ARTISTS, NAGALAND
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Bringing Forward Untold Stories | Meet Rita Krocha – Founder of PenThrill Publication House

Rita Krocha is a writer’s writer. An owner of opinions that act as a cut-through voice in the noise that is contemporary literature. Which is to say that she has gone through the grind of a typical journalist and penned interesting stories throughout her career.

As the owner of her book publishing company, PenThrill Publication House, Krocha is aiming to take that journey further. Read on to know more about Krocha, the simple writer behind some of the most intricately laden Indian fiction books today.

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Photo | Rita Krocha – Founder of PenThrill Publication House.

  • Hi Rita, tell us a bit about yourself. When did you start working as a writer?

My name’s Vishü Rita Krocha and I’m 34. I have a master’s degree in Journalism & Mass Communication. I started my career in journalism as a weekly columnist in 2006 and later joined Eastern Mirror Daily in 2008 as a news correspondent and continued to write for them for five years. Later, I found myself interested in learning about the publishing industry. That’s why I decided to go for a certificate course in Book Publishing from National Book Trust, New Delhi.

On days when I’m not working, like most writers, I’m guilty of indulging myself with my love for tea, books, poetry, and travelling.

Some of the books that I authored/co-authored are:

  • ‘Echoes of Spring’ with a foreword by Ruskin Bond (Poetry, 2008): one of my poems from this book is included in the Nagaland School Curriculum for students of class 6 and 7.
  • ‘A Bucket of Rain’ (Poetry, 2011)
  • ‘The Chakhesangs: A window to Phek district’ (2013)
  • ‘Four Shades’ (Poetry, 2013)
  • ‘Raconteurs from the hills’ (2014)
  • ‘Shoposho’ (2015)
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During one of PenThrill Book launches

  • What’s the best thing about being a writer?

I think it’s just about the endless experiences that come as part of the profession. Writers like me genuinely enjoy the opportunity of being associated with several magazines, newspapers, and websites. I’m currently also writing for The Morung Express. 

I have also had the privilege of participating in numerous media conferences & literature fests in the last ten years including International Writers’ Festival at Mussoorie, workshop on Conflict Resolution at Queens University, Belfast, UK, Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact workshop on Developing Indigenous Media Strategy at Bangkok, Commonwealth Writers’ Fest in New Delhi, South India Writers Ensemble at Kerala, and the Colloquium on Oral & Literary Traditions of Nagaland at Bhopal, to name a few. It’s always great to realise that every time I leave an event, I know more people than before attending the event.

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Photo | Rita Krocha

  • How have your roots inspired you on your growth as a writer? 

I always think that nothing can ever replace those warm childhood days when you get to sit around the kitchen hearth, only to immerse yourself in the stories that your grandparents never tire of narrating. Each one of us has a story to tell. Some of them say it in songs, some of them through various forms of art, but for me, it has to be writing and this springs from the fact that we come from a generation of storytellers- storytelling- which is an inseparable art of the culture that I proudly inherit.   

  • What was the inspiration behind starting PenThrill Publication House?

PenThrill Publication House is an outcome of my love for books and passion for writing. We formally launched our venture on the 27th of November, 2013. Growing up, it never crossed my mind that I could choose writing as a profession because nobody talked about it and everybody else wanted to become a doctor, an engineer, a pilot or an IAS officer. I thought I didn’t fit in anywhere. Looking back, I think it was also the lack of an adequate platform for creative writers that led me to the publishing industry.

PenThrill is very fortunate to have two awesome graphic designers – Jabu & Savio and a brilliant Editor – Paolo Nukhu. Our books would never be the same without their passionate work. I also consider myself truly blessed to have a very supportive family & friends who have always been there for me every step of the way.

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At the launch of Shoposho, a children’s book.

  • What do you have to say about the prospects of growth in the publishing industry in India?

Where there is a will, there is success. PenThrill has, so far, published nine books and is proud to associate with 15 wonderful authors today! I would say Suki’s Magic Box‘ stands out amongst all the publications because I think it is rare to come across children books that are written by children. It’s exceptionally beautiful when three talented kids collaborate together for such a book in terms of writing, illustrating and colouring it.

  • What are the challenges of running an independent publication in Nagaland? What keeps your team going despite all the challenges?

When you pursue something for the sheer love of it, you tend to forget many practical difficulties. When we began working on PenThrill, I had zero knowledge about business; I only knew with firm conviction that I love books, poetry and writing, and that people with similar interests must find a way to keep these beautiful things alive.

One of the greatest challenges we faced is seeing a lack of reading culture among the audience today. Even more so, now, because we literally live in a digital world. Dealing with books is a painfully slow business. Also, like any other struggling entrepreneur, not having enough resources is a BIG challenge. But the hope that we make a difference somewhere by writing and publishing stories that matter, stories that need to be told and preserved, stories that will continue to serve both as an inspiration and a ‘knowledge bank’ for generations to come, keeps us going.

Follow Rita on Instagram to stay updated on her latest publications!

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Photo | Ranconteurs from the hills by Rita Krocha, published by PenThrill Publications.

Shweta Rao

Shweta Rao

Tech Journalist. Enterprise Tech Enthusiast. Digs Indie music. Shweta also helps out as a copy editor for R&L.
Shweta Rao