Sumana Khan

SK
 
Hello, Sumana, thank you for being a part of IWI’s Incredible Women Writers of India 2016, and sharing your journey as a writer. 
How would you define yourself?
 
A summary of dichotomies.
 
What was your childhood like? Any incidents from your growing up years that shaped you as a person?
 
I had a very happy, wholesome childhood. In fact, I’m glad I grew up in the decade I did. I come from a working class family, so we could not afford many holidays/travels. But where was the time anyway? Life was busy in the right way – overcrowded with friends, music, books and in doing nothing.
 
Bangalore then was green, sparrow-filled, and cultured in behaviour and language.  Spring was collecting fallen, flaming gulmohar flowers and imitating lusty koels on mango trees. Summer was Indrajal comics, still afternoons, aap ki farmaish on Vividh Bharati, naps and loafing around. Monsoon was clownish raincoats and huddling with friends on the porch and sharing ridiculous ghost stories.  Winter was Christmas in school, cake egzimishan somewhere in Cantonment, huge balloons and sugar overdose on plum cakes.
 
The whole journey has shaped me as a person. I do think there’s a curious little girl trapped in me (as with all my friends) somewhere, who finds the world today grating on the ears most times, who became technologically-enabled kicking and screaming, and who can explode into raptures when chancing upon an unusual feather or a mysterious petal.
 
When did your journey as a writer/poet began?
 
Perhaps my journey began as a reader? A voracious consumer of fiction right from childhood.
 
 
Do you have a muse? If yes, who or what acts as a catalyst to your writing?
 
Nope…I don’t have a muse. But whenever I read a spectacular piece of writing, or watch a well-crafted movie, I find myself inspired to write better.
 The Hindu mention
 
Do you plan out your work or just go with the flow?
 
Whilst each day is a different routine for this home-maker and student, writing is always on the schedule. I don’t rigidly plan my manuscript, but I do thrash out the structure, narrative, and characters in a notebook.
 
For you, what’s the easiest thing about writing and the hardest thing? Do you have any weird/funny writing rituals?
 
Easiest thing is the writing itself, once you are in the flow. Hardest is parking one’s butt and commencing to write.
 
I don’t have any rituals as such, but I do log out of emails/social media. 
 
Do you get writer’s block? How do you battle it?
 
No, not really.
metroplus
 
How have you evolved as a writer since you have started? If you could give one advice to yourself, what would it be? What are you working on now?
 
I write more consciously and clinically (as opposed to starting off as an emotional writer). I strive for a tighter narration that delivers bursts of flavours using less number of words. Apart from technique, I also think I have the advantage of hitting a certain age, when one is able to look at life with the right balance of gravitas and humour. I think this has a huge influence in the characters I shape and the conflicts I explore.
 
Advice to myself: know when to stop; don’t overcook.
 
I’m working on a psychological thriller.
 Encounters Book Cover Final (2)
 
What’s your opinion about the future of writing/reading/the publishing industry in India?
 
I think we are on the cusp of a change. There is a lot of chaos right now, lot of noise. There are a lot of people riding a wave—the best will reach the shore, the rest will be flotsam of a trend. There are authors attempting new genres, and our readers are very welcoming to new stuff. This is a heartening scenario. Having said that, innovation in publishing, retailing and distribution is needed, like… yesterday.
 
One liners:
Favorite food… Bisibelebath
Favorite Book… Villette
Favorite author… Charlotte Bronte & Stephen King
What are you afraid of… Roaches.
What makes you angry… Dishonesty, incompetence. Above all, folks who don’t reply to emails. Gah!
Childhood crush… Rajesh Khanna
Things that you can’t live without… Filter coffee
 
Any message or advice you want to share with our readers?
Thank you for your acceptance.
Sample of my writing: Please feel free to potter around my blog: http://kaapizone.blogspot.com
You can read excerpts of Sumana’s books by clicking on the “look inside” feature on amazon.
Book launch Kaivalya
_________________________________________________________________
Please Note: This interview has been conducted online via emails by Rhiti Bose for IWI. 
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