Book: Being an Indian Teenager
Genre: Anthology - Poems, Stories etc
Biographical Info: Muskan Jha is born in Haryana, brought up in Delhi but is a true Bihari at heart. She has done her bachelor’s in biological sciences. Just after finishing her school she got the opportunity to work with a number of Delhi and Bangalore based startups. After getting the privilege to work with several IIM & IIT graduates she learnt that there is no limit to dreams and hard work. She started writing when she was in 11th grade but her professional writing career started 3 years ago. Till now she has worked with 9 companies including a couple of international companies as a content writer and editor. She has also co- authored eight anthologies and is currently working on her debut novel. Except writing, there is only one thing that helps her stay happy and that is teaching. She has been doing that for 3 years now. Her only aim in life is to serve the society by becoming a civil servant.
Interviewer: First of all, I would like to congratulate you on the release of your book – 'Being an Indian Teenager'! How do you feel about it? Tell us something about the book?
Muskan Jha: Thank you so much! I am delighted with the release of Being an Indian Teenager because this is my first anthology as a compiler. As we all know, in today's world being a teenager is not really easy. There are different challenges that we have to face, decisions to make and roads to take. Being a teenager can be hard but at the same time, it is fun. This book is full of stories and poems written by some amazing writers that will take you again to your teenage period. You’ll get to know how it is to be a teenager in India, what problems you have to face during that period and how you can solve those problems.
Interviewer: 'Being an Indian Teenager' is an anthology containing stories, poems and articles. What inspired you to compile this anthology?
Muskan Jha: There are actually two things that inspired me to compile this anthology. I have been teaching for some time now and all of my students are in their teenage so I have seen how they are dealing with this period and what are the problems that they are facing. Also, I completed my teenage just a couple of years ago so I know a lot of thoughts go through our minds during teenage years. I wanted to give authors this opportunity to spill out all those thoughts.
Interviewer: What period of your life do you find you write about most often? (child, teenager, young adult)
Muskan Jha: I think I write equally about the teenage and young adult period.
Interviewer: What books or authors have most influenced your own writing? Who is the author you most admire?
Muskan Jha: There are a lot of authors who have influenced my writing such as Haruki Murakami, Louisa May Alcott, Paulo Coelho, Ruskin Bond, and etc. I admire Naomi Novik the most. Her writing style is phenomenal. Her books are completely different from each other. With each book, she doesn’t only change the content but also the writing style.
Interviewer: Where do you want to see yourself five years from now, in your professional as well as writing career?
Muskan Jha: Professionally, in the next five years I see myself serving the society and the nation as a civil servant and still continuing teaching students. Talking about my writing career, I want to successfully write and publish at least two books in the next five years. One would be fiction and other non-fiction.
Interviewer: What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?
Muskan Jha: In my opinion, while writing one should take care of the choice of words. The vocabulary should be decent yet easy to comprehend. Mechanical correctness is another very important aspect of writing. The write up should be grammatically correct. Lastly, the content should also stand out and the writer needs to make sure that the content resonates with the readers.
Interviewer: What is your message to the young writers who are willing to explore the new dimensions of creative writing?
Muskan Jha: I think one should definitely explore the dimensions of creative writing at least once because it will help you to become a better person. Your thought process will start to evolve and this thought process will not only help you in the writing field but in any field you want to make your mark. In the beginning, you might face some problems such as creative blocks, inconsistency etc. but gradually, these problems will start vanishing. Just make sure to write everyday. It doesn’t matter whether you are writing one sentence or one page just write. Your writing style, content and grammatical accuracy will eventually become better.
Interviewer: Any message for readers regarding the book?
Muskan Jha: Teenage as we all know is one of the most important and memorable periods of a person’s life. This is the period during which we face and feel a lot of things ranging from our changing physical appearance, increasing body weight, parents constantly comparing us to our friends and relatives, peer pressure, anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts and much more for the first time. I just want the readers to read each and every write-up remembering their own teenage period then they will definitely get the essence of the book.
Interviewer: Thanks for your time! It was a pleasure talking to you. I wish you best of luck for the future!
Muskan Jha: Thank you so much! It was a lovely interview.
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