In discussion with Dr. Renu Persaud, the young and dynamic author of "The Mastery of You"

A Potpourri of Vestiges Exclusive

Dr. Renu S. Persaud, the young and dynamic author of 'The Mastery Of You', talked to the Editor-In-Chief of A Potpourri of Vestiges, Murtaza Ali Khan, about her literary non-fiction book and her journey as a public speaker, author, and an academician. 

Here is a summary of the Q&A session we had with the talented author:

Murtaza: Congratulations, Dr. Renu, for your upcoming book, The Mastery Of You!

Dr. Renu: Thank you, it is a very exciting time!

Murtaza: The Mastery Of You is slated for limited edition release in February. Tell us about your book and what inspired you to write it.

Dr. Renu: The book is a synthesis of my scholarly research, my personal experiences and observations about social life. As an academic I have written many pages of objective analysis of data.  In my book, the path has been very different.  I freely write about my feelings, my emotions and life experiences.  It is special because it is very personal, rational and poetic all at the same time.

The inspiration to write The Mastery Of You was quite simply that I wanted to make a difference in the world; to touch the lives of people, to let them know that their own sense of self-worth is the greatest super-power that they possess.

Murtaza: You are a working mother. How challenging it was for you to find the time to write this book.

Dr. Renu: I have been asked this question many times, where I found the time to write the book.  I am determined, and that can be both a strength and weakness.  I love to write and I am passionate about literary writing.  My writing allows me to express my thoughts so it has never been a daunting task; the time to write is another story.  Most of my writing was done in the evenings after I put my children to bed.  Knowing that they are dreaming, and happily sleeping, I would escape to my library, and sit with the company of nightfall, the moon and stars and just write. At times, I would write until the early morning.

Murtaza: Your book is a literary non-fiction. When we talk of the non-fiction in modern literature, we are immediately reminded of Truman Capote's In Cold Blood, a literary non-fiction novel that’s said to have established the genre. Tell us about the writers and intellectuals who have influenced you during your journey as a creative writer.

Dr. Renu: I admire writers from many disciplines, but Hemingway, Tolstoy, Murakami, Rumi, Sartre, hold a special place in my heart.  As a child, I wanted to be surrounded by books, rather than toys.  By 8 years old, I had read my first novel Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. Dickens captured the social milieu of his time with depth and emotion.  Later on, the impression of this story on my own journey was two-fold, I became passionate about social life and how the personal self we have can become conflicted with the social self. Secondly, I admired the simple and elegant language Dickens used in describing even the most complex dimensions of the human psyche. 

Today, I am passionate about the non-fiction genre.  Writers of non-fiction yield a great power.  Through their eyes, they share realities and facts, and they hope that people will feel their passion about the real life situations they write about.  This can create acceptance and controversy, but that is precisely why the genre is important.  We often write about experiences, situations, and conflicts that others may shy away from, yet when we articulate them, people find connections and realize we share similar values and realities. These truths are only cloaked differently from our own human experiences and environmental conditions.

Murtaza: You recently delivered at TEDx talk in Waterloo. How did it materialize? What was the experience like?

Dr. Renu: The TEDx Talk was one of the greatest experiences of my Life! I am so fortunate to have been chosen as part of the speaker line-up because it was very competitive.  My Talk shared my research on Self-worth, sense of self, and education.  Everyone was excited and interested in the ideas about self-mastery and the Talk was very well-received nationally across Canada and North America. It made me realize that The Mastery Of You is something that everyone, all ages and backgrounds are passionate about. It is a universal human need.

Murtaza: The full distribution of your book would only start in September. Tell us about the marketing strategy that you plan to employ for your book.

Dr. Renu: The book seems to be taking on a life of its own. I am so grateful for the support I have received.Currently, the book is already available at for pre-orders and this is very exciting, because it has not even been released. Much of the marketing will be carried out by my publisher, and I am very lucky to be working with their professional marketing team. There are marketing projects being considered, some of which involve modelling and spokesperson promotions. We are working with a Beverly Hills based Director on a screen project for the book. We will be holding social media campaigns and my social media sites, FB, Twitter, Instagram will have daily announcements and updates on contests.  There will be an official book launch party and numerous book signing events across North America and then worldwide- While the venues are still to be decided, we are considering restaurants, libraries, bookstores, universities and many other venues. I am in discussions with a Fortune 500 company who is interested in sponsoring me and we will be carrying a spin-off product line. Right now, I am concentrating on my speaking engagements, book promotion and sponsorships.

My website:

Murtaza: Writing is often described as a cathartic process. How do you see it? What would be your advice to aspiring writers?

Dr. Renu:  Thoughts are the primary manifestation of the Self, they are what we think and, how what we think makes us feel. Writing is a mere secondary expression of those sentiments into words and language expressions. Regardless of the genre, writers are breaking the cycle of the experiencing Self by translating thoughts and emotions into words and this is potent. Our thoughts and feelings aim to translate the authentic self. Writing is cathartic precisely because it the closest that we can get to translating the Self into reality.  Yet, it is still a secondary expression of the Self.

Murtaza: What are your views on cinematic adaptations of literary works? Are you open tofilm adaptation of The Mastery Of You, if an opportunity comes by?

Dr. Renu: I think it is not impossible, but it takes a masterful director to distill the essence of a 300 page book into a cinematic medium of 2 hours. I would welcome a film adaptation that is true to my passion. I do believe that the significance of the book can be distilled with the right team. If a movie can touch even one life with an inspirational true to life story as mine, then I have made a difference.

Murtaza: Wish you the very best of luck for The Mastery Of You. I look forward to reading it.

Dr. Renu: Thanks!

Pre-order your copy of The  Mastery of You at: /

P.S. The link to this interview has been featured by the official website of University of Toronto.

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