Congratulations for your book ‘Over a Cup of Coffee’! It is a pleasure to have a conversation (though not face-to-face) with you about your literary journey. Just like an intriguing title, your literary journey also sounds very interesting. This short session will give my readers a sneak peek into the making of this book.
1. When did you first realise that you wanted to become a writer?
When I got an opportunity to work & stay in Panchgani as a Residential school teacher, I was very excited! However, as I settled down and started working, I felt very lonely. It was at that time when I started writing short stories and articles.
2. How did you become involved with the subject/ theme of your book?
Since childhood, I had the habit of writing a diary. In my diary, I wrote about my experiences, my secrets, my fears, the tough times I had and the times I felt on top of the world! I also loved to note down beautiful thoughts, anecdotes and all the exciting events with my friends/colleagues in my personal diary. Later, all these lovely incidences became the subject of my book.
3. Can you share some stories about people you met while researching for this book (the ones that could not find place in this book)?
Definitely. I shall send you one of them to be published as a guest post.
4. How do you feel about e books vs. print books?
E books today have their own advantages – like they are easy to carry & use, it is convenient & saves space. However, I still treasure the concept of print books. I love holding a book in my hand & feeling it, smelling its pages & marking my favourite paragraphs in books! I also love the concept of lending a great book to a friend as a “must read” or to have a huge library of your all-time favourite author. This cannot happen if you are into e books.
5. What makes your book stand out from the crowd?
All the illustrations have been personally sketched by me. Also, all the stories are based on true incidences that have taken place in my life (except for the 1st story- Confession.) These two things make my book stand out from the crowd.
6. Do you write more by logic or intuition, or a combination of the two?
I write as a combination – logic and intuition.
7. What question do you wish that someone would ask about your book, but nobody has?
It took me around 10 years to write this collection of short stories & 5 more years to get it in print. This is what many people haven’t asked me.
8. Have you ever gone on any literary pilgrimage?
Yes, I have gone on a literary pilgrimage after reading Ruskin Bond’s book –‘The Children’s Companion,’ as well as his short story collection ‘Time stops at Shamli.’
All the stories are written so beautifully & have mostly been set in the very pretty hill-stations called Landore, in Mussorie or in Dehradun. So, when I visited this pretty hill station, I could literally visualize Ruskin Bond’s long walks through the winding roads, the pretty, pink cherry trees & the different animals like the squirrels, rare birds & the majestic tigers …along my walks.
9. A common misconception entwined with authors is that they are socially inept. How true is that?
I don’t think that this statement is true. Many authors spend a lot of their time mingling with other authors as well as with other people to find out more about their own style of writing and how to improve it. They usually mix with different people coming from various fields. They definitely do take interest by reading/studying different types of books, attend & give talk-shows, & observe a lot while travelling – in order to get new ideas for their own collection of stories/novels and articles.
10. And finally, the clichéd question: How was your experience working with Leadstart Publishers?
I would like to thank Leadstart Publishers. As a new writer, it is really hard to find publishers who will be interested in your project. It is because of the platform created by Leadstart that my book was able to reach a wider audience. It was a pleasant experience.