Meet Pooja Upadhaya Mishra- author of the book ‘Rolling In The Dark’. We did have a quick glimpse of her work and I must tell you that I am pretty impressed with it- both the cover design and the writing. Our review will follow- but first, let’s talk to the parent of this child.
1. How many hours a day do you write?
I write a few lines every day but if I am writing a book, I cannot write unless something strikes me in relation to the flow of the story. So, there are days when I don’t write and then there are times when I start typing on my phone in a bus or flight so that I don’t forget.
2. What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
I believe in writing with authority. It’s not enough that I have set my story in certain place and time, my characters must live there and should speak and act according to the rules of the world I have
created which will make my readers choose to inhabit that world. I do some research beforehand to know the believable parameters of the plot and my characters but do not get overburdened by it. I let the narrative and character take its’ course.
3. As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
I would say a bird. Like a bird collects twigs, grass, leaves from everywhere to build a home, I, as a writer, pick up from various places like reading, life experiences, to build a story.
4. What are common traps for aspiring writers?
a. Too much of research.
You have spent months searching the web and books and piled up a bunch
of notes which might have not been used in the book. Instead one can look
up things, if necessary, when stuck in the writing process.
b. Innumerable feedbacks
Looking for one or two feedback is fine but anything more than that will make you change the plot, lose the essence of the characters. You cannot please everyone.
c. Trying to be original.
One day you might be reading or watching something and find a portion similar to what you have written. You cannot go back and start changing the manuscript. Maybe the name of the characters
or a little description here and there can be changed.
5. The cover of your book ‘Rolling in the dark’ is one of the best covers I have seen- Where did the design idea come from?
My book is about the life journey of a woman. There is a part where she is carrying her second baby, which is a girl, and what goes through her from then on. Also, that her first child, her daughter, has been the light to her otherwise dark life. I had a few other thoughts in my mind but this best suited my story.
6. Tell us more about your debut book ‘Rolling in the dark’
I have always possessed a vivid imagination. I had started a blog while in college, wrote for the blog of my organization I was working in, created content for social
media. However, I never thought I could write fiction or rather a book. It was after my marriage when I moved to the United States that my husband recognized my flair for writing and pushed me to write a book. I had no idea
what to write. I have scribbled crap on infinite pages writing different things every day when one day I wrote something that came to me organically.
Once I started writing “Rolling in the Dark” I knew this was going to be something substantial. I don’t think I could have written “Rolling in the Dark” back in the years. I strongly feel everything has its own time.
7. What was your hardest scene to write?
There is no one particular scene that was tough to pen down. Every time I wrote about how Meera was tortured, brought tears to my eyes. Yes, but amongst these the toughest part for me, as a woman, was to write about the difficulties she had to face to bring another girl child into being and the time of her miscarriage. I could actually feel as if it was happening to me.
8. What did you learn when writing the book?
Writing energizes me in a big way. I got so involved with Meera’s character, like I could feel it
happening to one of my own.
9. Do you set a plot or prefer going wherever an idea takes you?
I do set a plot but do not get burdened by it. I flow wherever an idea takes me.
10. What is your motivation for writing more?
I am brimming with stories.
11. So what next?
I have just started. Haven’t named the book yet. I am
not sure if I can give out anything right now. Let it be a surprise!