LAKSHMI MITTER, WRITER AND ILLUSTRATOR
“A writing course changed things for me”, says 38 year old Lakshmi Mitter, a post graduate in Economics and Management Research. Lakshmi decided to take a break from her job at an MNC to enjoy motherhood, thinking she would return someday to corporate life. But it was during that break she participated in a writing course and discovered the writer in her.
Lakshmi started writing for The Deccan Herald on a myriad of topics like Economics, Finance, etc. and also contributed stories for children to various leading newspapers. She found that writing for children gave her immense happiness and decided that, that is what she wanted to devote her time to.
Excited that she had found her calling, Lakshmi began churning out several children’s stories and eagerly awaited for calls from publishers. But, she soon realized that she needed to take matters in her own hands and went down the path of self-publishing. Lakshmi has so far written and illustrated six books (five which are available on Amazon).
Yet another turning point was when Lakshmi’s friend’s son asked her to write a book based on him and his friends as heroes. She sportingly obliged and created a custom story for the little ones and they were over the moon. The idea was so unique and appealed so much to Lakshmi that she decided to broaden the scope of her work and started writing and illustrating Custom Picture Books for reluctant readers.
You might ask, why custom picture books when there are already so many books available for children. But Lakshmi explained that each child is different and has his or her own interests and reading levels. The books that Lakshmi custom-writes are written according to the reading level of the child to make it easy for her to read. The reader would be the sole owner of the book and will not be available for sale anywhere (unless additional copies are requested by the parents).
Reading all of the above may seem as if Lakshmi has had it easy from the start, but she is quick to correct that notion and told me that, “Receiving polite rejections after rejections for manuscripts sent, with no reason whatsoever was frustrating. The publishers would always say it is a nice story but does not fit into their publishing requirements. But I never gave up!” She suggests that all aspiring writers do the same and stay determined because, “Life has a knack of pushing you to new lows each time. But these are the lows that propel you forward to new heights. If you believe in something strongly and are passionate about something, don’t let anything stop you from achieving it!”