A Conversation with author Aparna Sinha

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Aparna Sinha’s journey as a writer is marked by grit and perseverance in the face of hardships. When she was forced to quit her lucrative job because of a chronic disease, she focused on her sole passion, writing. Ashvamedha, her first book is a political thriller and at #6 among ‘Top 50 favorite books by female authors in 2016’

Aparna Sinha wrote her first poem when she was seven, which she recited on All India Radio. Since then, her literary work and industry specific articles have been published in various mediums, including reputed business magazines across Asia. 

Interview

Tell us what made you think about becoming a writer?

I always wanted to be a published author. I guess it is in my genes- my mother is an acclaimed Hindi author, my father (known for his academic books) was also a great poet and thinker. I started writing early and recited my first poem at the age of 7, on All India Radio. Professionally, I have been writing industry related articles that are published in various magazines across South East Asia. I write poems and blog posts to satiate my creative side. It was only after I fell sick with a chronic disease which forced me to quit my job. I got time to concentrate fully on something I truly love- writing a novel.

As they say, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Tell us what keeps you going? How do you find inspiration?

I express myself better in writing, so in a way everything around me inspires me to write- from natural beauty to global events, an emotion that is buried to a misplaced inanimate object, past events, places, people. If you look deep, everything tells you a story worth sharing with everyone.

What drove you to political thrillers?

Starting from the office to controlling oil fields, politics is everywhere… because the power to control is innate. However, it was a dry boring subject until a few years ago. Now, the dynamics of politics is changing across globe with social media and on the go technology. The youth of today is not only aware of the political arena but is also actively voicing its opinions and participating in discussions. Heads of states and governments across the globe are also considering the opinions of the young generation when taking critical decisions (e.g. Brexit). So I felt that the time is right to write a political thriller, because now even youth can relate to many of the incidents in the book. Also, the genre is less explored and I wanted to give readers a break from contemporary romantic comedy and pop fiction.

Oh, yes. We can surely do with a break! Speaking of genres, what do you normally read? Who are your favorite authors?

I am a voracious reader and I like reading good, rich literature (with good language and wisdom). My favorite genre will be literary thriller fiction (all types-medical, espionage, mythological, legal)

And favorite authors… oh, I have many. I could totally relate to what Michael Crichton (also my favorite author) used to say when asked a similar question, “Whenever I am asked what is my favorite anything, I draw a blank.”

It is very hard to name all the authors, but I’ll list a few. In Crime and Thriller- Robert Ludlum, Michael Crichton, Alistair Mclean (I have all their books). I like Dan Brown and John Grisham. I love Russian literature, and I admire most of the authors of its golden era. In Hindi, besides my mother, my favorite author is Harishankar Parsai. I just love the wisdom of Khalil Gibran, Charles Dickens, Oscar Wilde, John Keats

And what aisle can you be spotted at in a library or bookstore?

Fiction, Thriller.

Not hard to guess! Tell us about your writing process. What are the bits you enjoy the most  and what do you find the hardest?

I let the idea develop in my head for sometime before penning it down and when I sit to write, I write continuously for anywhere between 8 to17 hours with just 2-3 breaks. I write till I am satisfied.

I love to write, so for me, there is nothing hard about writing per se. But post writing, validation and research does become tiring and boring at times.

Tell us about your experience while writing and publishing Ashwamedha.

Well, like all other debut authors, I too faced rejections. Like all debut authors, I have been told many times that self publishing is my only option. But like many, I kept trying, improving the manuscript, working on the synopsis until it was finally accepted by Srishti. Yes, it was frustrating at times, especially with the painful disease that had scarred me emotionally and physically. Add to that, I had no job or means of economic independence. So it wasn’t easy at all but I didn’t give up, thanks to family and friends who kept encouraging me.

After the manuscript was accepted, it was a cakewalk, as Srishti Publishers are the best in the industry, without doubt. They are empathetic, encouraging and give full freedom to the author.

That is indeed a truly inspiring journey! What would be your advice to people starting off on their writing journeys?

Don’t be afraid to tell your story. Express. Write. Never give up. Also write responsibly because you will define the literature for our generation. Make sure that the level is elevated.

Tell us about your other projects. What’s next?

A mystery novel is almost done. The final bit of editing is taking time as I am focusing more on my new responsibility as a mother.

Grab your copy at http://amzn.to/2bfDaiS

Like and follow the book at  https://www.facebook.com/Ashvamedha/

Follow Aparna on twitter @aparna@326

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Deepika Sharma
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Deepika Sharma is the co-founder and editor of thehappywomen.com. She is an author, blogger and someone who feels strongly about the issues that plague married urban women in India, as they struggle with family expectations and societal norms on one hand and their careers on the other. She is the co-author of the book, ​​’Indian Women and the Shaadi Conundrum’ which is a self-help book aimed to guide women and help them tide over the pre and post wedding hulabaloo.

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