Software professional Parul Mittal loves her job. But what she likes most is writing. She has more than 1,000 followers on her Facebook fan club page.
All her fans admire Parul as an author and have commented on her first book — Heartbreaks and Dreams! the girls @ IIT — which got published last year.
Now, Mittal is working on her second book, which would be ready by the end of this year. The new book revolves around a debate on love marriages versus arranged marriages. “My second book is a sequel to the first. In this book, the protagonist who was a student in the first book eventually gets married,” she says.
Her journey as an author started when she wanted to narrate her experiences as a girl in IIT-Delhi which has very high concentration of boys.
Although she had done a lot of technical writing as an IBM employee, fiction writing was entirely a new ball game for her.
To seek professional help, she approached published authors of the same genre, including Amitabha Bagchi (Above Average) and Nirupama Subramanian (Keep the change) for the feedback before sending the manuscript to publishers.
But getting the book published for a fresher wasn't that easy.
She first approached Harper Collins which rejected, saying that it had already published a couple of IIT-centric books in the chick lit genre. After this, she approached Srishti publications which gave her the first break.
“It took me around five to six months to find a publisher. But I realised that the publishing industry in India has arrived and the modern publishers are forthcoming to the new authors,” she said.
Her training as a software professional also helped her in writing career. “I make use of software called Y-write which helps me classify my book into chapters and thus helping me write in an organised way. I can even export the content to word format from there,” she explains.
Her husband, Alok Mittal, who is also an IIT graduate, gives her valuable inputs. Both of them visit Gurgaon's bookstores — Om book shop, Landmark, Quills and Canvas -— where they get elated to see Mittal’s books placed neatly in the shelves. “I have enquired the boys at the counter about the sale of my book. And they say that it sells well,” she said.