Well, wishing you very happy weekdays ahead so as to have an awesome weekend later .
Today, we are featuring Mehek Bassi author of the book ‘Chained’.
What were you like at school?
I was a complete bookworm, textbooks and novels were my pursuit!
So, what have you written?
I have written one book so far, ‘Chained’, which is a romance thriller. Apart from book, I’ve been writing short stories and articles since a few years now. They all can be found at my blog www.mehek.in
Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?
Shiya Mathur, who is the main character of Chained, is a lot like me and is something that I would like to be! She’s very straightforward, honest and down to earth, despite being into so many troubles, being calm and focused is her unmatched trait! It’s like, Shiya is a better reflection of me!
What are you working on at the minute?
I’m working on an unnamed book right now; title is yet to be thought of.
What genre are your books?
My books, or short stories, are mostly fictional.
What draws you to this genre?
Fiction is one of the most interesting genres, you get to explore a lot of things, you can write about things that can’t happen. It’s like having an imaginative literary orgasm!
How much research do you do?
A lot! People sometimes ask, that you write about long distance relationships, are you in one? Or you write a lot about broken love stories, have you suffered that pain? Well, I say no! Because that’s where the research steps in. if I’m writing about a murder, doesn’t mean I’ve done one! (*laughs*)
When did you decide to become a writer?
I never decided to be a writer. I used to write articles and short stories on my blog as a pastime. My debut novel, Chained, started as a daily diary. But it wasn’t as interesting, so I added fictional characters and elements into it, with vigorous editing, soon it was totally out of sync from my personal life, and it touched the word-count of 50-thousand. I showed it to a friend, and she asked me to get it published. That’s how I became a writer!
Why do you write?
Sometimes, when you have no-one to vent your anger out on, you punch your fist in the opposite wall, writing is that punch for me! Not necessarily for venting out my anger, but for extracting all emotions out when I have nobody to talk to, and I’m very introvert, I usually don’t talk to many people, so that gives me a stronghold over my stories and I can write better!
What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?
Introversion did that to me. At times, you need someone to be with you, loneliness can be fatal, in my case; loneliness was a boon as it made me what I am today.
Do you write full-time or part-time?
Obviously part time, I’m just 20 and I’m doing computer engineering, study is my priority right now.
Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?
No, I don’t. Engineering manipulates my routine, sometimes I can write as much as 5000 words in a day when I’m free, and sometimes, when there is too much from college to finish up, I can’t even write a sentence.
Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
I never work on an outline, and that has got me into a lot of trouble lately. I think I should prepare a plot before starting things up! Seeing where your idea takes you is an interesting journey, but you can’t enjoy it if you have deadlines of submission.
How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
Evolution is a part of your experiences. As I said, I read a lot, and it definitely affects your writings too. You become mature, because I have grown up reading fairy tales and children-story books, to reading Dan Brown and John Grisham, and that’s where you know the difference!
What is the hardest thing about writing?
I don’t think writing is hard, unless you are blank about where to start it up! Starting something is harder, as compared to taking it further. It’s like packing for a trip, when you collect the needful stuff. Once you’ve packed up everything, all you need to do now is, drive and travel!
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
It’s all upon you! If you have the idea and you have the time, you can write it and finish it up as fast as in 3 months, as I did, but if you drop the project midways, or are caught up in some other stuff, things slow down and you lose the track, then it can take as long as a year or two (like it’s happening with my current project which is stuck in the middle!)
Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors.
I do not categorize authors into favourites and hated-ones! Books are like movies, and authors are like directors. Sometimes, they deliver their best in a particular movie, and whole world loves it, but sometimes they can’t give their 100% and people hate it, but that doesn’t makes the person incapable. There are many books by not-so popular authors, that I love, and then there are some overhyped books from world-renowned authors, that I don’t like. It’s all about your choice, so there’s nothing like favourite.
For your own reading, do you prefer ebooks or traditional paper/hard back books?
I prefer hard-copies over e-books. I already spend too much time on laptop, for writing, I don’t want to read in the similar manner. (*laughs*)
What book/s are you reading at present?
I’m reading Oath of the Vayuputras by Amish Tripathi, at present.
What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?
It’s all about choice. Some reviewers gave my book 5 stars, while some gave hardly 2 stars and recommended it as a time-waste (I would have left this part, but it’s important to understand this thing). Both had their own perspective of reading and rating the story. It’s not that the story was too good, or it was too bad, it’s about the person who is reading it. Some people who are grammar-nazi’s will crib over some typing or spacing errors in the book and will drop the rating, while some people will ignore such technical faults and rate the book according to the story and not the printing, it’s all your choice you see. Where good reviews are important to boost up your morale, bad reviews are more important, to keep you grounded, and to make you better. (*smiles*)
What’s your views on social media for marketing?
When everything is selling online these days, then marketing your product online is as important, as selling it. Social media is the largest market, where millions of things are available on different counters, and you have to promote one book, or one pair of shoes, to make them sell, it is hell challenging because the market keeps on fluctuating. You never know, which new author showed up overnight, and his/her book became an instant bestseller, so it’s very important to keep yourself in news. Rest it’s all upon readers, if the work is good, your readers will market it for you!
Did you get interviewed by local press/radio for your book launch?
Yes, I got interviewed by two newspapers – Times of India and Daily Post.
Is there any marketing technique you used that had an immediate impact on your sales figures?
Sharing the quotes, excerpts from your book, graphical portrayal of characters and sharing the poems online, made my book popular and boosted the sales figure when it was about to release. I made a facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/Chained21) and marketed my book there.
Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
I would like to meet Lady Diana. There’s something mysteriously enchanting about her that entices me to know her more. There are many stories about her, but still many things are still hidden and veiled. I would like to unfold those curtains, if possible!
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
I would tell them to just be yourself and utilize your freedom of expression! If you copy someone, you’ll be writing something that’s selling in the market already, under a famous name, don’t do that. Be original and write from your heart!
How can readers discover more about you and you work?
Thank you 🙂
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