We are in talks with Siddhi Palande, a Mumbai-based author who wrote “Beyond the Veil” A social novel that I believe all of you must get your hands on. This book tells you what most don’t talk about. So let’s ask Siddhi a few questions.
1. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I look back and I can’t trace any eureka moment as such. I remember writing as a kiddo, be it school plays or poems or one-liners. But the decisive moment came post my SSC. I had to decide which stream to choose and arts it was, hands down. Further, there existed a dilemma between Law or Journalism. Perhaps it was my gut instinct and I opted for Journalism. I guess it proved to be a healthy decision for me.
2. How long does it take you to write a book?
Beyond The Veil – The Journey Of An Indian Girl being my debut novel, it took me around one and a half month to complete it. I would have completed it prior to the deadline set but considering you have a month old baby to look after, it can get strenuous to have a proper schedule.
3. What is your work schedule like when you are writing?
I have a very erratic schedule. I write as and when the thoughts flow and/or when I have free time, which is usually when the baby is napping. I often keep a notepad and pen or my mobile phone handy so that I don’t miss out on the words if and when they come.
4. What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I don’t know if you can call it writing quirks but I keep thinking about my characters and stories even when I am not writing. I laugh at my own jokes and people around me usually don’t get it. If there comes a thought which sounds priceless to my mind, I ought to write it down immediately, irrespective of what time of the day or night it occurs. Also, I have this unique relationship with words. I keep falling in and out of love with every new word that I discover, my latest love being Iridescence. <haha ;)>
5. How do books get published?
Well, there are two ways – Traditional and Self – Publishing. Traditional consumes a lot of time since it rests upon the publishers which manuscript to choose and which to discard. However, many diligent writers are opting for self-publishing solely because it saves time, there are packages that suit your pocket and also because you can present your work to the audience as is, that is without the interference of the publishing house.
6. Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
My ideas come solely from the surroundings. There are ample of unvoiced stories around us. We may have heard them. We may have forgotten. To pen it down, to present it, to make it reader friendly, rests solely with the wordsmiths. My debut novel is based on one such story. I had heard it from the mother of the protagonist herself. However, when I first sat down to write I didn’t realize I was penning a story I had already heard. Halfway through the realization dawned upon me. It was my subconscious doing the trick. You see, we never forget what we see or hear, it is reproduced in one way or the other.
7. When did you write your first book and how old were you?
I only recently wrote my first book, Beyond The Veil – The Journey Of An Indian Girl at the age of 26. It was a catharsis. I had delivered a baby girl and in three days time, after coming home, my father passed away. I was an emotional mess. I needed a channel to vent my emotions. My words proved to have stood by me when I was stranded by my beloveds. From a rant, it became a short story and was soon realized into a novel.
8. What do you like to do when you are not writing?
I spend most of my time with my now 7-month- old daughter. But if I am not with her I am either reading novels or watching world cinema.
9. What does your family think of your writing?
Well, initially most of them thought that my writing would be limited to journalism – news and movie reviews. But only a few had absolute faith in me. My father, my mother, my husband nd my cousin, all of them, time and again, urged me to write a novel. Despite financial restraints, my father bought me a laptop so that I realize my dream. He wanted me to write. He wants me to write.
10. What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
I can complete a novel! Yes. Surprising, isn’t it? After having abandoned your previous works, you tend to get tad jittery. But when you change your attitude towards your work, you are bent on completing it, then that’s what you do.
11. Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?