Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. Today, I’ve got a special treat for you. I’ve got Ritu Bhathal as a guest and she’s telling us a little bit about her writing journey and how the Corona virus affected her. So, without further ado. Take it away, Ritu!
It was an amazing feeling, finally typing THE END after the last words on my manuscript that I had literally poured eighteen years of my life into.
Obviously, that wasn’t the end, by any means.
There was the fun of editing, with rewrites and tweaks, feedback from beta readers, then cover design, and all the marketing.
And then, just like that, the Publication Day was upon me.
I finally let my book baby free, and sat tight, waiting for the sales, then reviews.
Will they love it?
Will they hate it?
Oh my God, I am the worst writer! Why on earth did I ever think I could write a book?
Then the feedback started to trickle through.
Oh! It’s not as bad as I thought!
Wow, people LIKE it. Like real five-star review like it!
Honestly, I was overwhelmed by the words of support and praise that came in for my debut novel in February of this year. Marriage Unarranged was a story that had wanted to be written for so long, and finally, I managed it!
One of the repeated comments was basically, ‘Can’t wait to see what happens next!’
People who read my first novel, actually wanted to read more.
So that meant I needed to get another one out.
As I mentioned a little earlier, it took me a long time to write my first book, because life had a habit of getting in the way. From marriage to moving counties, then the trying for a family saga (it was one, we had issues, so that was stress in itself) and dealing with eventual motherhood. And of course there was the day job to consider too. None of these things left much time to write.
But I did it. Once I focused, I carved time out daily, to add to my word count.
And now, I needed to do that again!
I had ideas already for a second, and third book, relating to the first, and had tentatively started writing the second, but that time thing…
Then Coronavirusgate hit and we were suddenly in Lock down.
So now, I have a lot of time, and that’s what I was looking for, wasn’t I?
I started the Lock down pumped.
Taking part in a couple of online writing sprints added a couple of thousand words to my work in progress (WIP).
It took me a while, but I created a temporary work station, seeing as the dining table I usually used for prolonged writing was now commandeered as a workspace for my working-from-home Hubby Dearest, and the only other desks were in kids bedrooms and they were in use for distance learning.
And I managed to finally set up my WIP story map board. I used it for my first book, and it helped me plan events and timelines within the book, so I did the same with this one.
Then I went through and updated my Character bible, because many of the characters overlap, and some develop more in book two, and there were new focus characters to add.
I even had tentative titles for the next two books.
Then I hit a brick wall.
Not only was I dealing with the Lock down, and ensuring two children were accessing their school-work regularly, constantly disinfecting surfaces, keeping spirits up for Hubby Dearest who was suffering cabin fever whilst working from home, I also had my work stress.
You see, I’m a teacher, and yes, schools are closed, but that doesn’t mean no work for teachers. Here in the UK schools were kept open as hubs for those listed as keyworkers to be able to leave their children for childcare, while they go about their essential jobs. I had a rota, where I would go in and spend the day with these children, and the rest of the time, devising and adding work for my class to access online. Then marking, and doing online training, attending webinars to keep us in the loop with the constant changes.
It messed with my head a lot. And my creativity with it.
And now, I am faced with the prospect of going back on the 1st of June, to work with a small group of my class, if the government and our dear BoJo deems it safe for schools to begin partial opening.
So, how much writing have I done?
Well, I’ve tried to stay creative, by writing A Story A Day in May, and some of the prompts have even got me some new scenes which I can use in my WIP.
And my WIP has increased by around eight thousand words. But my mind has not been in the right place to really get into it
But I will.
For my characters, as they have stories to tell.
For my readers because they want to know more.
For me, because I know there are other books in me that want to come out.
‘Chickpea Curry’ Lit — Chick Lit with an Indian twist!
It all started ended with that box…
Aashi’s life was all set.
Or so she thought.
Like in the Bollywood films, Ravi would woo her, charm her family and they’d get married and live happily ever after.
But then Aashi found the empty condom box…
Putting her ex-fiancé and her innocence behind her, Aashi embarks upon an enlightening journey, to another country, where vibrant memories are created, and unforgettable friendships forged.
A U T H O R B I O
Ritu Bhathal was born in Birmingham in the mid-1970s to migrant parents, hailing from Kenya but with Indian origin. Ritu’s colourful background has been a constant source of inspiration to her.
From childhood, she always enjoyed reading. This love of books is credited to her mother. The joy of reading spurred her on to become creative in her writing, from fiction to poetry. Winning little writing competitions at
school and locally encouraged her to continue writing.
As a wife, mother, daughter, sister, and teacher, she has drawn on inspiration from many avenues to create the poems that she writes. A qualified teacher, having studied at Kingston University, she now deals with classes of children as a sideline to her writing!
Ritu also writes a blog, http://www.butismileanyway.com, a mixture of life and creativity, thoughts and opinions, which was
awarded first place in the Best Overall Blog Category at the 2017 Annual
Bloggers Bash Awards, and Best Book Blog in 2019.
Ritu is happily married and living in Kent, with her Hubby Dearest, and two children, not forgetting the fur baby Sonu Singh.
F i n d M e:
Social Media Profiles
Blog Website: http://www.butismileanyway.com
And by clicking the following link, you get to my author profile on Amazon
Thanks for being a guest, Ritu! Your story sounds like a must read!