Author Talk – Ruchi Singh

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Today, at ‘Author Talk’, we have an interesting and equally enlightening column on the writing process of one of my favourite authors – Ruchi Singh. Ruchi Singh is the author of multiple books, the Winner of TOI Write India Contest, who writes in two genres – romance and romantic thrillers. Her latest book, a short story collection, titled ‘Hearts and Hots’ released few months back and has been gathering rave reviews. If you haven’t read the book, you should be reading the same today, for the book is a heart-warming, nerve soothing collection of stories, which is sure to transform your Sunday for the best. 

Ruchi Singh

Read my review of Hearts and Hots – Here

Read on to know what the author has to say :

 

            My Writing Process vis-a-vis Published Works

                                          – Ruchi Singh

Thank you Maliny for having me on your blog and giving me the choice to choose the subject for this post. Having published two books, I thought it would be interesting to introspect on the writing process for each of them.

In my twenty years of experience in the corporate world and three years in the creative field I have realized that nothing remains same. No two moments are the same. No two projects are similar. Life, people, habits, keep evolving and become better over time. The same have been reiterated during the writing of my two books; the novel ‘Take 2’ and the short story collection ‘Hearts & Hots’

While Take 2 has been my debut effort published in 2015, and I panstered (wrote without an outline, keeping only the characters in mind). As the story took shape I wanted a nice twist at the end which would entertain the readers. But, since it was not a planned endeavor it took me awhile to come up with a scenario which would tie up all the loose ends. It was then I decided that the next one I will outline to the last scene and then write.

To an extent, I followed my resolution with novel-2, but fate always has something else planned. My next wasn’t getting anywhere near my satisfaction level, and the year 2016 was just drifting by. I was desperate to release at least one book in 2016.

Along with the novel, I was also working leisurely on a short story collection and had planned to release at least ten short stories in the collection. I had thought each of them would be around 2k to 2.5k word count, bringing the collection to a decent 25k. These stories too were planned well in advance but somehow I wasn’t able to finish writing them because each of them was hell-bent on expanding themselves.

So, in order to have at least one release in 2016, I switched my attention to this collection. I selected five stories from the ten, which concentrated on issues faced by women in our society. I tried to give them different flavors by focusing on different stages of love, varying age of the protagonists, changing the locational setting and even varying the writing voice. Thus ‘Hearts & Hots’ came into existence.

Now as I have released the two, my writing process can be broadly classified into five phases:

  • inception,
  • planning,
  • execution or writing,
  • editing.

 The sequence of stages of working on short stories is iterative. For a novel, all the phases are sequential while for a collection each of the stories will span the first four stages and then publishing can be together. The short stories are written in a standalone mode unrelated to each other, which is easier in execution. But the difficult part is to come up with different plots and stick to short story format without losing the essence of the story, hence the inception phase becomes long drawn.

Having said that my current WIP has been outlined as planned, but I am not able to write the scenes sequentially. The creative juices are scene-hopping.

All in all I have understood that there are no rules in this field. Every project has to be treated as a unique miracle and should be nurtured along with its own whims and fancies. I have learnt to respect the blessings of Creative God or Goddess, as the faith may be. 🙂

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THE BLURB OF HEARTS AND HOTS :

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Love, what is it?
A casual glance, and the heart skips a beat…
Or A chance meet and that tug of an inexplicable connection…

Love… a baffling attraction so potent that one becomes blind to entire world, or is it that unbridled passion which threatens to drown every time you see the one, or a protective urge which forces you to realize that life is not worth living without that special someone…

‘Hearts and Hots’ a collection of five short stories riding on first love, passion, and romance.

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Buy the book from : AMAZON

Contact the author at : Facebook Page

Tweet to her at : Twitter Handle

The author’s official website : Here

Buy her books from : Amazon Author Page

Know more about her books at : Goodreads

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Author Talk – Radhika Tabrez

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There is a confession to make before I present to you this week’s ‘Author Talk’ column. I don’t know how many of you noticed, but I missed this session last week. The reasons are many – when I visiting my parents after long, couple with one best friend visiting me, the weekend is surely guaranteed to be hectic, isn’t it? I deliberately let the session be missed, for life is not all about the presence one is bound to make on the social media, if at all it is of any gauge of the way life is to be lived anytime. Hence, with no tinge of guilt, I decided to let my hair down, be freed from all shackles and enjoy the days to the fullest with my friends and family. I am happy if you did notice my absence, but otherwise also, it is fine. I uphold the habit of disappearing from this space far too many times over a period of few months. 

Moving on to this week’s ‘Author Talk’ column, we have an extremely well-versed and iconic writer, who took the literary arena by storm with her debut novel, which deservingly won her the ‘Muse India- Satish Verma young writer award’ for the year 2016. She has been part of numerous short story anthologies and has proven her craft and talent through multifarious channels. I am talking about Author Radhika Maira Tabrez, the author of ‘In the light of Darkness’ published by Readomania in 2016. 

After having read her book, I realised that her characters failed to leave me for a few days. They lingered like the after taste of a delicacy, which keeps reminding you of that first bite of it you took, with each smack of your lips. Hence I decided to put forward a few questions to her, out of which, incidentally, she happened to answer the very question, to hear the answer of which I was hoping for the most. Read on to know more : 

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An article revolving around the characters in the book.

By Radhika Tabrez

As a debut novelist, a question I get asked often, at various events is – how autobiographical is your book? Considering that ‘In The Light Of Darkness’ (ITLOD) is predominantly a story of a mother and son; and usually while someone in the audience is asking me that question, they can see my four year old son raising a tornado nearby – it seems like a pretty obvious question. The fact is that the story is not autobiographical. But that brings us to the next question. Are any of the characters in the story inspired by people in real life? And the answer to that question is an unequivocal yes. Even if as a writer, I had been consciously unaware of the fact sometimes. Let me elaborate.

A lot of the characters in ITLOD mirror people I know in real life. Some were by design, but quite a few dawned on me as a revelation as I read the first finished draft with an editor’s eye. In fact, the biggest one was broken to me by a beta reader; I didn’t quite figure it myself!

Susan Pereira – It warms my heart to know how much people have loved Susan’s character. Because the truth is, she was the most hypothetical character in the story. I have seen parents who are devoted to their child the way she is, but I don’t think I have come across anyone yet who is able to withstand pain and rejection from their child with as much dignity and understanding as she does. Susan was, according to me, the epitome of love and forgiveness. A kind of parent, I wish I can be to my son.

Matthew Pereira  – Now this was a shocker! I wrote Matthew the way the story demanded him to be. And it was much later and that too through a beta reader’s eyes, that I could see how much he was modeled on my husband. Matthew is as sincere in his compunction and his atonement as my husband can be, once he realizes he has done something wrong. Of course, just like Matthew it is very difficult to convince my husband that he is wrong, in the first place; but I guess that holds true for all husbands! 🙂

Meera Vashisht  – Meera was initially written as a hypothetical character with a fictional back story. But while editing the first finished draft, and seeing the story from an objective distance, I realized that Meera did have some shades of me. I too, like Meera, can confuse self-preservation with self-destruction. I have sometimes in life shown a tendency to be closed to ‘anything new and good’ because of my experiences with the ‘bad’. I take a long time to forgive myself, just like Meera does. In that sense we’re both too harsh on ourselves. But thankfully, just like Meera I too am surrounded with people who help me by constantly keep correcting that disposition of mine.   

Deena/Suhana/Maanav/Vidushi – These, perhaps, are the characters closest to the people in my life. The whole phrase ‘A family of friends’ which finds a mention in the book holds true for our life. Both me and my husband are surrounded with friends, who have often proved to be a steady anchor for us; even more than our families. Hence writing these characters was almost like offering a ‘thanks’ to them. And readers have loved all these characters.

Col. Rakesh Bindra – Another character like the ‘friends’ mentioned above, whom I replicated from real life. He is modeled on a senior colleague of my husband’s. But over the years he has come to be a life-guide and a mentor to the two of us. I don’t know anyone more grounded in reality and yet optimistic, spiritual and yet pragmatic, kind and yet incisive in showing you your follies.  I was so much influenced with his personality that I chose to even keep his first name as the name of the character. And it dawned on me only just now, while writing this piece, that I may never have explicitly told him this yet. He has read the book though, so I wonder if he figured it out!

To sum up, I’d like to say, as a novelist, especially as a debut novelist, it is a huge comfort to write the characters that you know so well in real life. It lends great strength and veracity to your narrative. Of course, an important precondition is that they should organically fit into and be able to flow and morph according to the story.

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The Blurb of ‘In the light of Darkness’:

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Twenty years ago, Susan Pereira had to send her only child Matthew, to a faraway boarding school. That one decision brought their relationship to a cul de sac, which she still hasn’t been able to break out of. Matthew is too distant and too angry to relent. Meera Vashisht’s misguided love left her bruised, shattered and abandoned, only to be found and healed by Susan. Set on a fictional Indian island paradise called Bydore, In The Light of Darkness is a journey of broken souls looking for closures and new beginnings. Does Susan manage to win back her son? Does Matthew find the future his mother hoped he would? Does Meera finally get away from her past?

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Buy the book here : Amazon

Know more about the writer here : Facebook Page

Know more about her books here : Goodreads page

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Author Talk- Namrata Madhira

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Hello, friends. How have your week been? I have had a congested week. As I mentioned on the social media platforms, my debut work of fiction is about to be released by the publishing house ‘Story Mirror’ this year. The editing works are almost completed. I am, right now, working on the blurb of my book, which is a difficult and time consuming task in itself.

Amidst all the chaos, I am here with yet another edition of ‘Author Talk’. Today, we have Namrata Madhira, AKA Privy Trifles, sharing with us a Guest Post on ‘Lessons In Writing’. Namrata is a versatile blogger and a prolific writer. I started knwoing her through her blog, Privy Trifles and it didn’t take me long to be her frequent visitor. Her words are captivating and her prose lucid.  She is a contributor to many an anthology too. She also has two short stories collection in her repertoire – Metro Diaries and Metro Diaries -2. Without wasting any more time, I am handing over the baton to Namrata, whose article is sure to leave you enlightened. 

 

                            LESSONS IN WRITING

NAMRATA MADHIRA

In the last six years that I have been writing regularly there are lots of instances when I either am given advice on writing or asked for it. I prefer the former than the latter because I think I am still a learner who shouldn’t be giving advices. Out of all the advices I have received till date I would like to share with you two advices, one which according to me is the best advice I have ever got and the other, the worst.

A post outlining all the advices received would have been quite an interesting read but here I want to provide you a balanced view about writing and in the process attempt to clear any myths or misconceptions you might have harbored in your heart. I am also going to explain the why behind it, not because I need to justify my stance but to show that what is worst for me could actually be best for you; simply because our answers for the master question “What does writing mean to you” differ.

: Best advice:

Write not because you can, but because you need to and there is no other way you can bring solace to your heart.

I was fortunate to have attended a workshop with a Booker Prize nominee who had a lot of advices for all budding writers. One of the most important things he said was the above lines.  According to him, being able to bring out our inner most thoughts on paper in words is something that makes us special. There are many who don’t know this art (Ref: Illiterate i.e. people who cannot read or write) and are missing out on the magic of words.

Write daily because that is the voice of your soul. Don’t force yourself to write in a particular fashion just to become popular. Remember one of the best authors we look up to today used to invent new words in English while writing. Experience the joy of creation rather than pushing yourself to replicate a masterstroke by someone else.

: Worst advice:

Never be emotionally attached to your writing.

This advice was given to me by a fellow author in a creative writing workshop who also happens to be a published writer and someone whose writing is too good.  During the workshop we were supposed to critic each other’s works and somehow she felt I had taken the feedback too personally. She advised me to detach myself from my writing because that is when I will be able to focus on it better.

With due respect to her I strongly disagree with this advice. I thought about it a lot with the intention of implementing it. But after a lot of rumination I concluded that if I detach myself from my writing I won’t be able to improve it at all. For me writing is my creation, a part of me in the form of words. Just like a mother feels bad when someone pinpoints her child’s negatives I also do feel bad. But then a mother also knows how to not spoil her child and ensure those negatives are worked upon before they turn into vices. If she is not attached to her child she won’t be able to do this.

I have always said I am my worst critic and I am never satisfied with my own work which of course is very good sign. At the same time I am attached to my pieces but not to an extent that I feel they are flawless. I am attached to an extent that I can see all the flaws and still believe in their potential, and hence keep reworking on them.

Though I am sure there are many who would agree with this advice because detachment brings in a sense of freedom to move on albeit a bit more easily than before! To each his own I believe.  If there is one advice which I would like to share with others it will always be this “Never let someone else define writing for you. Neither is any definition wrong nor is any right. Choose what it means to you and keep following that till you see it manifest into reality.”

By now I am sure you would have deduced that there is not good or bad advice. It is just what it is, an advice. You are free to inculcate it in your work or completely ignore it because like it is said “There are three rules for writing and no one knows what they are!”

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THE BLURB OF THE AUTHOR’S LATEST BOOK – METRO DIARIES-2: 

Give life another chance. Laugh a little longer. let go of your past. Hold onto what you love. In short LIVE rather than just exist!

Some told, some untold, some heard and some unheard – this collection of stories will make you look at life in a different light and make you ponder over its definition of it till now.

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Buy the book here – Amazon

Know more about the author here – Facebook Page

Read the author’s blog – Here

Know more about the author’s books here – Goodreads Page

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Before you leave, please drop any queries that you might want to be answered by the author. If not, do leave your opinions on the guest post or the column. I hope you have a wonderful week ahead!

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Author Talk – Sulaiman Sait

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The last week was eventful in many regards. I had to prepare for a presentation which was scheduled on Thursday. The notification was provided to me a day back and so I needed to dig deep in the limited time I was granted. Regardless of that, the presentation went well and I was relieved.  Along with that a few other commitments sprang up from nowhere, leaving my hands tied till Saturday. As I sit down to write this post, I am not breathing out in relief. I have back to back duties this week and the moments that I receive in between them are the moments that I write. I was apprehensive whether I would be able to come up with the Sunday column of Author Talk this week, but yet, here I am with another refreshing session. 

Today, unlike the past two weeks, we have an author interview planned. The author who is joining us today is a person who released his debut work of fiction, a thriller,  last year in December. He is a good friend of mine. As this column is aimed at peeping inside an author’s life related to writing, we will have a purely writing oriented interview. 

Before any further delay, I would like to invite, Sulaiman Sait, the author of the much talked about book, ‘The Blind Trial’ , published by Story Mirror, to discuss with us his writing process and his love for books.

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  1. Tell us something about your writing process.

Sulaiman Sait: My writing process is slow. I work all possible ways in which I can build a proper and perfect story, before I get into my process of writing.

With Blind Trial, I had to write a few dozen story synopsis before going ahead and starting my chapters. The chapters that I wrote on daily basis were based on synopsis I split into different sections.  Despite proper planning, I had to again re write a few chapters to ensure I left no loop holes in my story plot.

I also believe, being calm, patient and focused is the best way to ensure one can transform energy and life to the characters defined in the book.

  1. How did the idea for ‘The Blind Trial’ begin to germinate in your mind?

Sulaiman Sait: I initially started with an un-named story, and while I was in the final year. During my internship at the hospital, I happened to work on a study titled “Single Blinded Study to study the safety and efficacy of Carbepenems among patients with primary infections following post operative care”

I learnt a whole lot of things about clinical research as I faced challenges while I successfully completed the study I had designed.

At that moment my two arms were writing and clinical research. I decided to use the most challenging thing about clinical research “Blinding” as a topic and progress with my story and build a plot around it. The amalgamation of my desire for writing and research was when the Blind Trial was born.

  1. A brief note on the characters in the book.

Sulaiman Sait: The protagonist of my story is Dr. Nitin, in short a simple representation of what I had been during my internship at the hospital. The way I used to move along with fellow health care professionals, and patients. The way I always liked getting to the bottom of every clinical case I came across.

Dr. Neha is a character who could be a perfect match for Dr. Nitin.

Dr. Aditi is a character which I brought into my story based on the character of Dr. Susan Lewis from the television series ER. Where the character was played by Sherry Stringfield.

  1. Any writing tips you would want to share with the readers?

Sulaiman Sait:

(i) I’d go with the saying “A writer is never on a break, He’s either writing or planning what to write next…” Its always better for a writer to be in a good frame of mind and have a constant thought on his writing process. That will keep him/her motivated to write more.

(ii)Practice is the only easy way to gain perfection. No one can become a good writer over night. Its years of practice and understanding that will make you a better writer.

(iii) When you are not writing/ held up with a writer’s block. The only solution is to read, read and read… I’m sure it would definitely motivate you to lift your pen soon.

(iv) Do listen to your critics and learn to improvise their comments in your writing. That’s the best way you can become better at what you are doing.

  1. What did you learn about writing or publishing in your journey as a writer?

Sulaiman Sait: During my journey as a writer I learnt one thing, that is – talent always gets rewarded. A good writer with a genuine story would definitely find a way to get his story reach the masses.

I also learnt that, maintaining a good relationship with fellow authors, writers and bloggers would always be beneficial on a long run; for, they are gonna be the initial ones to hold your book.

  6. Would you like to share with us your writing journey since childhood?

Sulaiman Sait : My writing journey dates back to have started a decade back. I was in class 8 while my Mom was doing her M.A English Literature. She used to work at a school as well during the day. Back home in the evening, she used to be tired and I decided to step up my responsibility and help her by reading a few chapters. That’s when I developed interest in literature and witting. I learnt the intricate things about English language and grew strong with my basics. I started writing poems in class 9 and have had my poems featured across leading news papers in the city.

I was back to focusing on my studies from class X. The passion didn’t die then.

Once I joined college, I had a chance to give some time for writing. I started my blog in Feb 2011 and I’ve never turned back since then. Having met fellow bloggers with similar passions, I found wings to see myself being able to take off in amidst the field of writers

  1. Your take on the present publishing/ literature scenario.

Sulaiman Sait: Publication today has become an easy process, with publication houses taking care of all the activities from proof reading, editing, to cover design and marketing. All you got to do as an author is write a proper story and approach the right publication house. It is indeed a time taking process, but definitely worth the wait. Self publishing is another option for many upcoming writers. I would aid them in building their confidence as a writer and build global readership.

  1. About your favourite book/ writer.

Sulaiman Sait : My favourite book is “The Consequences of Love” by an author who is my namesake – Sulaiman (Addonia). His story revolves around the streets of Jeddah where it is haram (Prohibited) for a guy and a girl to even look at each other. One find day a girl with pink shoes drops a chit on the foot of a guy and proposes him. Their love story builds there on. What happens next, well, you got to read that wonderful story to know more.

  1.   Your favourite genre and about the books (list of five/ten likewise) you have loved reading on the same.

Sulaiman Sait: I enjoy books of various genres.

Off late, I have enjoyed reading Thrillers (Medical) by Robin Cook.
His books, Coma, Host, Year of the Inter, Chromosome 6, Death Benefit, Nano and Seizure have been my all time best reads.

I enjoyed Death Benefit and Nano to such an extent that I had dreams of the character – Pia Grazdani (the protagonist) from the books.

I also enjoy reading poetry (my first love), romance, fiction and adventure.

  1. Why do you write?

Sulaiman Sait: Why do I write? In fact I question this to myself every time I site to write and I get my answer once I finish writing. It’s the inner peace and sense of fulfillment I see when I have created a document. I see a way in which I can translate my anger, my excitement, my love of anything and everything.

  1. The things you depend on for inspiration.

Sulaiman Sait: The nature has never failed to inspire me at any instance.  But, I definitely look to follow people who have been an inspiration to me. There are many whom I’ve looked upon over the years. My mom is one amongst them. She’s a wonderful poet and a writer herself. My inspiration amongst writers has been Gulzaar Sahab, Vikram Seth, RK Narayan, and my beloved Ruskin Bond (whose books I was busy reading instead of my class X books before my board exams)

I have a group of fellow authors and bloggers who have been an inspiration to me over the years. A couple of names to mention include Saru Singhal (ma’am), and Ganga Bharani (ma’am). They have not only inspired me, but stood by my side over the years.

  1. Any particular writing habits.

Sulaiman Sait: I have a peculiar habit of carrying a diary/ notepad with me everywhere I go. It helps me transform what I see into words, which I use on my social media platforms. Sometimes, these small things I have noticed have helped me write short stories and poems on my blogs.
Also in another way. This has helped me overcome my writer’s block as well

  1.  2016 reading round up – Books you loved reading in 2016.

Sulaiman Sait: 2016 was a poor year for my reading. I did definitely buy more books than any other year but failed to read most of them.

I’m sure to not have read more than 9-10 books, for I had been busy with my research work, my book publication and lastly, having bagged a job as a full time researcher has made things tight on my daily schedule.

Nonetheless, I’m still the same avid arm chair reader, who’d enjoy my Sunday evening tea with a book in hand.

Talking about the books I’ve enjoyed reading in 2016, It has to be – The best seller she wrote – Ravi Subramaniam.

  1. How was the publishing journey of your debut novel like? Your experience on the same?

Sulaiman Sait: My publishing journey for my debut novel was a wonderful experience. I enjoyed the nervousness after having submitted my manuscript. I was overjoyed upon receiving my contract. I learnt to develop patience, waiting for the launch date. I enjoyed interacting with the creative team who worked behind the scenes on my book. I went to the extreme of being over excited that I forgot how to start my speech at the book launch. All I gained overall, was good support and love from people from different back grounds, who trusted upon my work and decided to invest in my book. Now I see the fruits of my hard work and patience with good reviews coming up for my book.

  1. Anything else related to wiritng you would want to tell us about.

Sulaiman Sait: Writing is a wonderful feeling; you are the master of the world you create. You dictate the terms which you want your readers to enjoy. The fun, pleasure and excitement one gets in writing and seeing his/her name in print is second to nothing that can be matched on this planet. One thing I’d also wanna say about writing. Be original, be creative, your work will stand alone only when your ‘X’ factor from your writing style reflects in your work.

Blurb of ‘The Blind Trial’: 

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Dr. Nitin from Mumbai makes his way to Live Well Medical College and Research Institute (LWMCRI) at Ooty for his course in clinical and experimental medicine where he is joined by Dr. Neha and Dr Aditi. Just as Dr. Nitin takes up his responsibilities, he encounters a case of unexplained cardiac death and comes across a series of such cases making him suspicious about some reprehensible act happening around there. Building a theme around the same for his research work he decides to investigate the reason behind these deaths and soon finds himself dragged to the centre of this mayhem happening in the name of a Blinded Clinical Trial Study. While he tries to investigate further he is forced to encounter countless challenges that continuously keep pulling him down. Does he succumbs to these challenges or becomes a victim of the master plan? Does he get a way to expose the reality? Will justice be legally served? – Read “The Blind Trial” for more.

Buy the book from Amazon Amazon

Know more about the author’s books Goodreads Page

Read the author’s works here at his blog – Blog

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That brings us to the end of this week’s Sunday column of Author Talk. Next week, we shall meet again with a guest post written by an author with mulifarious interests. Until then, have a good week ahead! 

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Author Talk – Deepti Menon

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Happy New Year, friends! I feel satisfied with myself in a blissful way for having decided to begin the very first blog post of 2017 with the word ‘Happy’. Isn’t that what we all strive to achieve in the long run? I had thought of writing a whole other post to commemmerate the beginning of a brand new year, but as January 1st falls on a Sunday, I had to plan otherwise. Are you still wondering what is with Sunday and this blog? Well, have you forgotten already? I know you haven’t. But on the other hand, if you somehow missed this column I posted on last Sunday, well then I would convey to you an exciting news that this blog has started a special column to be featured on Sundays. The column is titled ‘Author Talk’ and true to its name, it features authors in the form of either guest posts or interviews, such that the curious readers are allowed a peak into the awe inspiring writing journey of the writers who have already made their mark in the Indian literature scenario. 

Today, I am more thrilled for the author who is joining us than for the fact that the world is celebrating New Year! Most of you might know her. She is a terrific writer with an exuberant heart. Her writing is riveting, elegant and alluring. She took a leap into the Indian publishing industry with her debut novel ‘Arms and the Woman’, which was published by Rupa Publications. A part of innumerable anthologies, she published her second novel ‘Shadow in the Mirror’ in 2016 from Readomania. Well, she is not a secret anymore for you, is she? We indeed are talking about ‘Deepti Menon’, the woman with the mighty charm. 

Read on to know about her tryst with writing. I am sure the post would brighten up your New Year in more ways than one! 

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My Tryst With Writing

By Deepti Menon

“There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.”
― W. Somerset Maugham

I have always wanted to be a writer. I was ten when I wrote my first poem, which was when I fell in love with the words that I had written. Reading had been my favourite pastime ever since I opened my eyes to a home filled with books strewn around. My grandparents read, my father read and wrote, my mother read, wrote and acted… so when I started reading at a rather young age, it came as no surprise to anyone.

My writing process is rather simple. I see or hear something that intrigues me, and my fingers itch to put it down. Initially, I would write things down in a notebook, and soon graduated to my grandfather’s old typewriter, which would creak and groan its way through my pieces. When I got married, my husband bought me a smart new typewriter, which I used till the ribbon dried out (is that what happens?)

Finally, I approached a computer for the first time with trepidation, heart in mouth, as I assured my husband that I would be back to my notebook in no time. However, I soon got used to it, and today when I write articles and short stories directly onto my laptop, I wonder what all the fuss was about. I even wrote an entire novel on my laptop in a month for NaNoWriMo last year, and again, this year.

Agatha Christie and Conan Doyle catapulted me into the world of mysteries and thrillers, genres which I dearly enjoy. I also recall the days when I would be travelling by train, head inside a PG Wodehouse novel, and people around would be alarmed at the chuckles that erupted from deep within me. Not surprisingly, I love humour as well.

‘Shadow in the Mirror’ was born of a tiny idea that ‘growed and growed’, as did Topsy in Uncle Tom’s Cabin. The entire story revolved around that one idea, as did the characters. However, once I had written my story, I stowed it away, and brought it out of hibernation eleven years later, when I met Dipankar Mukherjee of Readomania and my adept editor, Vaijyanti Ghosh, both of whom helped me to prune it and hone it into its present avatar.

Parts of the books are autobiographical, with actual characters taken from my life. However, the main portion of the book is pure fiction (and thank God for that! J)

Having written for over four decades, I still find the journey enthralling, as I search for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. I constantly strive to write what I enjoy writing, for only if I enjoy what I write will my readers do so.

I consider myself a learner still, a lover of words, fond of good writing that touches my heart and my funny bone. One quote that I dearly love is one by Mark Twain.

“The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter. ’Tis the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.” 

Some of my friends and family members have dubbed me a Grammar Nazi, but believe me, I don’t do it consciously. It is just that errors pop up and hit me in the eye every single time! I am surprised I don’t have a black eye most of the time!

All I would like to say is that writing should be a joy and not a chore… your words should sparkle and shine on within the hearts of your readers.

“No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.” 
Robert Frost

If you love what you write, so will others; if you yawn as you try to finish a dreary piece, so will your readers as well. So write for yourself, and you will end up writing for others as well!

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The Blurb Of Shadow In The Mirror:

sha

It all begins with a death. Nita, a pregnant woman falling from her balcony becomes the string that unravels the plot. Her death casts a shadow over many lives; her heartbroken father, her husband and Vinny, a young journalist, drawn in by the whiff of foul play and murder.
What follows are stories within stories, eras and worlds colliding with each other, leaving behind splintered relationships and mesmerizing slices of lives that appear to be drawn together and driven apart by the whimsical threads of destiny.
As events cast their shadows ahead to link the stories of Vinny, Kavita, Roma, Krish and Nita in an unrelenting knot, a journey starts to uncover the truth. What is the secret that links Nita’s death to the other characters? Will Vinny be able to unravel the mystery of Nita’s death?
From intimate diary entries and letters, to bantering over a meal and sharing memories while spring cleaning, this novel de-familiarizes the ordinary, presenting a kaleidoscope of our own pasts, broken edges and pulsating hearts.

Buy the book from Amazon – Amazon

Contact the author – Facebook Page

Know more about her booksGoodreads Page

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I could imbibe each and every word written by her and savour them to the very core. So, what did you think? Do share in the comment section before you leave. On next Sunday, we shall be meeting again with the interview of a writer who published his debut novel recently. Until then, have a fabulous first week of 2017! 

I did change the look of my blog as it needed a revamp and what better occasion to finally do it but on the New Year! 

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