A Conversation With Preethi Venugopala

Without You – review | Flipkart | Amazon

BLW: Let’s welcome the successful Indian author Preethi Venugopala to Book Lover’s World. Preethi is a Civil Engineer by education and an avid blogger, artist by passion. After working as a Civil Engineer for more than a decade, she quit her job to become a full time mother and writer. Meanwhile, she took a Masters Degree in English Literature to complete her dream of studying English literature.

Her debut novel ‘Without You’ published by Write India Publishers, is getting rave reviews and is among the top selling romance books on Amazon and Flipkart.

She has also been published in two anthologies, ‘The Second Life’ and ‘Blank Space’. Another anthology ‘Á Little Chorus of Love’ will be out in August and another anthology by Readomania will be coming out in October. She is also part of a triple header novella book by Blogadda, that has three novellas in one book and will be published by Leadstart publishers.

Her article on womensweb.in, ‘Love, Rotis and a pinch of wisdom from a mother’, which is a heartfelt letter from a mother to her son about why he should not laugh at the shapeless rotis that his wife makes, went viral online and was shared widely on Facebook and Whatsapp. She is a regular contributor to many online magazines and websites.

Preethi Venugopala: Thank you BLW for the warm welcome. It is a pleasure to be on BLW.

BLW: Firstly, congratulations on the grand success of your debut book “Without You”. Tell us a little about yourself.

Preethi Venugopala: Thank you. I am a Civil Engineer turned author, a stay at home mom, an avid blogger and also an artist. My blog http://tulipsandme.blogspot.in is my happy world. You can find me musing about all things that I love, if you step in there.

BLW: We know that you are one awesome writer. Tell us about your book Without You, what it means to you, and how did you conceive the idea of writing on the most trending genre? How long did it take to write this book?

Preethi Venugopala: Thank you for that compliment. You just won my heart.

Without You’ is my first novel. Like any first born, it is very close to my heart. I have grown possessive about the characters I created in it to the extent that I hate people who talks bad about my characters. Silly, right?

I am a romance junkie and I read romances mostly. This story came to me in a dream and of course it was in my favorite genre. So I decided to pen it down.

It took me about six months to finish writing this book. I spent another six months to edit and polish it further.

BLW: Without You runs on a realistic line with well developed characters. We would like to know the homework you did to write this book.

Preethi Venugopala: Thank you again for such a compliment. It is very satisfying to an author when a reader says that the characters are realistic and well developed. To say the truth, there was no homework as such. I am a pantser, I write what comes to mind at the moment. But I usually go back and polish what I have written. I take the feedbacks from my beta readers seriously too and make necessary changes if I find their suggestions valid.

BLW: Ananya, the protagonist of the story is the most loved character among the readers. Is it a character from your real life or just a piece of imagination?

Preethi Venugopala: Ananya is a totally fictional character. Ananya has many of my shades though. I portrayed her that way because then I could understand how she would have reacted in a particular situation. I am very glad that the readers loved her quirkiness and impulsiveness.

BLW: What were your biggest learning experience(s) or surprise(s) throughout the publishing process?

Preethi Venugopala: Writing is the easiest and satisfying part in the whole publishing process. The editing, proofreading, the many queries, the rejections, the long wait, the acceptance letter, the contract, the cover design, and the launch; every single thing, other than writing, that brings a book to life is boring. I wish I could skip all that.

BLW: What inspired you to write this book?

Preethi Venugopala: I believe that every story has its writer predestined. ‘Without You’ was supposed to be written by me. I guess that is the reason why I saw snippets from the story as a dream. The story continued to haunt me till I wrote it down.

BLW: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

Preethi Venugopala: The biggest lesson was that I started to believe that I could write. I had never in my wildest dreams imagined myself as an author. So the whole process convinced me that I could be an intriguing story teller. After I sent the story to my first beta reader (it was just a few chapters) I was literally shivering. But the feedback I got was ‘So what happens now to Ananya? Write it or I will kill you.”

BLW: Without You is a romantic – fictional love story. Would you be sticking to one preferred style and genre in future?

Preethi Venugopala: Only time can tell. As of now, I plan to stick to the genre.

BLW: When do you write the most? Is there a favorite place at your home or office where you write the most? Any props that you feel lucky to keep with you when writing?

Preethi Venugopala: Nothing! I don’t have any favorite place where I prefer to write. But I believe, if I could just vanish to a beautiful, romantic spot for a few months, I might produce a better novel soon. (*wink, wink*) All I need is a calm corner at home where no one would disturb me.

BLW: As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

Preethi Venugopala: At one point of time I wanted to be a neurosurgeon, I was an expert in biology in school. But, both my siblings are doctors. Their thick text books with horrible pictures about diseases put me off medicine forever. So I joined engineering without knowing that it had thicker books with math problems that ran for pages, waiting to pounce on me. *Sigh*

BLW: What are your inspirations in life?

Preethi Venugopala: Compassion when found at the unlikeliest of places inspires me the most. For example, today I found a picture on Facebook where a Turkish couple was feeding food to 4000 Syrian refugees instead of their well off, invited wedding guests. Isn’t that wonderful?

Love is another inspiration. True love always touches my heart.

Friendship is another.

BLW: What books have inspired or influenced you as a writer?

Preethi Venugopala: Many! I think the books that we read leave within us a treasure house of memories, words and pictures. We are forever tapping into them to create new characters, new stories and new memories. It is like we are playing a game of permutations and combinations with the words that have been imprinted in our mind by virtue of the books we have read.

BLW: We would be happy to know about any future projects that you are currently working on?

Preethi Venugopala: I am working on another love story that will be based in Sreepuram, the picturesque sleepy village where ‘Without You’ begins. Some of the characters from ‘Without You’ will play a more important role in this next book.

I am also working upon a historical romance simultaneously.

BLW: What other secret skills do you have?

Preethi Venugopala: No secret skills. I am an open book. But as a writer I wish I had some special, secret skills which would help me research my characters. I would be happy if I could apparate and disapparate to any place like Harry Potter. I covet his invisibility cloak and also the extendable ears invented by Fred and George that will help me eavesdrop stealthily.

BLW: To be a good writer, one should be a good reader. We know you enjoy reading books. What are the best books you have ever read? Name any five.

Preethi Venugopala: 1. Pride and Prejudice: Jane Austen (because it is the most loved classic romance ever)
2. Eat Pray Love: Elizabeth Gilbert (Best Memoir ever)
3. Until You: Judith Mc Naught ( I loved the protagonists so much)
4. Jane Eyre: Charlotte Bronte ( I can re-read it umpteen times, it is so beautiful)
5. Love in the time of Cholera: Gabriela Garcia Marquez (it teaches how language can be used beautifully to narrate a story)

BLW: What advice would you give to all those aspiring authors who consider you as an ideal?

Preethi Venugopala: I am a newbie; don’t consider me as your ideal. I am nowhere capable of advising as of now. I am still learning the craft.

But yes, if your aim is to become an author, the only thing I feel is important is the dedication towards the craft of writing. Be focused on nurturing the craft.

BLW: Message for the book lovers in this world!

Preethi Venugopala: Every book you read, allows you to live a life, a life that is lived by the characters in the book, a world that is created by the author of the book. So if you ask me, I would encourage you to lead a loving and blissful life in a happy world. Choose such books that will make you feel happy and safe while you are living inside it.

Without You – review | Flipkart | Amazon

Thank you so much for your time. It’s our pleasure to chat with you…

Book Review: Without You by Preethi Venugopala

This book is a perfect read during journey.

The Blurb:

When Ananya, a bubbly twenty-year-old engineering student, reaches her Grandmother’s house in Sreepuram on a month long vacation, romance is the last thing on her mind. However, she meets Dr. Arjun there and falls head over heels in love.

As it often happens, the path of true love never runs smooth. Circumstances force them apart even though they were madly in love. She becomes a victim of depression. When everything fails to return her to normalcy, help arrives from an unexpected source. Will she ever find happiness again? Will time allow her heart to heal and forget Arjun? What indeed is true love?

Travel with Ananya to the picturesque Sreepuram, face the chaos of Bengaluru, and relish the warmth of magical Dubai in this heartwarming tale of love, betrayal, friendship and miracles.

Excerpt:

From the very first time, I had heard about Arjun, my heart had become partial to him. As though it had recognized destiny’s cue that he was not just a glorified stranger. After meeting him, my heart had become obsessed with him. It convinced me that he was someone who wouldn’t let me down, someone who wouldn’t hurt me. Like building a sandcastle with loose, dry sand, which had in its destiny only failure, I was yearning to be connected with him without waiting for time to induce love. Oh, how I wished he would fall in love with me.

About the Author:

Preethi Venugopala is a Civil Engineer by education and an avid blogger, artist by passion. After working in many prestigious civil engineering projects for more than a decade, she quit her job to become a full time mother. Meanwhile, she took a Masters Degree in English Literature to complete her dream of studying English literature. She tried her hand successfully at crafts, crocheting, portraiture and painting before venturing into writing.

She has been published in two anthologies, ‘The Second Life’ and ‘Blank Space ‘. Another anthology ‘Á Little Chorus of Love’ is to be published soon. She is a regular contributor to many online magazines and websites. She strongly believes that storytellers are healers in the present world as they can change the outlook of people through the stories they tell.

My Review:

A book which help you to bask into the ocean of pure love, beautiful friendship and will make you believe that,“ When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

– Paulo Coelho 

The reader’s heart…
Without You by Preethi Venugopala takes you on an exciting venture of Ananya’s love story. During her vacation to Sreepuram on her grandmother, Ammamma’s home she meet Arjun and falls in love with him. She holds a soft corner for Arjun and leave no opportunity to make him feel special. The story takes a sweet turn when Arjun expresses his love for Ananya, unexpectedly. We believe in testing everything- friends, relations and family. Here it is no exception. On an occasion when Arjun instead of shielding Ananya respond unassertive, it break Ananya’s believe apart and every expectation she had from Arjun’s side. She decides to end it then and there. She leaves for Bangalore, back to her paternal home with her broken heart and shattered dreams. The emotional trauma turns her life upside down but her best friends, Khushi and Poornima leave no stone un-turn to bring back the bubbly, perky and happy go Ananya. By the time she overcome the pain of betrayal but her love and memories with Arjun remain fresh as ever. Did Arjun ever loved her sincerely? Why he didn’t stand in protection of Ananya when she needed him the most? Will he ever return in Ananya’s life again or will remain just a sweet-bitter past? Will Ananya be able to forgive him if ever he confronts her?

Without You is a racy promising love tale. The author has brilliantly worked on each character with a well planned plot. Intriguing narration and beautiful description will make you hooked to the story till the end. The cover of the book looks decent with a girl’s back side image, lost in thoughts. I find the book title very apt. Without You, depicts life of Arjun and Ananya without each other.     

What I liked?
Without You assures of an enduring love in its purest form. I especially loved Colonel RS Nair’s character as his revelation brings the wanted crux of the suspense. Ammamma, Ananya’s grandmother is an open minded lady with a loving heart. Her sweetness and simplicity won my heart. The best part is, story-line doesn’t get predictable at all.

Why should one read this book?
Without You runs on a realistic line, a part of which each of us come across at some point of time, those raw emotions. If you believe in true love then this book promise to make your believe stronger.

Stars…
To this romantic reading ride that will compel you to smile, laugh and cry with its characters, I give this book a five- star rating.

Rating:
Blurb: 4/5
Description: 5/5
Writing Style: 5/5
Excerpt: 5/5
Book Cover: 5/5
Overall Rating: 5/5

Book Details:
Title: Without You
Author: Preethi Venugopala
Genre: Fiction/ Romance
Type: Paperback
Publisher: Write India
Language: English
Pages: 198
Year of Publication: 2015
Price: 150 INR

Buy Paperback: Flipkart | Amazon

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Without You will stand up to your expectations with strong story line and un-put-down-able narration. A ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ Book that will refresh your mood. This light-romantic book is a perfect read during journey. Highly recommended for all romantic hearts, No second thoughts!

I self-bought this book. The opinions expressed in the review are my own, and remain unbiased and uninfluenced. I have given a five-star rating on Goodreads and FlipKart as I felt nothing less than that would be fair.