When I’m fortunate enough to read a book that I’ve been asked to endorse, it’s always extra special to introduce that author here on WFW, so please welcome Amulya Malladi!
“How far would you go to have a family, and how far would you go to save the family you already have? In A House for Happy Mothers, Amulya Malladi skillfully and compassionately raises these questions in a story of two women yearning to protect their families. This is a thought-provoking, modern-day family saga set against the backdrop of traditional Indian and American maternal expectations.”—Amy Sue Nathan, author of The Good Neighbor and The Glass Wives
How The Author of A HOUSE FOR HAPPY MOTHERS Wrote Away Her Blues
by Amulya Malladi
A few years ago, I became sad.
I stopped writing. This was no ordinary writer’s block; this was writer’s block stemming from having no feelings at all, an entirely different thing. I didn’t care much that I didn’t write. I was so miserable at my marketing day job that I had become indifferent to it. My marriage was not tip-top either because I hadn’t told my husband I was sad. I was faking it at home but invariably the cracks were showing.
I started writing when I was 11 years old. I can now look back and see that I started to write stories as a way to step away from real life into a fantasy world. I became an author to get away from a difficult childhood – and not because a story beckoned me and asked for it to be told. This is a pattern I have repeated my whole life to the point that in my heart, I know that if there isn’t a story that I’m working on, then I am miserable – by definition.
But this sadness I experienced a few years ago was different. It was the big bad black – the real thing – the nasty.
Part of the reason that I didn’t reach out to the writer within me was because the writer had stopped believing. My fifth book came out in 2007 and after that no one would buy my next book – not until eight years later. I work fulltime as a marketing executive and writing is hard work, so I told myself why should I do it? It doesn’t make me happy – because I have to face rejection and I don’t really have the time, do I?
Even though I turned my back on the writer within me, the storyteller still reached out to me in the darkness to draw me out. I know it sounds dramatic but really, it happened just like that.
My life was a mess. I was having exaggerated responses to everything. I was losing my temper. I was not sleeping. I was not eating. I cried uncontrollably at the drop of a hat. My emotions were everywhere. I knew I had to do some things on many fronts. First, I knew I had to change jobs. This job was making me miserable. So I did that. Second, I worked on my personal life. I have a very nice husband so that turned out to be easier than I feared. And third, I had to go back to a story. This was the hardest of the three. The one I did last.
It happened slowly and then all of a sudden.
One morning I woke up, hoping this day would be better than the previous one, knowing fully well that it wouldn’t be. The world was painted gray around me after all. But on this day, I realized that it wasn’t entirely true anymore – there was color in my life again. I was feeling better from a work perspective. My personal life was healthy again.
I for some reason started to think about the second law of thermodynamics that states, “Entropy or disorder in a closed system will either remain the same or increase.” And what happens when disorder goes out of control? The system implodes. That’s what happened to me, I thought. I was the closed system and my disorder became out of control.
So this morning, the morning I found the colored patches on the gray fabric of my life – I started to tell the story of a woman who had imploded. It started that simply. I knew her name was Sanya. I knew she was Indian. I knew she was temporarily in Copenhagen. I knew that her marriage was on the rocks. I knew that everything around her was painted gray.
As I wrote, I discovered that I was not going to let neither my world nor Sanya’s remain gray – so I started to paint patches of color onto her and my gray canvas with broad comedic strokes. I started to laugh as I wrote Sanya’s story of finding herself in gray Copenhagen.
As a rule I always read out what I write on a given day to my husband – he’s my first audience. As I wrote the first chapters, we both started laughing. I didn’t think this book would sell. I had sincerely believed at the time my career as a writer was over. I wrote this story purely for my pleasure, to make me laugh – to make me happy. It certainly did. I was entertained and curious to go on this ride with my slightly crazy character and as she found herself, I found myself as well. This story became The Copenhagen Affair, which will be my seventh book, published by Amazon Lake Union in 2017.
Amulya Malladi is not sad anymore – but living a full and colorful life in Copenhagen in Denmark where she lives with her husband and two sons. During her spare time she works fulltime as a marketing executive for a medical device company. Her latest book A House for Happy Mothers has just been released. You’re welcome to add color to her life by reading and reviewing her new book and by becoming part of her Facebook family or signing up for her newsletter at www.amulyamalladi.com.