Shriya Sekhsaria

Author, actress, archer, social entrepreneur.


Sun Sign


Three things people don’t know about you?

I applied to my college [Princeton University, USA] by mistake and chose it because of a photograph of pumpkins on its website. My first pay-check came from my first piece of commercially published writing that was published as a caption on a t-shirt [I used to design clothes]. I always have a post-it and pen under my pillow, in case I dream of new plot lines or scenes.

What’s your greatest fear?

Living in a socially isolated world

What is your greatest achievement?

During high school, I gave several presentations in schools across Tamil Nadu encouraging study of “endangered languages” and the arts. Thousands of students pledged to conserve their native tongues. Since then, I’ve received various letters from students who became less afraid to pursue their passions in the arts and humanities – they don’t feel as compelled to become doctors or engineers anymore. And a lot of the languages of the area are less endangered!

High point of your life?

Bringing back medals from USA Archery Nationals and giving them to my family in India.

What are your 5 favorite books of all time?

“A Little Princess” by Frances Hodgson Burnett and “Wuthering Heights” by Emily Bronte

One Superpower you wish you had?

Mind reading.

Your epitaph would read? /Last line in your biography would be?

“Life stands here proudly” or “Did it for the story”.

If you had a time machine to take you back to any country and any time period, where would you choose to be for your childhood, adolosent , adult life and silver years?

My latest novel actually deals with this question by bringing together several countries in different time epochs. There’s Ibinia based on Ancient Greece and contemporary Spain. Senechelles based on Seychelles of the late 1990s to early 2000s and Senegal of today. Couture based on Paris of the 1920s, Milan of the 1970s, and New York of today. And Aidni, based on Ancient India and Victorian England. So probably one of those places.

If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?

Alleviating sadness

When and where do you write ?

Whenever I have an idea, wherever I find space the soonest. I do have a writing corner in my bedroom at home; but from boarding school to college to work in the United States, I’m essentially never home.

Silence or music?

Music, always. Silence scares me.

One phrase that you use most often?

All characters speak differently with their own stock phrases, so I don’t think I have a consistently used phrase. But I do tend to describe a lot of reactions by focusing on characters’ eyes.

Do you have a writing ritual / superstition?

If I have to write an intensely sad or romantic scene, I induce extreme amounts of those feelings before I write the scenes.

Do you have one sentence of advice for new writers?

Banish thoughts of perfection at least until editing. [If you wait for your story to become perfect, you’ll never write Page 1. If you want the opening sentence to be perfect, you’ll never reach Page 2…. Essentially, just get everything out and write things on the fly – you can always go back and edit.]

Shriya Sekhsaria, born in Mumbai, India, penned ONE when she was just 15 years old. She has won a myriad of awards at various levels, including a National Writing Competition, and has studied literature online with Stanford and Harvard University. ONE, for Shriya, is a culmination of 7 years' worth of imagination and passion, the publishing of which has been a dream come true. To find out more about her books visit

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Debashis Biswas

With more than 15 years of experience in book sales and distribution, Debashis currently oversees Leadstart’s business activities in eastern India and neighbouring countries. He has previously worked with several leading book publishers and distributors.

Walid Jalal

Walid has 7 years experience in online listing & marketing Working in SEO firm & Publishing sector. He worked in a Restaurant as a Manager in Sharjah for two years. He loves cricket & cooking.

Jayati Sarkar

Jayati has been into literature studies and has pursued her Mphil in Australian Aboriginal Poetry from the University of Calcutta. She is an avid reader and her love for books has brought her to the field of Publishing. For years she has explored the other side of the book as a reader and now she works with Leadstart as the Senior Executive in the Editorial Department. Her work profile includes working closely with Authors, managing the projects from end to end and also working with national and international publishers for management of Secondary Rights.

Ashwini Jadhav

Ashwini has about a decade’s experience in design. She is a Master of Commercial Art, who has worked in the publishing and advertising sectors as a visualiser & designer. She was judged as the third best in the state, when she finished her foundation course in applied art. She is a practicing calligrapher in Modi Lipi (a script in the Marathi language) and is a Rangoli artist who has won several accolades in those domains. During the popular Ganesh Chaturthi festival, several idols of Ganesha in varying sizes get made, one the most important finishing touches to the idol is that of painting the eyes, which Ashwini has practiced to perfection and does it for hundreds of idols every year. In addition to the above, she is also a trained classical dancer, a national level Kabaddi player and loves cooking.

Ananya Subramanian

Graduation in journalism and love for books, led Ananya to take up a career in publishing. With her experience in the field, she has come to believe more and more in the power of stories and the people who tell them. She is a vegan and an animal-lover; and loves to dance, tend to her pet plants and often find solace in solo travelling.

T. Vijay Kumar

Vijay has over a decade’s experience in supply chain management working in India and the Middle East. He heads the production, supply chain and receivables management for Leadstart. Prior to his current role at Leadstart, Vijay worked in inventory management for five years, in Abu Dhabi.

Iftikar Shaikh

Iftikar has a decade & half years of experience across publishing and the banking sectors in the finance domain. He enjoys working on numbers and loves uncovering stories that the numbers tell. A fitness enthusiast, he loves trekking and travelling.

Maneesha Arun

Maneesha has an experience of over two decades in the content industry spanning over publishing, media and secondary rights business domains. She has a deep interest in psychology.

Mahendra Rawat

With more than a decade’s experience in book sales and distribution, Mahendra comes from a family immersed in the book trade. He worked with several book distributors and publishers before his current assignment with Leadstart.


With more than 15 years of experience in book sales and distribution, Debashis currently oversees Leadstart’s business activities in eastern India and neighbouring countries. He has previously worked with several leading book publishers and distributors.

Rajesh Krishnan

Rajesh comes with over 3 decades of experience spread over various business domains. He oversees Leadstart’s business development & sales across southern & western India, Sri Lanka and Middle-East. His hobbies include dancing, trekking and travelling

Pooja Dutt

Pooja has over a decade’s experience in operations, sales and people management in various business domains. She loves to interact with authors and helps them meet their publishing goals. She is fond of travelling & cooking.

Bhavika Bharambe

After completing her MBA in marketing, Bhavika has focused on roles that helped her to become an experienced marketing professional today. She has worked for brands from various industries; Educational, Tourism, Retail, Entertainment, Airlines, Banking and more. She loves to spend her time by reading books and listening to music.

Naina Solanki

Naina leads the project management and author support functions at Leadstart Publishing. She is fond of being abreast of the latest developments in technology and is a keen learner of the six sigma methodology. She loves reading and travelling.

Preeti Chib

Preeti has a decade’s experience in brand and communication management with most influential and innovative media companies. She is passionate about building brands by translating consumer insights into product innovations and campaigns. She is a compulsive reader and considers a day gone without some bit of reading a day wasted. She loves reading stories to her children every night. A lover of visual art, to delve a bit deeper into the same, she took up formal training for design as well.

Malini Nair

Malini is passionate about Literature and Business Management. After her MBA (Marketing) from St. Xavier’s, she took up roles that involved sales, marketing, costing, MIS etc. in multiple sectors like Banking, Insurance, E-broking, and even the Steel industry. Eventually, her passion for languages and books compelled her to re-route her career to literature. This led to a career break and a Masters Degree in English Literature; post which she took up a role at Wordit CDE & Leadstart, enabling her to work towards both her passions.

Chandralekha Maitra

With two decades of experience as a book publishing professional, Chandralekha began her career as a features writer and columnist, working with publications across India, before moving into book publishing full time, with India Book House. She received her training in editorial title management from Book House, London. Over the years she has worked with some of the finest publishing houses in India and overseas, and across genres and markets. She has also worked with Osian’s-Connoisseurs of Art, India’s first auction house, gaining in-depth exposure to research and publishing in the fine arts-antiquities-cultural heritage genres. Additionally she has had a parallel, specialist career in Human Resources, working at Group HR, Tata Group, among others. She continues to write, train and mentor in this domain as her publishing commitments allow.

Raj Supe

Aka Kinkar Vishwashreyananda, Raj Supe is a poet, storyteller and novelist, as well as a seeker and devotee of Sri Sitaramdas Omkarnath. An MBA by education, his career spanned advertising, research and creative consulting, before devoting his time to literature and spirituality. His works include Three No Trumps (novel), Sagarika Anusagarika [Echoes of Nine Rivers] (poetry), Pilgrim of the Sky (spiritual memoir), and translations of religious texts such as Cloudburst of A Thousand Suns and Jai Jai Ram Krishna Hari. He has also worked on film scripts with Ram Gopal Verma and Ashutosh Gowariker, and on plays with Makarand Deshpande.

Dr. Rabindra Kumar Nanda

An alumnus of IIT Kanpur, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research and Stanford University, Dr Nanda is also a National Science Talent Search Scholar. He holds five Patents and is a published author of 50 national and 52 international research papers.

Swarup Nanda

Swarup has over a decade and half’s experience in multiple business domains related to content. Prior to his entrepreneurial ventures, he has worked with a couple of MNCs in the media space. His passion for literature and books is his motivation for building Leadstart.