Hema Macherla, author and short story writer is very kindly coming into Wanstead House next Monday 9th July to give a short talk on her craft, what inspires her, how she writes, how to get published and to take questions from learners afterwards.
Hema Macherla was born in the rural village of Atmakur, Andhrapradesh, India. She has published two novels (shortlisted by Richard & Judy/reading group top 10 in the UK), 25 short stories and a number of articles in Indian magazines. She lives with her husband in London and has two grown up children.
My love for writing started when, as a child, I watched my mother burning the midnight oil to write. We didn’t have electricity then in Atmakur, a small village in India where I was born. With her house work done and her children in bed, my mother would sit and write by the light of a kerosene lamp. Her book was not published but her zeal rubbed off on me.
When I came to the UK to an arranged marriage, I spoke no English. I learnt by reading children’s books from the library. Although I had published 25 short stories in India, my first novel in a second language, Breeze From The River Manjeera, was a huge challenge – but I was determined to do it. Now I have written a second novel, Blue Eyes, and have been commissioned to write two short stories for anthologies.
I need to write. I feel restless unless I can put my thoughts on paper. My publisher, Lynn Michell, says I am a born story teller. Maybe she is right because I draw on stories told to me by my grandmother and other elders in my family.
The publication of Breeze From The River Manjeera opened up a whole new world for me with readings, talks and interviews on radio and television in the UK, USA and India. Life is hectic as I fit my writing into the small spaces between domestic duties and the frequent visits of my three grandchildren.
Hema Macherla’s books published by Linen Press