28 February, 2015

#SpecialFeature :: #Interview with Aniesha Brahma, #Author of The Guitar Girl

*** Special Feature - February 2015 ***

A Quick Recap:
1st February - Introducing the Author

An Interview with the Author

When did you first realize that you wanted to be a writer/ a storyteller?
I have wanted to be a writer since I was six years old, and wrote my first poem called The Ringing Bells. I guess having a bookworm for an elder sister helped...I began reading her collection of Enid Blyton stories from a very young age. Ruskin Bond’s Room on the Roof introduced me to Indian writing in English when I was 13. Since then, there has been no looking back. 

What inspires you to write?
Life. I know it sounds crazy but most of my stories have been inspired from real life. A stray comment, a strange thought...something I’ve witnessed. The little moments that make up life. All that inspires me to write. 

How did you come up with the idea for your current story?
The Secret Proposal was formed in 2011 when I was bored out of my mind at a wedding. It was then that Veer and Jasmine’s rollercoaster ride of a love story first came home to me...

Is there some stories tucked away in some drawer that was written before and never saw the light of the day?
Oh loads of them. Diaries and notebooks and lone papers filled with those stories. My first HD had a lot of them too...but a little mishap made me lose all of them. Maybe that’s for the best. There are way too many untold stories in my head as it is.

Tell us about your writing process.
I realized over the years saying “I don’t have time to write” is a sad excuse. If you want to be a writer, you have to make time to write. So every day I make it point to write something...(although these days I have to write my thesis everyday).

What is your favorite scene in the book? Why?
Veer’s grand gesture. I love how Jasmine forgives him, swoons and then wakes up to change her mind. Looking back, I feel Jasmine is crazy. And I can relate to that. 

Did any of your characters inherit some of your own quirks?
Jasmine did. She’s absolutely unpredictable...that’s so me. One minute you think you’ve figured her out, and the next she’s done something to take you completely by surprise (or shock). I know she says this of Veer. But Jasmine doesn’t realize she’s exactly like him. (Maybe that’s why she’s had a hard time to admit to him that she’s in love with him.)

What is your most interesting writing quirk?
I don’t know if it would qualify as a quirk – but I use quotes a lot in my stories. I find them thoroughly inspiring.

What is your usual writing routine?
Find a slab of time everyday to sit and just write. :)

Do you read? Who are your favourite authors and how have they influenced your writing style?
I am an absolute bookworm. Ruskin Bond, J.K. Rowling, Enid Blyton, Meg Cabot, John Green to name a few. Ruskin Bond introduced me to Indian writing in English...what more could I ask of him? (Except that someday I want to walk up to him and give him a hug). I grew up with Harry Potter, and my childhood was filled with going on adventures with the Famous Five and wishing to go to boarding schools like Malory Towers and St. Claires. Meg Cabot and John Green introduced me to Young Adult fiction....a genre I am pretty comfortable in writing too.

What is the best piece of advice you have received, as a writer, till date?
To make a plan of action and stick to it. :)

What is the best piece of advice you would give to someone that wants to get into writing?
Just write. The rest of the world will fall into place when you take the first step!

What would be the Dream Cast for you book if it was to be turned into a movie?
Ranbir Kapoor for Veer, Preetika Rao for Jasmine, Parineeti Chopra for Meghan Mukherjee, Harshad Arora for Neeraj. 

If you were to be stranded on the famous deserted island, what three things would you carry?
Food and water, a journal and a pen (that hopefully never runs out of ink?)

How do you spend your free time? Do you have a favorite place to go and unwind?
I hardly have free time these days...but I make it a point to spend at least twenty minutes playing with my pets (the two cats, Pippo and Chhotie and the three kittens, Motu, Potki and Jerry) – that’s a huge stress buster for me. My room is my most favorite place in the world :)

Can you share with us something off your bucket list?
I’ve began crossing some items off the list...but visiting Italy some day remains unchecked...

Tell us three fun facts about yourself.
- I’m impulsive. I often don’t think things through...while it is a good quality, it has landed me in a hell lot of trouble.
- I’m an introvert around new people. But my best friends have realized how truly crazy I am.
- I get interested in things pretty quickly – in the course of one year I’d taken up blogging, baking, sewing...basically I have way too many hobbies and not enough free time.

What do you have in store next for your readers?
Sparks of Memories will be released sometime this year, published by LiFi Publications. 
On 12th April 2015, The Guitar Girl, will be available on amazon.com and amazon.in, as the Kindle Edition. Since it was getting to be long wait since my first novel (2012) and the next, I decided to give my readers something to chew on while they wait... 

Is there anything else you’d like to share with your readers?
Please do get a hold of the book, The Guitar Girl. And do let me know what you thought of the story. Even today when I read mails and notes from readers who’d gone through my debut work, it brings a smile to my face. 

About the Author

Aniesha Brahma wanted to be a writer since she was six years old. Her debut novel, The Secret Proposal, was published by General Press in 2012. She won IndiReads short company competition in 2014 and is working on her IndiReads novel. The short story was subsequently published in an anthology entitled, Voices, Old & New. Her second novel, Sparks of Memories, will be released this year. When she is not writing stories, she is finishing her MPhil in Comparative Literature.

Contact the Author

About her Books
Twenty-one year old Larissa Chakroborty (better known as Jasmine) has been forced into the company of her parents' friends' son, twenty-five year old Tanveer Bhattacharya (aka Veer) ever since she was thirteen and he was seventeen. Jasmine found herself slowly getting drawn towards this teenage boy and harbours an unrequited crush on him, long after he disappears from her life in order to pursue a college degree. Eight years later Veer returns. Jasmine finds herself going to his welcome home party and neither of them recognises each other on the first meeting. Upon discovering that Jasmine is now a Master's student in a reputed college, Veer makes her a rather strange proposal. He wants her to pretend that they're in love and would eventually settle down in life, for he wishes to avoid tying the knot with a girl of his parents' choice. The constant ego battle between the two, the love-hate relationship, break ups and realisations is what The Secret Proposal is all about, wherein love would eventually find a way. Coupled with birthday parties, engagement announcements, Durga Pujos, weddings, the harrowing rituals, Christmas time fun, the crazy duo have a long way to go before they realise what their act would eventually cost them. Is it enough to get your long time love to be in a 'pretense relationship' with you? Does one grand gesture convince you that you've found your knight in shining armour? And why is it that when you have someone, you don't want them and when you lose them, you want them back? Is Veer merely pretending to be in love with Jasmine? And will Jasmine ever get over her undying love for Veer?

Voices, Old & New is a fantastic collection of short stories featuring the very best submissions from Indireads’ 2nd Short Story Competition 2014. 

Sixteen year old Rhea Shah never thought that she would find herself falling for her brother’s best friend, Joy Fernandez, when they come home from college. Because she never thought that the dork who used to go to school with them would suddenly reinvent himself in college.

The only people she’s able to talk to about her absurd crush, are her best friends, Sophie and Arjav. Both of whom at first encourage, and then almost blackmail, Rhea to confess her feelings, which leaves the poor girl more muddled than ever!

Plagued with upcoming Board Examinations along with her friends’ suggestions, Rhea finds it difficult to concentrate, because she’s fallen for Joy, hook, line and sinker. In an attempt to vent to her feelings, she begins a blog, where she publishes all her songs and poems, dedicated to Joy, keeping her identity a secret.

But things do not go quite how she planned when a certain blogger named J. Fern begins to read her blog, and wishes to work with her…
Will Rhea ever confess her feelings to Joy? And will Joy find out the real identity of The Guitar Girl?

(To be release on 12th April 2015) on Kindle Direct Publishing 

Pre-Order Now - Amazon

2 Paperback copies of The Secret Proposal by Aniesha Brahma. Open to Indian Residents only!

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