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AuthorHouse’s Ajit Hutheesing and “The Shadow of Her Smile”

AuthorHouse Author’s Digest is pleased to welcome Ajit Hutheesing to our writer community. Born in India, Mr. Hutheesing was educated at Cambridge and Columbia Universities before becoming a banker in the United States.

His wife, Helen Armstrong, was the inspiration for The Shadow of Her Smile, his first novel:

From her, he received the gift of an exceptional, selfless, and loving personality who breathed music and shared it with everyone she met.

Helen, an international virtuoso violinist, was also the founder of Armstrong Chamber Concerts, Inc. (ACC,) a non-profit organization with the goal of broadening public knowledge and appreciation of chamber music through education and performances. She passed away in 2006, but her vision lives on through ACC and its more than 100,000 students.

And now, we present Ajit Hutheesing:

Who is the author behind the book?

The author, Ajit Hutheesing, and his wife, Helen Armstrong

I’m a financial professional of 40 years experience with a compulsion for writing short essays, political/economic critiques in newspapers, and poetry.  I come from a family of writers: my mother wrote eight books and dozens of articles, which were published in the U.K., USA and India; my father was a journalist and the author of one of the earliest books on Mao Tse Tung’s China; my uncle was first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, who also wrote prolifically; my aunt was Mrs. V.L. Pandit, the first woman President of the United Nations General Assembly. She wrote her biography, which I assisted in getting published in the USA. There are many more authors in the family.

Do you have any particular literary influences that helped you develop your writing style?

Not any one, but a collection–see above

Please tell us a little about your book.

It’s a loving dedication to my wife, the famous violinist Helen Armstrong. I reveal Helen’s remarkable life as a childhood prodigy transformed into a virtuoso violinist. Tragedy diverted her career to charitable contributions of concert performances and music education for children.  Political and economic circumstances following India’s independence are revealed briefly, and are the reasons I arrived in the USA and eventually met Helen Armstrong.

What inspired you to write your book and how long did it take you to finish it?

My wife was a “living inspiration.”  Her untimely death while in the midst of a concert drove me to great grief and solitude during which I wrote and wrote.  I completed 90% of the book in six months, but shelved it for seven years seeking privacy–until now.

What is the one message you would like to convey to your readers about your book?

Paying great attention to the ones you love while they/you are still alive is the most important thing one can do in one’s lifetime.

What was your favorite part of your self-publishing experience?

An education in what it takes to publish a book.

What advice would you give to an aspiring author?

Write, write, write and publish, publish, publish.

Are you working on a sequel to your book, or another subject matter?

Yes–a sequel is not possible.  I’m writing an insider’s perspective of great members of the Nehru family.

Are there any events, marketing or promotions planned for your book?

Yes – mainly in the music community, and among friends and family in the USA and India.

Is there anything else you’d like to say about writing or publishing?

Too much to say – too little time!


Thank you very much for your time, Mr. Hutheesing, and for sharing your wife’s story with Author’s Digest and the world. We look forward to your next book!

The Shadow of Her Smile is available in the AuthorHouse Bookstore.

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