Q. Hi Ms. Priyanka, and thank you for agreeing this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
Hello, Amandeep! My pleasure to be here again. I am Priyanka from Mirzapur, Uttar Pradesh (India). I currently live in Kuwait. I am an author, and a blogger; love to play guitar and do some poetry as well. My hobbies are traveling, reading, jogging, and watching movies.
I have two books to my credit – It’s Never Too Late and the latest, The Shadow of Darkness. Both books are being received well by the readers.
Q. What led you to your book, “The Shadow of Darkness”?
My first book – It’s Never Too Late. ‘The Shadow of Darkness’ is actually its sequel but a complete story in itself.
In It’s Never Too Late, I have shown how my protagonist, Maya, suffers a great deal by the hands of two sadistic criminals. In the process, her five year old daughter, Sejal, too gets harassed. Later on, Maya was able to release her clutch on the past but for little Sejal, it was impossible. She just could not leave behind the horror of the night! She was afraid of strangers, could not go outside and play, skipped school for months, protected her new doll fiercely while she was supposed to be playing with it, had hard time in eating and digesting food. In short, Sejal’s childhood was spent under the constant gaze of trauma.
In my first book, I put focus on Maya and magnified how with mental power, you can overcome physical strength. But for Sejal, I had to tell her story. How could you not show a little girl’s trauma in growing years? And that’s how the idea of ‘The Shadow of Darkness’ was seeded. But why the term childhood trauma?
Childhood trauma is an invisible monster, it never leaves you. A child can grow but the trauma memories stay intact and affect the person in so many little and different ways that if help is not offered on time, the person in conflict may have to live with the painful memories forever. Although those memories do not go away completely yet with help on time, it certainly gets easier to deal with upcoming challenges.
The book also focuses on love and hope. It’s hard to overcome traumatic memories. The help and support of family and friends can open up new possibilities of healing and a bright future.
First book talked about crimes against women. Second one is about another sensitive issue – Childhood Trauma and creating a meaningful life despite of all the darkness.
Q. What is the easiest thing about writing?
Thinking about it! Getting those thoughts on paper is the hardest.
Q. What motivates you to write?
Q. When did you decide that you want to be a writer?
When I saw my first book in hands. That day I felt there are chances this process could go on forever.
Q. What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?
To stay prepared for both.
Q. What do you prefer: Pen or Computer? And how do you stay organised (any methods, systems, tools you use)?
Computer, of course. Because of the daunting process called Editing. Writers have to edit for so many times that if it wasn’t for computers, the impending apocalypse would have doomed the earth ages ago.
Thankfully, the technology helps us to save trees and earth.
In line with organizing my writings, I always have an outline of my story. Till this time, I had the beginnings and the climaxes nailed right into my head before I started writing both of my books. It was the part between them that I had to work on munificently. In fact for ‘The Shadow of Darkness’, I had even hired a professional editor to fine tune the manuscript.
For my blogs (I have two – one in Hindi and another in English), I pick a topic and lace around ideas to make it work for readers. I love blogging. I’d also like you to write a post for me since your blog is much appreciated.
Q. How do you relax?
Relax? Let me cherish the word for a second for it’s hard for me to do this exact thing these days. Now that my book is out, I work seven days a week. If I am not typing, I am always thinking what next? If I am not thinking, I am typing my next move. If I am neither typing nor thinking then I am probably dead.
Fortunately, I have a family who plans a fun movie night, cooks Maggi for me, takes me out, fights and talks with me, and motivates me. Every week I cook special dishes to get them into thinking that I am the best ally they can ever imagine. Some friends here invite us over for dinner and day outs and vice versa. You see! Even if I don’t plan, I have lovely people around who love me unknowingly and fuel me enough to keep going.
Q. What would you have done differently if you could do it again?
Nothing, I guess. Because life is not a story on computer where you can press Undo and do the magic. And if you can’t change anything really then why to fret over which part sucked?
It’s better to look ahead than to refocus the fuse of the past.
Q. Something personal about you people may be surprised to know?
I am not sure what can surprise the one reading this. May be this interview being given by a yet-to-be-a-bestseller author to oh-so-famous blog?
Q. Do you re-read books? One book that you would read again & again?
Nope. With due respect, I have not re-read any book till to this date. There is always another, more inviting than the one I just finished. But the finished ones stay in my heart in the ways they have managed to touch me as a reader, inspired me as a writer, and fuelled the dedication to do something grander every day.
What can be the other best option to relive a book again and again if not this?
Q. Your influence(s)/ favourite author(s)?
Influence/s is a better query to answer. My father is on number one. It’s because of him that I believe in giving my best. It’s because of him that I am a writer today. It’s because of him that I am happy today. He is super proud when he learns my books are doing well. He encourages me to keep practicing on my guitar which is a big deal for me, his concern. It’s his genes that push me to give the best beyond my best.
My mother and my husband. They are my strongest pillars and the best Exit plans. Whenever I feel cornered by an issue or something, they are the ones I usually turn to. Each day, they make me realize the wonders and magic of relationships through the way they love and care for me.
My son. He is my life. He gives me the energy to go on.
Paulo Coelho. One day, I want to meet him in person. His writings are such a huge influence on me.
Q. Are you working on anything at the moment? When can we see your next work?
Yes. Third one is in the progress and you will get to see it when I find a good publisher.