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Interview with Nishi Chandermun

Q.1 Tell us a little about yourself?
A. I was born and raised in the city of Durban, one of the sunniest places of South Africa, where I live with my husband and three kids. Home away from home is the magnificent city of Cape Town where I frequently retreat to restore my writer’s spirit beside the majestic and ancient Table Mountain.

I graduated with a Bachelor of Law degree, cum laude and further obtained a second major in Psychology. Although both these careers held my avid interest, my greatest passion was always in writing, something I have been doing for as long as I can recall. So, it’s no wonder that I finally surrendered all else to become a professional writer.    

I have previously written middle-grade fiction as well as illustrated books for little children. The Sands of Time series is my first venture for young adults, a project that I have been arduously researching and working on for several years. If there’s a single belief I live by, it would be this: Masterpieces are not created overnight. All that is truly remarkable requires a magical moment of growth.

Q.2 Do you have any upcoming books?
A. I am currently working on book 2 of The Sands of Time series. No specific date is set as yet for the release of this book.  

Q.3 What made you write The Sands of Time series?
A. Writing is to me an absolute calling. Seeing that I have always been lured by the fantasy genre, it was a choice by nature to pen a series like The Sands of Time. I would love for my readers to be drawn into my fantasy world, to become a part of it like I am. Through my writing I aim to take them on a wondrous journey of magical adventures and unforgettable thrills, to introduce them to all things unique and phenomenal that my series has to offer. 

Q.4 Do you feel any competitive pressure from fantasy films? If not, why?
A. The stories that I write are all intrinsic. My ideas are born from myself and are therefore independent of all other sources. For that reason, I am not pressured competitively by the world of fantasy movies.

Q.5 What is one stereotype about fantasy writers is absolutely wrong? What one stereotype is dead on?
A. Fantasy writing usually involves the general concept of Light vs Dark. However, realms of fantasy should not be divided into the clear-cut dynamic of good versus bad. Within each of us there reside the forces of light and dark and that is something that should be considered when creating fantasy worlds, comprising characters, concepts, battles and so on.   

I do believe that authors should strive for originality and not write within the bounds of typecasts. Therefore, I cannot say that any stereotype might be correct.

Q.6 If you could be a member of any fantasy race, which would you choose and why?
A. I would choose to be an Elder God, a race of gods and goddesses from my series, The Sands of Time. These beings are one of the most super-powerful races I know, capable of unimaginable strengths of magic.      

Q.7 What is the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?
A. It must be stressed that my protagonist, Xerxes is male, and I have an unaccountable number of male characters in my series as well. Nevertheless, I have also written in some extremely powerful female characters as well, like Siri, the Elf of Loorea and Nisaba, the Aryan goddess. I am easily able to shift into the mindsets of all characters I create, male or female, with no difficulties at all. That is the purpose of the subconscious mind when creating.
Q.8 How do you develop your plots and characters? Do you use any set formula?
A. There is no set formula for my creativity in writing. I allow the subconscious to flow and trust that it would lead me to create the best I can deliver.  

Q.9 How do you select the name of your characters?
A. The names of my characters are mostly chosen with meaning. They are named according to the role they portray in the series. Xerxes, for instance, is a Persian name that means, hero or warrior. It is the aptest name for my protagonist.    

Q.10 What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
A. Although I have accomplished much over the years, I would like to think that my best current accomplishment is the first book in my series, The Pearl of Immortality.

Q.11 Outside of your family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author?
A. I would have to claim that outside of my family, it was Aruna Naidu of Author’s Channel who helped me get to where I am in becoming a published author. It is through her dedicated efforts as a publisher that The Pearl of Immortality is now directly in the fore.   

Q.12 Do you believe in writer’s block? If yes, how do you deal with it?
A. I do not actually believe in writer’s block. There might be times when the subconscious mind is a bit reluctant with ideas, due to some or other form of stress. Meditation is an excellent way to unwind, thereby allowing the creativity of the mind to flow freely again.

Q.13 Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with good or bad ones?
A. Currently, I do read my reviews. With regard to positive comments, I make a mental note to continue with that line of writing. I consider any negative comment as a way to improve and grow as a writer. 

Q.14 Do you have any unique and quirky writing habits?
A. I find it preferable to write in confined spaces as it allows the creative mind to flow more easily. 

Q.15 Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
A. It is difficult to imagine myself not writing, as it is such an inherent part of me. However, if I were to do anything else, it would probably be to engage in some form of business.

Q.16 Who designed your book covers?
A. I designed my book cover for The Peal of Immortality together with the assistance of my husband. 

Q.17 What advice do you have for aspiring authors?
A. If writing is your true passion, then let nothing stand in your way to achieving the success you aim for. Write as often as possible, even if only a paragraph a day. Your subconscious mind is your greatest tool in writing. The more you use it, the more it will have to offer to you. In the words of Louis L’Amour, “The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.” And very importantly…read! Read anything that inspires you, for reading allows the mind to flow more easily with words.

Q.18 Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
A. I would probably like to meet with Dr. Deepak Chopra. I think he is one of the most brilliant persons alive and resonates with his teachings of spirituality.

Q.19 What is your favorite book and why?
A. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte would have to be my favorite book. It was given to me as a book award in school, together with the message that I would one day be a great writer.  

Q.20 Share the experience of your journey so far?
A. I have written for as long as I can recall. From bits of fiction to poetry, pen and paper have always been my preferred tools. However, having a very strong academic mind as well, I embarked on the university where I studied law and psychology under the notion that writing was a distant fancy. 

Nevertheless, the writer in me would not relent. After not finding solace within myself after many years, I knew it was time to surrender to the greatest passion within me. It was time to put pen to paper.

The Pearl of Immortality was initially self-published via Amazon and sold as an E-Book as well as via the paperback version. It was last year when I was put into contact with Author’s Channel, in Bangalore and the book came directly to the forefront. 

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  1. Very nice read.. loved her humbleness!

    1. Thanks. Do read her book The Pearl of Immortality. I am sure you'll love it. :)