Looking at my baby’s brooding looks and serious expression, I often found myself wondering ‘what on earth is he thinking?’. I was almost certain that he was this close to solve ‘global warming’ or would one day enlighten us about how the life began. After interviewing today’s author, I was delighted to know that I was not alone.
Introducing… Mahak Wadhwani.
Mahak is a mom to a 2-year-old, a blogger, an Engineer, and an MBA. Mahak spent 8 years working in business and technology consulting, before jumping off the corporate ladder and landing headfirst into a life of pooplosions, 3 a.m. feeds, teething and toddler tantrums – a life so exciting that she realized she just had to share her journey with the world.
Let’s get on with the interview. Shall we?
Q. We, moms, often wonder what goes on in the mind of the baby. Was there an ‘I must turn this into a book’ moment? How were you inspired to write this book?
A. As you rightly said, every mom at some point or another has wondered what exactly is going on in her baby’s mind. Many times I have thought to myself that this parenting gig would be so much easier if I could just get a glimpse into my baby’s mind and understand why he is crying or refusing to sleep or rejecting all the food I offer him.
I guess this is where the idea started taking shape in my mind about looking at life from my baby’s eyes. I’ve read several parenting books and blogs, but none of them were driven from the baby’s perspective, so I knew I had something unique. At the same time, I wanted it to be a light and fun read rather than a heavy and preachy parenting book. When I heard about the Blogchatter Ebook Carnival, I realized it was the perfect opportunity.
Q. The child is the father of a man, they say. Did your baby teach you any life lessons?
A. Yes, in fact, the subheading of my blog is “Raising a Parent” because I honestly believe that a child raises a parent and not the other way around. My child has taught me:
- Patience – probably the most important lesson I will ever need as a parent, especially now in the dreaded 2-year-old stage.
- Unconditional love – When my son looks at me, I know he loves me no matter what.
- Resilience – teething, vaccination, fever – that little boy will not let anything get him down and will be back to his active, playful self.
- Try new things and never stop learning – Have you ever watched a baby learning to crawl or walk, never giving up despite repeated falls? They don’t see failure as a set-back and dwell on it, they only move forward.
Q. Is there going to be a sequel to this book? Do we see the baby growing up into a teenager and sharing his thoughts?
A. Haha, well I have had a few readers asking me when the next installment is coming up. As of now, there are no immediate plans. The book was written based on my own parenting experiences and I would like to continue that because that is what makes the narrative more real and relatable for other parents too. As of now, my son is 2 but maybe when he is 5 and I can look back and reminisce about his toddler years, I may be able to write a sequel.
Q. How was your childhood? Tell us about the most treasured childhood memory that you have.
A. I had a wonderful childhood, it was the typical middle-class family of 4 – my parents, my sister and I. At school I was always the reserved one, the frontbencher who didn’t make friends too easily but the few friends I did have are ones who are my friends for life. Much to my sister’s chagrin, I used to follow her around, trying to imitate what she wore and hang out with her friends!
My most treasured memories are of our summer holidays as a family. Being a city girl, I used to long to go out and explore the country, especially the hills. We would often spend weekends in Lonavala, Matheran, Mahabaleshwar, and Panchgani. In the days before the expressway, it was actually quite a long and scenic drive up the mountains. We would run around barefoot in the greenery, walk, climb, cycle and have picnics. It was the best break we could ask for from city life.
Q. Do you hide any secrets in your book that only a few people will find?
That’s interesting. Honestly, I did not think of doing it intentionally. My book is mostly based on my real experiences, though I have added in a few fictional elements to add a dash of humor. I guess only people really close to me will identify what is fact and what is fiction. Hint: the most outrageously funny incidents I have described are actually fact and did indeed take place exactly as I have written them!
Q. If you had to be represented by a character in a cartoon/ movie/ book which one would you be and why?
A. I guess I always identified with Lisa Simpson – reserved and cautious on the outside, but warm, caring and sensitive on the inside; determined, hard-working and detail oriented.
Q. What would constitute a ‘perfect’ day for you?
A. Just last week we had a rainy day here in Mumbai and schools were closed. We spent the whole day at home, getting a lot of quality time together. The morning started with watching the rain with some hot tea and pancakes. Then to keep ourselves busy indoors, we played all sorts of games and even invented a new one ourselves. We had all 3 meals together as a family. When my son napped in the afternoon, I managed to hit the gym and then catch up on some writing. It was a really laid back day when we didn’t get much done, but we spent time together as a family. It sounds simple, but honestly, with our hectic schedules of school, work, daycare we rarely get such time together and so it felt like a pretty perfect day.
Q. How do you overcome Writer’s Block?
By reading. I always find inspiration when I read other people’s writing. I also keep a document with all my writing ideas as and when they strike me so I can look it up whenever I hit a block about what to write. I have also found that writing prompts are a great way to get the creative juices flowing.
Q. Describe your process for research while writing.
As a parenting writer, I have to be very careful about what I am writing because, in the end, it could impact a child. I usually write about my own personal experiences so research as such is limited. I do spend a lot of time speaking to other parents in mom groups, my relatives, and friends, at my son’s school, his pediatrician and teachers. All of that forms the basis of my writing too. Wherever needed, I rely only on a few renowned parenting resources.
Q. Share some valuable tips for publishing and marketing your e-book.
A. I had thought when I was done writing my book, that the majority of the work is over. In fact, I realized that writing was just the start of it. Once your draft is ready, there are a lot of important decisions you need to take about whether you will be hiring an editor or self-editing, self-publishing or not, paperback or ebook, who will design the cover art, etc. It can get overwhelming at first. Make sure you are aware of all your options and talk to those who have done it before. For me, the Blogchatter community helped a lot because I had a platform to ask questions and bounce my ideas around with others who have successfully grown from bloggers to authors.
Marketing is probably the most important element. I have never been too good with marketing myself. I believe in putting my work out there and letting it speak for itself. But you cannot expect readers to discover your book on their own, especially without the backing of a publishing house who does the marketing for you. My biggest tip here would be to let go of any inhibitions and put yourself out there. I went all out marketing it on social media, Whatsapp groups, talking about the book with whomever I met and asking everyone for reviews. It was completely out of my comfort zone, nevertheless completely worth it.
Book Blurb Content: Have you ever wondered what goes on inside your baby’s mind? “Diary of a Baby” is a candid, witty take on life from a baby’s perspective written in the form of diary entries. Each entry is followed by an interpretation of that phase of the baby’s life with anecdotes from the author’s own parenting experiences. Mahak’s GoodReads Author’s page is here.
If you want to read reviews about Mahak’s book you can read Roma’s review, Balka’s review, & Nupur’s review. You can also hear straight from the horse’s mouth, watch her dramatic reading video before buying the book from Amazon.
@babyandbeyondin, do comment and let us know how this interview experience was for you. And do read, share and comment on your fellow author’s interviews as well. Wishing you all the best for the eBook and all your future endeavors. Wishing you lots of success!!
Fellow authors, we would love to know what you thought about the interview. Do comment and share your thoughts.
You can read previous interviews in the series here-