Monday 15 October 2018

Questionnaire with Authoress-Neelam Saxena Chandra

This month featuring authoress is ' Neelam Saxena Chandra'

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

I am an Engineer by profession. I cleared the Indian Engineering Services Exams and am a Class I officer with Indian Railways, presently, posted as General Manager (Electrical) at Mahametro, Pune.I am a very moody person, enjoying different things at different times. I paint, I anchor events, I act and I write.

1.       How did you first get involved in with writing, are you an imaginative person?I was a very coy and introvert person as a child. My classmates must have rarely heard my voice, except when it came to answering questions raised by teachers. However, I would listen to books and open up my heart to my diary. I used to write poems at that time.

Yes, I am a very imaginative person. After joining Railways, I began compering for events and I loved using short poems written by me. I also started writing short skits and would not only act in them, but I would also direct those skits. After my daughter was born, her craving for a story a day kept the imaginative person in me live till I finally wrote down those stories and sent them for publishing. That marked the beginning of my writing journey.

2.       What do you find most challenging about your writing?

Writing is in itself a challenge, especially when my professional life is so very demanding. However, since I derive my satisfaction from it, I am able to find the energy to write every day.

3.       What do you do when you are not writing?As I said, I can never sit quietly. I keep trying various things. I may just cook a dish, go out for a walk, read a little or play table tennis.

4.       Where do you see yourself in the next 6 months, and 5 years down the road?

I am not really very ambitious and I don’t have a fixed destination. I am enjoying my journey, all the time confident that there must be some place where I will go, for I can never stop.

5.       How do you keep coming up with material/content for your story?

There are so many stories happening in and around you every moment, every day. I just think of the possible outcomes and what would such a protagonist do in such a circumstance and what would make him/her do that. Mostly, a story is born out of my thought process.

6.       Any specific tips you have for new writers who want to make it big in the world of published books?
I would like to advise the new writers that you have to deserve every bit of your success. So, slog for it, read a lot, write well and then only can you be successful. After all, there is no short cut to success.

7.       What’s the best thing a writer can give to his/her readers?A good story/poem which makes his/her readers brood, either encouraging them or making them good human beings by being able to have different prospective in one situation.

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?

I would like to tell such writers that there is hardly any money in writing as such unless you expand your horizons and make your name by staying in the industry for years. These days, everybody is writing, and you have to be different to be able to become popular. There may be promotion campaigns, but none of that succeeds in the long run if you don’t write well.

9.       What motivates you most in life?Every breathes that I take motivates me. I am motivated by every ray of sun in the morning, I am enthused by the fact that I have yet another day to do what I want and I am inspired by the knowledge that there are so many others who do better than me just because of their willpower. If they can, so can I.

10.   The majority of the readers tend to take sides due to religion and such other considerations.Yes, that is an unfortunate fact. However, I’ve always propagated the fact that God is one and there is nothing more divine than true love. I too have a lot of steady followers and I am sure that others like me too must be having them.

11.   What is the story behind the name of your book?My latest book is titled “Tales from Venus” and is published by LiFi Publications. This is a collection of short stories related to women. A woman is a palette of hues and has various shades to her persona. She desires nothing, but love. If she feels loved, she shines, opens her wings and touches the sky; radiating the whole world. If she does not, she cribs for some time may get angry too; but then finds her own horizons in the space provided. She does not stop anywhere. She is always adapting to the situations and then also modifying herself accordingly and learning to grow in the worst of situations. Tales from Venus makes you aware of the various colours of a woman right from teens till she matures. There are tales that tickle your bones, tales that make you feel emotional, tales of courage, tales of treachery, tales that thrill you and tales that make you happy. Ultimately, you are bound to remain glued to the book because of the surprise element offered by each story.

12.   What are your views on increasing plagiarism?
Plagiarism is not new and has been taking place since long. However, it has become all the more rampant because of easy availability due to the internet. Several times, material written by me was sent to me as a forward without my name. There are certain tools like “your quotes” which quickly show when the poem was first published. I suppose other solutions will also come up due to technological innovations.