Friday, October 4, 2019

A Brief Discussion with Roshmi Roy about Climbing the Beanstalk - a Self-help Book

These days it is difficult to spot a self-help book, that can accompany you till the last page. Roshmi Roy did a wonderful job by delivering one such master piece. Three days back we reviewed "Climbing the Beanstalk: It’s Up to You to Reach the Top" by Roshmi. We approached her to know how she has conceptualized the book. And what turned out was a brief interview. So without wasting time, let us take you through points we discussed.
So ma'm can you tell us about your educational background?
I did my schooling in La Martiniere for Girls, Kolkata. This is a school founded by Major-
General Claude Martin, a Frenchman. This accounts for my interest in the French language.In those days we took the Senior Cambridge Examination when passing out of school. I won a Rotary International scholarship to study in the U.S. and my first year in college was spent at the School of Ozarks, Missouri. I returned to India to complete my studies, and went on to do M.A and Ph.D  in English from the University of Calcutta.
What were your other activities during school/college?
I was never much of a sportsperson. But I always participated in the dance and theatrical programmes. I also enjoyed painting. I did not continue my dancing beyond the student years, but taking part in theatre and directing plays has been a lifelong passion.
What are some of the day jobs you have held?
I started my career as an English teacher quite early in life and steadily gained seniority _ from schools to colleges, and lastly I was Professor of English and Business Communication in management institutes. I have also worked as educational co-ordinator and content writer. After I did my certification as a Personality Development and Soft Skills Trainer, I switched over to training.
Do you read much, and if so who are your favourite authors?
I have always been fond of reading. I became a member of the British Council Library and the American Center Library, from where I would borrow books.I was a member of a book club called Bookpeckers, which meets every month to discuss a book that has previously been decided upon. During my schooldays I was fond of P.G. Wodehouse and George Bernard Shaw. Now I read a variety of authors like Paulo Coelho, Margaret Atwood,  Amitav  Ghosh and Arundhati Roy. I found the books of Mitch Albom inspiring.
When did you start writing?
I started writing articles for my college newsletter. I also wrote about my travels and sent them to newspapers along with photographs. I contributed to college magazines wherever I have taught. I also wrote poetry in my spare time, but that was kept strictly private.
When did you decide to become a writer?
The desire to be a writer has always been there, but this book happened recently because I felt I wanted to share my knowledge about personality development and soft skills  with others. I think the best way to share is through a book.
What are your ambitions for your writing career?
I would like to venture into short stories, or maybe a novella. The novel is on the faraway horizon. It is always better to start with achievable goals.
Is this your debut work? If not so, what have you written?
Since I am into theatre, I have mostly written plays. These were not for publication, but were performed by the students of the drama groups in various colleges. I have dramatized two novels_ Right  Ho, Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse and Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie, which we were going to perform and there was no drama script available. What I have published is my Ph.D  thesis on feminine consciousness, which is entitled ‘Sisterhood of Women’.
In what genre are your books?
They come under different genres. The current book is in the motivational category, and the previous book can be classified as literary criticism.

Can you describe your current book in a few lines? What is it about?
This is a motivational book to make you realize it is within your power to realize your dreams. You must be willing to seize the opportunities that come your way and take the risks involved. You also need to discover where your talent lies, and find the career that you are best suited for.
This book will guide you by showing the ways in which you can improve yourself, and acquire the skills required to shine among your peers.
Where did you get the idea for this book?
This idea came to me while teaching soft skills to students. I found that many students who are brilliant in their subject area are totally lacking when it comes to soft skills, which includes communication skills, interpersonal relations, building self-esteem, leadership skills and others. So I thought a book that sets out everything in a very simple way would be useful for career –seekers and even those who are planning to make a career change in mid-life. Actually, there is no particular age when you can decide to take up the career of your choice.
How much research did you do for this book?
I did read books by the motivational masters like Dale Carnegie and Norman Vincent Peale, and also current authors like Robin Sharma, but I have given my own personal take on the topics.
Have you planned on a book release?
The book launch is planned for the 18th October at Atta Galatta, Koramanagala, Bangalore, 5.30  _ 7pm.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Make a habit of writing _ start with a journal where you jot down your own observations. Remember, the best writing is authentic, based on your own experiences. Read a lot, but write in your own style.
If you have missed the book's review you can check here.
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