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Manju Ramanan (Cross Content Media Specialist. Former Group Editor - Filmfare ME, Femina ME and Salt n Peppa)

About Her

An absolute delight to meet every single time, this warm, talented and very vibrant lady, tucked with her M Phil degree and 16 years of experience in journalism rocks in Dubai. She is the former Group Editor of Femina and Filmfare Middle East.

  • 1.
    What have been your best and worst moments from your long stint at the top Bollywood publications in UAE?
    I enjoyed it as much as it lasted. All moments were memorable. Right from meeting legends like Mr. Amitabh Bachchan to Irrfan Khan, Ranbir Kapoor, Varun Dhawan, Alia Bhatt, Sushant Singh and nearly everyone we watch on screen as well as the directors, producers etc., it has been a great time. There have been no worst moments so far.
  • 2.
    How important is PR for writers? Should it be focused on their own profiling or a focus on their books?
    PR is important once your content is ready to be showcased. Not before that. The hype should follow the content and not the other way around!
  • 3.
    At your position where your inbox would be invariably flooded with press releases, what almost always catches your eye? What kind of email - subject line? What Kind of email / Press release content?
    A phone call followed by that email would make me look for the press release or an invite. If your inbox is cluttered with mails, it becomes tough to keep track.
  • 4.
    With self-publishing on the rise and getting wide acceptance, can you share some tips for an author facing his first interview with a publication? Three mistakes never to make at an interview?

    Never boast, never appear too over-eager and be humble. Remember that you are the one in need of publicity and not the other way around.

  • 5.
    You are an avid reader, what are your top five authors/books?
    I like biographies largely. Aishwarya Dhanush’s biography on her life with a celebrity father Rajnikant – Standing on the Apple Box: The Story of a Girl among the stars, was particularly moving. However, Istanbul by Orhan Pamuk is my all -time favorite.
  • 6.
    On a personal front, what does a weekend mean to you? Your favorite pastime?

    I enjoy watching movies. I can watch movies the whole day without getting bored. I also like good television series – for me original content is all. Be it lyrics of a song or the story of a film or a series. I dig that. I am a workaholic. I try and experimenting writing in various styles – words are fascinating to me and I constantly try and work out different ways to use them. This process is perennial – it doesn’t need a weekday or a weekend. My son and I play word games a lot. I love music and poetry – I like to listen to good Hindi/Urdu songs where the lyrics aren’t regressive and the poetry is sublime.

  • 7.
    You have carved a niche with your signature Saree style in a city where it’s a rare sight! Was this a conscious effort?
    Not at all. I am comfortable in a saree and I collect them because I love the magic behind the way they are created- the weavers, the colours, the culture – all come together in a saree. And I have grown up in a home where all women wore sarees only, including my grandmother who wore a nav-vari sari daily.
  • 8.
    What is your opinion on our new initiative, ‘Young Author Awards’?
    It is a good platform for nurturing young talent and also to promote traditional publishers to give a chance to more young talent! The Awards will help top league publishers accept more young talent!
  • 9.
    There is one question that I throw at all my guests, what is your favorite non-alcoholic drink?
  • A well brewed cup of ginger tea, filter coffee or a good mock tail that surprises my palette. Not too sweet though!
  • 10.
    What would be your advice to the aspiring authors of ‘The Write Scene,’ who are looking to get coverage without a PR agency by their side?
  • Social media is a great tool to put your word out there and today’s generation is quite savvy.
Manju Ramanan (Cross Content Media Specialist. Former Group Editor - Filmfare ME, Femina ME and Salt n Peppa)