Hello everyone, and welcome to the first entry in my author interview series!
Today, I am interviewing Smriti Bhatia, author of The Chocolate Alphabet!, a non-fiction, encyclopedia-style book chock full of fun facts and interesting information about chocolate and our relation to it. Not only is Smriti a published author, she is also a professional chocolate artisan, and has won awards for her chocolate making! As a chocolate enthusiast myself, I couldn’t wait to hear what she had to say about her book and her writing process.
Without any further ado, let’s get to the interview, so we can all learn more about chocolate!! Um, I mean, Smriti. :P
Hey Smriti! Let’s start off with a deep, probing question. What is the one question that you wish people would ask you about your latest book?
Why this book, what is different in it that we should definitely read, and if we don’t what will we be missing on!
Luckily I think I’ve got those covered! So, on the flip side, which typical author interview question do you hate the most? (I won’t be offended if you choose one of mine. :P)
Lol that is a good question J, but till date I haven’t encountered any, and that could be because I love answering all of them! For me it’s communication, which is always fruitful in any way, and if you don’t like a question, choose a better way to answer it.
Great answer! Now can you give us a short description of your book or books?
The book (The Chocolate Alphabet!) is about the language of chocolates and how it relates to almost everything and everyone in this world. Every alphabet (letter) from A to Z has been picked to connect it with chocolate, some facts and myths have been collated under one roof, and recipes and history with science behind them have been talked about as well. Not to miss is a chapter with the letter “Q” which consists of a quiz and will provide loads of fun and knowledge. There are hilarious moments too with some puns and quotes to make book reading fun, along with information. It is a mini encyclopedia in its own way. For instance alphabet “A” will describe aroma of chocolates, “B” will talk about the chocolate beautification industry and so on till “Z”. Have you wondered ever what is the reason behind chocolates destressing you, or did you know that chocolate museums exist? There are way too many things to be unveiled in this book..
Who would you say is your target audience for this book? What do you think will appeal to them about The Chocolate Alphabet?
Since it is chocolates, it is applicable for every age group with any domain. It is an all-time favorite food which is sinfully divine and delicious. The book can be fun and informative for kids as well as adults. This can be an education base for schools or cookery classes. Corporations can also target these with the hobby workshops that are arranged within the organizations. This is one book which can be sailed across almost anywhere in this world; any field, any age/gender without a thought. The only tip here would be “to have something chocolatey in your hand while reading this book, as you would not be able to resist the temptation”!
Is there any famous author that inspires you, or that you admire?
I read a lot of genres hence have many authors whom I may be fond of.
Your book is in the Non-fiction genre. What drew you to this genre? Do you also like to read books in this genre?
I have been fond of writing since childhood, but never thought I would publish [a book]! Reading has always been my “peace of mind” time. What drew me to this is very simply my passion for chocolates and the zeal to share that bit with the world. I typically read motivational, spiritual, stories, mysteries and mythological.
Since you say you have been fond of writing since you were a child, let’s discuss your writing process now. First, when you write a book, do you plan out everything beforehand, or do you let the story follow its own course?
Well, generally plan the strategy and the outline for the book. Filling in the skeleton is more flowing than writing at random. Once the outline is set, I let it free flow. My work will involve a lot of research before the word goes out for printing.
Do you have any quirky writing habits?
I guess not J, I just write whenever and wherever. My phone, paper and pen are always the affected ones when I feel like writing!
Do you have any writing tips for other writers?
Just pen down whatever you feel or think. Do not think if what you are writing is good enough. Anything written with heart, research and a basic strategy/plan will click somewhere or the other. So be patient and the connect shall happen eventually.
That’s great advice! So what would you say is the best way to market your book? With which method have you had the most success so far?
The best way is to build your relationship/connect with your audience. Even if that means one has to get down to field work, events or traveling – it is something you can’t do without.
Now for something every aspiring writer will want to know: how did your book come to be published? What was your journey to publication like? Did you get a lot of rejection letters before you finally saw your name in print?
My book was first published through a well-known self-publication. Over time, I had plans to redesign it and went through a fresh process of finding another publisher. The redesigned book is scheduled to be launched on 25th Mar 2017. Honestly, as we all know publishing is never a straight and easy process. It can drain you to no limits with no responses, rejections and follow ups. It is easy to say “be patient, it shall happen” at this juncture, but this is hard to follow and believe in. It is a challenging road to initially find a publisher and then work mutually with them.
Is being a published author everything you dreamed it would be? If not, how is it different? Is there anything you would change about it?
It is one of those dreams I wanted to live. Like I said before, it was never my plan to become a published author. Over time, yes, it became a part of the milestones I wanted to accomplish. My dreams had been to be work and grow in the IT industry which is fulfilled. Towards the later phase, I wanted to move to entrepreneurship, which is why I decided to pick my passion and hobby, convert it into profession. Along with a published author, I am a chocolate artisan and a chocolate trainer.
My strength is to [create] chocolates and [experiment with] designs and themes because I believe in innovations and magical flavors. Through my classes, I pass on the knowledge and fun to everyone as chocolate learning and making is absolute fun!
That was very inspiring! Thank you so much for sitting down to do this interview, Smriti. I look forward to reading your book, and I’m sure everyone who reads this interview will too! : )
The paperback version of The Chocolate Alphabet! launches this Saturday, March 25th, 2017, but you can order the ebook now from the links below. You can also follow the other links to find Smriti on Facebook, Goodreads, and other sites!
Imagine that every alphabet from A-Z can be linked with chocolates? Every letter has multiple relations with chocolate viz-a-viz Aroma/Addiction, History/ Heritage, Truffles/ Tips and so on. Did you know that Hershey’s Chocolate center exists where you can ride around and see the real world of chocolates? Or Chocolate Museums exist? The book would give you an insight about things you may or may not imagine! How it has expanded to the beautification industry and has reached our rooms as pleasing aromas. Why are women more attracted to chocolates, what is the chemical connection to our brain, why is it a popular gift for people in love, why does it make us feel delighted when we grab it under stress and the book would just let you unveil deeper and deeper.
About the Author:
Smriti is a Chocolate artisan, an entrepreneur and a person with complete passion for chocolates and chocolate making. She is not just a chocolate diva but an avid writer. Her book can be read and purchased from Amazon, the ebook version for which is an Amazon bestseller. The book written by her on chocolates is also based on a unique concept, because she believed that the readers should have a one stop place to find quick information about chocolate with loads of fun. She didn’t want it to be a routine cookery book, science or history behind chocolates. Why keep the knowledge, passion and fun with yourself when there is so much to share with the world?
She has also been awarded for chocolate making at Aahar India Pragati Maidan, the biggest culinary forum of the international standard. This ceremony takes place in the presence of renowned chefs worldwide.
She believes in innovating stuff to make the addiction to chocolates a bliss for all chocoholics. Her motive is to see that one smile on her client’s face. Smriti teaches the art of chocolate making in one of the most interactive ways, as chocolate making is really fun!
You can follow Smriti on Facebook, and you can find out more about her and her dessert parlor, Choco House, at the following links:
Are you an author? If you’d like to be interviewed too, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!