Authors are normal people, but what differs is their imagination to build up a story.
When I met the author of the day, Shree, the sun had already set and the moonlight blessed each one of us with its softness.
We were emerged by the beauty of the moonlight falling on the lake, when my eyes fell on Shree, I felt as if she was thinking of a story with that backdrop. I couldn’t wait and start my round of questions.
How do you craft the stories? Any methods or plans you take before writing it up?
Shree: First of all, thank you Nivedita for this opportunity.
My stories primarily evolve from either my current state of mind / imagination or any memorable incident which fueled my thoughts, or a topic from the society or sometimes it can evolve from a completely random source, for example, a random person with a typical mannerism or dialect or an inspirational topic of discussion.
I am not very methodical about my writing but if I am handling a sensitive or factual topic, then I do a lot of research before I write. Otherwise I just pour my heart out on the papers as that is the only way I can release the pressure of accumulated wild thoughts in my mind. 🙂
I have seen you share links and books related to your writing journey. How many stories have you written so far?
Shree: Well it is not a very long journey – I first became a published author at the end of 2015. Since then I have written 6 Short Stories, 2 Flash Fictions, 1 Novella, 1 Travelogue, Several Poems for anthologies and magazines, and a collection of some Bengali poems and translations in a book of mine.
Are you engaged in some other profession apart from writing books?
Shree: Yes, I have a Masters Degree in Information Technology and have worked as an IT Pro for few years in UK. But since I have moved to USA I have taken a break from IT job as currently I am mothering a set of twin boys who are a year and a half old….. much more difficult yet fun job than handling IT, I must say…. 🙂
How did your journey for writing books begin?
Shree: My mother inspired me to write as she is a writer too. Fascinated by her storytelling talent, as a kid I tried my hand in essays and poems for school magazines. I really loved the experience when my teachers and classmates patted my back with appreciation of my job. That encouraged me to write more. I had been writing poems, articles and short stories in local magazines and newsletters regularly and finally I decided that this is what I really want to do in my life. That’s when I put together the short stories for my first book ‘Secret Expressions: Two Stories’.
Who is your favourite author?
Shree: There are a few, it will be unjust to name only one. But I always have a biasness for Rabindranath Tagore…. he is timeless and his creations are eternal.
Tell us more about the book, Mind, body and soul?
Shree: ‘Mind, Body and Soul’ is a short story of love and despair, lust and emotional secrets, desire and agony — a story where a soul gets liberated from the shackles of mind and body. Vanyaa, the female lead, obsessed with an Indian television star gets the chance to meet her idol and get to know him—but the secret he hides may tear them both apart, and reality offers a sharp contrast to the glamour of the onscreen world.
The main lead Vanyaa who is your inspiration to write such a character?
Shree: Vanyaa is a very regular, next door girl, although her thought process and ideology were much different than other contemporary people. If you ask for inspiration, I would say experiences of life help in developing characters.
What is the message given by this story?
Shree: I don’t really want to convey any message in particular. The story is completely a work of fiction. But definitely the story handles a very sensitive topic, which needs to be dealt with much understanding and care. The main essence of the story is the character who has hidden the most intense expressions deep within, deal with the consequences of the emotional storms that emerge from his secrets.
What is your advice to new aspiring authors?
The key is to identify their interest, do a lot of research as resources are available in abundance nowadays, build their own tribe and most important — follow their heart.
When is your next book coming out?
Shree: I am currently working on several short stories for various American and Commonwealth journals and magazines. And a few poems have been confirmed to be published in an anthology / eZine.
How is your author journey so far?
Shree: For me the journey has been a massive learning process. It has been nearly two and half years since I got my first book published. And since then I am constantly acquiring knowledge on various methods, techniques, trends, networking, genres, promotions, opportunities and value-additions. Publishing is a whole new world for me — entirely different than the introvert world inside my study with myself and my laptop. It is a complete eye-opener.
What hurdles did you face till now?
Shree: For me the most difficult part is marketing and sales, because honestly these are not my forte. Being constantly on toes to make people aware of my work and self-promoting through social media is an extremely hard work, atleast for an introvert person for me.
How is your inspiration to write?
Shree: My maternal grandmother had interest in writing. My mother herself is a writer. So the inspiration was acquired from them in my initial days. Later on when I really began to enjoy writing, my husband inspired me to go ahead and publish books. 🙂
I will be telling you some initials and you have to complete them.
Best holiday would be… me and my free-flowing imagination
If I was not a writer, I would be… which I have been – IT professional
When not writing, I like to…. play with my babies.
Favorite cuisine… Indian /Chinese /Italian
Best review received so far… Getting a review is the best part on its own.
The best book that I have read is… I have several, but I can think of Arundhati Roy’s “God of small things” on top of my head. Especially the story-telling art of the author and the very minute detailing of a child’s mind, which the adults tend to ignore. (The story affected me so much that probably that’s why now I have twin boys and that too fraternal … hahaha.)
I cannot live without…love
If I could be…a bird
The best moment of my life…so far, becoming a mother.
I aspire to become…good human being
Thank you so much Shree. I am sure readers got to know the real you. Wish you all the best with your writing career.
Thank you for the interview Nivedita 🙂
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