Thursday, October 29, 2015

Newbie Corner: Saranya Iyer

Today on Newbie Corner we have the adorable and talented author Saranya Iyer who shares my love for Jane Austen.
Let us learn more about her through this chat.

Welcome to Newbie Corner Saranya!

Follow her:   Twitter    Facebook

Tell us a little about yourself. How did you begin writing?

I am an avid reader and have to read anything before going to bed. Else, my head starts to spin. But I don’t like signing up for a challenge saying 30 books to complete in a month, book marathon etc because for 2 reasons. I am a very slow reader. Secondly I love to relish what I am reading and not run to finish it soon like I am in some race.  I am learning to write creatively in my each post and love the landscape it offers while on my journey. I worked with MNCs for few years and quit to engage myself in my passion called Teaching. And I am loving every bit of it. I am currently an academic tutor and Spanish trainer.

How did I begin writing? Hmm, it was early and the sun had not long risen, but the sea was glassy and the sky was blue. The birds whispered to me and voices inside my head grew heavier and heavier till it reached my fingers. The impatient fingers started typing and there the journey began. Whatever I said did not happen at all. Jokes apart, I love to write poems and often play with Tamil words to form a meaningful verse. I used to read it to my family and friends. They appreciated my words and their pat acted as a motivational force. Then running behind the career happened. Everybody ran so I also did the same. 
Then the MBA days came. I kept a journal beside me to note down each and every aspect. The expressive writing paved the way to pour out the feelings and emotions that I went through in that two years. Then the blog bug hit me. I used to write whenever I can and loved the way it acted as an outlet to my thoughts. Seriously it was a stress reliever in those days when we breathed presentations, walked case studies, and laughed assignments. As I was an Editorial committee head, I had to churn out creative exercises using words. The name in the college magazine brought in a whiff of creative air that still envelops me and I am tightly holding on to it. Then a casual chat with my friend and partner in a content writing firm developed into my first book ‘Plantain Leaf- tales of south India’. Following that, I never turned back. Being a member of Jane Austen book society, I got an opportunity to write on Pride and Prejudice (my favorite book which I can read n number of times and still can never get bored) in the magazine ‘Timeless Austen’ written and compiled for her 238th birth anniversary.

Writing is like an art. As you find your soul in the curves of the sketches and loveliness and subtleties of the colors in the canvas, you find your soul in the deepest meanings of words”

What is your favorite genre in writing?

I write poems, Drama and Tragedy, period fiction though I am learning to write non–fiction and humor. I love reading different genres as it gives a perspective to hone your writing skills.  In my first book ‘ Plantain Leaf – stories from South India’, I had written a romantic saga which mixes an element of tragedy but In my second book ‘ A little chorus of love’, the story is a period fiction and tells us about the situation in that period.

Who inspires you most and to whom would you dedicate your creative growth?

It is one and only Jane Austen. She is the top of the mind recall. I still recall those days where I used to read Emma and Pride and Prejudice under the covers holding the torch light in the dead night when only ghosts and monsters met and had a party. I kept the Jane’s books below the subject book to pretend that I was studying when the parental units went past my study table. Whom did I kid then? But Jane Austen’s works have kindled my passion towards literature and classics. It made me understand that writing about human nature, which is often covered in the literature, requires thorough homework and research. She is the one who shaped my writing skills and increased the quality of my writing.

What kind of a writer are you? Do you plot the entire novel/story or make it up as you write?
In the beginning, I used to follow the structure. I would write an outline about my story and shape my characters, plot, conflict, and end. That worked for me. But one story I wrote which has appeared in my published work did not follow the routine. The kink in the routine made it more creative and each day appeared to me as a surprise when I formed a different angle to the story. So I have been in both the worlds and each of them has thrown benefits to my storyline.

Do you have a favorite place to write or a scheduled time to write every day?

Have you seen the latest Nescafe commercial? “Woh Roz subah Coffee lagana aur lag jana.” Like that, I don’t follow any routine. When Ideas come, I have to note it down and that comes as a blog post or Facebook post or a full -fledged story. The day job which is currently earning me the bread, cosmetics, clothes, pizzas, etc. do not give me proper time to organize and follow the schedule. I get more ideas during night or wee hours of the morning. I can write anywhere ranging from rickshaws (I get most of the ideas during traveling in a rick), office corridors, weddings, dance class etc. I love the way bloggers maintain a scheduled time for writing and I am trying to adopt that culture. Wish me good luck.

Who are your favorite authors and what is the genre that you like reading most?

There are many authors who have influenced my writing skills. Among foreign authors and poets, Jane Austen, Agatha Christie, William Wordsworth, W.B. Yeats, Paulo Coelho, Charlotte Bronte, Oscar Wilde and Harper Lee. Among Indian authors and poets, the list would be Arundhati Roy, Chitra Divakaruni, Anuja Chauhan, Indu Sundaresan and Jayashree Mishra. I will always go for Psychological thrillers and mystery when it comes to selecting a genre. But not always one would want to read the same genre so I love reading classics doused with drama and romance, poetic saga, and fiction that revolves around travel.   

Where do you see yourself in the next 10 years?

Seriously, speaking I don’t know what am I going to wear or eat after 2 days so 10 years is very long time to visualize. But there are dreams and aspirations which cloud our mind which we want to attain in few years. So let me quote mine:

a) I see myself teaching in a college in next 5 years
b) In next 10 years, I would be writing for a larger audience as I wish to be a columnist in some national daily.
c) I would have read many books and would be making to read list.
d) I see myself traveling to many new places in and outside the country.
e) And last but not the least (as this one would be taking a priority) I see myself running behind a tiny attractive human in order to get her/his homework done.

 Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?

I would never write about lies. Who would write a lie? You may ask but lie comes in various forms. A simple one is; say if you want to endorse a fairness cream in some website and they want you to write a blog or write up to endorse their product. Then I don’t think I will be game for it.

How much important do you think marketing is for the success of a book?
Writing a book consumes your heart and soul so taking the book to the right audience is essential in order to give respect to your writing. Marketing one’s book is very important and necessary as it is a large and competitive market. So more the visibility, more it would act in favor of one’s book. And moreover, a number of reviews and feedbacks raises the morale and acts as a motivational force for every writer.

What is the message that you want to convey to the readers through your writing?

I like writing about human nature and sensitive issues that connect human beings. So emotions and the subtle nuances of those emotions are very important to me. So after I write anything, I read it myself before pressing that publish button. I want to make sure that as a reader does it make sense to me, does it reach my heart and does it strike the right chord with me. I believe every emotion can tell us so many tales. So listen to them, assimilate them and embrace the emotion. I don’t believe in writing over-optimistic posts like we can be happy all time irrespective of what we are going through. Life can never be like that and it is impossible to have that notion towards life. As music has Arohanam and Avarohanam (ascent and descent), our life too has ups and downs, and so is the case with feelings. And in order to become strong, we need to face the feelings that we are going through and act upon it. So the readers should feel that and I try my very best that my intangible voice in writing reaches them.

Thank You Saranya! That was so interesting. Wishing you the very best for your future endeavors.

Buy her books here:

That is all for now folks!

Until next post,