Spandana Chakradhar is an accomplished Learning and Development professional. She studied two diverse subjects. She’s an engineering graduate and Psychology PG holder. Spandana Chakradhar is a Dale Carnegie certified professional. She delivers behavioral and communication training programs and design eLearning content. She was a training Manager at Wipro technologies, India and currently working as a Training Consultant at ASC, Adelaide.
Spandana Chakradhar enjoys the craftsmanship of writing. She realized that her worst day as a writer is much better than her best day as a behavioural trainer. She has unleashed the fiction writer in her through her first novel, Sadhana-Who stalked her?
TBE: Tell us about your book, can you share with us something about the book that isn’t in the blurb?
Spandana Chakradhar: This story is based on a true incident. And true tales are truly upsetting. Real time Sadhana struggled, struggled and struggled! She was drained and spaced out. Lost hope! Her husband left her, friends estranged her. Family members gave up on her. She didn’t know how to cope with depression and anxiety. She became suicidal!
TBE: How did you get the idea of this book? Why did you choose to write on this subject?
Spandana Chakradhar: In 2012, the death of Nirbhaya, who died from her injuries caused public outrage. The incident helped spur an amendment to India’s Criminal Law, which broadened the definition of sexual crimes against women to include, stalking, acid attacks and voyeurism. But stricter laws did little to prevent women from being tortured.
I feel, India has a sexual assault problem that only women can fix. We need more women representing national legislature. We need to empower women to protect themselves. And self-defense is the key! I want to educate women on mindfulness and self-defense in the form of a story. I chose to write about this real-time incident.
TBE: What is the key theme and/or message in the book?
Spandana Chakradhar: Every woman questions her ability to confront a dangerous situation. Am I strong enough to defend myself? Fear and anxiety about personal safety persists daily in the minds of millions of women and disempowers them. Every woman can relate to Sadhana’s story in some way. And the Message is Learn to protect yourself- don’t wait for a hero!
TBE: How did you research on the subject?
Spandana Chakradhar: I know the victim in person and I helped her as much as I can. I have roped in, one of my friends, a psychologist to help her get over fear and anxiety. I sat through some of the counselling sessions at a women welfare association to understand the mindset of such victims. Read several articles on women empowerment and crafted my story to make Sadhana a hero who saves herself from the fiends around.
TBE: How long does it take you to write this book?
Spandana Chakradhar: It took about a year to write and six months to polish and publish it.
TBE: What do you hope your readers take away from this book?
Spandana Chakradhar: Women readers to understand the importance of Mindfulness; Men to get inspired by Abhi and Manav, support women unconditionally.
TBE: According to you what is the most challenging thing for budding writer? And what are common traps for them?
Spandana Chakradhar: I feel the fear of failure haunts a first-time writer. While it’s a great thing to get published by a top publisher but don’t get dismayed if they don’t respond. Go with the options what you have. If your concept is good, you will get succeeded not matter what!
TBE: When did it dawn upon you that you wanted to be a writer?
Spandana Chakradhar: I am passionate about writing. I have written articles for top Newspapers and Magazines. This time, I unleashed my obsession for writing. Sadhana is my dream project.
TBE: Do you read much and if so, who are your favorite authors?
Spandana Chakradhar: Adam Nevill and Stephen King are my hot favourite writers. I like to read Arundathi Roy.
TBE: Do you believe in writer’s block? Have you ever experienced it? How long does it usually last? Any tips you would like to share to overcome it?
Spandana Chakradhar: It’s a natural fear, and it’s one you can overcome with a little thought, preparation and some good habits. I recommend these three surefire ways to overcome it:
Free write: Just go on writing. This method will help you overcome perfectionism and unlock inner creative resources that you didn’t know you possessed.
Listen to music, preferably without lyrics. This is another activity that’s scientifically proven to encourage creative and expressive thinking.
Do work in a different environment. Ambient Noise fosters creative thinking.
TBE: In your opinion, what is the most important thing about a book?
Spandana Chakradhar: Readability! I don’t like jargons and clichéd words. I like original writing style. If that’s there, I would complete reading the book in a day!
TBE: What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book?
Spandana Chakradhar: That I can write a story! I wrote profession articles on enriching leadership and management skills before.
TBE: What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?
Spandana Chakradhar: As a child, I read a book on good manners. Recalling a phrase – Friends and good manners carry you to a place where money won’t go. This is so true. There is more to our language than strict grammar and spelling. There is a real power to it, even magic! It creates an incredible range of emotions and feelings, which quite often make the difference between someone loving their life and sabotaging it.
TBE: Do you have any suggestions to help me (any one) become a better writer? If so, what are they?
Spandana Chakradhar: I am not a seasoned author but I recommend you to read plenty of books in the genre that you’re interested in writing. That gives you a fair idea of the words to be used and characters to be crafted.
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?
Spandana Chakradhar: I can’t comment on it. Every author is different. I became active on my social media handles like never before to promote my book.
TBE: Do you have a set schedule for writing, or are you one of those who write only when they feel inspired?
Spandana Chakradhar: I usually like to write in the late night between 11pm and 3 am. Sounds weird to you? That’s my writing schedule. Probably I am nocturnal.
TBE: What would you say is your biggest failure in life?
Spandana Chakradhar: My inability to stick with my decision. I wanted to study medicine. But my family and friends discouraged me and influenced me to study engineering. I repent every moment about it. I wish I could go back in the timeline to fix it.
TBE: Is there anything you are currently working on that may intrigue the interest of your readers?
Spandana Chakradhar: My next project is Ujwala, another female first story. It’s a story of a contemporary woman who questions Indian marriage culture.
Buy Now: Sadhana… Who Stalked Her?
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