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Monday, November 16, 2015

Author Interview: Anamika Mishra

  Reviewing books over the years I have found the best writers in those whose work reflects themselves. VoiceMates by Anamika Mishra was one such mirror image of the of the person she is, simple and interesting. She is one of those writers who answers the most difficult questions in the same honest manner as she does with the easy ones. Here is a straightforward young Indian writer whom you could always approach for she is upfront and non-diplomatic. Here is my conversation with her, and to get my drift read the answer to the last question.     
    Q.  Describe your journey into writing?
A: My journey into writing has been quite swift. I started writing my first novel Too hard to handle when I was in the final year of my MJMC. By the time, I completed my studies, my book was out in stores. At that time, I had joined a radio station as RJ in Kanpur, but after my novel got published, I quit that high-paid job to pursue my passion i.e. Writing. Since then, I am writing and readers have accepted and treated me really well. My latest novel VoiceMates have been published by Jaico in August 2015. I am now really enjoying this journey.

Q.   How did the story of VoiceMates happen?
A: I took the basic idea of VoiceMates from my own experience. Pursuing a non-traditional career and keep everything at stake is really scary. But taking risk is also important, if you have a passion for something. I had for writing and so I fought the fear of failure and took that 1 chance to chase my dreams. Through VoiceMates, I want to inspire people and encourage them to do what they love… because when you make your passion your job, life becomes a better place to live.

Q.  How much of the characters and incidents real life and how much is fiction?
A: Well, VoiceMates is totally a work of fiction.

Q.   How good a singer are you?
A: Well, I do sing and love it to the core. But how good I am in singing, I don’t know! May be one day I’d sing for you and then you’d decide :).

Q.   You are two books old now, how has writing as a passion and professionally treated you?
A: As a passion it was amazing, as a profession it was not what I had imagined before I became a published author. You see, every industry has 2 sides- positive and negative. I wasn’t aware of the negative face of this industry which at times gave me ripples and hardships, but still… luckily few good people helped me out and made things easier for me.

Q.   What has been the greatest hurdle in connecting with your readers?
A:  Time! The thing is that I am so busy in writing and creating stuff for my readers that I am unable to dedicate time on social media (which is actually the easiest way to connect with readers). But I am trying to improve this and interact with my readers. I hope now I don’t disappoint my readers as much as I did after Too hard to handle got published.  

Q.  Are you a methodical writer?
A: Not really! I just follow one order when I write books- Create 1st draft on diary, 2nd draft on laptop, revise and revise!

Q.   What are your favorite characters (from books)?
A:  From my books, I like both of my female protagonists, Anushree from Too hard to handle and Tulip from VoiceMates.

Q.   Your favorite writers and books?
A: Well I am big fan of Paulo Coelho and so I love all of his books. I am also fond of Danielle steel, J.K. Rowling, Nora Roberts, Dan Brown, Nicholas Sparks, Robin Sharma and Rhonda Byrne.

Q.   If you could change one thing about your writing what would that be?
A: At present, nothing!

Q.  What are your future projects?
A:  I am already done with writing my third novel. I am working on my 4th book which is a part of NaNoWriMo. Let’s see what happens!

Q.   Advice to upcoming writers?
A: Be patient, be determined and have faith in your passion.

 Q.  What’s your take on the Sahitya Awards being returned and if you were awarded one, would you return it?
A:  Well, I really feel that returning Sahitya Awards was not the correct gesture. See, as a writer I know the amount of hard work we put in creating a book out of nothing and people get awarded as a token of appreciation and excellence for their work. Returning award is disrespecting the love and appreciation given to you for your work. If people have opinion for something, stand out and say! What’s the point of returning the award? And if people who returned their awards are so concerned about the issues, then I would really like to know where are these people now? Have they done anything about the social issues? Did they donate a single penny to any NGO? And if they are actually doing something to fight for the issues, then its okay if they are not accepting the awards. Their will! But if they are not doing anything, then they should learn to respect the profession and at least, their own work! Apologies if I sound rough here, but this is totally my opinion!

And yes, if I were awarded one, I would have never returned it. NV:  Thanks a lot Anamika for a very honest interview. We wish you all the best in your journey ahead. 
AM: The pleasure is just mine. Wish you good luck too :). 

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