Her 27 years of career has seen her working in many diverse fields because of her education and her corporate training, these fields include instructional design, project management, and pre-sales activities to name a few. When she is not working, she indulges herself in traveling, painting, reading, or just connecting with people.
Her first novel was published in the year 2017 under the name of Phoenix. She currently lives in New Delhi, India.she has also executed a large volume of edit reviews, supervised academic curriculum development, and conducted training workshops in soft skills and technical writing.
Her books are always women-centric and with the help of her writing, she aims to bring about a positive change in the lives of women around her.
Her first book Phoenix speaks about the sensitive and much relevant issues of gender discrimination, her Second book Skeins is also about women discovering their financial and social independence and learning to live life on their own terms.
Her third book takes you to different lifestyles – like the drawing rooms of people in upscale Delhi to conference halls of corporate offices to the one-room tenements in the slums of Delhi or Kolkata. Each story of the book is beautifully crafted and has a contrasting character.
Ms. Gupta’s stories are not about the protagonists alone, it is about the masters and mistresses for whom the protagonist works that adds beauty to the stories.
Being a voracious reader herself, Richa likes to read a lot and she counts Veronica Henry and Kamila Shamsie among her recent favorites. However, the one book that truly inspired her is Irving Stone’s “The Agony and the Ecstasy” which is based on the life of Michelangelo.
|Tell us something about yourself. What are your likes and dislikes, your tastes and preferences?|
|I am a literary and artistic person who is fond of reading, painting, writing, travelling and viewing good movies and cultural shows in dance, music and theatre. Apart from writing, I love to paint and have churned out many portraits and abstract compositions, mainly acrylic and oil paints on canvas. I also love letting my hair down once in a while with close friends. I hate false pretenses and insincerity.|
|Last time, we interacted you were going to take a sabbatical for your son’s marriage? How did it go?|
|I did take a break from writing in December, 2018 and May-June, 2019 to make preparations for my son’s engagement on 23rd December, 2018 and his marriage on 9th June, 2019. To accommodate the events, I also switched to writing short stories that did not require continuity across chapters. Both the events were really enjoyable and joyful.|
|Tell us something about your latest read ‘Slices of Life’. Your last book ‘Skeins’ was about 16 different women who travel together on a trip to Spain and Portugal. What makes ‘Slices of Life’ different from your other books?|
|‘Slices of Life’ is a collection of short stories on diverse themes about people around us such as an urban housewife looking for a suitable cook, a thieving maid, a bride-to-be planning her marriage, an adulterous husband, a young girl awaiting love, a professional with a flaw, a woman whose talent has been buried and a marginalized family affected by the lockdown.
These stories have been embedded in a variety of genres ranging from bathos and social satire to grim realism, Sci-Fi, and a whodunit. It is different from my other books because it is a collection of diverse short stories instead of a novel.
|How did the writer in you take to Covid-19? Did you make the most of the imposed lockdown?|
|Though I had written most of the stories included in ‘Slices of Life’ earlier, I wrote the story ‘Dusk’ in April during the Covid-19 lockdown. I also used the period of lockdown to edit and finalize the stories in the collection so that ‘Slices of Life’ could be published on June 24, 2020.
After its publication, I have been busy with such interviews, so this has been quite a busy period for me. I also used the lockdown period to develop as an artist as I churned out 10 large paintings of textured acrylic and oil on canvas.
|Your 2018 favorites – ‘A Gentleman in Moscow’ by Amor Towles and ‘Pachinko’ by Min Jin Lee were immediately added to our TBR. What books are you recommending this year?|
|I would recommend Gail Honeyman's debut novel ‘Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine’, the psychological thriller ‘The Girl on the Train’ by Paula Hawkins and the memoir ‘Educated’ by Tara Westover. I was shaken by the dystopian world depicted by Margaret Atwood in ‘The Handmaid’ and its sequel ‘The Testaments’.|
|Who are your favourite Indian authors?|
|The books I loved by Indian authors include ‘The Palace of Illusions’ by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, ‘The Twentieth Wife’ by Indu Sundaresan and ‘Jorasanko’ by Aruna Chakravarti.|
|If you were to give one most important tip to aspiring Indian writers, what would it be and why?|
|Aspiring writers should impartially assess their own work, learn from valid criticism and discard invalid comments. Some critics like to sit in judgment over others though they aren’t capable of any creative output themselves. This is important else writers will get disheartened by adverse comments and won’t have the steam to refine their craft or move on to their next project.|
|Three different books, three different experiences. Which is the one you hold closest to your heart?|
|My last publication is always the one most important to me at the moment|
|Any other writing projects that you are currently working on?|
|I have written some more short stories and will publish another collection of short stories in early 2021. The novel I am working on will take much longer.|