Why I write – Hansa Pankhania discusses Chakraji and Calm Callum and her writing inspirations
Chakraji and Calm Callum is Hansa Pankhania’s first-ever children’s book. It was released last month, and Hansa recently spoke to fellow author and life coach Maria Illiffe-Wood about writing the book and her inspiration for being an author.
How did you start writing?
I have always loved to write blogs and articles on topics close to my heart and soul, but my first book just happened. It was born from a compilation of case studies for our company newsletters.
I was looking for ways to reach out to people and make a positive difference to people and the planet. My vision and mission is to pass on natural simple tips, that contribute to wellbeing and happiness. Books are a great way of doing this.
Where do the ideas come from for your books?
I am inspired by all people around me and by topical issues that are close to my heart. For example, my first series of books ‘From stress to success’ was inspired by my clients and managers I was training. There were common themes associated with work-related stress.
My fourth book, which is my memoir, was inspired by my friends who were intrigued by my multicultural identity. I’m an Indian origin woman, born in Africa and living in England. This book is the first in my series for children. It was inspired by my granddaughter, and my concern that children are losing their hearts and souls to this crazy commercial world.
So my inspiration comes from whatever is going in the lives of the people around me, plus what’s happening in the world.
What is your writing process?
I start with free-flowing writing. Whatever is going on in my head about personal stuff, other people and wider topics. For me it is a cathartic process. Then I shape it up and give it structure. This depends on the themes that are emerging and any additional research.
What is your editing process?
I have a group of editors who work with the different genres I write in. I usually send my first draft for structural feedback, then work on several edits until we have a final manuscript. The copy edit is done at the end by another editor who can look at it with fresh eyes.
What are your gremlins and how do you push through them?
I had lots of them initially. Is what I am writing worth it? Am I good enough? Am I showing off and being arrogant? It’s a classic case of imposter syndrome.
Thankfully, now there are less of those about writing, but a few about marketing and sales which I am overcoming gradually.
How did you overcome them?
There’s something within that compels me to go forward and seek help. Nobody around me growing up had written books or had a business, but there is something within me that pushes me on to the next level. I reach out and ask people for help. I join groups, read up on the things I do not know and move on from there. When I get feedback saying that my writing has helped or made someone’s life more positive and happier, then this inspires me to keep going on and on.
How did you publish your book?
This is my seventh book. The first six have been published in different ways from self-publishing to traditional. After experimenting with all that I gained the confidence to set up my own publishing house for this one. So my children’s book, Chakraji and Calm Callum is published by my own publishing press.
What one tip would you offer to an aspiring author?
Lots of people say they would love to write a book but do not actually sit down and write regularly. I did this myself for years, I wanted to write a book, but did not sit down and actually write regularly.
I believe everybody has a book within them, everybody has something unique to share that will help better another person’s life. But they have to put pen to paper and write regularly.
My one tip would be to write about anything you love doing and just keep writing until you have several thousand words. Then speak to people who can help to shape it into a manuscript, publish and market.
Who are your favourite Authors?
Dipak Chopra – I can resonate with his philosophy and his books have turned my life around. I have been to his centre in Carlsbad, California.
Anita Desai – I enjoyed reading her Fasting and Feasting and The Journey to Ithaca. Her characters and locations are taken from the east and west which I can relate to.
Jane Austin – Her books are classics and enjoyable after working with stressed people in my day job.
Finally, what inspires you?
What gets me up in the morning is a craving to help people to be happy, healthy and live their life to their full potential. I do this through one-to-one work, group training and through my books. I am also blessed to have a team of people who share this vision and are part of my wellbeing consultancy.
Chakraji and Calm Callum is available to buy HERE
There is a special discounted rate for bulk purchases by primary schools and children’s charities. Please contact us via our website www.aumconsultancy.co.uk/contact or text us on +44(0)7888747438 to discuss your requirements.