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Interview with Deepa Iyer

Q.1 Tell us a little about yourself? Perhaps something not many people know?
A. I’m a nature lover, endowed with creativity and balance, probably because I’m a Libran. While I’m really spiritual, I enjoy painting, decorating, etc. Anything creative is therapeutic for me.

Q.2 Are we going to read more from you soon? Any new project you’re working on?
A. Hopefully yes.

Q.3 What did you do with your first advance?
A. These are self-published books. So there’s no advance involved.

Q.4 What advice do you have for writers?
A. Be original, no matter what. Please do take plagiarism seriously.

Q.5 Does writing energize or exhaust you?
A. It’s been very therapeutic actually.

Q.6 If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
A. I would want to challenge myself to take on more risks with my writing.

Q.7 What are the most important magazines or websites for writers to subscribe to?
A. I think, Google is the easiest way out. 

Q.8 What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?
A. At an early age, when I started reading, there were some stories which really got me thinking. That’s probably when I realized that language had power.

Q.9 Do you believe in writer’s block?
A. I do. I experienced it myself, briefly though.

Q.10 Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
A. Book reviews offer valuable feedback. The good ones motivate me to keep writing while the not so good ones (I wouldn’t say “bad”) challenge me to get more creative and perfect areas of weakness. I usually consider practical suggestions and leave out the rest. Thankfully, I haven’t received any negative feedback.

Q.11 Does your family supports your career as a writer?
A. Absolutely. My daughter is the inspiration behind these books.

Q.12 How long does it take to complete one of your books?
A. Depends. The Tree of Values was written in about 10 days. Makhan Chor was written in about 7-8 days. Content literally flowed when I was really in that mood for writing.

Q.13 How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
A. 2 so far. It’s hard for a mother to choose between her kids, isn’t it? I really like both books, since they are both unique. The Tree of Values is based either on real-life experiences(mostly) or a figment of my imagination, and it’s a chapter book. Moreover, the stories in the book, unintentionally, have turned out to role-play material. 

Whereas, Makhan Chor is a picture book with colorful illustrations. Again, the stories from Krishna’s life portray values, that are so critical to one’s character. I have humbly attempted, to draw attention to some of these pristine values and lessons through this colorful and fun character.

Q.14 Do you have any unique and quirky writing habits?
A. Am still figuring it out.

Q.15 What do you consider being your best accomplishment?
A. These books have been received quite well. In fact, these books are a hit for return gifts, etc. Being able to contribute positively towards children’s character development is something that I would consider as my best accomplishment.

Q.16 What is the most unethical practice in the publishing industry?
A. Plagiarism.

Q.17 Who edited your book and how did you select him/her?
A. My publisher got everything done, so I didn’t really have to look for an editor.

Q.18 Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
A. Not really sure.

Q.19 What is your favorite book and why?
A. It’s really difficult for me to pick something since there are tons of really good stuff out there these days. The creativity, unique writing styles, intriguing plot, etc. across different genres are mind-boggling, I must say.

Q.20 Share the experience of your journey so far?
A. It’s been quite fulfilling and exciting, especially to get feedback from children who have read the books. In fact, recently an 8-year-old girl approached me at a playground and asked, “Aren’t you the author of The Tree of Values and Makhan Chor?” Nothing can be more motivating for a writer.

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