An introduction to Ronnie Screwvala, the Indian entrepreneur and author of a book of lessons learned, Dream with Your Eyes Open (Rupa Publications, 2015). Screwvala’s candid prose offers inspiration to aspiring entrepreneurs everywhere. As much about failures as about successes, Dream wIth Your Eyes Open is about “it can be done,” not “I did it.” A first-generation entrepreneur and social philanthropist, Screwvala is behind UTV in India, which has since become a part of The Walt Disney Company, he has produced numerous Bollywood movies, and is the Founder Trustee of Swades Foundation (named after the film Swades starring Shahrukh Khan). Among other accolades, Screwvala has been named on Esquire’s “List of the 75 Most Influential People of the 21st Century” (September 2008), and ranked 78 among the 100 most influential people in the world on the “Time 100” (Time Magazine, 2009).
An introduction to writer Sarah Anne Johnson, author of the new novel The Lightkeeper’s Wife (Sourcebooks, 2014). Her previous books include The Very Telling, The Art of the Author Interview, and Conversations with American Women Writers. An experienced author interviewer, Johnson shared that, “By asking the writers anything I wanted to know, I filled my writer’s toolbox so that the next time I sat down to write, I could address things that I didn’t have a way to look at before.”
An introduction to Veronica Rossi, author of the YA trilogy Under the Never Sky, Through the Ever Night, and Into the Still Blue (HarperCollins, 2014). This interview was done with the Rakestraw Books PG-14 Teen Advisory Board, whose thoughtful and fun questions spoke to the heart of Rossi’s work and delved into what life is like for a writer.
When asked about drawing from mythology or other stories and sources, Rossi made a great point about how things can be connected but still unique: “If you’re really writing something that your heart is in, and you’re working hard to be honest in your writing and not copying other ideas, then no one else can write that. It’s okay to borrow ideas, but borrow them and make them your own.”