Even though I had been wanting to write for as long as I can remember, I didn’t actually get around to doing it until a few years ago. An acquaintance had shown me a story she wrote and wanted me to comment. I read it and then immediately started correcting it. It seemed like a good story that is badly written. I soon realized that I had to almost rewrite it in full, for no amount of correction could remedy the problem with the story as it was written. I sat down and wrote the story in my own words, leaving the spirit of the story intact.
That experience left me with the feeling that I could indeed write if I had the story clear in my mind. And then one day it happened. I thought up a story and wrote it all down in one sitting. It was not a Nobel prize winning story, but that is beside the point. I, who had always hoped to write, who had harbored an aspiration to be a writer, could successfully put pen to paper. It gave me immense satisfaction when I finished the story. It was something that I had scribbled on a piece of paper as the words appeared on the page in a rush.
That was the beginning and since then I wrote about a dozen short stories and a couple of novels. It was heartening to see a couple of short stories published on the web and to top it all I had my first novella published by Indireads. I have now come a full circle, as it were, having scratched that itch to be a writer.
The first book began as an idea, the germ of a story without an ending. I worked on it for a couple of years, but the ending still eluded me. This was my first attempt at a very long story, a novella, unlike the short stories I had written until then. I broke off several times in that period and wrote more short stories and completed another novel of a very different kind from the one I was working on. And then I happened upon this publishing venture from Indireads, who accepted my story and agreed to provide the editorial assistance and other support in finishing my story. The ‘other’ support included several discussions regarding the route that the story could take for a conclusion. It was then that the end came swiftly and completely to me. It was unlike anything we had discussed. I wrote it and offered for comment. The publisher’s response encouraged me to finish the book. I finished in record time, compared to the time that I had spent working on it. I was also toying with several titles for the book and finally decided on this: Magnificent Loss. The story ending, gushed my publisher, was magnificent.
I wrote it under my real name Anand Betanabhotla, after debating with myself whether I should adopt a pen name. This decision to go by my real name was in most part dictated by my online presence: I was already blogging on Blogger from Google. The decision paid off. Googling my name will fetch the results for my blog posts as well as my novel and the published short stories.
From a beginning that was so simple and unassuming, to the day when I got my debut novel published, it has been a wonderful journey for me. I hadn’t the faintest inclination at that time that I would one day go on to become a writer. I have a couple books under my belt and hopefully they will see the light of day soon.