There is something extraordinary in every ordinary thing. My journey from the streets of a small town to becoming a bestselling author of world's largest publishing house, Penguin Random House.Sanjeev Ranjan
As a child, what I loved most, was being in my own shell. I loved a world of imagination and everything that helped me escape the mundane or things that exoticized or fantasized the regular and the banality of life of a small town, a restricted world. Having grown up in a small town of Bihar, Siwan where there wasn't much scope for romantic or quixotic explorations, I had to create my own utopias and shangrilas. The moment I realized that the vast world of books could open that door for me through which I couldn't not only re-create and imagine but explore the worlds that have been created earlier and elsewhere and much before time or what I knew of time then.
During the days I read profusely I was branded an introverted nerdy guy, which I really wasn't/ I did talk, but only on paper perhaps. It began with little and petty scribbling on paper, borne out of little boys, the little romantic brushes and at times the sad little things of the heart- a feeling of being unloved and a sad heart break at the tender age of 17 - that couldn't be explained or told. Having few friends, I found my companion in books and my own diary. That is perhaps the subconscious reason why diaries appear in each and every novel of mine. It became a trademark. Following that, finding my own voice was absolutely essential. During my engineering days when I stayed away from home, the distance helped me to love and detached at the same time. The yearning seeped into anecdotes I noted down on a slip of paper or random musings of my own, probably my own story, recalling my past. I didn't realize when it turned into a book. Now, when I look back it feels extremely romantic-the memory of writing the first book "In Course Of True Love". As if it was first and only affair that my heart could commit to. But it was a just beginning. Published writers say finishing the manuscript is only 25% word done. The main battle begins to find the publisher who can give the platform to your voice. Alike everyone right from J. K. Rowling to a simple commercial romantic author, my journey began on a sour note and ended up with fifteen plus rejections letters in my mail box. It's courage that makes all the difference and it made same in my case too when after brief moment of disappoint and frustration, I showed the courage to delete the entire 60,000 words script to make it better and ended up writing 75,000 words script again. I started approaching the publishers again and after few rejections letters again, Srishti Publishers & Distributors showed confidence in my script and in January, 2012, it got released. I was happy but the real joy came when it was recognized, when people, youngsters and adult alike read it and appreciated it. I felt appreciated and confident. Subsequently within a year, it was declared a national bestseller. Though I believe art is art regardless of recognition. Yet, at times a sinking heart heard does need a word or two for validation. It made me humble and understanding. My taste in life became subtle for I understood the human condition- both joy and the human turmoil better.
The feeling of unrequited love and a heart break that made an author, later the love, encouragement and appreciation that I received from readers made me more confident and motivated and I penned down another novel "It's No Longer A Dream (February, 2014) and that was declared in the list of top 10 popular Indian fiction of 2014 by Amazon.in. Later, riding on the success of first two novels, I signed up with world's biggest publishing house Penguin Random House group and my third novel "Just The Way You Are" is released few weeks back.
The professional success that came with my later novels "It's No Longer A Dream (February, 2014)" and is only a part of the entire process and it can come to any writer who has his soul in his work and is authentic. But the transformation it brought in me from puerility to understanding, is something I could have never managed to gather had I not wandered wildly into the magical world if books.