Today on creative mom series, we have a mom who completely changed her field and followed her passion. A passion for writing made her an author. Let me introduce to you – Preethi Venugopala, a Civil Engineer by education and a writer, avid blogger and artist by passion. She worked with the Dubai Metro Rail project till 2008 as an office engineer with Obayashi corporation, Japan. She quit in 2008 after becoming a mother and rediscovered her passion for writing and art.
Now, she is a full-time writer and freelancer. Let’s get to know her more.
What is your background?
First of all, thank you for having me here on your blog, Deepa!
I completed my B.Tech in Civil Engineering from Government college of engineering, Kannur. I worked as a Civil Engineer for a few years and then took a sabbatical from my job after my son was born in 2008. But somehow, I couldn’t imagine leaving my son in the company of strangers to return to work and hence the sabbatical became a prolonged one. Meanwhile, because I loved books I took a post-graduate degree in English Literature. That made me fall deeper in love with English literature. I started blogging in 2013, and from then on writing became a passion.
When did you decide to become a writer and started writing books?
Once I started blogging, I joined Indiblogger and Blogadda and began participating in the various contests, writing prompts, campaigns etc. Through these, I met other bloggers and among them, some were published authors. A pan India writing contest was announced in one of those blogs and I participated in it and won. Once I got good feedback on my stories, I began writing in earnest to complete my first novel which I had begun writing together with blogging.
Did you attend any classes or did any professional writing courses?
As I said, MA in English literature was the first step I took when I decided to become a writer. But the best course I attended was the Creative writing and Mentoring course at Anita’s Attic conducted by eminent author Anita Nair. Getting to know the nuances of writing and also getting feedback on my own writing from a brilliant writer like her was truly a blessing.
What genres are your books and what drew you to this genre?
I have tried my hands at various genres like Children’s fiction, Science Fiction, Inspirational stories, and Romance. But as I love to read and write romance more, I am concentrating on that genre more these days.
What all struggles you faced initially or still face in this business?
I didn’t really face many struggles. The journey has been quite a pleasant one if I ignore a few unpleasant things done by some fake friends. It was a difficult phase when that happened because in this field we can’t survive without constant support and assurance from friends.
We can ignore a harsh review coming from a stranger, but when it comes from a friend, it hurts. As it is, all creative individuals are their own worst critics. And newbie writers are easily forgiven for the mistakes they commit. After all, they are newbies. For me, I got a taste of bitter criticism quite early in my writing career and it almost killed the writer in me.
But thankfully, my book proved to me that readers were liking what I wrote. I have received so many letters from readers, random reviews from strangers on Amazon and Goodreads and also personal messages on Facebook praising how much they loved the book.
Actually, those initial vitriolic reviews made me want to become a better writer and were the reason I joined Anita’s attic. The encouragement, appreciation, and support I received from there (both from Anita Nair and my batchmates) made me return to writing with renewed enthusiasm.
From the writers who visited Anita’s Attic, I heard tales of backstabbing and public shaming. I understood it was quite the inevitable thing if you are a writer. If we are creators, we need to develop a thick skin. Not everyone is going to like our book. Thankfully, today I am able to look back and be grateful for those early lessons of reality.
I have published four books after that, two of which are children’s books and one, a short story collection, which landed me a traditional publishing contract from Juggernaut books and another a novella, A Royal Affair, which has already become a bestseller on Amazon.
What is your favourite book from your own works and why?
It is of course ‘Without You.’ It is my first creation and hence will always have a special place in my heart.
You are a very good artist too. Tell us something about your artwork.
Art is my way to relax. I began painting as a way to deal with the sadness after my father passed away. I had attended some drawing lessons in childhood but had not tried drawing after that. So, I create art using pencils, charcoal, acrylic, crayons, watercolour and oil paint. My most popular ones are the portraits I have drawn. I also do a bit of crochet, quilling, digital art using photoshop and amigurumi crochet.
Most important tip for other aspiring authors?
Mostly when you venture into writing, you would be accompanied by high expectations and also deep-rooted fears. And then a lot of critics will come in.
People who have never written a single story in their life will tell you how to write the perfect story. There would be elitists, who think the only genre that is readable in this world is the genre they read. If they love thrillers, they will look down upon every other genre. If it is literary fiction they love, don’t even dare to show them your romance or thriller book to them.
I won’t say don’t listen to critics, we need to hear criticism. But don’t hear criticism from people without credentials. I look forward to hearing from critics who are good writers themselves.
Often critics strive hard to tick all the checkboxes of what they think should go into a book. It is like they expect to read the book they couldn’t write. They want your characters to do things that they think is right.
The only thing we can do is to wish them the very best. May they write that perfect book, the one that is flawless from page one.
What is your vision? Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I am a person who can’t make long-term goals. The maximum I can plan for is maybe next six months. But I hope that within next five years I will go mainstream. I dream of being financially independent via my writing.
What is your inspiration?
I walk through life willing to learn new things. If I become interested in something, I always dig deeper. I try to learn from the masters in the field. One thought process that inspires me is that there is always a better way of doing things. And someone else is already doing it. You just need to find that person and learn from them.
What lesson do we learn from Preethi’s journey?
Preethi’s journey is inspirational and we can all learn a lesson from her. At some point, we all get disheartened and lose hope quite early but it’s always better to not look back and ignore all the negativity. As moms, we are already superwomen who do everything effortlessly. There should not be any place for negativity in our life.
Thanks Preethi for sharing your story with us!
You can contact Preethi here –
Preethi’s Goodreads author Page || Amazon author Page || Website
Twitter Instagram Facebook Page
Read about previously featured creative moms here- Monika, Shiva, Soma, Ritika, Sudha, Rina, Shipra, Anuja, to get inspired.
December 20, 2017 at 11:34 am
A very inspirational interview , Deepa. Thanks to this,I got to know many unknown facts about Preethi.
Preethi,you are such a multi-talented person.The portrait drawings are just wow.
I can understand the state of mind when so called close friends wreck havoc.
But such people are everywhere.I understand most of these dumbos pop their filthy side when they become too insecure and know their blogs or posts are just a pretence and a rip-off from the net.
Keep doing the good work and none deter you from achieving and capturing the peak of success.
Much love 🙂
December 21, 2017 at 8:19 pm
Thanks Meenakshi for stopping by and your kind words.
December 20, 2017 at 1:27 pm
Hi Deepa, your blog is beyond commendable. There’s always a special corner where we mommies would love to curl up in & have endless banter about our parenting anecdotes! I just love everything that you share in this happening place called your blog.
Really glad to come across Preethi who’s again a talent house. Preethi, hard work can belittle any insolence from the inconsiderate folks. You have so much to offer to the world. And I’m just in love with your art.
Count me into your fan-lists, beautiful ladies!
December 20, 2017 at 2:36 pm
Hey Thanks a lot Ashvini for kind words. Glad you liked my blog. Keep visiting. Cheers!
December 21, 2017 at 9:39 am
I have met Preethi and she is all that you read about her, and more. The cherry on the icing is that she is a warm, humble and fun person. More power to you and your pen, Preethi!
December 21, 2017 at 8:16 pm
Thanks Mayuri for reading.
December 21, 2017 at 5:09 pm
She is one personality I adore. Thanks for sharing this post. Loved every answer of hers.
December 21, 2017 at 8:18 pm
December 21, 2017 at 7:55 pm
Very well intreviewed Deepa. You gave us a chance to know Preethi much deeply. One question from Preethi- Is Anita Nair taking any oine course or was it just a one time course? I need the details if You can share please.
December 21, 2017 at 8:18 pm
December 21, 2017 at 9:54 pm
That’s such an inspirational journey! It just shows that following your passion can lead to Beautiful things
December 22, 2017 at 10:16 am
December 22, 2017 at 3:04 am
This lady’s story is very inspiration for many. I wish good luck going fwd.
December 22, 2017 at 10:17 am
December 22, 2017 at 4:58 am
Wow Preethi seemed to be a professional writer now, i have read few of her blogs and completely in awe of her work,i must buy some of her books though Thanks for sharing!!!!
December 22, 2017 at 10:17 am
December 22, 2017 at 9:25 am
This is an inspirational interview. I have heard about Preethi but never knew about her journey. Thanks a lot for sharing Deepa. This interview makes me grab a book of Preethi. And what beautiful art work . Preethi is a highly creative person.
December 22, 2017 at 10:21 am
December 22, 2017 at 10:06 am
Really find Preethi inspiring and I’m almost getting started with a book too, and I hope u can be half as good as her!
Never knew that you were an engineer though 🙂
December 22, 2017 at 11:33 am
Engineering, especially civil engineering, is something that requires precision and working within the boundries of scientific laws, mathematical formulae etc. On the other hand, both writing and art require a person to break boundaries, think freely and creatively. It is amazing to see Preethi excelling in both these disciplines! As an engineer myself, now venturing into writing, this post was a big inspiration for me.
December 22, 2017 at 1:43 pm
Very nice post. Preethi is an excellent author. I was pleasantly surprised when I had seen her book as recommendation on the pack of another book.
December 22, 2017 at 5:37 pm
This is a fantastic interview, i want to visit this one again and again and note some pointers. Thanks for doing this interview 🙂
December 23, 2017 at 12:18 am
Lovely to see this interview. Preeti deserves all the success she’s getting today.
December 23, 2017 at 6:00 am
Wow loved the interview .from working in civil engineering to writing and authoring books
Thanks for sharing
December 23, 2017 at 10:03 am
Preethi’s journey is inspiring .A valudation of the human spirit.Love her books and blogs.
December 23, 2017 at 11:57 am
Incredible and inspiring Journey Preethi have. I admire her writing skills a lot. Indeed she’s the true role model for all of us
December 23, 2017 at 11:58 am
This is very inspirational.. I am so glad she fought back and stuck by to see success. ❤️
December 23, 2017 at 4:45 pm
Nice interview. This is inspiring for wanabe authors and budding bloggers fine.
December 23, 2017 at 9:07 pm
Deepa, This is an amazing initiative that you have taken. It’s so inspiring to read stories of women who have emerged victorious beyond their fears. The best part is that they are people lwith whom we can absolutely identify. Loved Preethi’s story to the core.
December 25, 2017 at 8:43 pm
Thanks Anupriya ..glad you liked it.
December 23, 2017 at 10:12 pm
What an inspiring interview and what an inspiring person!!! I am truly amazed to read about such a talented and versatile person.
December 24, 2017 at 1:41 am
It’s such an inspiring journey.. thanks for sharing. From honing writing skills to understanding the critics, Preethi, I am in awe of your will and determination to make your dreams come true!
December 24, 2017 at 8:48 am
If there is one genre that has a soft corner in my heart and a huge place in my book collection then it is Romance. Thank you for this blog, now I know which is going to be my next buy. It is wonderful to know such a inspiring and well deserving author.
December 24, 2017 at 12:20 pm
Loved reading about her. A lot of success and best wishes her way.
December 26, 2017 at 12:50 pm
This is really inspiring. I have been wanting to do my MA in literature and begin writing to. But now its been decades since that wish and look where she took her dream. But its never too late. I hope this gives me the impetus to take it up.
December 26, 2017 at 8:58 pm
Such a lovely initiative of featuring super women. Thanks to you that I got to read Preethi’s inspirational journey. It reinforces my belief that nothing is impossible if you really have the passion for it
December 30, 2017 at 5:46 pm
Loved reading this interview. The Art featured is really too beautiful.
January 1, 2018 at 9:36 pm
That was a great interview. Such an inspiring one too. Knowing women like this makes us more motivated to follow our passions
January 4, 2018 at 8:40 pm
This is such an inspirational interview. There is so much to learn from her journey, how beautifully she has explained about taking in criticism and from whom. Much power and success to her. Thanks Deepa for bringing out this interview with Preethi.
January 5, 2018 at 7:35 pm
A truly motivational and inspiring person Ms. Preethi. Wish you goo luck for your future endeavors. Thanks for sharing Deepa.
January 11, 2018 at 11:31 am
What an inspirational story. Something I needed today!