NAME: Kshama Rao
PUBLISHER: Rigi Publications, 2019
BIRTH PLACE: Mangalore, India
INTERESTS: Reading books, art, music, theatre, cooking, writing, sightseeing, gardening, craft, shopping, fashion, dance, making new friends etc.
INTERVIEWER: Many congratulations on your wonderful book Forever, Kshama Rao Ji! What response are you getting on your maiden work from the readers? Please share your experience with us.
KSHAMA: Thank you. Dear review team!
I got very positive response from the readers.
When they read my book they found themselves in between the story.
INTERVIEWER: When did you write your first book and how old were you? What does your family think of your writing?
KSHAMA: I wrote my first book in 2017. I was in my thirties. My family is very supportive and they encourage me to write. My teenage daughter is more keen to read and review my books. She is a voracious reader. She has given a four stars for my book „Forever‟.
INTERVIEWER: How many books have you written? Which is your favorite? Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
KSHAMA: I have written eight books. “Forever” is my favorite book.
Yes, I do hear from my readers. It is very gratifying when we hear from our readers. Readers of my books have enjoyed reading the stories and have liked the message I have conveyed through a story.
INTERVIEWER: How hard was it to sit down and actually start writing something? Do you aim to complete a set number of pages or words each day?
KSHAMA: Definitely, there is a struggle to find writing time. I am a mom and a home maker. I have simplified house hold works. Unless we make sacrifices, we won’t get time. I have sacrificed watching T.V. There are some days; I have worked till 2.00 clock in the midnight. We should definitely balance multiple responsibilities. If you are writer, you may have to sit in front of the computer screen for long hours. However, I am avoiding doing that. Sometimes, I take a short break from writing and engage in social activities. I aim to write about 500 words in a day.
INTERVIEWER: Writers are often associated with loner tendencies; is there any truth to that? Do you think writers have a normal life like others?
KSHAMA: Humans are social beings. We need social interactions. We prefer being alone only if it is making us more happy. Sometimes I prefer to be alone but not lonely. I need space. Being alone sometimes brings peace and opens up many opportunities to think and plan more about your life. It is true that writer does communicate by writing. I can say that, a writer may be a loner but all loners are not writers.
Writers are creative people. They are thinkers, intellectuals and skilled people. Yes, they can have a normal life like others if they are organised.
INTERVIEWER: Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?
KSHAMA: Yes, I do read all kind of books written by different authors. I have many favorite authors and it is difficult to answer this question. Still, if I have to answer I can say that at present I am reading books written by Chanakya and I loved them.
INTERVIEWER: If you had the choice to rewrite any of your books, which one would it be and why?
KSHAMA: I really don’t want to rewrite any of my books. I want to cherish whatever I have written already and I don’t want to delete my experiences.
INTERVIEWER: “Forever” is very realistic in terms of plot. What inspired you to write this book?
KSHAMA: “Forever” is a child- centered book. Divorce rates are increasing in India. Children are too small to understand the word separation or divorce. Parental separation deeply and directly affects the child’s life. I have focused on such parent and child relationship and ego problems in married couples.
INTERVIEWER: Does the protagonist “Manali” hold a special place in your heart? If so, why?
KSHAMA: Yes of course the protagonist “Manali” holds a special place in my heart. Manali is a common woman. Life is all about experiences, the emotional state of human beings, dependency and the way they react during crisis. Manali is not an exceptional. She is a hardworking, intelligent and ambitious woman. Her husband commits emotional adultery and she gets separated from him. She becomes angry and depressed. It becomes really difficult for her to explain the reality of her life to her little daughter Sweety. She has to face guilt, shame, blame and suffers a lot. Slowly she understands her life’s situation and accepts Omkara. The story is a happy ending.
INTERVIEWER: If you had to describe character “Omkara” in three words, what would those three words be?
KSHAMA: Uneducated, Insecure, And Unsuccessful.
INTERVIEWER: How do you deal with emotional impact of a book (on yourself) as you are writing the story?
KSHAMA: Life is all about experiences. I felt the bitterness, happiness and feelings of all the characters while writing. The story written by me has stimulated my mind to think more and expand my knowledge.
INTERVIEWER: Often, we are stuck in situations that we are not able to find a way out of. Have you ever incorporated a real life situation from your own experience into the book and made the character find a way out of it the way you could not?
1. “What ever happened, happened for good, whatever is happening, is happening for good, whatever will happen, will happen for good as well”.
2. Why do you fear unnecessarily? Whom do you fear? Who can kill you? The soul is neither born nor dies.
I am very much influenced by these quotes of Bhagavad Gita which I had read during my childhood. When Arjuna faced dilemma, he seeked Krishna’s advice and Krishna’s philosophy is recorded in the ancient scripture of Bhagavad Gita. I am very much influenced by not only these two quotes but by the entire summary of Gita. So, to understand my answer to this question, one should read the entire inspirational quotes collection of Bhagavad Gita. These are the precious words of wisdom from the deity. I don’t believe that we get stuck in situations. It is difficult to answer this question in a few lines and I fear that it may go very long.
INTERVIEWER: Are there other books being worked by you? Please tell readers about your future projects.
KSHAMA: I am currently working on a Novel. I am also writing two short stories for an Anthology and a few Nano tales. Hope it will be published very soon.
INTERVIEWER: Any advice you would like to give to aspiring writers? What do you hope your readers take away from this book?
KSHAMA: Your individuality is the key to your writing. Everybody is different. Observe, read and make notes. Write what you love.
I hope the readers of this book will fuel their machine named the “body” with a powerful mind after reading this book. It is a must read for parents contemplating divorce or separation.
INTERVIEWER: All the best for your future and this book too! Thanks for answering my questions, Kshama Ji!
KSHAMA: My pleasure. Thank you as well.