Interview with Author Neelam Saxena Chandra.

Hello everyone!

I’m delighted to announce that I got the opportunity to interview Neelam Saxena Chandra, the author of The Red Diary.

I had the most amazing time, talking to her her about her book The Red Diary.

Make sure to check out the full interview below along with the link to buy her book.

1) When did you first realize that you wanted to be an author?

I started writing poems when I was in Grade 6th and ever since then, there was a hidden desire to be an author. However, I never thought that it’s practically feasible. The publishing of my poems in school days did make me feel on cloud nine, but I still didn’t have the confidence that I could have my own book. In between, I didn’t get time to send my poems/stories for publication initially due to my studies and then my job and looking after my family. Finally, when my daughter was slightly older, I once again began sending my poems and stories to various well-known magazines and their acceptance finally instilled the confidence that I can and began working hard towards finding my path for my newly acquired dream of being an author.

2) What was inspiration for your book The Red Diary?

I normally love to write about social issues and how they affect relationships. However, I don’t wish to paint the pages grey and black with the difficulties only. My stories are inspirational – how the protagonist carves out his/her path despite all odds. “The Red Diary” is a story of an orphan, his desire to find his family, his love story and finally moving inch by inch towards success by acceptance and forgiveness.

3) The Red Diary’s blurb sounds like an interesting read. Tell us more about your book?

Rihaan spends his days in an orphanage called ‘Ashiyana’ often wondering why no couple ever comes to adopt him and save him from a life of hardships, pain and starvation. He has a soft corner for Ina, but encourages her to go when a seemingly good family chooses to adopt her. He realizes what she meant to him only after she leaves Ashiyana without even informing him. Ashiyana has to pass through a turbulent period when Mrs Patel dies and Ms Aditi takes over. This brings him closer to Shivi.Suddenly, out of the blue, he has a visitor in the form of Arpita, who claims to be his mausi and takes him away to a mansion where his grandmother stays. His grandmother insults him, shuns him and is even ready to charge at him, which makes him feel undesired and unwanted. He realizes that his parents are dead, but Arpita adopts him and they shift to her flat. Finally, the drama unfolds before him on his 21st birthday when Arpita presents him the diary written by his mother. For knowing further, please read the book.

4) When you develop characters do you already know who they are before you begin writing or do you let them develop as you go?

Though different novels came up in a different manner, but mostly I try to develop the plot first and then develop the characters accordingly.

5) Any advice for the budding authors?

Don’t expect your first book to be a best-seller and don’t accept that you will earn millions. In our country at least, there are more writers than readers, and one is often fooled into believing that you will become a superstar once you get your first book publish. The truth is somewhere in between. If you keep improving yourself, do a proper market survey, have something unique to tell and have that extra zeal in you – you will be successful. Keep reading and keep writing.

6) Finally, can you tell us something about what are you currently working on? Any exciting novel, short stories or poetry collection we should be on look out for?

I am working on a short story collection in Hindi titled “Rang bhara tohfa”. I am sure that you will love the interesting stories that I have included in it.

About the author and Poet:

Neelam Saxena Chandra works as Additional Divisional Railway Manager, Pune. She is an Engineering graduate from VNIT and has done her Post Graduation Diploma in IM&HRD and also in Finance. She has completed her summer course in Finance from London School of Economics. She has authored 4 novels, 1 novella and 6 short story collections, 31 poetry collections and 13 children’s books to her credit. She is a bilingual writer; writing in English and Hindi. She holds a record with the Limca Book of Records -2015 for being the Author having the highest number of publications in a year in English and Hindi. She has won II prize in a poetry contest organized by American Embassy and in a National poetry contest organized by Poetry Council of India, 2016. She has received, Sohanlal Dwivedi Puraskar for children’s literature by Maharashtra state Hindi Sahitya Akademi for the year 2018, Humanity International Women Achiever Awards 2018, Bharat Nirman Literary award in 2017, Premchand award by Ministry of Railways, Rabindranath Tagore International Poetry award, Soninder Samman, Freedom award by Radio city for Lyrics along with other awards and honors. She was listed in Forbes as one among 78 most popular authors in the country in 2014.

Author’s page –

About the book :

The Red Diary” is the story of a young lad Rihaan, who stays in an orphanage Ashiyana, desperately longing to find his parents, who, he is sure, exist in some part of the world. His best friend, Ina, is adopted by a family, and she leaves Ashiyana despite her wishes, since Rihaan expects her to. Later, Rihaan, does find his blood-relatives, but not his parents. His mausi, Arpita adopts him and he shifts to her place. He tries to find out more about his parents, but Arpita tells him that she will be telling him about them only after he is twenty-one. What’s the mystery behind his missing parents which Arpita has kept secretly hidden in “The Red Diary”? Also, will his quest to find the ever-illusive Ina end? What will happen to Shivi, who gives him company after Ina leaves Ashiyana? What will happen to the personal life of Arpita amidst these harsh realities of life?

Book buying link : The Red Diary

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