With a passion for short stories right from childhood, she recently published a collection of 22 short stories titled “Betwixt Twists And Turns“. Having served as an officer of the Indian Revenue Services, she currently resides in New Delhi. An intriguing personality, my dear readers, my guest for this article is Mona Mohanty.
- Welcome to the literary world, Mona!
- Tell us something about your book Betwixt Twists And Turns.
My book is a collection of short stories dealing with everyday life but ending with a surprising twist.
- When did you start writing?
I have been writing, well, since the time I learnt how to write.
- Nice! What is the purpose of your writing?
My purpose in writing is to reach out and entertain my readers and at the same time keep a grip on reality.
- What inspired you to bring forth this idea of Betwixt Twists And Turns as a book?
A book is a storehouse of an author’s mind. I wanted to present this to the world and hence, published this in the form of a book.
- There are multiple stories in the book. Are they all fiction or is any of it inspired from real life?
To be honest, each story has some part rooted in real life. But, there is also the fictional element. And, I will leave it to the readers to guess which part is fact and which part is fiction.
- What is your idea of literature?
My idea of literature involves a simple narrative style and bringing to the readers a complete picture of people, places, events, as well as the life and times of the period that the work is based upon.
- Which of your works have been published so far?
Betwixt Twists And Turns is the only book that I have published so far. Hopefully, there will be another one out next year. Having said this, I would like to add that I have published articles in various magazines and newspapers earlier but this is my first book.
- So how was this journey of becoming a published author?
The journey has been immensely satisfying. So much so that it has infused me with the enthusiasm to keep on writing.
- Good to hear that 🙂
Have you self-published your book or followed the traditional approach?
This book is self-published.
- Which approach is better according to you: traditional or self-publishing, and why?
In my opinion, the traditional approach is better. Although it is time consuming, the editing, packaging, as well as marketing, are way ahead of the self-publishing mode.
- What should the beginners do today?
Beginners should never be in a hurry to finish off what they have undertaken. It helps to write, mull over what has been written, and re-write, if required. It is , indeed, time consuming but the attention to detail is what sets a book apart from the thousand publications thronging the market.
- That is a very valuable piece of advice. Being an editor myself, I know the importance of refining one’s manuscript before taking it to the next stage. Now that you have gone through the entire process of getting your book published, what is your take on book publishing as you see the current scenario?
There are too many publishers in the market. Especially with self publishing being the norm these days, attention to quality has gone for a six. I feel that companies engaged in self-publishing should pay attention to this aspect rather then unleash substandard stuff on the readers.
- Agreed. Along with a good publisher, every successful author has personal aspects on what makes a book successful. What are the four top most things you take care of while writing a book?
It is difficult to scale it down to 4 things when there are a host of things one has to take care of while writing. However, I shall try and pick the four most important important items which need to be a post in an author’s mind.
- Simplicity in language
- Attention to grammar
- A plot which is not too complex
- And last, but not the least, make the reader feel as if he or she is part of the story even if it is in the role of a spectator.
- Amazing! No wonder your book was a delight to read 🙂
Speaking of reading, what is your favorite genre and why?
My favorite is genre is the short story. For, in my view, it is much more difficult to write in this style; given a limited space, one has to convey succinctly the scene, the plot, as well as drawing up the characters being played in a particular story.
- An in implementing such a tedious task, what / who is your biggest source of inspiration in life?
The biggest source of inspiration in my life was my paternal grandfather; a voracious reader who loved writing. I think I am the inheritor of that genetic element from him.
- What is the biggest challenge you have ever faced and how did you overcome it?
The biggest challenge to my writing that I have faced and continue to face, albeit in a reduced manner now, is my laziness. It is very easy to post pone writing for another day. I have sought to overcome this by keeping my writing materials right in front of my eyes from the moment I get up so that I do not forget to berate myself on the days that I do not write.
- If you had to live a day of your life as one of the living or dead personality, who would it be and why?
If I had to live my life as a dead personality, it would have to be Fyodor Dostoevsky. What a mind! And to have lived in times which were not easy and yet come up with such classical works is truly the sign of a brilliant mind. In fact, I always feel that writers who wrote in the preceding centuries, without the benefit of the technological progress that we are used to, were people who were admirably focused and also hard working.
- How true! And finally, any message for the readers?
My message for the readers continues to be the same, read, read and read. I do it too.
So that was Mona for you, author of “Betwixt Twists And Turns“.
You can get in touch with Mona directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact Madhuri for your author interview and getting your book reviewed / edited: email@example.com
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