Sirisha Billa is the first daughter of our good friend Ramesh Billa. I have a special affinity towards Sirisha as she was the first baby news from a friend of mine.
We were all young and fresh out of college trying out different ventures at our career when Ramesh my colleague announced he had just had a baby girl the previous day! "Congratulations! Where is the sweet?" was my first response and poor Ramesh hadn't thought of that. However, in an hour or so he returned with a box of sweets to share with all.
Sirisha is now 13 and just as the title suggests, going 30!! Sirisha now has a new title - an author - with the publication of her debut fancy novel Anachronessence. Sirisha is also a great artist and excels in her studies. She is sure a jewel for her parents and a pride for all of us.
The least I can do is 'show her off' and the best you can do is encourage her. Here's Ms.Sirisha one-on-one with NRIGirl talking about her book...
? Congratulations Sirisha and welcome to NRIGirl blog. Appreciate your time and willingness to share with the readers about your book Anachronessence. Can you tell us what it's about and how it all started? ! Anachronessence is basically about a girl who gets caught in two worlds, with two souls living inside her, and two major legacies to uphold--the one that Mother Nature left behind and the one that her true past life left behind. Mix in a trained anakro-assasin, a society she thinks mad, and a group of people that want her dead and not to be reincarnated again, and you have--voila!--Anachronessence.
I guess it all started when I was studying Greek roots in order to do better for a spelling bee. So I was reading the book, and I discovered the word anachronism, which led me to combine some roots and create the word anachronessence. I didn't start writing right then, but instead, it went into my archives. A year or so later, I picked the word up again and created the world of Anachronessence. It took months and months, but I didn't give up, and look where it got me, right?
? What is the inspiration for your book title? What does it mean? ! As I explained before, Anachronessence is a combination of some Greek words and my inspiration for creating it was the word anachronism. Anachronism means either "an error in chronology" or "a person or a thing that is chronologically out of place."
But in this case, Anachronessence means just the essence of a person or thing that keeps going on and on, and is reincarnated. The out of place part comes from the fact that even if this person's essence was born in year 900 b.c. or something, and it is alive now, it is not in its right place.
? Does the main character in the book ever so slightly resemble you? ! Yes, Aydan--the main character does indeed resemble me sometimes. I tried to make it so that people could relate to Aydan. I wanted to make her real to the reader, so I thought first to make her real to me first. So yes, in some aspects, Aydan resembles me and some of the incidents in this story have actually happened to me.
? Do you believe in the multiple personality stuff that you have written about? ! Totally. I believe in anachronessences and I am proud. Anakros can totally be real. Most people believe in an afterlife, a heaven--and I do too. But why not the heaven be the same place, different time? This way, you can't make the same mistakes you made because you have the lives experience and you can live life to its fullest.
? Which age group this book is aimed at? ! I think this book is aimed at people in middle school. I wrote it so it was complicated enough that maybe an advanced fifth-grader could read it, or an average ninth-grader. Or anyone in between!
? A lot of writers struggle with rejection, unsupportive friends or family members, mixed reviews, and their own insecurities. How do you handle that? ! Well, lemme tell ya. I am not a 'lot of writers.' Even though some close people used to believe that my writing was a waste of time, I enjoyed it and I believed I could do it, and here I am. My family was very supportive once they found out how important this was to me. As for mixed reviews, I like constructive criticism and I like knowing that at least this person read the book. My own insecurities? Well I guess the only insecurity I have is that an angry mob will knock down my door and demand to know why I wrote such a crappy book...or something equally hurtful. Besides that, nada. I love writing and that's that.
? What are your goals for the future? Do you have another story on the boiling pot? ! My goals for the future are to complete my studies, write and publish a couple more books, and become famous enough to get my book into a movie! Whoa, wouldn't that be hot? And yeah, I have another story on the boiling pot. It's completely different from Anachronessence, but I love it. :)
? What would you like to say to writers who are reading this interview and wondering if their voices and visions matter enough to share? ! I say "If you want to be heard, you will be." It took me months and months to get this right, and when I finally did, the satisfaction makes me think...oh yeah, it was all worth it. To be able to tell my friends, "Hey guys, my book's out!" is an honor you won't want to miss. And I say "If your vision is strong enough, if you're gutsy enough, and if you've got the support of your loved ones, you can do it. No matter who tells you you can't, don't listen. Look at me--I have a laptop and a hardworking dad and I got my book published didn't I?"
? Would you like to share some tips for aspiring writers on getting their work published? ! Psh, yeah. No one can hurt you unless you let them. When people tell you to give up, keep going. I don't know about you, but I enjoy writing and I want to be able to do this for the rest of my life. I'm thirteen years old, and I did it. But only because I gave up that day with my grandmother to go sightseeing and made some personal sacrifices of my own. You have to be persistent and on top of that, determined. Keep bugging your family until they listen. "Hey Dad! Hey Mom! This is what I want to do!"
? I understand the book is available on amazon.com through which I ordered my copy. If someone wants a signed copy, how can interested parties contact you? ! I guess you'd call my dad?