Sunday, October 4, 2015

On Writing: Dr Nandita Bose

Today on 'On Writing', we have the vivacious Dr.Nandita Bose, a writer par excellence.
She writes nostalgic romance and like her books, she radiates benevolence and happiness. I have the privilege of having personally interacted with her and I consider her as my mentor. So I am doubly happy to have here on my blog today. 
Dr. Nandita Bose is an artist who dabbles in several art forms, including Khayal gayaki, poetry, art and hopeless romanticism which currently manifests as heart-warming love stories. She specializes in aesthetics and has explored teaching from nursery school to MA levels, corporate training and performance management consultancy.

Welcome to ‘On Writing’ Nandita Bose.

Follow her on : FACEBOOK     WEBSITE     TWITTER

How did writing begin for you? Was becoming an author always your dream or was it a particular event or incident that gave birth to the author in you?

When I look back, I realize I always wrote: journals, poems, short stories, reminiscences, travel diaries, novellas, the works. Back then publishing was hard. Only the very best or the most enterprising managed to get published. I simply knew I was not good enough to be counted among the writers whose books I read avidly. I decided to wait and learn as I went through life to hone my writing abilities. That to a certain extent, and that the standards of publishing have relaxed markedly, made me venture into writing as I do now.

How important are the names of the characters in your books to you? Do you spend agonizing hours deciding on their names?

I might seem totally cuckoo, but to me my characters are more real and fleshed out than many people I may know in real life. They live and breathe. I feel I owe them the best representation I can on paper and so, yes, I agonise over their names.

What is your least favorite part of the publishing/ writing process?

I would say the many rejections.

Yet, this I must clarify. Whatever the reason for rejection, most often the commissioning editor or the literary agent will make it seem as if the writing skills didn’t quite make the cut. In reality, all manuscripts are now being viewed in terms of ‘commercial’ potential. ‘Will this sell?’ seems to be the only indicator of the worth of a book. You would have seen the fall out. Many books seem full of promise and absolutely brilliant by their blurb, we turn and see the name of a trusted publisher and are impelled to buy it. Reading reveals the book is full of gaffes, factual errors and plain bad writing. Yet, just that enticing hook and the publicity sold it.

Somewhere all we’re being sold are mass produced burgers whereas in reality we need a healthy mix of comfort foods, regional delicacies, world cuisine as well as fine dining. Of the mind.

What is ‘Shadow and Soul’ all about? How long did it take to complete writing it? What is unique about it compared to your other works?

Shadow & Soul is the story of an adult relationship that springs up quite unexpectedly between the young artist-photographer Shaurjyo and his married hostess, Devika. It is a story of how subtly yet beautifully human bonds form and how love transcends all.

This book took a little over 3 months to write.

I think the key departure from my other works is that I have moved considerably from my earlier stance of making my characters believable and acceptable. Both Devika and Shaurjyo are unconventional central characters. The other thing that is unique to this book is that I have focused far more intensely on the many facets of love: comfort, attraction, teasing, togetherness, sharing, passion, sex, doubt, withdrawal, parting and reunion.

Who is your favourite character in the book and why?

Let me put it rather naughtily... If I were ever to have an extra marital affair, it would be ideally be with someone like Shaurjyo: sensitive, artistic, honest, engaging, vulnerable and brave enough to go beyond conventions.

Is it autobiographical or completely fictional?

Shadow & Soul is fully fictional. Too few aspects are biographical, though all of it comes from a mix of observation and wishful thinking.

Is there a certain type of scene that is harder for you to write than others? Did you face such an issue while writing Shadow and Soul?

Sex scenes! I never think of myself as a prude. However, I have the greatest difficulty trying to do justice to the act while still retaining creative integrity. Each time I attempt, vivid descriptions from the Bad Sex Scene awards from various great writers flash in my mind. In all my work so far, I think I have done the greatest justice to the scenes of passion in Shadow & Soul. I think somewhere I was carried away by the honesty and earthiness of my protagonists.

What is your method of writing? Are you a plotter or a pantser?

The writing impulse is always unplanned and very inconvenient. Predictably, I flounder after a few chapters. Then my organisational skills take over and I make a kind of blueprint for the chapters ahead. Never have I managed to follow that. 

Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?

I try and read as much as I can of my reviews. Most of them amaze me as they subject the book to a kind of careful scrutiny I could never imagine. To me the characters are the way they are and their actions flow quite naturally. However, reviewers typically make associations and read deeper into their motivations and I feel quite excited by these discoveries. Luckily for me most of my reviews have been nicer, so I tend to focus on that.

In the corporate world, the top 5% and the bottom 5% of the feedback is written off as extreme. The truth lies in the mid band. All feedback is useful only as much as it helps us learn and review. Most importantly, reviews should not be taken personally. Also remember, most feedback is more about the reviewer and their expectations than about your book or you.

What are the three tips you have for readers who are aspiring writers?

1) Read: Extensive reading subtly guides our writing processes.
2) Revise: Careful revision is essential for a great output.
3) Reach: Do all it takes to step into the next level of your abilities.

Thank you Nandita Bose for being a part of 'On Writing'. I am sure the readers have enjoyed the chat as much as I did. Wishing you the very best for "Shadow and the Soul'.

Buy Shadow and Soul from AMAZON

                                                                from MANJULINDIA

Trust me guys, her books are a treat. If you haven't read her yet start with her first book Tread Softly. Don't miss Shadow and Soul too, it is her best till now in my opinion.

Check out Tread Softly, of which I have written a review HERE.

So what are you waiting for, head out to any online book portal of your choice and check out her books.

Until next post,

Much Love,


  1. Yet another amazing interview of Dr Nandita Bose. Thanks Preethi:) It's insightful on the delicate and complex part of writing:)

  2. Tat is a lovely internview , thank you for introducing her to me ..