WORDS IN THE FIRE…
Again, there was a word, which could be spread in a number of different ways, and one of its longest lasting forms is the one which is written down. Carefully noted stories, changed, brought to perfection just before they reach their readers. Stories which mature together with their authors, with their spiritual and mental development, as well as with the degree to which they manage to explore themselves and the degree to which they get to know their inner self.
Some novels are created over the years, so that the readers who decide to reach for a particular book receive the best final product, the one which will meet their expectations. One could compare such a book to a bottle of fine wine, the more lovingly created, the more happiness it brings.
The most fascinating here is the human imagination, which is definitely able to create alternate worlds, fiction mixed up with reality, formed with finesse of a surgeon and with fantasy of a painter. Will the readers be able to solve the next mystery? Will they be able to explore the feelings of the main characters? There are as many possibilities as many authors we have, there are also as many possibilities as many readers we have.
I’m truly pleased to introduce you to my today’s interviewee – Sredhanea Ramkrishnan – awarded numerous times debut author, who created a remarkable historical fiction novel and has an appetite to reach for more. In this interview she will tell us a little about her passions, the story behind preparing her first novel, as well as about her plans for the future.
Passion Piece: Could you tell my readers a few words about yourself?
Sredhanea: I am a food technologist by education and profession, but I am an author by passion. I have written more than 20 blogs in the Coffeelicious Publications of Medium, published self-help articles in magazines like ‘The Infinithoughts’ and was a freelance content writer for Carty Studios. My debut historical fiction “THE CORD” won ‘The best aspiring author’ award from The Cherry Book Awards, and ‘The Rising Author of the year’ award by Priya’s Wisdom Publications, ‘Budding Author of the year’ by JEC Publications, ‘Young author of the year’ by CLA Global Awards and ‘Emerging author of the year – Fiction’ by Ukiyoto Publishing. I am also a co-host of LOL-Love of Literature, a podcast for aspiring authors and am an avid fiction reader and reviewer.
Passion Piece: You’re a debut author who has already been recognized in the literary community. How does it feel making your dreams come true?
Sredhanea: It does feel honoring and humbling, but I never dreamt of being a recognized author. I started writing not to impress or even to express, but to explore myself. To answer questions within me and seek clarity within myself. The awards and the publishing deal were a happy beckoning to my five years of introspection while writing and rewriting several drafts of THE CORD. It does feel great to hold my debut novel in my hands, yet it also becomes a yardstick to compare and make my future projects better by delving deeper into my imagination and conscience.
Passion Piece: A written word is one of the longest lasting in the world. It needs a certain set of skills to create a story that is gripping and read from cover to cover by its readers. How did your writing adventure start?
Sredhanea: My writing adventure started in 2016, I was in a real dark place personally and I felt like I couldn’t articulate my issues or feelings effectively enough. Many friends suggested journaling, but I felt by writing about my emotions, I would only be wallowing more in them, hence I started writing fiction, creating my own world to forget the pains of the reality I couldn’t accept. The journey was both cathartic and eventful. The first draft was not even close to the version that has been published. Luckily I have had great editors like Ms.Savita Dutta, Ms.Usha Nagasamy and a soul-touching mentor, Ms.Jayanti Sankar who have helped the book reach its final form, 7 drafts and 5 years later.
Passion Piece: Have you ever written novels, short stories or poems only for yourself? If not, where have you published your works, so that they could be available for a wider audience?
Sredhanea: I think every word I write is for myself. If I wrote it for anyone else, I wouldn’t be able to connect with it. And yes, they have been published in my blog page on Medium, from poems, hykus to self-help articles and fiction series, I’ve tried my hand in it all, to finally conclude that fiction moves my soul better than any other genre.
Passion Piece: What kind of a response did you receive? Was it encouraging? How did you use constructive criticism to improve your writing?
Sredhanea: As a bonus to the pre and post publication awards THE CORD has bestowed me with, it also climbed on to the #52 top best-selling Indian Fiction books of Amazon in the first two days since its launch. I have been getting amazing reviews for the book and what I appreciate the most is my fellow authors taking time to read and giving valuable feedback for the same. One such constructive criticism was that I was writing onomatopoeia in quotes which apparently is not necessary, and I’ve vowed to reduce it in my future work.
Passion Piece: Which genres are your favorite ones? Which ones do you feel best at?
Sredhanea: Historical fiction, thriller and forensic fiction are the genres I feel more comfortable reading and writing. But I sometimes dabble with urban fantasy too.
Passion Piece: Do you like experimenting while writing? Or maybe you prefer to follow your own tried and tested way?
Sredhanea: I love experimenting through writing, as I’m in the initial stages of my journey as an author, I do not wish to be rigid with my style. In THE CORD, I have used inland letters to denote conversations between two characters. My publisher even helped make the page look like a letter and we attached the corresponding postal stamp at the top of the page to make it more authentic. And in my upcoming work, a medical fiction based on a particularly vulnerable tribal group based out of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, I have tried to create an exclusive language for the tribes.
Passion Piece: What genres does The Cord combine?
Sredhanea: THE CORD is a combination of historical and emotional fiction I would say. As it spans around the era between two huge wars that India fought with Pakistan, in 1947 and 1971, I still have made scope for a lot of love, laughter, tears and much deeper emotions.
Passion Piece: Your book is full of action, drama, but it also contains some elements of romance and stirs up emotions in its readers. Who is this novel aimed at? Was it easy to combine all these features in one book and preserve its clarity accompanied by ease of narration?
Sredhanea: THE CORD, I think is targeted universally to any reader who has the time and will to read between and beyond my words. As you have rightly pointed out, it was pretty tough to balance the various features, but personally the one part of my book that I struggled to pen down was the romance as I was very particular that I had to bring out three different stages of it, teenage – expressive, adult – passionate and married – subtle.
Passion Piece: What do you love doing in your free time?
Sredhanea: I love reading and reviewing, but recently I have developed a flair for pencil shading, I am not sure if I’m great at it, but it soothes my overactive mind and I enjoy awakening the child within me through it.
Passion Piece: Where do you see yourself in the nearest future? Which projects would you like to work on?
Sredhanea: I am currently in the process of creating character arcs and preliminary plot mapping of my next book. I am hoping reaches its final draft and is ready to see the day of light by mid-2023. I am also looking out for film adaptation deals for the THE CORD.
My goal is to explore myself more through my future words and someday interview my three favorite authors Dan Brown, Khalid Hossieni and Amish Tripati for my podcast LOL-Love of Literature.
In the professional front I would be honored to work under the FAO or the World food program and help alleviate hunger and malnutrition through organic and plant-based foods.
Passion Piece: Which motto would you like to share with my readers?
Sredhanea: My motto as an author would be “To show and not say”- always consider your readers as your clever counterparts who can read as deep as you write and never spoon-feed them your perceptions or plot.
But for life, my motto has always been “Be kind not because it will yield positive outcome or karma. Be kind because that is the only way you know to live.”
Passion Piece: Thank you very much for this truly inspiring conversation and I can’t wait for the upcoming publication of your next novel.
See you around!
Photos by: Sredhanea Ramkrishnan