Sharjah: Preeti Shenoy and Maha Khan Phillips, acclaimed authors from India and Pakistan, respectively, shared the stage for a packed student session at Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) on Thursday.
The question-and-answer session was attended by hundreds of children from across schools in the UAE, and it gave an insight into the lives of the two authors who also shared tips to help those considering taking up writing.
Phillips, a financial journalist and best-selling author, said; “I started writing when I was nine years old.” The author of ‘Beautiful from this Angle’ and ‘The Curse of Mohenjodaro,’ said that to come up with interesting characters in her stories, she poses silly questions to herself.
“I ask myself, ‘what kind of toothpaste brand does my character use?’ and ‘what would be the biggest fight they would have had with their siblings?’” she told the students in the hall.
Shenoy, who is among the top five best-selling authors in India, shared her secrets to becoming a successful author.
“You need these five things to succeed as a writer — discipline, the ability to keep going in the face of failure, minimising television time, having a hobby and ignoring other people’s dramas.
“My second book was rejected a total of 38 times. Each time I sent my manuscript to publishers, I received a negative reply and this is when I had already had one book successfully published. But I never lost hope. Today, the same book has sold over one million copies,” she Shenoy.
SIBF 2017, being held at Expo Centre, concludes on Saturday.