Jahnavi Chintakunta is author of non-fiction self-help book, Ctrl+Alt+Del (Transform your problems into accomplishments). In this interview she tells us how being a Toastmaster led her to write the book and discusses what sets her book apart from other books in the genre.
Don’t forget to grab your copy of Ctrl+Alt+Del on Kindle! It will be available for free on Amazon from July 29th through July 31st. You may also follow Jahnavi on her blog, Recharge your day and her Facebook page.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m Jahnavi. I am an electrical engineer turned software engineer turned author. My electrical engineering career was born out of necessity, and the following transformation to software engineer happened owing to the IT boom. Circumstances and luck played a role in both these cases. However, the transition to author was born of out of a choice to reinvent myself.
Tell us about your book.
My book Ctrl+Alt+Del (Transform your problems into accomplishments), as the name says, is about converting hurdles in your life into stepping stones to success, and thereby thriving in your life. It’s a step-by-step approach for a wholesome and abundant life filled with success and happiness.
Tell us about the context in which this book was written.
I am a Toastmaster (Toastmasters is a Non-profit organization which helps in developing public speaking and leadership skills). Every year in toastmasters, there is an International speech contest where the speaker has to speak for 5 to 7 minutes about any topic. When I participated in the club level for the first time in February 2013, my speech title was ‘Ctrl+Alt+Del’, and I spoke about how I had once been able to overcome a personal trauma by diverting my thoughts to more productive avenues, and thereby getting through what would have otherwise been a worrisome period .I was the first runner-up of the contest.
I felt that I had more ideas to share about this concept and that it also needed a bigger audience. So I started penning my thoughts, resulting in this book.
How did you come up with the title of your book?
As mentioned above, I was preparing for my speech in the contest. There is a rule of three in speaking i.e if you say something in three words or three parts, it is more effective than other number of things. This principle also applies to writing. I had divided my speech content into 3 parts. I needed a title which connected these 3 parts. Then, suddenly I got that idea. I don’t know exactly how. May be I got that title because I was a software professional and I clicked ‘ctrl+alt+del’ several times a day. May be!
How does it feel like to have put your thoughts in the form of a book?
After I finished my book, I was overwhelmed with joy. I had done something that I never imagined I could do. Also, writing that book was like writing self affirmations. I was penning my thoughts as if I was talking to my troubled soul. It helped me sail through my tough times.
How is your book different from the other self-help books in the market?
Many self help books are huge and it takes a lot of time to read a single book. I deliberately kept my book small, because, I felt that the readers are busy with their own lives and they should be able to get to the crux of the matter fast. You don’t want an already worried person to worry about the size of the book. The language, the style and the content is easily understandable and a recap of the main points is provided at the end of each chapter. Further, my book consists of a lot of anecdotes which the younger generation can relate to.
Has writing this book changed you or your life in any manner?
First of all, writing the book gave me lot of self confidence and inner peace. All my efforts paid off when I got a good feedback from my friends, colleagues and managers at work.
As a self-published author, how did you market your book?
As a matter of fact, I couldn’t do serious marketing for my book till now. This is because, a couple of months after I published the book, I moved from India to the United States. It was a huge change for me and in the last one year, I had so many personal situations due to which I didn’t have enough time to get back to my book. I hope I would be able to allot sometime in the coming few months.
Now that your first book is out there, what are your future plans as far as writing is concerned?
I have ideas for 2 more nonfiction books: One is about ‘shortcut to success’ and the other about my experiences in America. I have to work on those ideas.
Will you self-publish your next book or try traditional publishing?
As you know, self publishing is much easier than traditional publishing. It is much easier to share the book with everyone, if it is an ebook. I would prefer self publishing for my next book as well.
Last words for our readers.
I would like to enunciate the core lesson of my book:
Never, ever let your life’s problems defeat you. However tough your situations may be, as you begin looking at the positive aspects of your life, you will not only begin to appreciate your life, but you will also find a way to emerge as a winner. Do Ctrl+Alt+Del!