To be honest I was nervous, it was going to be my first chance of interviewing an author. But I had met her once and she was too warm and positive as a person, you instantly feel connected to her. She doesn’t have usual celeb like nakhras, in fact she is one of the most down to earth person I have came across.
I was ready with a list of questions I made for her as this was going to be a telephonic interview. But as we started to talk after exchanging greetings my fear, my nervousness vanished away and it instantly turned to rather informal chit-chat. Here are the excerpts of our conversation in interview form. Read it along, I am sure after reading it you would know her better:
1. When did you realize that you want to become a writer?
I began writing at a very young age but as I got married, I was busy teaching in schools all over India. Yet something was always amiss within me, something I could not define. But ever since I began freelancing a decade ago, I realized I had found the missing link that I needed to feel content within. After building my website www.writingnaturally.com and writing for clients, there was no looking back.
2. What’s the earliest memory you have of writing?
When I was in 9th class I had my best friend Tania Dua with whom I would fight plenty. Each time she broke my heart, I wrote a sad poem…lols. I met her 30 years later now and attribute my journey of words to her. I guess when pain enters your being, words pour out.
3. What do you think is the least interesting part of being a writer?
Well…writing is not easy…it’s like pregnancy…the emotional battle you go through, the ups and downs and the worst part is the delivery…which is the publishing process and marketing of your book.
4. What do you think is the most interesting part of being a writer?
Ahh ! Now I love this question J not for money…but at least you can express yourself and fulfill your passion of sharing your thoughts & ideas with the world. Very few people have a talent for words and if you can, then hang onto your passion and continue to write and touch peoples’ hearts through your words.
5. What was the inspiration behind choosing to write your first novel as a crime fiction and not a love story or a woman oriented novel?
I met a gentleman Pinaki Chaudhuri in a train and Flirting with Fate was his concept. He believed in me and wanted me to write a crime thriller and thus the story evolved over the months, step by step.
6. Well, both books are like babies to you I understand but which is more closer to your heart and why?
Am gonna kill u Neha Gupta for asking me this one…for a mom all babies are equal !! Well..the second book, Crossroads is closer to my heart because I became close to the real characters I used in the book….I lived with them day in and day out…it was indeed a journey.
7. I was quite fascinated by the portrayal of characters in your book Crossroads, Any real-life inspirations for character sketch?
For almost every author, characters are inspired by real life incidents or situations. In Crossroads, all my characters are real people who were in my life and helped me tide over low times, stood by me in trouble and partied with me in joy. I wanted to pay my gratitude to them by giving them an eternal place in my book. This is a unique feature and a novel idea not used in any book so far.
8. Social media or print media? You prefer which more?
I think both are fake…social media very few people portray their genuine selves and print media only flashes what the politicians desire, never the common man’s problems. I prefer the music media …lols…that gives me solace.
9. The protagonist ‘Kavita’ is a strong person weakened by a bug called love. But it took her long good time to step out of a bad marriage; according to you till what time should one keep giving it another chance?
One should try 200o % in saving a marriage....but not at the cost of your self-respect being trampled upon. If you are being abused and domestic violence takes place, it’s time to reconsider your marital situation. Even for the men, I would like to say, if you feel your wife is taking advantage of your goodness and mistreating you, then it’s time to find your own happiness and peace. Life is too short to remain in a strained marriage which maybe already dead.
10. You have beautifully portrayed a woman’s desires and of course the line of limit she should create for herself. But don’t you think youngsters these days get ‘it’ too easy and don’t actually consider it as ‘dignity’ instead a status symbol?
Yes,,,times are changing and relationships are easily made and broken without any values. But I would plead the parents to communicate more openly with their children and discuss sex education as a vital part of growing up. With communication open with your parents, whom you can rely upon always, I am sure youngsters today can focus more on their self growth and careers instead of getting involved at an early stage.
1. A man like Rajiv deserves punishment by law. Why didn’t Kavita ever tried to complaint against him?
I didn’t want to portray Kavita a strong woman in the beginning. The strength had to come from within, as a result of her hapless circumstances. I wanted to show a mirror to the readers, a fact that almost each Indian woman faces. She tolerates abuse and takes it quietly for the sake of her child, her own parents and society. The turnover had to be gradual in Kavita, who is playing the role of almost every Indian woman.
2. The shayaris and the songs have made it more beautiful and easy to connect with every situation and idea of chapter names is fascinating too, how did you planned up doing it.
In both my books, I have used songs so that the readesr can connect easily. To be honest my books are meant for the Indian audience only and most of us connect with hindi music to release stress, don’t we ? Regarding the shayaris…I requested the characters Abhinash Pattnaik, Mihir Shah and Prateek Singh to contribute their poetic words to enhance the content of Crossroads.
3. Is your novel inspired from any personal experiences or it is purely fiction based?
Every novel by almost every author is inspired by a cocktail of personal and fictional experiences. I leave it to the reader to decipher it on their own.
4. Your personal favorite characters from the novel?
My favorite characters are Twitter, the parrot, Abhinash Pattnaik, the army officer and the character of Kavita, playing her role well on behalf of all Indian women.
5. What are you writing these days?
I am taking a break now ! Phew ! Am just busy promoting and marketing my book and grasping the feedbacks from readers. Some are awesome while others are eye openers.
6. According to you, what makes a good novel? What makes it successful?
A good novel should be simple to read, have a good flow and the characters must be playing vital roles and must be knit well. The reader should not feel like putting the book down; that urge to turn the next page must always be there. I dunno if I am successful but if my book manages to evoke emotions in any reader, I have done my job. Like a lady called after reading the book and said she was in tears as I wrote what she could not express. I smiled at this end as my job was done. I don’t need the bestseller tag then J
7. Will you be writing in other genres too in near future??
I don’t know…kal ho na ho J
(She answers with her most favorite dialogue, Yeah absolutely filmy she is undoubtedly)
8. Your advice to the aspiring writers?
Just write in simple language. But write, while feeling emotions because if you don’t write deeply how can the reader feel the emotions ?
9. A mother, an author, a great cook ( I have heard a lot about your mirchi achhaar and other mouth watering dishes) a beautiful person at heart who loves to dress well and those pretty gajra avatar of you. Mam are you secretly a super-mom? How do you manage It all.
Ailllah !!! Neha..I am a lousy cook dear but like I said FB is a fake place :P so I update only few selective dishes which turn out good…rest are made by my maid..lols. Yes I believe in dressing well coz it makes you happy within, it gives you an inner confidence which puts a step in ur gait. As you know I am known as the ‘PHOOLWAALI’ and I love the title !! Supermom ?? I dunno …ask my kiddo that as she manages me rather than me managing her ! I am still learning plenty…miles to go !! Your mirchi achaar is pending, sweetheart, don’t you worry !
(Mam, choco muffins too :D, I demand )
10. Tell us something about your personal life? Especially about the zoo-family J
Like you said—yes am bindaaas and happy go lucky but a total emotional fool who collapses each time someone talks to me with love. I also try my best to help people, be kind to them but often taken for granted but best part is I never learn and do it all over again !! Yet over the time, I am growing and learning to help, complete my karma and move on. I can’t please everyone in this world so just following my heart, always. I yap plenty and have been christened BASANTI also but I love that too….at least I don’t keep anything within my heart ! My zoo family has Amber Singh as the karta dhata and the Big Boss around and he completes my little world totally.
My book is on following sites and my Wikipedia page is https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Preeti_Singh
Do grab it on Flipkart at http://bit.ly/1m9OlZl
Get author signed copies at http://bit.ly/1dSWyfr
Combo offer of both Flirting With Fate & Crossroads http://bit.ly/1mN7GTj