Hello, Lakshana, 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?
That’s honestly a very tricky question. I’ll try answering it as easily as I can- I do appear as an extrovert, and a little outgoing, but I’m actually someone who is rather reserved. I enjoy the company of family and a few close friends. I don’t get angry easily, though I almost wish I did sometimes! I love laughing, and I love being with people who make me laugh. And last not the least- I love music. I always need it with me, for working, and for writing.
What was your childhood like? Any incidents form your growing up years that shaped you as a person?
For the most part, I had a happy childhood. I did go through normal problems which every reserved child goes through- which is bullying, but I did overcome those hurdles, and they have shaped me as a person- and made me hopefully stronger.
When did your journey as a writer/poet began?
In junior school, our teachers introduced writers workshop. I was only eight at that time. I was fascinated, and I realized that I wanted to publish a book one day. I loved writing small stories for my sister, and I would give her a story every year. The stories became longer as the years went by, as I tried experimenting with different ideas. Fantasy fiction became my forte, as I enjoyed creating different worlds and planets.
Do you have a muse? If yes, who or what acts as a catalyst to your writing?
The little things I see in my daily life- the quirky things at work, on the road, in the metro- interesting characters I might happen to meet in my life. To be succinct, my emotional experiences have usually acted as a catalyst to my writing.
Do you plan out your work or just go with the flow?
I prefer to go with the flow.
For you, what’s the easiest thing about writing and the hardest thing? Do you have any weird/funny writing rituals?
Once I get into the right frame of mind- the words come easily, and I can write in a flow. However- sometimes it is the hardest thing to get that frame of mind! I need music to write- and a certain kind of music which goes with the mood of the story.
Do you get writer’s block? How do you battle it?
Yes I do get writer’s block often. I sometimes take a breath and step back, and come back to it. There are times when I continue writing anyway. I tell myself “Keep writing, you can change what you want later. But write.”
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 am better with writing about emotions than when I started. One advice I would tell myself- No stress, and never give up.
What’s your opinion about the future of writing/reading/the publishing industry in India?
I’ve seen so many new and interesting books come up in the last few months- and new genres. There are new publishing houses as well which are working hard and coming up with books which have unique themes. I’m definitely excited, and I hope to see that the industry flourishes.
Favorite food… Momos
Favorite Book… The Namesake
Favorite author… Jhumpa Lahiri
What are you afraid of… Rats
What makes you angry… Insensitivity
Childhood crush… Gregory Peck
Things that you can’t leave home without… lucky bracelet
Any message or advice you want to share with our readers?
Keep calm, and keep writing!
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Please Note: This interview has been conducted online via emails by Rhiti Bose for IWI.