Conversations With Colleen: Meet Author, Ritu Bhathal

Conversations with ColleenThe October Edition

Hello everyone! This week I’m thrilled to bring you one of my most favorite people in the blogging world, Ritu Bhathal. Not only is she a successful blogger, but she is also an author and a poet… and that doesn’t include all the other jobs she has. I asked her to pick three or four questions from my huge list HERE. We all aspire to be successful authors and the best way to learn some of the tricks of the trade is to ask questions.

I met Ritu shortly after I started blogging in 2014. I can’t tell you how many times our paths have crossed over the years as we participated in poetry and writing challenges. If I don’t know how to do something concerning social media, Ritu is there to show me how. And that illustrates the kind of person that Ritu is. She’s always there to lend a helping hand.

In fact, last year, Ritu didn’t miss a week in writing a poem for my weekly poetry challenge. That’s pretty impressive in my book. ❤

Please meet my dear friend, Ritu Bhathal:

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Author & Poet, Ritu Bhathal

Ritu Bhathal was born in Birmingham in the mid-1970’s to migrant parents, hailing from Kenya but with Indian origin. This colourful background has been a constant source of inspiration to her.

From childhood, she always enjoyed reading. This love of books is mostly credited to her mother. The joy of reading spurred her on to become creative in her own writing, from fiction to poetry. Winning little writing competitions at school and locally gave her the encouragement to continue writing.

As a wife, mother, daughter, sister, and teacher, she has drawn on inspiration from many avenues to create the poems that she writes. A qualified teacher, having studied at Kingston University, she now deals with classes of children as a sideline to her writing!

Ritu also writes a blog, a mixture of life and creativity, thoughts and opinions, which was awarded first place in the Best Overall Blog Category at the 2017 Annual Bloggers Bash Awards.

Ritu is happily married, and living in Kent, with her Hubby Dearest, and two children, not forgetting the furbaby Sonu Singh.

Having published an anthology of poetry, Poetic RITUals, she is currently working on some short stories, and a novel, to be published in the near future.

Hi, Colleen. Thanks so much for this interview. I’m happy to be here with you.

Tea time

I’m thrilled you’re here, Ritu. I even made P. G. Tips tea to celebrate your visit! Now, I’m going to ask you a question I hope you will answer. How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

Ideas are aplenty in my brain! But I have one fully written, unedited manuscript, which took me 17 years to write! There is one other series I wrote on my blog, which came to a natural end, that I think could be worked upon to create something too.

I also started another piece, which I think will be a good start for another contemporary fiction piece. Though I know many are aware of my love of poetry, and my anthology, I have also written children’s rhyming fiction. I have one versed story complete and two others that need finishing… oh, to have an illustrator!!!

Any unemployed illustrators out there? Ritu needs your skills! Sorry, I got carried away… Okay, I’m serious now. Ritu, what inspires you to write?

What inspires me to write, both blog posts and creatively is life. I always jokingly call life, and all experiences within it ‘Blogger Fodder’ but it’s not just a base for a post, but it’s also a great resource to pull from when writing fiction and poetry. Usually, the season we are in will inspire my verses, and the general mood around me will influence the direction of my fictional writing. I feel that we are so lucky to have this opportunity called life, that to use all the gifts it bestows upon us, to create engaging literature, is gratitude.

You have such a marvelous attitude and love for life. It shows in everything you do. So, do you have a day job other than being a writer? And do you like it?

I do indeed have a day job (besides writing, mothering, and wife-ing) and that is being a teacher. I wanted to teach from a very young age, seven to be precise, and it gave me great pleasure to finally get into a classroom I could call my own!

The life of a teacher is tough, with high expectations put upon us all, causing many to leave the profession. So far, I have taken the challenges on the head; teaching is all-consuming, and during the term, I often suffer from extreme tiredness, (mentally and physically) so this does impact my creativity.

But I love being a teacher. To be the one to influence all those young minds, and help to build a foundation for what I always hope will be a lifelong love for learning, that’s what it is all about. The day it becomes too much, I will step back, or if my second dream of writing was to flourish, then I would maybe stop, but right now, I couldn’t, financially, and to be honest, I don’t want to!

Thanks, Ritu for stopping by for a chat. I always enjoy spending time with you. P. S. I had to share my favorite of you and your husband on your wedding day. You look so beautiful! ❤

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I’ve read and reviewed Ritu’s book, “Poetic Rituals,” whose name is a clever play on words with her first name. Read my review HERE.

Social media

How to contact Author, Ritu Bhathal

Website: http://www.butismileanyway.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/PhantomGiggler
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/phantom_giggler/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/butismileanyway/
Pinterest: https://uk.pinterest.com/bhathalpadhaal/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/56854412-ritu-bhathal
Flipboard: https://flipboard.com/@Phantom_Giggler
Mix: https://mix.com/butismileanyway
Tumblr: https://www.tumblr.com/blog/ritusmiles

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ritu-bhathal-48941648/
Bloglovin: https://www.bloglovin.com/@ritubhathalpadhaal

And by clicking the following link, you get to my author profile on Amazon, where you can find the link to my poetry book, Poetic RITUals.

Author.to/RituBhathal

k luv u bye Thanks for stopping by to meet Ritu Bhathal. Check out her book. I loved it. ❤

139 comments

        1. I thought so. My first serious crush was on an Indian boy in my high school. Sadly, he said we couldn’t date because of our differences. How sad. We had great laughs in the library back then. (I’ve always been a nerd). Many years ago, but I have lovely memories of him and his sister. ❤

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Oh, this was back in the 1970’s and I believe the family was royally connected and had barely escaped with their lives. I’m almost positive the family was from India. I’ve always loved people from all cultures and had a great interest in them. It started that far back! LOL! 😀

            Liked by 1 person

  1. Hola Ritu, What a fabulous wedding photograph – you’re both such beautiful people!. And so talented too. I think that teaching is a wonderful profession and can understand your passion for writing as I have it too. All good fortune to you. Sincerely Joy x

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Great to see Ritu here, Colleen.
    I heard her speak at the 2018 Blogger Bash, and loved her take on life, and sense of humour. It was also really nice to hear someone say they enjoy teaching, instead of moaning about the difficulties it presents.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. “Blogger Fodder.” I like that. So nice to learn more about Ritu and her writing and her love of teaching. The wedding photo is gorgeous! And I loved Poetic Rituals. It was a wonderful read. Thanks, Colleen, for sharing more about this amazing blogger. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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