I am a person wearing many hats on one head. Sometimes, the hats are too large for my head, but that doesn’t stop me from trying them on. I am interested in everything under the Sun. I believe in leaving a mark, making a difference, and being everything that I can be.
Tell us about your latest book.
My very first book, Winter Leaves is coming out this month. Winter Leaves is a collection of visual poetry, featuring some of my poems along with visual graphics to represent the essence in them. The book is published by Purple Unicorn Media, a budding traditional publishing house based in Swansea, UK.
I have a non-fiction work slated for a March 2015 release. I’ve titled it Solitaire Melodies. Solitaire (a pun here) denotes two things – a hugely captivating one-player game, and a single piece of gem (usually a diamond) that adorns a jewellery piece all by itself. The subjects of my interest are such women achievers – unafraid to play their games alone, unified by the uniqueness in the ways they have paved their professions and careers, all with a steely determination to make a mark through the walls of time. My book is all about these women who have taken a leap of faith to pursue their passions, and have excelled at it…!
I am also working on a short-story collection, Two to Tango, slated for the second half of next year.
From where do you draw your inspiration?
A very accomplished artist once happened to look at a painting of mine, and observed “If not for pain, there would be no artists, would there?!” The statement has stuck to me ever since. I think that’s where I draw my inspiration - from the pain of the world around me.
What authors inspire your writing?
Although I would love to proclaim how brilliant a writer I am, my sense of realism prevents me from being falsely boastful. Given the fact that my writing isn’t earth-shattering, naming authors as inspiration for my writing would be a gross injustice to their talent!
However, I can name authors who have inspired my thinking - indirectly influencing my writing… I grew up reading Shakespeare and Jeffrey Archer. The restlessness of the transition from the late teen years to the early twenties needed some grounding from writers such as Ayn Rand and Iris Murdoch. Richard Bach’s writings have answered many of my questions arising from internal conflicts.
What kind of books do you like to read?
Almost all genres. In particular,
Fiction -- to see this world afresh and anew
Fantasy -- to forget this world altogether and transcend into another
Romance -- because the world is never the same once romance touches it
Memoirs -- to gather lessons on how one deals with what the world inflicts on them
How have your real life experiences influenced your writing?
My real life experiences reflect all over my writing - my poems, the chapters of my non-fiction work. All of these are heavily studded with my observations on life, people, and humanity itself. What I have seen and experienced have paved the way for who I am today - including my choice and style of writing.
What do you like to do when you are not writing?
Definitely not be idle! I never cease to get interested in different pursuits and on any given day, I am doing at least five or six of these. Singing, painting, photography, graphic design, writing, blogging, cooking, reading and much more! I am pretty mediocre at most of these, and I am terrible at the rest. But not being good at something is no reason for me to not do something.
I’m afraid I haven’t had enough experience with this to make it a fascinating story. I’m just one of those fortunate ones to have got the interest of a good and supportive budding publisher.
How did you come up with the title of your book?
Here is my thought-train on Winter Leaves...
Abiding with nature’s stipulations, Winter faithfully trails Autumn. Conforming to what has been their obligation since time immemorial, most leaves wither away to the call of Fall. All, except a few. Some which determinedly defy age-old conditioning and hang on, clinging on with all their might to the frosting trees, the loving homes where they were once welcome. With no inkling of awareness about if and when Winter will end at all, they hang on – for whom?
The thoughts that make up this book are also similar leaves hanging on after Autumn – seeds of mentation left behind long after the mind has been beaten to numbness… Words that do not want to wither away despite all efforts to erase them.
What celebrity would you chose to play the main character(s) in the movie rendition of your book?
Mine aren’t fiction books yet, and so do not qualify for this question. However, if I ever make them to be audio books, I would love to have them narrated by Morgan Freeman! I have been enticed by his voice ever since Shawshank Redemption, as many of us here I am sure are. I see no better voice to help a reader unravel a book.
What is the hardest part of the writing process for you?
Making the writing concise and precise. Anyone talking to me would know I’m a huge chatterbox and I use up a 100 words when 10 would suffice. Give to me a notebook, a pen and some coffee, and you’ll probably have a 1000 pages on nonsense in no time. To make sense out of all that babbling later and put some shape into, is a mammoth task for me and I fail at it big time.
What is your preferred writing environment?
The sun, the sand and the sea - with a cup of coffee. There's not much of the first three where I live, but I make sure I get loads of coffee!