Author Interview

Ayushi Raghuwanshi

the author of And Her Story Began

And Her Story Began by Ayushi RaghuwanshiAyushi Raghuwanshi is a lawyer and a yoga practitioner. She is a poet and a writer too, her journey as an author began when she compiled a collection of her poems and published it in the year 2019 under the title, ‘Dazzled by Illusion’ and then another similar collection under the title ‘Gray Pages’ in 2020.

She graduated in the year 2020 in BA LLB from Amity University, Rajasthan as a gold medalist and am pursuing her Masters in Law from MNLU. Writing and becoming an author was not in her plan but life is what happens to us while we are busy making our plans. Her latest book, And Her Story Began, is published by Leadstart Publishing in 2022.

TBE: Thank you for taking the time to speak to us here at The Bookish Elf about your novel, And Her Story Began. I loved it; it was thoroughly enjoyable.Can you tell us a bit about your book and what inspired you to write it?

Ayushi Raghuwanshi: The book has a lot to take away actually, it all depends on what the reader wishes to pick. I am a poet too, I love to write poems but not many people are fond of reading poems so I came up with this idea that I can weave a story around my poems and that is how I wrote this entire book.


TBE: Did you have any goals for this book when you wrote it? Any particular theme you want to explore?

Ayushi Raghuwanshi: I particularly wanted to reach out to all the women out there as I have written a story which touches upon the emotions and struggles of a woman in particular and a human in general.


TBE: For your central characters, you’ve crafted the young, complex and introspective Aanya. In the face of all her struggles and harsh realities, what is it about her that enables her to retain—and evolve—her individual humanity?

Ayushi Raghuwanshi: Aanya, just like any other person, went through a very rough patch in her life and almost all of us go through such hard times at some point in life. We always have a choice, we can turn bitter from those experiences or we can evolve. Aanya made the second choice as she could see the larger picture of life.


TBE: Your novel focuses on characters encompassing vast themes: heart-break, feminism, reconstruction, redemption, identity, hope. With such complex themes, what is the starting point when you begin to write this novel?

Ayushi Raghuwanshi: The starting point is mere acknowledgment that our lives encompass such vast and complex themes all the time. There is never one theme that goes on at a point in life. I did not wish to miss out any theme; I wanted it to be as realistic as possible.


TBE: Deciding on an idea to pursue writing about can be the most challenging aspect for a writer. How do you come to find the stories and lives that become the subjects of your books?

Ayushi Raghuwanshi: Most of the writers draw inspiration from the lives around them, from what they themselves witness as that is what enables them to express the story and those lives in a fulfilling manner. I am no exception to this, even I write drawing inspiration from the lives around me.


TBE: This is your third published book, previous two were poetry collection. How was the transition from writing poetry to a full-length novel for you? How have you changed as an author over publication of these books?

Ayushi Raghuwanshi: I would say it was a bit challenging for me because I did not know what a reader looks for in a novel, how things are supposed to unfold and so on. I did nevertheless write from my heart mostly, which is what I do when I write poems and that got me through the process. I don’t think I have changed as an author, I still write that which I feel, only the heart is involved in writing.


TBE: As an author and poet, what other works also influenced your characters and narrative in ‘And Her Story Began’? What other writers and poets did you draw upon for inspiration and direction, and why?

Ayushi Raghuwanshi: I might unknowingly have drawn inspiration from Khaled Hosseini’s works for the melancholic part of the story. Other than that I don’t think any other work had an influence on my book.


TBE: What would you like for the readers to take from ‘And Her Story Began’?

Ayushi Raghuwanshi: There is a lot to take away from the book but one thing which I would want the readers to take away is that Life is very uncertain and it goes on, no matter what, one must therefore make the most of these present moments we have in hand.


TBE: How was your publishing experience with Leadstart?

Ayushi Raghuwanshi: It has been great with Leadstart, I have been kept in loop with every development, all my queries and problems have been resolved at the earliest, and the team is great.


TBE: Is there anything you are currently working on that may intrigue the interest of your readers?

Ayushi Raghuwanshi: I never know what I am about to write next until I actually reach halfway through my work and as of now I haven’t begun anything so nothing right now.

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