Brink & Beyond by Supriya Saraswati is a collection of short stories set around women protagonists from different walks of life. These stories touch the contours of a woman’s life in different roles – a mother, a wife, a prostitute, or simply a girl willing to find the one who stays a bit longer.
Bookish Fame had the pleasure of chatting with Supriya Saraswati, where she took us on a walk through her book and views. Read here.
- Please introduce yourself to our readers.
Hi, I am Supriya Saraswati, a scientist by profession. I love to write and have recently got my collection of short stories published, which makes sense as you are reading about me here 😊
- When did it dawn upon you that you wanted to be a writer?
Well, I do not recall a specific moment, but I have enjoyed writing as far back as I can remember. I started off writing down poems and then moved on to short stories. A few years ago, I realized I had a bunch of these, and I decided to get the collection out.
- What inspires you to write books? What are the things which catch your attention?
I am an overthinker, and writing is therapeutic to me, in the sense that it is a place where I detangle my thoughts and break them apart and try and understand them. The scientist in me finds objectivity to be powerful in trying times, while the other part of me relies on poems and prose to keep from being lost in what could at times become dry pragmatism. To answer your question – what things catch my attention- things that underlie the surface. The thoughts that run underneath a calm exterior, and those that rule an anxious mind.
- Tell something in brief about your latest book, Brink & Beyond?
Brink & Beyond is a collection of short stories that explore a fundamental question – are we afraid of wounding, or are we afraid of healing? I believe we go through universal crises in life, but we heal differently. We choose to heal differently. The protagonists in these stories find themselves in seemingly mundane situations, and when pushed to the brink, how they choose to respond dictates their beyond.
- How do you organize yourself, as a writer, to keep track of the world you’re writing about?
It usually helps to keep track of your characters’ world – how they might react when faced with certain things, or how their childhood may have been, or the people they mingled with, and so on. One could build this up on their electronic devices with elaborate apps available today, but I am old school, and I rely on my handwritten notes.
- When you were young, did you ever see writing as a career or a full-time profession?
No, not really. And to be honest, I do not see it as a full-time profession even today – may be in the future, but certainly not so today. I love what I do professionally, and I would not trade it for anything.
- How did you approach the writing process this time around? Do you have a set routine, or does it vary? And how do you manage it with your full-time work?
You always find time to do what you love. I began writing – serious writing, at least, around a decade or so back. Even with the college and, subsequently, my research work going on, my writing continued as I found myself drawn to it. But that is perhaps the spirit of writing – to be undeterred! I usually write long hours, for days together, until I am more or less satisfied with the draft.
- How would you describe the contemporary scenario of writing and reading around the world?
Like with most platforms, writing has become more ‘accessible’ and within easy reach. I see that this caters to the ‘instant gratification’ demands of today, and so it’s not surprising to see the booming numbers of micro bloggers. There are voices from certain writers that are bold and fresh, and definitely worth listening to. They hold courage to talk about issues that generations have avoided to face. Amidst so many voices, I believe people like yourself Khyati, hold an important place, for you have the power to filter out noise and let shine a worthy note.
- How crucial are marketing and promotions when it comes to selling a book?
I would say important, and I guess I partly answered it in the previous question.
- Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?
I grew up on a good diet of Enid Blyton, Agatha Christie, Carolyn Keene, J.K. Rowling, Nicolas Sparks and Sidney Sheldon. On a bad day even today, Christie has the power to make everything better – Poirot and hot chocolate! I was fortunate to read Jhumpa Lahiri and Roald Dahl in my impressionable years. Jhumpa’s depth and expressions have had a major role in my love for writing, and her debut book remains my favorite read, as also a prized possession. I love reading books written by scientists, and my favorites are those by Richard Feynman and Siddhartha Mukherjee.
- Any advice you would like to give to aspiring writers?
Feel. Question. Then feel some more. And then write your heart out.
- Are we going to hear more from you in the future?
Well, let’s certainly hope so!
*We wish Author Supriya Saraswati all the best for her future endeavors.*
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