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06 Dec

A keen observer, a learner and a writer with positive attitude…meet Sara Khan…

JR: Tell us about yourself, and how would you describe yourself?

Sara: I’m Sara Khan. I am a keen observer, learner and writer, and then I would call myself as an author. I have a positive attitude towards life. I believe in “Believe in yourself” mantra.

JR: When did you first realise you want to be a writer? Who spotted that talent and what was the first thing you do knowing that?

Sara: I’ll answer the second question first. It was one of my relatives who saw the potential and encouraged me to write. The first thing I did was I wrote more J I signed up to a few websites as citizen journalist and started to write more and reach a larger audience. And then I got enrolled in a paid internship programme for an education website where I wrote informative and well-researched articles. Coming back to the first question, it takes me back to 2008 when I joined a website as a citizen journalist. I had submitted an article and to my surprise I received a book titled Imagining India by Nandan Nilekani in reward. I had always wanted to work in online media as a writer and this gave me a clearer vision.

JR: Do you have any formal education in creative writing? Do you think formal education in writing is necessary?

Sara: I had taken up a training programme in writing in 2009 and after that during my job, it were my mentors whose constant push made me improve. Formal education in writing depends from person to person. I know an author whose natural writing style is just awesome and gripping. Yet if someone has doubts on where to start, how to write, and more, I can guide you, else you can go ahead with the formal education; learning always pays.

JR: Are you a full-time author? Do you have other activities as main source of income? How do you organise your schedule and time in writing a book?

Sara: No, I’m not a full-time author. I work as a content manager and social media marketer; you can call it my main source of income. I don’t think authors get paid that much until they become bestsellers. It’s the constant effort they need to make. I sleep early at night and get up as early as 4 am to get my works organised.

JR: What made you decide to start writing something? What or who influences you?

Sara: Incidents that make married women suffer in silence, I had observed them closely and that’s what inspired me to write my first book Separated! especially for the couples.

JR: What is the greatest lesson you have learned and/or greatest achievement you have reached as a writer?

Sara: My greatest achievement are both my books – Separated! and How To create Positive Change in 21 Days.

JR: Do you have habits in writing? Any specific time and/or place to write?

Sara: Not really, when a topic occurs on my mind, I write. And if I’m not writing I read.

JR: How long do you normally finish writing a book? What is the hardest part in the process?

Sara: It took me around 2 months to complete my first book Separated! You will be surprised to know, it’s a short book. While it took just 9 days to complete the first draft of my second book How To Create Positive Change in 21 Days, and it’s going to be a long one with 21 Day/Chapters. I didn’t face challenges in writing but in promoting yes, I did. I think marketing your book and reaching to the right audience requires a lot of patience.

JR: Do you have professional editors to furnish your books? If you do, any recommendation you would like to share to fellow authors?

Sara: Yes, I have. For Separated! it is Kellie and for How To Create Positive Change in 21 Days it is Julia. They both are awesome. Every author should get professional editors, no matter how experienced they are because it gives perspective to your book.

JR: How do you involve in promoting your books? Any marketing technique you can share?

Sara: Consider these as the marketing tips too. I’m promoting both my books online as well as offline. An important thing that should be followed by everyone is they should keep the name of their brand and handles/username same on all the social media websites, like mine is @sarakhanwrites on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

JR: Give your thoughts about traditional publishing Vs. self-publishing?

Sara: I believe in self-publishing. I know traditional publishing gives you more exposure as you and your book get associated with a brand, on the other hand self-publishing gives you control over your work from title to book cover, everything. And you need not wait to publish your work unlike traditional publishing.

JR: How many books have you written (published and non-published)? Any other works in progress?

Sara: I have written and completed two books so far – Separated! and How To Create Positive Change in 21 Days. I’m working on 3rd and 4th simultaneously.

JR: What genre that you normally write, and what draws you to this genre?

Sara: Its non-fiction, self-help, motivational and how to guides. A motive to help others through my writings draws me to write more in this genre.

JR: Of all the books that you have written down, which book that you think the best one? And what do you think readers will find most appealing about this book? What’s the “real story” behind this book?

Sara: Both are the best in their own ways; both are different yet How to guides. If I speak of the real story, both have mentions from real life events and true story, sometimes mine and sometimes people around me.

JR: What advice would you want to give to an aspiring writer?

Sara: Just start writing, there is nothing like “I’ll do it tomorrow or day after tomorrow.” Believe in yourself. And start heading towards your goal with one step at a time.

JR: How can readers discover more about you and your works?

Sara: Through my blog: https://authorsarakhan.wordpress.com ; I’m also available on social media (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) with the handle/name – @sarakhanwrites

My Amazon author page is: http://author.to/sara-khan-author-page