The Anuja Factor

Don’t judge a book by its cover, nor by the look of its author, says Anuja Chauhan as she speaks about her books, characters, the publishing business and the writing process itself. The entertaining session “The Anuja Factor” at the fifth edition of Usha presents Mountain Echoes was peppered with lively anecdotes portraying a realistic portrait of the society we live in. For example her Kleptomaniac character in charge of a campaign fund in the book The Zoya Factor, was drawn from real life. Who trusts an entire campaign fund with a Kleptomaniac, you may ask. Well, people do, after all truth is stranger than fiction.

According to the author she gets away with such critical social and political commentary in her books unlike others, because of the book covers! Apparently no one bothers to protest against books with cute lovey-dovey pictures on them. Believing them to be trifle, which is far from the realistic picture of society that Anuja paints in her books.

Similarly, agents and publishers believe that just because an author wears lipstick, she should write dumbed-down books for frivolous girls. There is an attempt to label authors into boxes from Chick-Lit to Sick-Lit. If you weren’t aware, the latter term refers to books dealing with protagonists fighting terminal or not so terminal diseases!

For more fun anecdotes, catch Anuja in the video below.

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