29 March, 2019

#SpecialFeature :: #Interview with Mehak Daleh, #Author of And the Roses Bled

*** Special Feature - March 2019 ***

Quick Recap:

You can also check out my Review of  And the Roses Bled

About the Book:

What happens when the dead come back and can’t let go?

A catastrophe occurs in what was meant to be a fun-filled day for Nina and Alisha. Minutes ago, they were on the swings in the Rose Garden and now, Alisha is standing alone, while the help runs frantically. Her sister, Nina, has disappeared, never to be found again.
But the bond between them withstands even death. Nina’s ghost circles the house.
Is she here just to comfort her now lonely and distraught sister or is she pointing the way to unravel the mystery of her disappearance? the questions remain unanswered until six years later.
Another ghost is reaching out to Alisha from the beyond, a ghost only she can see and she has no idea why.
Battling the horror, the blood and the nightmares that follow her in this macabre turn of events, will Alisha be able to emerge from the whirlpool that the other side is trying to drown her in?

Book Links:
Goodreads * Amazon

Interview with the Author

When did you first realize that you wanted to be a writer/ a storyteller?
I don’t think I ever ‘aspired’ to be a writer, simply because since the beginning I thought it was natural for people to read and write stories. So, it was always there, for as long as I can recall. 
I believe this was a consequence of the environment I was brought up in. There are many die-hard booklovers in my family.

What inspires you to write?
Everything around me does. There are stories everywhere!

What kind of research goes into your book?
The stories I have written so far are more intimate than they are technical. Therefore, for backdrops, I tend to pick places that I am familiar with, because that is something that I believe needs to be accurate. So I research if my development of the backdrop is accurate.

How did you come up with the idea for your current story? 
The horrors we read about in the newspapers that some children are subjected to these days was a major prompt. Trust is so often abused. Then there was the curiosity about how a child might actually cope with a tragedy and if at all they would be able to come out of a situation with their psyche unscathed… all this led to what became ‘And The Roses Bled’.

How Many drafts did it take to reach to the point that the book was ready to be published? How different if the final draft from the first draft?
The major elements of the story were in place in the initial draft itself, but lots of editing went into it of course. Frankly, I believe I’ve lost count of drafts. However, the story itself is pretty much the same as it was in the first draft. The edits mostly involved putting events in the best possible sequence and tightening the plot.

Please share three interesting facts about the characters in your book.

  • Alisha bites her nails. 
  • Appearance wise, she is quite thin and bony as a kid but plump as an adult. 
  • Arun Mehta does not really have a lisp. He pretends to have one.

If you could pick any famous author to review your book who would you pick and why?
Ruskin Bond for sure, for a couple of reasons. One, he is my favourite Indian author. Second, his stories are set in the hills and I’d like to know if he thinks I have done any justice to a story set in the hills.

Name three things that you believe are important to character development?
I believe it’s important to know where the character is coming from, experience wise. It helps to see why they react they way they do. It’s also important to put characters in varying situations and observe what they do. They tend to reveal a lot about themselves that way.

What part of the writing process do you enjoy the most?
I love doing the first draft because it’s like reading a new book. I never really know what I am going to get. Sometimes, the characters surprise me. It’s fun.

Do you know the ending of your books before you finish writing them?
No, I never quite know how it will end. Or where.

What is the best piece of advice you would give to someone that wants to get into writing?
The same advice I got--- Write as much as you can and don’t worry about making the first draft perfect. There will always be areas where one must improve. So just sit down, and write.
Also, read a lot. It’s as important as writing.

Anything else that you would like to share with your readers?
I would like to share my Instagram handle- @mehakdaleh
Of all my social media accounts, I am most active on Instagram and would love to connect with readers there. 

About the Author:

Mehak Daleh lives and works out of Chandigarh. She started working on ‘Roses’ on a cold December day in 2012, giving in to an image of little girls walking to a graveyard which had been stuck in her head for months. This image became the centre around which the manuscript grew.
Mehak relishes dark folklore and mythology along with contemporary fiction. Her stories, born where the everyday meets the extraordinary, are usually set in the hills where she grew up, and where she developed a penchant for the mysterious and macabre.
And the Roses Bled is her debut novel, and she is currently working on her subsequent manuscripts.

Connect with the Author:
Twitter * Instagram

Two lucky Indian Residents can win a paperback copy each of And the Roses Bled
a Rafflecopter giveaway