Smitten by the tyranny and patriotism of the armed forces, Bhaavna Arora was galvanized to write Mistress of Honor. When we depict casualties of war, our first thoughts navigate around Kargil and inconsequential loss of lives after it. But there were choices unheard, of the lovers and dreamers which prevail in each soldier which moved Bhaavna to write story of her second bestselling book.
Bangalore based writer Bhavna Arora took nine months to research for the book and spoke to nearly 160 serving and retired officers before beginning to write Mistress of Honor. Before her career as a writer, she worked as a as a Director and Associate Professor at a Business School to being a published writer. During her tenure as Director of a B School, Bhaavna bagged the award for the Best Upcoming B School in Bangalore by Brand’s Academy for Education excellence awards. Her first book “The Deliberate Sinner” was chosen by Penguin as the Publisher and Shobha Dae agreed to endorse it.
Do you recall any incidences from your childhood which influenced you to pursue writing?
As a kid I would often sit down with new stationary and scribble something. I was too young to remember what I wrote but I always wanted to write. Books have always fascinated me, and I think reading and writing go hand-in- hand. I was, and continue to be, a voracious reader and that has automatically supplemented my desire to express using the written word.
When did you take the decision of penning down your first book?
After I had enough degrees and experience working as an academician, I thought I could take a chance with a shift in profession. One day, just like that, I picked up a pen and paper and started writing. I had a story in mind that was loosely forming, and this became an obsession with me. I quit my full time job just to follow my passion.
My first book, The Deliberate Sinner, published in 2014, is based on the relationship between a man and a woman and the role sex, or rather good sex that plays in making or breaking the relationship. It is a story of today…where everything is great in a marriage, if you remove sex from the equation that is. It was a risky and bold topic to launch myself as an author, but I had to tell this story, and I am glad I did!
Would you say it is necessary to make writing a routine?
Yes, it is important for me to have a writing routine because it is like any other exercise. If you break the momentum, you stop. Writer’s blocks do come, and they are a part of the process. I think powering through and even if I write only a few words each day, it can help me overcome the shadows of the dreaded “block”!
In your journey so far as a writer, What Has been your most memorable experience?
The time that I got my first book in my hand! It was like having a baby. I roamed around with it, the whole day in my hands. It was an exhilarating feeling. Another experience which is really close to my heart is when I interviewed over 200 army officers (both retired and servicing) for my second book- Mistress of Honour. It is a book that depicts the courage of our army-men that sacrifice so much for us every day, so interviewing them was a really great experience.
If your writing could be analogized into a movie which one would it be?
All my books are very different so I can analogize but all my books can be adapted into beautiful films. The scripts qualify for nothing short of a blockbuster!
Do you think more students must come forth to pursue unconventional Professions?
Students should do what they feel like. One must pursue what their passions are. I don’t know how to categorize something as conventional or unconventional. My mantra is simple – “Do what works for you!”.
Every writer must seek inspiration for his craftsmanship. Can you share your sources of inspiration with us?
Anything could inspire me. Life and death, love and hate, flowers and thorns, hunger and satisfaction, passion and calmness. If it comes from within, I could even find inspiration in the food I eat. There is the entire universe to give me inspiration. All I need to do is keep my eyes and heart open.
What is your message to our readers who aspire to reach the pedestal of a writer?
Believe in your story because if you don’t nobody else will.
What are the projects that you are currently working on?
My third book is scheduled for launch in September 2016, and is once again on a bold and unconventional topic that needs to be addressed – the book is themed on bi-sexual love, however largely on LOVE, and the choice to love regardless of gender. I’m also currently working on a biography of a very eminent person, which is an interesting project. Stay tuned for more on that!