Book launches are hardly ever held these days, and those that are usually attended by family and friends. However, the launch of Savi Sharmas The Stories We Never Tell (Westland), which was held at Sapna Book House, Koramangala, was an exception. There was quite a big turn out of young readers, mostly college students who were eagerly waiting to interact with Savi.
She fielded questions from the audience about relationships and the value of friendship. The Stories We Never Tell is a contemporary story that not only revolves around mental health issues, but also the pressures that young people put on themselves. The Surat-based authors other books include Everybody Has A Story-1, Everybody Has A Story-2, and This is Not Your Story.
How did the idea for The Stories We Never Tell come to you?
The idea came to me before I wrote Everyone has a Story-2. Many people messaged to tell me that they were suffering from depression. They were at a loss on how to deal with it. This was an issue that had to be put out these, people needed to understand that depression is an illness that needs treatment. I started researching mental health and depression but could not zero in on the characters. I put it aside to work on Everyone has a Story-2. I returned to this and created Jhanvi and Ashray from social media.
Tell us a little about the characters Jhanvi and Ashray
The story revolves around Jhanvi, a budding social media influencer, and Ashray, who despite a rocky life translates his dreams into reality. Jhanvi appears to have it all together, but something is missing. On the other hand, Ashrays deep-seated insecurities emerge when life throws him a curve ball. Their stories are different. Jhanvi is fighting the outside world, while Ashrays fight is internal. My favourite line in the book is when Jhanvi says: I need help. Most people dont know they need help.
Are young people your target readers?
I want to write specifically for young people because I think youngsters these days arent reading. If they start reading, they will get all the answers. They need to read stories they can connect with and the stories should be simple.
At the launch you said you were quite clear that you wanted to become a writer...how did you chart your course to being one?
I always loved writing. But it wasnt until college that I was clear that I would take up writing full time. During the first year of college, I started reading books...I was pursuing my Chartered Accountancy (CA) then, and at the same time I was writing a story and that is when I realised I have to write a book, I am meant to do this.
I knew while writing my first book that it can be either successful or not. I thought whether a book is good or not is something others decide, not me. I started working on my second book (This Is Not Your Story) because I thought if the first book doesnt work out, then I have this book.
What is the writing process like for you?
Once I decide my characters, I write a plot of two or three pages. I always know the end of my story.
Which among your books do you consider your best?
My first book is the closest to my heart, but my best book will always be my last. The Stories The Never Tell was the most challenging because the characters are complex. In the first few books my characters were simple. They were a bit sorted in their lives and they knew what to do. But in this book the characters are complex and dark. It was challenging to write a story in which the characters are in darkness and they are writing about hope.
What do you think about being called a celebrity author?
Tags dont really matter to me; they are given by others, you cannot call yourself a celebrity. What people are making me is their department. I just know I want to write stories, inspire people and do whatever I can to spread positivity and motivate others.