If I might describe myself then I will say that I am a cultural confluence of so many different traditions. Basically from being Kerala and right from birth to upbringing in Gujarat, I have had the honor of understanding and absorbing two different stark opposite cultures and bringing about the right balance between the two. I did that was mandatory for a living; a masters degree that fetched me a decent livelihood and my passion for writing which I believe is nature’s blessing, keeps me happy and active all the time.
Q2. When did you start Writing…?
That is interesting for me. It started while waiting for the science teacher to come to class after our English class was over. The time gap in between was the time when I started writing. I was 8 then, may be the third standard class. It was a poem and then wrote long and short poems for many years. By fifteen or so, I started with short stories and by the time I journeyed to masters, I had started on larger projects. So, it has been a slow and steady movement uphill and has been a good one too.
Q3. How do you feel to be a Published Author?
On a funny note, it does feel still unreal. I had always dreamed about writing many books, different genres, getting published but actually when it is happening; it does seem a little out of the box. With us normal people, when out of the box things happen, it does take time to sink in.
Q4. Tell us something About your book?
In Scarred for Life, Healed Forever, I have attempted to touch a nerve rather than a story. It might appear to be paranormal or supernatural, but here I have tried to understand and explain how a human mind works. What I have realized over a period of time is that there is no powerful entity as much as the human mind and neither is there a weaker existence than it. A human mind can do wonders and disasters and that is what I have tried to tell through the book.
Q5. What do you think Writing is more difficult or Finding a good publisher for the book is more difficult?
Writing is more difficult if you are not well inspired or you are struggling with the theme of the book or the storyline. Once you have crossed that barrier, finding a good publisher indeed becomes the next difficulty. If you have written a book and you need proper justice to be done for it, you need a good publisher and finding one is a real tough job.
Q6. Tell us your Experience with Gargi Publication?
In one word – Marvelous. Gargi Publication has turned up wonderfully and worked real hard. They are very professional; Pulkit and Team barely seem to be breathing to bring the book into the literary world. I am amazed and excited to work along with such a peppy and dynamic team that keeps me on my toes. Professionalism is what I liked most about Gargi Publishers. When they say they have a plan, they do it and deliver it. Also, they are open to all kind of discussions and deliberations and are flexible immensely. Their strict standards to good books is what I appreciate the most.
Q7. When is your book releasing? And What marketing Strategies you are using for promoting your book?
The book is slotted for a December release. With the team of Gargi Publishers, online and offline marketing is what we are targeting at. Hopefully, the online methods will reach more people and making the book available on stands shall fetch good success to the book.
Q8. “Scarred for Life, Healed Forever” Why did you choose this title?
Originally, the title of the book was different and it appeared more so like a romantic novel. Of course, there is an element of romance but that is not prominent. I felt the title was misleading. It is concerned more with the alter power of the protagonist and the agonies she faces. So, I believe I had to give a title that suited the situation and that was when the title simply jumped at me rather than I jumping at it. It aptly sat with the situation and the theme of the book and hence Scarred for Life, Healed Forever was christened.
Q9. Tell us some good memories associated with the writing of this book?
The book gets real tragic midway and I have sat and stared at the screen, my stationary and even empty ceiling has been a great company. The good memories associated with the book is that I have enjoyed writing every bit of it and it has had more funnier mishaps than any other book I have written. I have forgotten countless meals, appointments, meetings and time-offs with friends (who only seem to agree, yell and yet understand). But when I get into the zone, the whole world blurred out. My tea-cup has borne the maximum cold ones during the writing of this book.
Q10. Ashwati you had written Short stories also, So tell me what you loved to write a full fledge novel or Short stories?
Both are equal fun if you look at it. Short stories have certain boundaries and a lot has to be told in less which makes it challenging. We have enough words in the world but picking the right, less number of them and giving a good story is what that counts. Full fledged novels have complete and total independence of how the story has to go and how much you want to write and I think that every writer enjoys the privilege.
Q11. What is your Favourite Genere? In which Genere you are comfortable to write?
There is no particular genre for me. It has a lot to do with inspiration. But any given day, Fiction is favored over other genre and in fiction too, my motivation takes over. It can be romance, science fiction, tragedy – anything. As long as I am able to envision the whole plot in my mind, all genre are favorites.
Q12… Who is the source of Inspiration?
For writing Scarred for Life, Healed Forever, I believe there was nobody who inspired. Like some spirit, it came to me and I started writing it. But generally, in life, I have been highly moved by A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. The story depicted by Dickens has a plethora of human emotions woven together to give a masterpiece. I remember having cried all night when I had reached to the part when Sidney Carter, my favorite character in the book, was killed at the guillotine. Some of the classic writers are my biggest source of inspiration. I like the different styles in which each story is told.
Q13. How will you face the negative as well as positive reviews of the book?
I am bracing more for the negative in reality. I am not sure why I picked science fiction and why I chose a theme that has lot of technicality and science in it. But I can’t deny that much effort has gone in researching too and I remember how I have spent sleepless and red-eyed nights looking up any information that could help. I am a little nervous about the acceptance level of the book and all positives are with fingers crossed.
Q14. What message would you like to tell to our Readers and Debut Writers…?
I would like readers to know that when they next time go to a bookstore to pick an uncommon genre so that you get a different flavor to taste from the literary world. I will suggest the same to Debut writers too that pick a different genre to write. We all have a regular story, an average plot – something out of the blue makes a pleasant difference always. And start with reading classic writers; each classic writer has an individual style and you will easily be able to differentiate how different styles make story a visual treat.
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Thank you Ashwati for your valuable time...All the best for the book....