We recently interviewed published author Yashodhara Lal Sharma
Short Bio :
Yashodhara Lal graduated from IIM-Bangalore in 2002 and has over a decade of experience in the corporate world, across the FMCG and media industries. She lives in Gurgaon with her husband Vijay and the three children who they innovatively refer to as Peanut, Pickle and Papad. Yashodhara began her journey in writing with her blog, described as a serious attempt to take life less seriously, now at www.yashodharalal.com. Just Married, Please Excuse is her first book.
-Tell us something about your novel
The book is called ‘Just Married, Please Excuse’ (sample chapters are up on www.justmarriedpleaseexcuse.com) and as the name suggests, it’s a humorous story of the early years of marriage. The protagonists are, a hot-tempered Delhi girl and a laid-back boy from Jaipur, who find that they have perhaps bitten off more than they can chew.
-How did this book happen and why did you choose to write about it?
The book happened because I always wanted to write – I blog at www.yashodharalal.com and for years, I was getting feedback from my readers that my writing was funny and that I should write. Finally, a difficult pregnancy and two surgeries in 2010 convinced me that life was too short and if you have a dream, you better just sit down and get to it.
-When did you take to writing?
I used to write consistently through school and college and was on the editorial boards – but when I started work, the writing was on hold. Until 2006, when I started blogging, I’d say – that really helped in various ways, leading to a serious effort later – at the book.
-Where do you usually write? What is your favourite setting to write in?
I’m on a sabbatical right now, trying to finish my second novel. I actually love to write at my desk in my room at home; but often, my three children are screaming outside for me, so it gets a little difficult. I wait until they’re asleep and now get a little time to myself since the younger sons – my twins – have started pre-school.
Sometimes I write at coffee shops – that works, unless it gets too noisy. Kids, again, usually.
-Did this story come to you easily or did you find yourself stuck with a writer’s block sometimes?
This story came very easily to me, primarily because it’s based on my own experiences. I’m told that this makes the story very relatable because most of it is real. But now, I am suffering a bit from writer’s block although I’m trying hard to get over it – the second novel is a lot more fictional in nature, and I find that more difficult. It’s all part of the experience, though.
-Tell us about your life online and the sites you maintain
I am very proud of my book website – it was designed by my nephew and a friend, so it’s not really done ‘professionally’, but people have remarked that it’s great. That’s at www.justmarriedpleaseexcuse.com.
I’m active on my blog, www.yashodharalal.com – I’m currently running contests there around the book, but primarily use it as my personal blog.
My facebook page is fairly active www.facebook.com/justmarriedpleaseexcuse
And of course, these days, what are we without our 140-character pearls of wisdom? I’m on twitter with the handle @yashodharalal
There’s also an interesting activity on the Indiblogger platform, where I’m going to share my learnings and mistakes with writing and getting published – that’s one to watch, as well.
-What are your thoughts on life – The one thing that it takes to live it?
That’s a very profound question. I wish I had a profound answer.
I’m going to go with ‘Living so that you have no regrets at the end.’ I also like the phrase ‘Life is too short to be small.’
-How has your experience been so far in the literary world? Any highs or lows being a part of this space that you would like to share -here?
The experience has been – interesting, to say the least. There have been many highs – getting published, getting great reviews; but there are also lows, usually disappointment that things don’t always work out as you want them to; or meeting someone who you thought was very helpful, but turns out to be less than so – it’s a rather slow burn with long turnaround times and overall, it requires a lot of patience and tenacity to stick to your guns and go ahead to try and do the best for your book. But then again, these are things which are a part of every space in life, right? I’d say overall, I’m very lucky to be in the position I am in, and have met some great and supportive people along the way.
-Tell us something about your work & hobbies?
I work in the Marketing domain, and have done so for the last ten years – I’ve worked at a large FMCG and am currently involved with the online domain. For the last couple of months, I’m on a sabbatical and I’m pursuing time with my family, writing my second book, dabbling with a short story and taking an active interest in my Zumba lessons. I’m also planning to start guitar lessons and catch up on my reading in the next few months before I go back to work.
-So how did it feel when you finally finished writing the book?
First feeling – a great sense of achievement.
Second feeling – a great sense of self-doubt. Would anyone care to publish it?
Thankfully, I got lucky with the nice people at HarperCollins.
-Top 3 All-time favourite books.
Thornbirds – Colleen McCullough
Palace of Illusions – Chitra Devakaruni Bannerjee
And my god, I really can’t think of a third. I like Bill Bryson, James Herriot and Gerald Durrell though.
Okay, I’ll say My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell.
We would like to thank Author Yashodhara for a Tete-e-tete with Team Book Readers Lounge.