Author Interview- Ankita Singh


Can you tell us a little about your book? 

MISSPLACED is a book that defines a journey of revelation, exploration, guilt, forgiveness, acceptance and hope. This is a collection of poems that were written to mark (or journal) specific moments, incidents, emotions and people which were written with the aim to invoke some sensitivity towards issues that need attention. Be it the constantly neglected mental health crises, abuses and assaults of more than one kind, lack of self-confidence while trying to ‘fit in’ or LOVE-a poet’s favorite emotion, this book talks about it all in a subtle yet very compelling approach. 

This book is an attempt to draw everyone’s attention, ask them to take a pause, breathe and make them sit for this roller coaster ride of emotions. 


Is there a specific event that inspired this story or was this an out of the blue idea?

A collection of more than one event led me to realize that I need to talk about things. Things that matter to me and I strongly feel should matter to one and all. Since I am more of a write-it-out person, I preferred publishing a book rather than actually talking about it. 

One such specific event was the time when I was struggling to fit into the society and was constantly under the pressure to ‘get everything right’. It got so frustrating after a point of time that I realized I was losing my real self in the process and there was no need for me (or anyone for that matter) to try and fit according to anybody’s definitions. That is how the journey of self-acceptance and self-forgiveness started and the poems ‘forgiveness’ and ‘tell me things’ were born. 

Everybody has their own definitions of things and it is not fair to compare. Happiness for me might mean something entirely different from your definition of happiness and none of us have to be wrong or a mis-fit. 


What got you writing in the first place? 

I guess, my love for literature and the language English got me to write. In school, during 6th grade, the way our English teacher talked to us about Shakespeare, or read out loud the poems like The road not taken, Daffodils, Stopping by the woods on a snowy evening, O captain, My captain and many more, I had goosebumps thinking and imagining about everything the poet was trying to say.  I loved going through those poems again and again and that is when I started to read stories and poetry. 

The more I read, the more I started writing in various forms like diary entries, newsletter articles, short poems, autobiographies of non-living things and more. Reading, writing, editing, and proofreading became my happy and safe space and an escape in my childhood. 


What was your impression of your first draft when you read it?

Since this is my debut book and I had little experience in preparing drafts that were going to be published into books. The first draft of MISSPLACED was a little chaotic. Together with the The Write Order team, we edited and corrected the loose ends. 


Which part of your story connects the most with you? Why?

All poems in MISSPLACED connect to me in ways like no other. The poems in it are an inspiration from lives in and around me. Everything is quite relatable to me and I am hoping this becomes the voice for many souls like me in the future. 


What makes your book the one to read?

Read it to give yourself a break because the times we are living in are very tough for all and everybody is literally struggling. We all deserve a break to recharge. Talk to yourself, let your emotions rule you for a while, and let these poems attempt to soothe your wounds. 

The best part about reading poems in my opinion is that you can infer a different meaning every time you read it. Two different people reading the same poem can have two different takeaways. It all depends on your imagination and your visual thinking approach.


What was the best advice you got while writing? 

I remember one of my colleagues at work telling me this: ‘write as if nobody is going to edit/correct/change your draft and proofread as if you will get chocolates equivalent to the number of mistakes/errors you find in the draft. Only then you will be able to give your 100% in both the activities’. Out of all the advice I have got, this one has stayed with me and also helped me. 


Who’s your all-time favorite author? Which book of his/hers made you fall in love with them? 

Choosing one favourite author is simply impossible and also unfair. Some of my most favourite ones are: 

  • Louisa May Alcott- Little Women
  • Khalid Hosseini- A thousand splendid suns, The Kite runner
  • J K Rowling- Harry Potter Series
  • Anne Frank- The diary of a young girl
  • George Orwell- Animal Farm
  • Tehmina Durrani- My feudal lord


What is your evergreen tip to the writers out there?

Never wait for opinions/suggestions/criticism/appreciation/ideas from anybody about your writing. I wasted a lot of time in it, only to realize that eventually your writing is going to grow and improve only if you KEEP WRITING. 


Do you have another plot brewing?

I might have. ☺ 

Since this is my debut book, I am still very nervous about how MISSPLACED will roll out. But I am very fond of short stories and I also have a few plots up my sleeve, so I might just go for it! 

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