Who is Vibha Batra?

This dynamic author has her eyes firmly set on young adult (YA) segment. Her writing is humorous, enjoyable and very with-the-times. Vibha Batra has a trilogy for YA – “Sweet Sixteen (Yeah, Right!)”, “Seventeen and Done (You Bet!)” and “Eighteen and Wiser (Not Quite!)”, and two independent YA novels – “The Reluctant Debutante” and e-book titled “Keeping It Real”. She has a book for nine to 12 years old as well, titled “EuroTrip”.

Vibha says she has her genes to blame for her prolific writing. “My maternal grandfather, the late Shri Vishnu Kant Shastri, was a prolific author. My parents are avid readers. And I grew up in Kolkata, surrounded by books, and yummy food. All I wanted to do was eat. But despite my best intentions, some of my family’s love for the written word brushed off on me,” she laughs.

When her grandfather passed away, Vibha decided to translate his book on the “Ishaavaasya Upanishad” from Hindi to English. But she soon discovered that starting a book is one thing but finishing it is quite another. She confesses she was scared she wouldn’t be able to do it, that it would be too tough, too time-consuming, or worse still, she would abandon it midway. “So I did what all those self-help books ask us to do. I announced my goal to the whole wide world. And it worked! Every time I fell off the bandwagon, I would have family, colleagues and friends come up and ask me, ‘What happened to that book you were supposed to translate?’ That would really galvanise me into action! It took me over a year-and-a-half to translate it,” she reminisces. The book was published by Rupa in 2007, and that’s how it all started for this writer. Needless to say, her grandfather is her biggest inspiration. “His memoirs and his travelogues are my all-time favourites. His poetry comes a close second,” she reveals.

Writing like Vibha Batra

“I’m fairly certain tonnes of well-meaning career advice have come my way over the years. I’m also pretty sure that l’ve ignored most of them. Am so not a big fan of unsoliciated advice. But if I must dole it out, here goes!” says Vibha.

  • Read, read and then read some more.
  • The big idea you’re excited about? Start working on it now. Not tomorrow, not the coming weekend, not when inspiration strikes.
  • If you find yourself distracted while writing, switch off the mobile phone/ landline, turn off the Wi-Fi (Sounds harsh, I know. Works like a charm, though).
  • If you find yourself stick on a page, take some time off. Do something else, but make sure you circle back to the book.
  • Never give up. Ever.
  • And oh, did I mention, read?

The writer’s routine

“With a toddler and a day job, my day is one mad whirl.”

Yet, when she does get down to writing a book, she writes furiously, “like a woman possessed”. “I loose myself in it completely. I cannot hear anything or anyone. Not the cellphone, not the doorbell. On occasions, even forget to eat! I make up for it later,” she says.

Vibha Batra’s Books

  • YA trilogy
  • Sweet Sixteen (Yeah, Right!)
  • Seventeen and Done (You Bet!)
  • Eighteen and Wiser (Not Quite!)
  • Euro Trip – for 9 to 12 year olds
  • Keeping It Real – YA e-book
  • The Reluctant Debutante – YA
  • A YA graphic novel is slated for release early next year. It’s her first graphic novel.


Picture Credit : Google