Sunday 21 April 2019

A Questionnaire with Deepti Menon

So this month's featuring Author is 

" Deepti Menon"

Can you tell us a little about yourself? Your profession and
your hobbies!!

One of the advantages of being a writer is that one’s hobbies and profession come together in a harmonious blend. I wrote my first poem when I was ten, and words have always fascinated me. I was an Army brat and later, I married an Army officer. Right through our sojourn in the Army, in the midst of picturesque locales, I continued my writing, and my teaching.

 Questionnaire with Deepti Menon 

1.     How did you first get involved in with writing, are you an imaginative person?
Well, I was ten when I first began writing. Even in school, I loved taking part in literary competitions. I found that I loved to juggle with words. In fact, I used to terrorize my sisters and cousins by narrating scary stories to them in dark rooms.
  As to your second question, I often let my imagination run riot, and there are times when I need to rein in my imagination when it goes way off track. J

2.     What do you find most challenging about your writing?
The biggest challenge when I write is to ensure that I speak to my readers. I write and rewrite, polishing my words till they sparkle and fall into the right spaces. What does not interest me will not interest those who read me. Hence, I find it a constant challenge to keep my words interesting.

3.     What do you do when you are not writing?
I read, I listen to music, I travel and I enjoy life! I also love spending time with my family, especially with my three-year-old granddaughter, Zoya.

4.     Where do you see yourself in the next 6 months, and 5 years down the road?
In the next six months, I hope to start the process of bringing out three books, two of which have been sent for approval to a couple of publishers, and the third an anthology of my short stories which I need to send at the end of the month. Fingers crossed with all my literary babies!
Five years down the line? Does anyone know where they will be after five years? I do hope that I will be a well-known writer whose name is on the lips of readers who speak of my writing kindly.

5.     How do you keep coming up with material / content for your story?
As I mentioned earlier, I have an imagination that tends to run riot. I can find material anywhere – while on a walk in the garden, from a snippet of conversation, the movie hall or the newspaper. My friends and family are mortally scared of saying anything to me, for they know that I will put it in my next story. J

6.     Any specific tips you have for new writers who want to make it big in the world of published books?
The one vital tip that I would like to offer to new writers is to keep writing and not be worried about rejection. When writing for a particular magazine or website, take the trouble to do your homework and make yourself familiar with the kind of writing they are looking for. Finally, when you get down to the actual writing, edit and embellish till your article is perfect. Editing is as important as writing... it gives it its lustre. Never let your standard drop.

7.     What’s the best thing a writer can give to his readers?
If a writer can touch the heart of his or her readers, and capture their attention and imagination, taking their minds away from the stress and strain of their daily lives, that, I believe, would be the best gift.

8.     A lot of people are interested in writing for the money earning potential. What are some tips for people interesting in making money from writing? What are some realistic expectations in regards to what can be made?
There are a number of writers who make loads of money from their books, and these writers are on top of the echelon. However, the same cannot be said for all writers, however good they are. So, if a writer reaches that level, it is wonderful. If not, it is better to be ‘content’ with the fact that one is writing meaningful ‘content’.

9.     What motivates you most in life?
There are many things which motivate me in life... my home library, my job that keeps me young in the company of children, my love of music and theatre and spending time with my family. However, what keeps me most motivated is the realisation that whatever I write has the power to influence my readers, in one way or the other.
10.                        The majority of the readers tend to take sides due religion and such other considerations.
I feel that religion is an intensely personal issue and taking sides in the name of religion is like touching an electric switch with wet hands. Why risk getting electrocuted? I adore Lord Ganesha, but I would not insist that everyone around me does so as well. The motto of my school, Hari Sri Vidya Nidhi, resonates within my heart as well. “Let the Peal of Harmony be the Appeal of all Religions.”

11.     What is the story behind the name of your book?
The title of my book is ‘Shadow in the Mirror’, a book that was brought out by Readomania in 2016. The cover image has the face of a mysterious lady in blue with a striking red bindi. The mirror does not lie and often, esoteric truths lie behind the shadows within mirrors; tales within tales collude and collide, as do the lives of those living within the tales.  

12.      What are your views on increasing plagiarism?
If there is a reprehensible crime in the world of writing and literature, it is that of plagiarism. How can a writer forgive another for robbing him of his greatest wealth – his writing and his ideas? Unfortunately, piracy is also on the rise and many popular authors lose out because their books are sold on pavements at a quarter of their actual prices. Unless the laws on plagiarism and piracy are made stringent, these crimes against authors will continue. 

Thank you so much, Dipali, for these interesting questions. God bless!