single day I missed writing. To say the least, I found myself when I started writing.

How do you come up with the ideas for your books?

Sonali: As such I don’t sit and think for specific ideas, it comes naturally to me. Most of my writing is inspired from the observations and surroundings near me. People I meet and have conversations with inspire me, their life experiences help me reflect on the different perspectives of life. Nature in itself is the biggest inspiration! None the less, my own life inspires me at times.

Your works span across different genres. We have come to know about your latest book “Life Explored” How do you choose your genre for each of your books? And what is your favourite genre to write in?

Life Explored is a collection of stories inspired from the true events. It is a heartwarming picture of everyday life and the stories inspired by real incidents amidst the chaotic lives of ordinary people around them. In 15 different tales, you will find the  memories of teen age, life in college, and the experiences of early adulthood.  These stories and the characters are raw, uncut, and a little vulnerable, with a heart full of warmth and kindness. Talking about the genre, I don’t choose any specific genre, I just write. In boarder sense I usually write which mostly relates to the life incidents and the stories of the people around! I mostly love travelogues, memoirs and mythology. Being a finance student, I have a personal inclination towards finance.

Many readers have loved Small is the New Big. Can you share the inspiration behind it and any challenges that you faced during its creation?

Sonali: The irony with Small is the New Big is that I wanted to come up with a non fiction book which is short and precise. As a reader, I personally love reading thick books.It was challenging to come up with the book under 100 pages in a genre where you can just go on and on.The reason why I wanted to keep it short is because I wanted other people to read. It was an attempt to reach out to the non readers. The book talks about 25 small acts of life reflecting on the core morals and values of human life. The lessons were crafted after having conversations with many people, reflecting on the teachings given by the elders and life lessons in general.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers who are just starting their journey?

Sonali: Well, honestly, I am no one to give any advice to anyone. I am just learning each and everyday. I would just like to say that have faith in yourself and believe in what you are creating/writing. Self faith can bring in the self confidence, but if you don’t have faith in yourself, nothing can workout. The initial path might look tough, but try not to give up. Don’t go for copying others writing style, don’t write just to get famous. Write to find your voice, write because you love to write, rest everything will fall in place!

Are there any other new genres you are excited to explore in your future writing?

Sonali: I wish to write fiction someday, especially mythological or horror fiction! I don’t know how I will! Maybe I will start by writing a simple fictional novella. Mythological and horror fiction really amazes me! I always wonder how these genres and the authors who write them, hold the power and the magic to transform the readers to the entirely new world created by them!

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