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Interview with Vaishnavi Sanoj

Q.1 Tell us a little about yourself? Perhaps something not many people know?
A. Nothing special. Well, apart from reading and writing, I love music, instrumentals; especially Bansuri. And, I am among those writers, maybe a few of them, who find tea as much stimulating as coffee.

Q.2 Are we going to read more from you soon? Any new project you’re working on?
A. Hopefully, yes, but not very soon. It will be a thriller set in South India, mainly Kerala.

Q.3 Where do you get your ideas?
A. Life, People, Nature, and Music.

Q.4 What advice do you have for writers?
A. Keep writing.

Q.5 Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
A. I try to meet the readers’ demand within the framework of my originality.

Q.6 If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
A. I love this question. I would tell my younger self: Forget about school, grades, exams. Read a lot. Breathe books. Play more. Observe nature.

Q.7 What are the most important magazines or websites for writers to subscribe to?
A. I would recommend literature oriented courses from and Masterclass.

Q.8 What is the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?
A. To write about their thought processes, and body language.

Q.9 How do you select the names of your characters?
A. My stories always revolve around Indian culture and I go for Indian names. In Sidereal Destiny, the names were mostly random choices. In Mystic Reflections, Mauna (meaning silence) is both, a character, as well as a personification of meditative silence that should be attainted. So, the choice depends on the need.

Q.10 Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
A. Yes, I read every single review. Good reviews, definitely make me feel happy and confident, but I can clearly differentiate the sugar quoted ones and genuine reviews. If a bad review comes from a reader, I accept it, perspectives can be different. If the negative review is from a professional reviewer and a result of objective analysis, I take it as a learning experience.

Q.11 Does your family supports your career as a writer?
A. My husband, Sanoj is my champion. If not for him, the writer in me would have never seen the light.

Q.12 What do your fans mean to you?
A. Of course, they mean a lot. A word of encouragement, a good review, likes, shares, comments from well-wishers/fans are definitely inspiring.

Q.13 How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
A. In 2011, I published a non-fiction; The Wife, The Mother and The Man in between. This year I have published my debut novel, Sidereal Destiny; and a short story titled, Mystic Reflections. All are equally favorite, but I regret the decisions taken during the publication of my first book. However, a better edition of the book is now available in kindle format.

Q.14 Do you have any unique and quirky writing habits?
A. Sometimes, in the middle of the night, I feel my characters knocking inside my head. Whatever the time being, I get no sleep unless I unleash them into the paper. And, I just do that.

Q.15 What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
A. Hopefully, the best is yet to come.

Q.16 What is the most unethical practice in the publishing industry?
A. Asking an author to come up with a marketing plan for his/her work. Seriously, I don’t understand this equation of trying to fit an artist in a businessman’s mold. There might be many who can easily handle both, but I feel it like asking the fish to climb trees.

Q.17 Who edited your book and how did you select him/her?
A. My colleague and friend, Mrs. Tessy Franklin edited my work. She is an amazing English teacher who has been training senior Cambridge students for many years. We share the same passion for language and literature. That explains the choice. The final touch up was by Notion Press editors.

Q.18 Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
A. Since childhood, I wanted to meet the actor, S D Banerjee, who played the role of Lord Krishna in Ramanand Sagar’s Shri Krishna television serial. And, I met him in 2013. He is an amazing personality. My family and I had one of the best moments of our life with him.

Q.19 What is your favorite book and why?
A. There are many. The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy. I admire the way the author has explored the thoughts of Rahel, Estha, Ammu, and love laws. According to me to the text brims with literary beauty.

Q.20 Share the experience of your journey so far?
A. I started writing from the age of 9. I am grateful to all the experiences, including the unpleasant ones. Beyond all its glitz and glamour, I believe writing is a journey of self-discovery.

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