Sugandha Pallan: A writer in the making

Sugandha Pallan

Sugandha Pallan was born and brought up in Delhi, India. Drawn to poetry from a young age, she released her first book ‘Mother, God, Me & The World’ in 2021. The book is a collection of 30 unique philosophical poems in which she explores her relationship with her mother, God, herself and the world around her.

She was awarded the ‘Poet of the Year’ award by Ukiyoto Literary Awards in 2022. Her poems have been published in many national and international anthologies. She has also been a part of several open mics.

Sugandha holds a Master’s degree in English Literature. She earned a Postgraduate Diploma in Journalism from the prestigious Indian Institute of Mass Communication and forayed into journalism soon after.

Sugandha has been a professional journalist with experience in national dailies and the public service broadcaster DD India. Reports and articles written by her have been published in many newspapers and magazines.

Sugandha has recently been in the news for her second book and debut novel ‘Where the Dead Come Alive’ which she is excited about. Now, she is a professional writer working with an audio-series platform as a writer and producer.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

Sugandha Pallan: I was drawn to poetry from a very young age. I have written, directed and acted in many plays at the school and college levels. When it came to higher studies, I chose English Literature as my subject because I was very interested in the same.

It only furthered my knowledge and interest in writing. I have always been fascinated by the concept of poetry. It’s intriguing how people can summarize the most complex emotions in the world in just a few words.

That is the power of poetry. So, I began writing poems in both English and Hindi. Like almost every writer, I am too an overthinker. I mean, you have to be if you want to be a writer. Writing serves as an outlet for all the pent-up emotions that I have.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Sugandha Pallan: I was born with it, I feel. I remember when I was a kid, I used to scribble on the last pages of my school books and notebooks. I had a diary that I kept hidden from my parents in which I used to write the spoofs of Bollywood songs.

I would also come up with advertisement ideas for several products and write them down in my diary.  As I grew up, I started taking it seriously and decided to make a career out of writing.

How many books have you written?

Sugandha Pallan: So far, I have written two books. ‘Mother, God, Me & The World’ is my first book which is a collection of 30 unique philosophical poems. It was released in 2021 and got me an award. ‘Where the Dead Come Alive’ is my debut novel. It’s a supernatural thriller and I am excited for this one.

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

Sugandha Pallan: Remember when people used to keep a diary with them all the time to write whenever they had an idea? Well! The phone has replaced the diary for me. Whenever I have any idea or musing, I immediately write it down. To write the novel, I utilised after-office hours and weekends. Usually, I write in the afternoons or evenings.

How long does it take you to write a book?

Sugandha Pallan: Well! My first novel took me over eight months to write. The ideation and character development took me a year. The ideation, figuring out storyline, research and character development are the things that take time. Once you have the chapter summaries ready, then all it takes is commitment and dedication.

When did you write your first book?

Sugandha Pallan: It was in 2021, in the middle of the pandemic when I decided to utilize the free time that I had. Then I decided to release the poems which I had written over a while, in the form of an anthology. Since it was a self-published book, I dedicated my time to designing the cover and inner pages.

How do books get published?

Sugandha Pallan: Well! My first book was self-published. I went with Notion Press for the same. For my novel, I had started sending the excerpts from my book to the publishers very early on, even before I finished the manuscript.

I got the full manuscript request from a publisher after which I took it even more seriously and started working on the manuscript. After my manuscript was complete, I repeated the process and landed two offers.

What is the most difficult part about writing for you?

Sugandha Pallan: Where to begin from? When I sit to write, the most difficult part is to write the first sentence. I write one sentence and immediately press the backspace button. Being an overthinker, getting lost in your thoughts is another challenge that I have to deal with.

But I have come up with a solution. I have started practising free writing where you just write your thoughts without worrying about grammar or punctuation. And once you are in the mood for writing, you can start with the original task.

What advice would you give new writers?

Sugandha Pallan: The only advice to the new writers is to write! Someone once told me if I wanted to be a writer, I should just be one. Good or bad doesn’t matter. Being one matters. Precision and quality will come with time. But you have to start from somewhere.

 Where can readers purchase your books?

Both are available nationally and internationally on Amazon. Below are the links.

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