Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
My passion for writing started when I wrote her first poem at age 5. Since then I have written more than 210 poems and 3 plays. The Jasmine strand is my debut novel and the first to be published.
I love to spend my time reading, writing and traveling. I enjoy classical dance and music. An ardent animal lover, I devote most of my free time to taking care of stray animals.
I am an expressive person interested and swayed by other’s expressions and mannerisms. I can spend days together just watching people.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My novel “The Jasmine Strand” is inspired by the thousands of women I have met and their lives. You can see so much joy in a woman’s face as she welcomes a guest with a cup of coffee. Have you ever wondered why it is mostly the woman who does this simple task? Is it wrong to embrace tradition? Should fights for simple changes always be a revolution? Have we achieved much by revolutions?
A jasmine strand is a symbol of a tradition loving Indian woman. While many like to adorn their plaits with it, some also hate doing it, but adorn themselves with it just to avoid tiffs in the family. Sadly, adjusting and accommodating to the whims of her family becomes a habit that puts an Indian woman in situations that she finds very hard to wriggle out of. Most women do not aim for the skies, but would rather struggle to gain the respect and affection of their family. But often they do not get what they want, despite all their sacrifices, and this book is dedicated to all of them.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I am inspired heavily by mannerisms of people and animals around me. I may forget their names and faces but never their mannerisms. I also like to superimpose one persons mannerism on another and think, how would ‘X’ behave if she had ‘Y’ mannerisms.
Also I like to visualize everything like a movie and then start writing.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
Arundhati Roy, Ken Follett have influenced and inspired me a lot.
What are you working on now?
I am working on a thriller set in a forest. It has lot of references from my observations of people during my trips.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I mostly like to use social media to promote about the book as it is a faster mode of communicating and connecting with the readers. I haven’t run any promotions about the book yet but I strongly feel connecting with the readers on social media is the way to go. I also have some excerpts from the book uploaded regularly in form of an image on my Instagram, Facebook and Twitter pages.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Don’t hesitate to publish your work. Don’t be afraid of feedback and select a great editor.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Writing snippets or dialogues in a regional language does not necessarily being the flavor of the region. It can only be brought by creativity in your writing.
What are you reading now?
I am currently reading Grit by Angela Duckworth.
What’s next for you as a writer?
Thrillers, comic strips , more social novels. Sky is a beautiful blue today and wide open for me.
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
The three books that I am working on right now.. 🙂