Author Interview: Prabhakar Chaganti

Prabhakar tells us about his balancing act!
A full-time enterprise software architect and open source evangelist and a father of two, Prabhakar Chaganti is known to his editors and project coordinators as someone very good with deadlines from the GWT Java AJAX Programming days. Read through as he reveals to us how to fit that and writing into a day's work.

PP: Are you a full time author, or do you work full time?
PC: Yes. I work full-time doing enterprise software architecture for a cutting edge software company in the suburbs of Atlanta.

PP: Do you live with your family?
PC: Yes. I am married and have two daughters.

PP: Do you plan ahead when you sign on for a book project?
PC: When I sign on for a book project, I have already had a chance to formulate a plan of action based on the book outline I agreed to. I try not to be too rigid about the outline and try to be agile enough to make changes as the book goes along, if it makes the book better.

PP: Does the Packt staff support you well with the planning?
PC: Absolutely. The staff at Packt were very generous with their advice and helped me immensely. My editor David provided great initial feedback and made sure that I was focused on the needs of the reader as I was writing the book.

PP: What book/s have you written for Packt?
PC: I have just completed "GWT Java AJAX Programming". I am the sole author of the book.

PP: How much time do you work on a book per week?
PC: It generally depends on the chapter that I am working on. The time range varies a lot depending on the chapter. The beginning chapters tend to go faster, and as we get into the more technically involved parts of the book, it takes a bit longer.

PP: Is it difficult meeting the deadlines?
PC: Usually it is not. When we decide on the book outline, and sign the contract, we have also decided on a time frame for delivering the chapters. I try to lay out the delivery dates in such a way so I allot more time for the more demanding/challenging chapters.

PP: Do you have any planning tips for the other authors?
PC:
* When planning out the book, always try and sketch out a rough outline of the book and its chapters up front.
* In my mind, one of the most important things is to communicate with your project coordinator if you feel that one of your delivery dates is going to slip. The key thing here is to not wait until a day or few days before the date, but to let the coordinator be aware of the delay and to also let them know what the new date is going to be.
* Address the review comments quickly and thoroughly so you can avoid multiple rounds of addressing the comments.
* Review the pre-finals and return them as quickly as possible. This will ensure that the production process for the book can go fast.
* Finally have fun writing the book. You are working on a topic that is obviously important and exciting to you. Try to give the reader a sense of your excitement and sweep them off their feet

PP: How do the project coordinators and the DE helps you plan time?
PC: The coordinators keep me informed about things happening with the book and upcoming deliverables, so I can plan for them.
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<!--[endif]-->PP: What time do you usually work on the book projects? Weekends/Evenings?
PC: I am an early morning person. Most of my work on the book tends to happen early in the morning - 4AM is my favorite time and of course on the weekends. I like to spend time with my wife and kids, so it makes more sense for me to work on the book when they have gone to bed.

 

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