About Author: Aruna Joshi is a passionate writer, heading the editorial department of a leading publishing house in Mumbai. Her area of work is spirituality, self-help, and personal growth. She left behind her successful 18-year practice of architecture to follow her purpose which is to bring about a positive change in people. Through her counseling sessions, she has helped many people to take their relationships to a new level and to lead a happy and regret-free life.
We at author times got a lucky chance for a tete-a-tete with the talented author, and here is our conversation.
Q1. What inspired you to start writing?
I discovered my passion for writing at a very early age. I had a small notebook with a lock and key and I used to pour my heart into it. I always thought that I was better at expressing myself through writing. This passion was further fanned by my school teacher Mrs. Pant and then by my Professor, Mr. Marathe. They encouraged me to write and slowly it took off. I started with writing for Architectural journals, and when I started writing in the self-development space I contributed to a few mind-body-soul magazines.
Thus started my writing career. And now I have written three books of my own and successfully completed around eight ghost-writing projects.
Q2. You are already an editor, but have you always wanted to be a writer as well?
So, first I was a writer and then I became an editor. My role as an editor is not only about editing the content, but it is also differentiating between a good manuscript and not so good one. As an editor when I get manuscripts to review, I actually study and analyze them. Sometimes the content is brilliant but the writing is poor, or sometimes the connection is missing in the book. Sometimes the flow is abrupt or the depth is missing. So, working as an editor has helped me evolve as a better writer.
Q3. Describe your writing space for our readers.
There is a space, rather a corner in my house which I consider as my writing den. I believe that ideas just flow through me in that space. It is effortless writing. I just need my cup of ginger-lemongrass tea when I sit to write and of course total silence. So, I choose a time when I wake up in the morning to sit to write before going ahead with the morning chores.
Q4. Your reviews for both the books are wonderful, have you received any literary criticism yet? If yes, how did you handle it?
I have received wonderful reviews for my books. As far as the criticism goes, yes, some people find my writing style to be too simple to read. I actually don’t have to handle it. Because I strongly believe in my writing and on the contrary, a lot of people also like it because it is easy to understand. Some people do tell me that ‘I have a knack of making the most difficult concepts very easy to understand and that happens when you have a deep understanding of the subject’. Well, I take it as a huge compliment.
Q5. What is the significance of the title of your third book?
My first book is called Wake Up!, the second one is called The Happiness Manual and the third book is The Subtle Art of Dealing with People. We are dealing with people most of our waking hours – people who are emotional beings. They need to be handled subtly, and dealing with people is an art. Hence the title – The Subtle Art of Dealing With People.
Q6. Please tell us about your favorite book/story you have read as an adult.
I am a fan of motivational and spiritual books. My favorite books are many. They are all gems and it will not be fair to just mention a few. But I will make an attempt. How to win friends and influence people, Alchemist, The Celestine Prophecy, The Saint, the Surfer, and the CEO, The Bhagavad Gita for Daily Living by Eknath Easwaran are my all-time favorites.
Q7. If you were not an editor or a writer, what would you have been?
I think a Psychologist. I was always interested in human behavioral sciences. I love to observe and analyze why people behave the way they do. Although I do not have a formal training in this subject, self-learning by observing and reading books has given me deep insights into the subject.