I was fifteen when Red Ink Literary Agency accepted a manuscript titled ‘The Mug of Melancholy’ I had sent their way on a whim. I was also acting on the advice of my English teacher, Mrs Dipanwita Basu, who really liked it and suggested I send it places. It was positively the best evening when I read an email from a certain Anuj Bahri who was to be my agent. I was so giddy that I didn’t sleep that night.
I have been writing for a long time but I was never aware that you could spend a good lifetime writing novels, and short stories. I had wanted to be a primary school teacher. I might perhaps become one in the future.
It’s not easy, writing, and living with a writer. It’s spine-crackling to get published. Five heartbreaking rejections later (and yes, these publishers were big names), a small but fierce publishing company, Tara Press, took on ‘The Mug of Melancholy’ and it was published in the spring of 2015. I was nineteen.
It’s fabulously overwhelming to see your words in print, especially if you have written something as voluminous as a children’s novel like I did. It was after seeing the paving slab with my name on it in my local bookshop that I became more fertile with my writing, and more critical of my own work, too.
I hope I keep on writing and that I get better.