Charu Vashishtha, An architect by education, software engineer by profession and a writer by choice, was born in UK (Belfast), and brought up in Roorkee, India. From an early age, she was enchanted by the campus of University of Roorkee, where her father worked as a professor.
She takes a keen interest in Indian mythology and loves reading out stories from ancient lore to the kids at home. Her other interests include reading, writing and public speaking.
She’s an avid readier and a blogger. In 2015, she published a self-help ebook at Amazon titled “Tip the Skin!”
TBE: Tell us about your book, can you share with us something about the book that isn’t in the blurb?
Charu Vashishtha: The short story compilation, The Lady In The Mirror, is based on the quest of finding oneself. Often times, we are lost is the cobwebs of money, power, fame and ego. The stories signify the importance of being true to oneself because we can only be at peace, when we do that.
Love takes center stage in the lives of many people; self-love is often underrated. The quest to discover ourselves is universal and hopefully the readers would be able to connect to the stories.
TBE: Why did you choose to write short stories instead of writing a full-length novel?
Charu Vashishtha: While a full length novel has its own appeal. A book of short stories can deliver so much in the same reading duration. Its like a medley of emotions. A rainbow of diverse situations. And yet some common theme of the book holds these gems of stories together as if they are pierced in necklace. I have always loved reading and writing short stories.
TBE: What is the key theme and/or message in the book?
Charu Vashishtha: The journey of self discovery, which is unique for each of us.
TBE: Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?
Charu Vashishtha: My characters are amalgamation or a composite of personalities I have come across in my life. That is to say that a character may be based of more than one real person.
TBE: Which is your most favorite story from this collection? and why?
Charu Vashishtha: The Last Confession. The story is close to my heart because it’s about love and loss. I truly believe that we get what we deserve. Love is something that we all deserve, whether or not we believe we do.
TBE: During your journey from the idea of this book to the publication, what was the most difficult thing you faced? Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Charu Vashishtha: Finding a publisher was the most difficult part. It was long journey interspersed with a series of rejections. Winning a short story contest helped me instill faith in my writing and here I am today. Thanks to love and support I received from readers at storymirror portal.
TBE: What do you hope your readers take away from this book?
Charu Vashishtha: I want the readers to accepts themselves as they are and cherish their uniqueness. Its not wrong to be different. In fact differences makes the world a more varied and colourful place to be in. We should constantly move in the self of self discovery and uncover our hitherto unexplored potential.
TBE: According to you what is the most challenging thing for budding writer?
Charu Vashishtha: Finding audience for your work is challenging. I would suggest blogging or writing at portals like storymirror, wattpad to reach an audience. It helps you improve and connect with people who understand your work.
TBE: How did you celebrate the publishing of your first book, The Lady In The Mirror?
Charu Vashishtha: The book was my Late Father’s dream. I am happy it turned out well. I silently sought his blessings on the launch day.
TBE: Do you read much and if so, who are your favorite authors?
Charu Vashishtha: I do. I am a voracious reader. Jhumpa Lahiri and Anita Desai are my favourites.
TBE: Have you ever learned anything thing from a negative review and incorporated it in your writing?
Charu Vashishtha: Of course. How else would you improve if you don’t acknowledge your flaws?
Critical reviews have helped me realized what I have missed in my writing and I am thankful for reviewers for taking their precious time out and helping me in my quest to improve.
TBE: Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
Charu Vashishtha: Well, I try to be original. I believe that no matter what genre you write for you can always manage to find an audience if your write from your heart.
TBE: What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?
Charu Vashishtha: I read “Cry, the peacock” by Anita Desai while at school . The flow of language help me realize the beauty of words. Her work transported me to a different but poetic world. I could feel the emotional turmoil of her characters.
I wish too would be able to do that some day !
TBE: A common misconception entwined with authors is that they are socially inept, and they are often associated with loner tendencies; is there any truth to that?
Charu Vashishtha: Maybe or Maybe not. I think I am socially inept though. Writers live in their own world and sometimes find the world of their imagination more enticing than the real world.
TBE: If you could tell your younger writing-self anything, what would it be?
Charu Vashishtha: I wish I would have started writing sooner. I would like to tell my younger self to not shy away from writing or having your work read. Whatever you create is special and unique . Not everybody may appreciate your writing or find it agreeable but then some may. Nevertheless write for your happiness .
TBE: Are you working on anything at the present you would like to share with your readers about?
Charu Vashishtha: Yes. I am writing a romance Novella.