I had great fun interviewing today’s author, formally as well as informally. She is a typical Virgo, the perfectionist. If you invite her over for all gals’ PJ party, don’t forget to invite her pillow too. Make sure all the paintings of the house are perfectly angled before she arrives in her green ford ‘Fiesty Figgy’ ;). Today, the coolness quotient of my blog got a notch higher than usual.
Presenting the effervescent …. Natasha.
Natasha started writing at age 5. Writing nourishes her soul and ignites her being. Her first book ‘Travel Epiphanies’ was published in July 2017. She writes to spread joy and narrate life’s wondrous anecdotes She actively blogs at www.natashamusing.com
Q. As an author would you love exploring various genres or do you think one needs to find a niche to become well-known?
A: I guess every author has a certain niche and style of writing, so it’s a good idea to stick to the niche and use it as one’s USP.
Having said that I also feel if one is capable enough to experiment with different genres than why not, go ahead, take the plunge. An example is Elizabeth Gilbert who wrote, “Eat, Pray, Love” and also “Committed” that were mostly her personal journeys. Recently Gilbert made this unusual shift of writing an extremely valuable and inspirational book called “Big Magic”. Though “Big Magic” also does take the reader through the author’s personal narrative on creativity and of following one’s passion, yet I believe she took a beautiful leap of faith by penning a genre that was different from her usual style. The end product is a precious treasure indeed.
Q. Which one is your favorite anecdote from your compilation?
A: Each story of mine resonates with me in some way or the other, no wonder I wrote them, and yes they all have a very special place in my heart. But yes, I’m a tad biased towards “Thank you for Your Tender Love” a story about my mother’s journey onwards, somewhere across the rainbow. I wrote it with stoicism and aplomb, but when I sat to edit it, it took me back in time and made me realize how much of a void she has left behind in my life.
I also love the story of an octogenarian Parsi couple called, “You Fill Up My Senses”. I truly enjoyed writing this modern day story of love and family bonding.
Q. In your book, you have written about some real-life character. What would your advice be for authors who write on real-life characters?
A: My advice to authors who write on real-life characters is to make them as real as possible. Of course with all due respect to the person’s personal space and privacy, and without taking away any of that. When we make our characters real and bring in the subtle nuances of their characteristics, just the way they are, our stories become more honest, realistic and relatable to the reader.
Q. What was the biggest challenge that you faced and how did you overcome it?
A: I was managing some challenges on the personal front when I was writing my book. But I did not let those challenges deter me, or choke the faucet of my creativity. On the contrary, I used my writing as a platform to stay grounded, focussed and use it as a tool to experience a personal catharsis of sorts. Writing the book became my personal healing space. And wonder of all wonders, the challenges slowly but surely dwindled away into the oblivion with this lovely journey of writing, April Anecdotes.
Q.What are the qualities that an author should have?
A: Persistence, commitment, dedication, ability to manage time and work every day unfailingly and diligently at a pre-decided time, come rain or shine.
An author should also be open to brickbats and accolades, simultaneously. Without some balanced critique and feedback, the author will never grow in her journey of writing.
An author must “never give up” and keep pushing her pen irrespective of the rejections and not-so-complimentary feedback. She must keep writing until she realizes her dream. An author should never be deterred by brickbats, rather use it as a springboard to grow and evolve.
Q. What has been the toughest criticism you’ve been given as an author? What has been the best compliment?
A: The toughest criticism I have been given as an author is that I use “Tharoorish” language. I initially didn’t know whether to take it as criticism or a compliment, but I chose to do so otherwise. I took it as a huge compliment, for I was being compared to the esteemed and learned, Shashi Tharoor.
Some of the best compliments I have received was that my book was unputdownable, even when the person’s phone was running out of charge. Someone even wrote to me saying that I weave magic with my vivid, evocative descriptions and immaculate articulation. They said my writing was their “perk-me-up” for the day or week alike.
Q. If you could time-travel to anywhere, where would you go? Why?
A: I would travel back to my growing up years in the Pantnagar University campus and spend more time playing hide-seek and chasing the butterflies and catching the bumble bees and dragonflies or rescuing baby birds, watching the cobras slither by and the jackals cry under my bedroom window, in the night; thus becoming one with nature.
I would go back to these childhood years as they were a time of carefree abandon where we frolicked around with wildlife and nature, becoming one with mother nature. I’m a nature lover and being closest to nature is what makes me happiest always.
Q. How do you overcome Writer’s Block?
A: Now what is that? Writer’s Block does not exist in my dictionary, so I really wouldn’t know.
Q. Describe your process for research while writing.
Ans: Honestly I did not have to research much for my second book, as these were tales and anecdotes which were part memoir, part fiction. I wrote intuitively and followed the flow.
Otherwise, when I am writing I do look up online for information, read more books, go back to books that I have in my library at home, talk to people, observe and just be “aware” of the signs. 🙂
Q. Share some valuable tips for publishing and marketing your e-book.
A: I was supposed to get my e-book out early this month, but owing to a work deadline I was unable to. I will be doing so very soon, eventually.
But last year I did publish my first e-book and I took the professional route. I hired an editor, who helped me with my basic editing and also guided me on how to follow the KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) route. The latter would have been a challenge otherwise, as I was fairly new to the process.
I feel every author needs to get her book beta read or edited before hitting the publish button. And if one can manage to get at least two-three people to do so, nothing like that. I got two people to edit my second book, April Anecdotes. Not professionals but family and a friend, this time. For my first book, I had got a professional editor.
Marketing has unfortunately never been my forte, but I do believe that is so very critical for any author, so as to be able to make inroads into the reader’s hearts. This year I did tie up with Blogchatter to market my book to some extent. I also sent the free downloadable links to people in my circle and publicised about it on social media. To be honest, I still have to learn the ropes of marketing, so I’m not the best person to guide my readers on this.
I believe this spark of an idea by AuthorChatter is a great initiative and platform to create awareness and grab some eyeballs around ones work. Thank you guys, for this golden opportunity.
Book Blurb: April Anecdotes is a compilation of twenty-six compelling tales and anecdotes of real people & some not so real people. These tales will intrigue, enchant and take you into the deep recesses of mind and matter to give you answers that you were looking for. The book can be downloaded from the BlogChatter link. Here is an interesting review of the book. Natasha’s GoodReads page link is Here.
Here’s wishing Natasha all the best for the eBook and all her future endeavors. Wishing you lots of success!! @NatsCosmicrain, do comment and let us know how this interview experience was for you. And do read, share and comment on your fellow author’s interviews as well.
Fellow authors, did this interview surprise you? We would love to know. Do comment and share your thoughts.
You can read previous interviews in the series here-