Without giving out any spoilers, what can you tell us about your debut?
It’s a surprise package where you get the unexpected in the last page.
Here’s a chicken-and-egg question. How did the book come about?
I started writing for the sake of writing and to an extent to give vent to my feelings. Then one day I realised I had a decent collection of short stories. I thought why not put it out for others to read and enjoy.
Who are some of your inspirations in art, in life, or both?
I definitely admire the Russian short story greats such as Tolstoy, Chekov and of course the very English O Henry. Closer home, we have so many of the literary greats including Premchand and Sharat Chandra Chattopadhyay.
What have been your biggest learning experience(s) or surprise(s) throughout the publishing process?
Fortunately, there weren’t too many surprises, especially not unpleasant ones. But this has been, and I think it will continue to be, a big learning process for me, precisely because until you really get down and do something, you really don’t realise what goes into it. I discovered, much to my horror, that writing is just the beginning of the long journey that is bringing out a book. Not only are there several bouts of drafting and redrafting, but you have to proofread it again and again, until you think it’s ready to take the leap. I am not on any micro-blogging site, nor am I a very social media-inclined individual. But I did realise if I had to take my book to a bigger audience, the reason why I had written the book in the first place, I just had to utilise these tools of increasing the visibility quotient.
What’s the story behind the title of your book?
Fly on the wall is one of the short stories in the book. It was in fact a very difficult choice to make but somehow this was the one that I zeroed in on finally.
Tell us about your journey with Fly on the wall…
My children have been extremely helpful in terms of giving ideas, but have been extremely destructive in terms of the writing process because obviously they never liked it if their mother was busy on the laptop. Most of my practical work happened after they fell asleep. However, my husband has been exceptionally supportive all through. Moreover, I was fortunate to have very encouraging colleagues who helped me in putting the whole thing together.
Your favorite character and the most-liked story in the book.
All the characters are either named after cousins or friends or people whom I have met. So, I won’t attach too much importance to any of them. Similarly, all my stories are dear to me.
Do you have any other book on the horizon?
Not as of now but the encouragement that I have received has made me determined enough to keep on writing.
Any words of wisdom to share that would help young writers?
I am not the best person to advise others. I think that there are more experienced and renowned people who can guide aspiring writers.