Ekta R. Garg interview


When did your love of books begin?

I honestly don't remember a time when books weren't in my life. My mother tells stories of how, when I was in preschool, I would be given these little three or four-page booklets as "homework." In the 15-minute ride to our house from school, I'd finish reading the booklet.
I've been reading fluently since the age of 4 and have always had a book in hand or close by. Books are my solace, my friends, my teachers, and so much more!

When did you start to have the wish to become an author?

I started writing at the age of 8, but I was 14 when I said, out loud, for the first time that I want to be an author. I had to wait almost 30 years for that wish to come true, but I'm so incredibly grateful it did!

How have you found the process for becoming an author?

Unlike other vocations or professions, there's no one straight path to becoming an author. Like so many others, mine has been full of delays and twists and turns and switchbacks and laughter and tears and frustration and excitement and wonder. I can definitely say becoming an author is not for the faint of heart!

What would you say to those wanting to become an author?

If you want to become an author, there are some key things you have to do.
First, read. Read as much as possible. Read in the genre you write and read outside of that genre. You'll be amazed at what you learn about good, and bad, writing when you're reading other people's work. Spend every minute you can reading, and train yourself to evaluate stories and characters and plots, whether that's in articles or books or audiobooks or even TV/movies.
Second, write. This might seem silly to state it like this, but it's important to have a consistent, frequent writing practice. That doesn't mean it has to be every single day -- real life, sometimes, prevents that -- but make a goal that you can stick with. "I plan to write 500 words this week." "I'll write five sentences every morning before I do anything else." "I'll spend 20 minutes on my lunch hour every Wednesday writing." Whatever you choose, make it accessible and realistic and do it. Five hundreds words or five sentences or 20 minutes doesn't sound like a lot, but over the course of a year it adds up fast.
Third, find a community. This can be in your town or online. But find other writers who can cheer you on, who can beta read your work, and who will listen to you rant and know exactly what you mean when you say your supporting character refuses to stay quiet when it's not their turn on the page. Friends and family who don't write will hear something like that, nod and smile, and then go on to something else. Writing friends will listen and possibly even help you out of your writing troubles.
Lastly, educate yourself about the way the publishing industry works and all of the options available for getting published today. It shocks me how, even in 2023 with all of the information available to us online, writers are so naive about the business. And it is a business. Writing is an art; publishing is a business. You can't confuse the two, and you can't get overly emotional about the business side of things when something doesn't work out.
If you go to Target and try on a shirt and decide not to buy it, I highly doubt that the store manager is going to sit in their office or the staff break room and cry about you not buying that item. You have to approach publishing with the same cool-headed mindset. And the more you educate yourself, the stronger you'll become as an author because you'll be making informed decisions.

Tell us about your book/books:

My latest release, In the Heart of the Linden Wood, is an original fairy tale for grownups about a grieving king who has to go on a quest to save his kingdom from a major threat. While on the quest, he'll have to rescue hostages and mend another broken heart by putting it back together piece by piece, all while facing the question of whether he's worthy of his crown.
I wrote this book for grownup fans of classics like The Chronicles of Narnia and Bridge to Terabithia. It's for those of us who believe magic is important and still possible, especially in reading.
The book releases on February 7, 2023, and it's available for pre-order now. If someone pre-orders it from my author website, I'll send them a signed copy before the release date!
My previous (and first) book is a novella. The Truth About Elves is a holiday story for grownups about a man named Curtis who works part-time for Santa as an elf. Santa asks him for a favor, and because Curtis owes Santa he does the favor for him even though he really doesn't want to. When he does it, the favor takes him back to the place he's wanted to go for a long time: home.
It's a holiday story with a happy ending (because all holiday stories should have happy endings!), and my readers have said it makes a great stocking stuffer.
Both books are available on my website, https://ektargarg.com.

What do you love about the writing/reading community?

Everything I said above about why writers need the writing community, that's what I love about it. It's supportive and inclusive and a place to have thoughtful, meaningful discussions. Are there people in that community with malicious intentions? Of course. Human nature is the same no matter what industry we're talking about. But for the most part, I've found the writing community to be a wonderful place where I can express a part of myself that I can't share anywhere else. In a lot of ways, it's home!

If you could say anything to your readers what would it be?

For those who have read my work and loved it, thank you! I'm deeply grateful for the opportunity to share my stories with you and hope I make you just as excited and proud with future works.
For those who are intrigued by my book ideas but haven't read them yet, I invite you to read one (or both) of my books. Request it at your local library if cost is an issue in buying the books, and read the books for free that way. Libraries are essential cornerstones to our society, so you should support them every chance you get. And by requesting my books at your library, you'll also be supporting an independent author. That allows me to continue doing what I do and love -- bringing the stories of my heart to make a connection with yours.
The other thing I would say is that reviews are immensely important for authors. You don't have to write a whole essay; just a few sentences will work. But more reviews means more visibility for independent authors like me, which, again, means more support that allows us to continue writing.
Lastly, thank you for taking a chance on my books!

Where can people connect with you?

On my author website: https://ektargarg.com
On my writing/editing blog: https://thewriteedge.wordpress.com
On Twitter and Instagram: @EktaRGarg


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