I am an Indian born, British author who lives in the East Midlands, UK, married with two boys. I moved to London at the age of two with my brother and Mum in the mid to late seventies. My father was already settled here when we arrived.
After my marriage, I moved to Leicester where I am a homemaker. In between caring for my family, I write books. I am also an illustrator/artist and work on art on canvas. I love to experiment with different mediums, such as oils, acrylic, and watercolour, and love a challenge!
A part of me loves the thought of history, and you would catch me browsing the history section in a library or a bookstore. I sometimes wonder about the bigger picture – about space and the human world. Where am I in this big picture?
Q&A with Malika Gandhi
Q1. What is the most difficult part of being an author?
I believe the most difficult part is the marketing. Currently, you have to do the hard work to get your work out there for people to see, and read. This is true for traditionally published authors or indie authors.
Q2. What is your greatest achievement (whether related to writing or not)?
My greatest achievement is writing and publishing three books, in a space of four years. The first one, Freedom of the Monsoon, was tough, as I didn’t know what direction I was supposed to head. It became easier with the second and third, as by then, you have followers and you know what they like to see from you. I feel honoured when I see readers interact with me, and when they tell me they want to see more books from me! My other achievement, is seeing my parents proud of me, to see their daughter as a published author. That is a big thing for me!
Q3. How do you react to a bad review of one of your books, or a negative reaction from a friend or family member?
I haven’t had a negative reaction or a bad review from a family member, however, I have had some from readers. I don’t see it as a set back, but as a challenge to do better in my future books. I look upon it as constructive criticism that will help me in the future.
Q4. What do you think is the future of the print book?
As a child, I loved print books. I loved the feel and the scent of the pages. With eBooks running the show, buying a print book has slowed down. Saying that, I think in the future, there still will be print books as nothing beats holding a real book in your hands, as you curl up in your favourite sitting spot to read.
Q5. When did you first realise you wanted to be a writer?
I realised I wanted to be a writer was when I was at junior school. We were reading the Roald Dahl and C.S. Lewis books, and I was drawn in. I knew I wanted to be an author then, at the age of 8.
Q6. When did you write your first book?
I wrote Freedom of the Monsoon – my debut, four years ago. It was a very special time for me.
Q7. Why did you decide on your particular genre?
I was always fascinated by Indian Independence, and I love historical fiction. I thought there was nothing better than to write about something I was so passionate about.
Q8. How long did it take you to write your latest book?
The last book I wrote was Lost Soul, and it took me around nine months to write.
Q9. Where did you find the inspiration for your book?
I researched the era of when the book was based, from Bollywood movies to get the feel of the time. I think movies convey so much in terms of mood, and that inspired me. I also did some research on the net, looking at images and reading articles, which also gave me inspiration.
Q10. Where and how do you like to write?
I used to write longhand and then type it up. Now, I prefer to write straight onto the computer that I have learnt to do – it wasn’t always the case! I write at a desk in my bedroom.
Q11. Do you follow a regular writing routine?
As from this year – 2016. I have invested in a diary and I block allocate my time in writing, marketing, and other things. As a mother, it is not always easy to follow a regular writing routine but I am trying.
Q12. What motivates you to write?
This is a very good question. I suppose what motivates me to write is the passion of words that I can create. I can make new worlds, new characters, and new experiences – the list goes on! Just that, motivates me to write.
Q13. Which book of yours did you enjoy writing the most?
I loved writing Where the Secret Lies the most, as it is very different. It also is my first paranormal-historical romance. It was challenging but worth it in the end.
Q14. Do you ever experience writer's block?
All the time! However, I overcome it by taking a few days off and just thinking about what my next move would be on a new chapter. I also brainstorm, which works.
Malika Gandhi's Favourite Quote
“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”
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