Excitement in the air
My very first official Bloggers’ Meet at the office of the most reputed Publishing Houses left me enlightened, excited, stumped as well as jittery. I will be lying if I say that I was just excited..actually, I was Uber-excited about the meet and was smiling from ear to ear on seeing the invite for the meet from both the Publishing house and WritersMelon. A hazy- smoggy Saturday morning, a short walk to the metro station and an hour and a half long metro ride followed by a bumpy auto ride did not deter my ‘Excited Electrons’, as I finally found myself at the footsteps of THE ‘Harpercollins India’ office in Noida …Yes, I was among the handful of privileged bloggers who got an opportunity to literally have an interaction with an editor, a writer, a tour of the office and check out the inside-out of the facility.
As I entered the conference room, I met four more enthusiastic bloggers like me waiting for the Official start to the meet. While we were getting to know each other through our 30 seconds of fame, Ms.Amrita Talwar – who handles the PR and Marketing, entered the room to inform us that there are some more bloggers on the way who are delayed due to the smog and traffic! Meanwhile, we were given a ‘No-holds’ entry into the official isles by her and she was very friendly and approachable throughout!
The first glimpse of the office left us all ‘WOW’ed and stumped. And we all had the same rhetoric on our lips of ‘This is a Dream Office’! The chic-urban look of the Publishing House was indeed a blessing in disguise on a smoggy morning and the shelves overflowing with ‘bundles of knowledge and entertainment’ was a breath of fresh air!
My fan moment was when I discovered a pic of Rahul Dravid in one of the cubicles!
Once all the bloggers had arrived, we again hurdled inside the conference room where we were taken through the process of ‘Publishing a book’ by Ms.Mansi Subramaniam – Commissioning Editor at Harpercollins India. She is the brain behind many of the wonderful manuscripts that have seen the light of the day. The conversation was inspiring as well as enlightening to say the least. And we all were given a complimentary copy of Yashodhara Lal’s ‘When Love Finds You’. Through her talk, I realised that publishing a book is indeed a bitter-sweet process what with so many rejections, omissions, additions, promotions and multiplications involved! It’s hard work and hard work throughout – by both the writer as well as the publisher. Kudos to each one who toils day and night to churn out these literary delights!
Post this session, we had the most anticipated event of the day – The Lunch..haha…
Sorry, I (rather ‘We’ were) was famished by this time ….
We were provided with sumptuous Chinese food that vanished off the table in a jiffy! The lunch was followed by an interaction with Writer -‘ Yashodhara Lal’ who was gracious enough to answer all our questions very patiently. It was inspiring to listen to this ever smiling lady who shared with us snippets on her family, corporate life, the blogging world, her equation with HarperCollins and her opinion on Independent Publishing.
Five facts about Yashodhara, I bet you did not know, which I got to know during the interaction:
- She is inspired by the talk of John Cleese on creativity
- Her favourite book is ‘The Thorn Birds’
- She would love to try her hand at writing a ‘Non-Fiction’
- Her latest book ‘When Love Finds You’ was written 2-3 years before her other books were written
- She is multi-talented apart from being a Zumba instructor
Cherry on the Cake
Post this wonderful session, we had our tryst with fame during the book signing and photo-ops session followed by wonderful book hampers from HarperCollins. And, did I tell you that we could actually choose a book of our choice from the Distribution room which eventually got upgraded to two books! This, apart from the book hamper, mind you….!
I so loved this meet, the office, the interactions we had that I have resolved not to miss any of such events in the future even if it is conducted on my working day.On a parting note, I would like to re-emphasize what Yashodhara Lal said ‘Happy ending is not important.The Sense of Completion is what is important’.I would rather say that the day ended happily for me with a sense of completion of having had a fruitful interaction with many wonderful bloggers and writers !
Have you had so much fun in any of the bloggers’ meet you have been part of? Do share your experiences with me or leave a link to the blog post recalling those memories and I shall excitingly read through it 🙂