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Q&A with Senior Srinija Darapureddy and Junior Jahnavi Avula, writing to inspire

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Senior Srinija Darapureddy and Junior Jahnavi Avula

Can you tell us about your journey as a writer and how you got started publishing a book? 

First over summer break, Srinija and I, were reading articles and we learned about gender disparity (in) STEM and how there’s more men than women. We got interested on that topic and then we just got the idea to write a book to inspire young women, young girls, to pursue a career in the STEM fields.

What inspired you to write your book and what messages or themes were you hoping to convey to your readers? 

The thing that inspired me the most, I would say, is the gender disparity to educate people about it, but also for me the fact is that Indian women inspire me to go after my goals and achieve things. So I wanted to make sure that everyone has some sort of role model. that’s why our book is about women of color so that every person has something to look up to.

Do you have a specific writing routine or method that works best for you? 

Writing this, I think we just kind of divided up the work and then we made sure we set deadlines for ourselves, like we need to finish (writing about) a certain amount of women by a certain time, yeah, just setting deadlines and making sure you’re on top of it. 

What challenges did you face during the writing and publishing of your book and how did you overcome them? 

I think the most challenging part was publishing itself because we self-published on Amazon and it took forever and then we ran into a lot of technical difficulties so I had to call customer service like five times and we were really frustrated, but it ended up working out nicely. 

Share some insight into your favorite character or chapter from your book and why it’s meaningful to you?

The person I really like is Adriana Oampo. She discovered the crater that was caused by (the) asteroid that killed the dinosaurs. Srinija and I went to elementary schools to talk about our book. And when I talked about her, all the little girls were super interested because it’s about asteroids. And, I don’t know, I just find that really interesting because like everyone liked her.

 

Senior Srinija Darapureddy

How do you overcome writer’s block or creative slumps? 

If I don’t have ideas or anything, I just take a break and then I come back the next day. 

What role did research play in your writing, especially since your work is based on certain subjects?

Research was the biggest thing. We spent about a month just watching YouTube videos and reading various articles about these women so that we (could) get enough information to write our version of their story. 

How was being a published author changed your perspective on the writing process?

Our book was only 45 pages and it took us a lot of effort just to write that. I think of the people that write longer books (that are) 300 to 400 pages (and) how much effort and time they put into it so it’s made me appreciate other books more.

For aspiring writers, what advice would you offer about getting a successful book published? 

I would say work with someone that you also know. Don’t do it alone.



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