This blog used to be views on various things. But in all these years, I find it going a whole new direction.
Something which I have loved all the time. It's BOOKS!! So, presenting a whole new saga, of books and a little about them, whatever I can find, write, visualise and imagine...
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Friday, January 30, 2015
Author Interview: Saumya Misra, author of 'A Life Less Lived'
The author, Saumya
Misra is an editing professional and soon, launching a magazine on the
environment. The reason, I felt had a little something to do with her being
inspired to write a ‘social thriller’. As one reads the novel, ‘A Life Less
Lived’, one notices a lot of social environments blended together to form this
This book, ‘A Life Less Lived’ is
just that. You, as a reader can decide for yourself, as you look into the city
bred Aparna’s life and the rural life with Panna’s and as you travel through the
plots and the sub-plots. You can read the Review, right here and Buy the Book right here.
How did ‘A
Life Less Lived’ happen?
It was a natural
progression from writing short stories. I was a
senior editorial person with the ‘The Times of India’, Lucknow and our duty hours
were very different from the normal 9 to 5 job.
When I returned home well
past mid-night, I found myself sleepless till dawn. You
can say this insomniac state was to a large extent responsible for this novel.
I had the balmy quietness of the night to aid my creative thoughts.
How did you
come up with the core idea and develop it?
To be honest, the core
idea came to me on its own. I have been writing short stories and poems since childhood
and thinking up story ideas was not very difficult for me. As for developing it, I borrowed a little from the life
of my great grandfather and merged it with the modern.
started writing, the story unfolded itself in my mind, the plots and subplots
emerged accordingly, as well. You may find it difficult to believe it, but I did
not make a rough draft on paper. I wrote directly.
Everything was in my mind: the names, the situations, the turn of events…
How would you
relate the book and its characters to the lives today?
This book has a
timeless quality about it. Even today, you may come
across persons who have been dealt a nasty blow by fate. If you just stopped
and asked, maybe they would also have a past like Panna's.
don’t we find over possessive parents and rebellious youth in this day and age?
That part of the story is anyway, contemporary.
Who is your
favourite character in your book and why?
My favourite character
is Aparna, a kind, gentle yet strangely mature girl who never thinks twice
about helping others. She is a dependable friend and a confidant.
to speak her mind without a thought to the consequences and has a way with
people. She is selfless and a cut above the rest. What is more, she is
sensitive towards animals too. In the novel, as you can see, she has no issues
of her own in life but she is busy fighting others’ battles for them.
character do you feel most close to and why?
It goes without saying, I feel closest to Aparna
because I also feel trust and empathy are the virtues most needed in today’s
world. I also know the difference between right and
wrong and am not afraid to speak my mind.
What is the most fulfilling part of writing a book?
my book is like a part of myself. It is the best way of self-expression. I know
there were many odds against me and I managed to overcome them. This
novel, according to me, has turned out better than I thought.
But the greatest part
is that I was able to fulfil my grandfather’s dream and my school principal
Sister Consuelo’s prophesy that I would become a writer, one day.
How did you
manage to blend events from the past and the present, to help build this story?
Like I said, my brain
built everything for me, very systematically like a computer. I did not
consciously plan out the events. Once, I started writing, past and present
blended naturally. This book is a very spontaneous attempt. You can even call
it, a divine intervention of sorts.
you to write a social thriller?
I think everyone is
writing either rom-com, political thrillers, women-centric novels or
mythological novels. Social thrillers are the least
attempted. Writers think that they might not be appreciated.
unless you write one and give the readers a chance to decide for themselves,
how can you write off this particular genre? One can actually connect with
social thrillers. This is a lost art and I wish to revive it.
Who was it
that told you that you could become the author, you are today?
Who told Mr Amitabh
Bachchan he could become a superstar? His self conviction! It was the same with
me. I wanted to become a novelist, so I became one. But here, I must also tell
you my grandfather always said I would become a writer.
My school teachers and my principal also believed I should develop a flair for
writing and composing, so their conviction also sowed the early seed.
editors also encouraged me to write. With so many people’s aspirations resting
on me, how could I but not become the author that I am today?
Any advice to
writers that would like to be published today? How tough is it to be published?
Personally, I do not
feel I am in a position to advice anyone right now, as this is just my debut
novel. Yet, I would say one thing : if you believe you can write, then write. Getting published by established publishers is tough and
takes time, but one must keep faith and patience. If one’s work is good, it
will be published.
I am not referring to
self-publishing here. That way, anyone can get published but it is not worth
it. More than getting published, it is tougher to get well-marketed. Here, most
authors face problems these days. Those with money purchase publicity, those
with a good book might remain anonymous.
I am presently reading ‘EastWind : West Wind’ by Pearl S. Buck. The book provides a glimpse into the Chinese
way of life. It is the story of a traditional Chinese girl married to a Chinese
doctor, educated abroad. How this girl opens up to freedom and point of views of
the Western world is the story.
What do you
do on a daily basis?
I am an editing
professional and am soon launching a magazine on environment.