29 January, 2017

#SpecialFeature :: #Interview with Paromita Goswami, #Author of Grow Up Messy!

*** Special Feature - January 2017 ***

Quick Recap:

About the Author:

Paromita Goswami is a writer and storyteller by passion and a rebel by choice. She says the world is full of stories and as a writer she loves to pen them down. Her work is not genre specific. From literary fiction to children book to upcoming paranormal thriller and women fiction Paromita Goswami‘s books offer the variety of life to her readers. Besides writing, she is also the founder of reading club that enhances book reading habit in children. She lives in central India with her family.

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An Interview with the Author

When did you first realize that you wanted to be a writer/ a storyteller?
I always wanted to be a storyteller. As a child when I used to listen to stories from my Daddy and Ma I would always wonder, “How beautifully they have narrated the simple story. I had heard it so many times yet it sounded new every time. There was always a Raja, a Rakshya and the captive princess who did nothing other sleep.” 
When a little older I started telling Ghost stories to my friends. We were in our pre-teens then. It was such a fun to see them chewing their fingernails throughout.

What inspires you to write?
Frankly, I started writing to overcome my boredom.  Back then there was no cable T.V where we lived and watching television was allowed only for about an hour or so before going to bed after dinner. There was plenty of time during school holidays or after exams and absolutely nothing to do. Firstly, due to the climate as it was chilly cold outside during winters and secondly, the ongoing ethnic clashes compelled us to stay put at home most of the time.  That’s how I started writing stories. Adventure stories or detective stories mostly that allowed me to do whatever I wanted to do without any inhibition. I found my window in my writing – the world that was mine and there were no restrictions imposed upon. I felt free as ever. 

What kind of research goes into your book?
For me, writing is inspired by real life incidents. The reader would easily say yes I have met that character in my life or that incident did happen back then. So my plots need thorough research. The place, the people, the dialect, the tradition everything has to be at par. 

What are you working on at the moment?
I have two books at hand right now. One is THE CLOCKMAKER a paranormal thriller based on jungle assaults. This is part of my upcoming Jungle Series. 
Second, is the sequel of GROW UP MESSY!  THE SIBLING SAGA. 

How did you come up with the idea for your current story? 
The recently released book GROW UP MESSY! is children Ebook. The reading level is Middle school and above. My son cannot think of a world without Television, mobile, and the internet. However, he too loves to have fun outdoor most of the time with his friends which are not always possible as nowadays children are running to tuition classes during evening hours or enrolled into some activities. So the character Messy was born in an era when there was no TV.  Messy did what she enjoyed most even when there was no one around to play with. She never waited for anything or anyone to make things happen for her. She did it on her own, Good or Bad, it never mattered to her.  

Please share three interesting facts about the characters in your book.
When Misry, akka, Messy showed up in my thoughts,  she was a naughty rebellious adorably cute little thing. Her innocence was her biggest asset that won hearts even when she messed up things. I had no trouble writing with her in mind as she was her natural self – a child.
Anurag , Misry’s father was just like any other loving father with an only exception that his work demanded more attention to his duties as an armed force officer than a family man or a father.  The book shares many incidents when Anurag and Misry spent time together in their own world or when Anurag was hard enough to discipline her when it was needed. 
Misry’s mother, Madhavi, a typical Bengali housewife who loved cooking best Bengali cuisine for her family. However, many times she had to face situations due to Misry’s demand for food.  That’s how a mother and a child relation is. A mother will never fail to please her child’s demands whereas the child will always enjoy food from outside.

Name three things that you believe are important to character development?
As a reader, I enjoy the book more when the character develops eventually like peeling off an onion you can say. One layer after the other. Just as you can’t know about a person in just one meeting.  To know them better you have to spend time with them. The same, I think, should go for character development also. Sometimes when almost a couple of pages is used for character sketching I lose my interest as a reader. Leave them natural. Let them think, act and make mistakes. That’s how a character is developed in a story. More than narrating, use of body language or maybe the thought process of the character can help more in developing the character. For example, a character is introvert and the author just mention it, I won’t connect with that as a reader. However, if the same thing is narrated through an action or maybe a flashback a reader can visualize the character better. 

Do you ever experience writer’s block? If so what helps you to get over it?
I am currently going through that phase. Yes, that’s writer’s block. I have so much to write but for some reasons I am unable to do that. But then it's natural. All I have to do is take my mind off it and I can hit back again. At present, I am devoting my time to reading books and watching movies. You never know what clicks and the plot flow through the keyboard once more.

What part of the writing process do you enjoy the most?
As I have already said, for me writing is my window through which I can see what I want to see. The world that is different from my present scenario. So I enjoy every process of it. Be it research, drafting, rewrites or editing I thoroughly enjoy all of it. It's like a classroom for me and I am learning new things every day. Even now when I am taking this interview I am learning something new.

Do you know the ending of your books before you finish writing them?
It would be false if I say NO. Actually, it is always the other way round that my thinking process starts. The everyday activities in my life are my inspiration. Even a small thing can strike me for years and in my mind, I would be weaving the story for months until it becomes so much unbearable to keep thinking about it anymore.  I had to pen it down. A rough draft first in my notepad that will obviously have the ending and then finally I start writing my first draft. 

What is the best piece of advice you have received, as a writer, till date?
The best advice as a writer I got from a reader in Australia. She had won my book Shamsuddin’s Grave in a giveaway contest. It is my first book and I was pretty nervous as to how people will take me as an author. It is very important because a book is a journey and if one enjoys it they will always come back to you. So this lady said, 
“Very little would I change, because it immerses me deeper into a culturally rich text that exposes you to the traditions, religious differences, difficulties and so much more of the people of India. It's written as if I were sitting with a friend who was retelling to me a story. That I love!” 
But she faced lots of problem with the dialect in the book which was the local language used in dialogues. She suggested I should have a glossary in my book so that readers don’t have to google each word to understand the meaning.  Since I have the habit of writing dialogues so with my second book Grow Up Messy! I had the glossary section in the end.

What is the best piece of advice you would give to someone that wants to get into writing?
I believe everybody has a story to tell.  So it is never too late to start. And the best part is getting a buddy writer with whom you can share your excerpts or ideas. That will always motivate you to write more. Nowadays there are many writing groups on facebook for example WRIMO. They not only offer buddy writer but also tips on quality writing. One can join any of such groups and start writing their masterpiece.

Anything else that you would like to share with your readers?
All I want to say I am blessed to have you guys in my life.  Thank you for encouraging me to write more.

About the Book:

Childhood is considered to be the best time of one’s life. What if you get a chance to live it once more with a five-year-old? 

Misry, a naughty five-year-old girl, lives with her parents in a B.S.F border outpost near Indo-Bangladesh border. But with no schools and friends she feels very lonely. She tries to befriend some local village kids. But they find her incompetent in their rural antics. 

They nickname her Messy as most of the time she messes up their plan. Can Misry really be a part of the gang? 

Set in the early eighties, join Misry in the adventures of her life.

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