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Interview with Aabha Rosy Vatsa

Q.1 Tell us a little about yourself.
A. I am a Poet, author and former teacher. I taught Chemistry and science for about five years in schools before I gave it up to raise my two daughters. Though I pursued a Masters course in Chemistry at university, the love of literature was imbibed in me at school in Zambia where I had two distinct subjects in my Senior Cambridge, English language, and English literature.

My latent talent for writing took shape when I started my blog a decade ago. While I was home raising my daughters, I joined a course in Multimedia from Arena and later started my blog Daffodils. These two activities have greatly paved my literary journey. The Gift of Life is my fifteenth book, having published twelve poetry books and a few others. I believe work-life balance is very important in life and each woman finds her own way of attaining it skillfully.

Q.2 Do you have any upcoming books?
A. Yes, I do. But I can’t discuss that as of now.

Q.3 When did you decide to write The Gift of Life?
A. I had written a register of my autobiography in 2015 but it got shelved. Then about a year ago, the idea surfaced strongly in 2019.

Q.4 How do you come up with the name of your books?
A. I was absolutely sure that my life story despite the many ups and downs would be one of positivity. My poems too are full of positivity. I believe life is a gift, notwithstanding the challenges one faces life, and hence the title The Gift of Life came naturally to me. As for the title of my other published books, based on the content of the book, the title just comes naturally. It is always a gut feeling which clicks.

Q.5 If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
A. I am glad you waited to write your autobiography.

Q.6 How did you deal with the emotional impact of a book (on yourself) as you’re writing the story?
A. Writing any book is a personal journey. More so if it is an autobiography. Basically despite the emotional upheaval, one has to simply stay focused and disciplined else the job cannot be completed.

Q.7 How many books have you written? Which one is your favorite?
A. I have written fifteen books. My autobiography is my favorite as it was my dream project all along.

Q.8 How long does it take you to write a book?
A. It depends on the book to book. I wrote The Gift of Life I in four months flat.

Q.9 What were your feelings when your novel was accepted/when you first saw the cover of the finished product?
A. When my manuscript was accepted it was a feeling of immense achievement. And seeing the final cover after trials was simply exhilarating.

Q.10 Where do you hope to take your writing in the future?
A. I hope to evolve my craft all the time.

Q.11 Do you have any unique and quirky writing habits?
A. The only unique habit is that I am completely focused and blank out everything almost like a state of emergency when I want to write seriously.

Q.12 Do you believe in writer’s block? If yes, how do you deal with it?
A. Yes, I believe one faces pauses in writing. At times there is a slowdown. I simply give it some time for the creativity to surge back gain.

Q.13 What was one of the most surprising things you learned while writing your book?
A. That the flow was very smooth.

Q.14 What is your favorite book from other authors and why?
A. My top two favorite books are Matilda by Roald Dahl and Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. I like Matilda immensely because I firmly believe that two people can have a magical relationship. In this case the relationship between Matilda and her teacher Miss Jennifer Honey.

As for Wuthering heights, it is a book written remarkably well and for me, the major attraction for the book is the pathos of love as told in the story. It is riveting.

Q.15 How does your family/friends feel about your book or writing venture in general?
A. They are very encouraging about it.

Q.16 What do you do to unwind and relax?
A. Music is very rejuvenating. I give a lot of emphasis to lyrics for they make a song both memorable and meaningful. And spending time with nature. I love to sit out in my verandah in the morning and listen to the twitter of birds while the world is still asleep.

Q.17 What advice do you have for aspiring authors?
A. Your greatest weapon, more than the pen is a journal where you should write regularly.

Q.18 Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
A. I want to write always. Whether to be published or in my diary.

Q.19 What was your hardest scene to write?
A. Where I had to mention, ”Now you are just a vegetable”.

Q.20 Share the experience of your journey so far?
A. My literary journey kicked off in November 2014. My mother’s death became a trigger. And since then there has been no looking back.

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