Author Interview- Indrakshi Singh


Can you tell us a little about your book? 

This book doesn’t just talk about the pandemic. It has a lot more to it, what the author feels, and how she keeps herself sane. The information about this pandemic is presented in a rather vague fashion. The name of the virus is not mentioned anywhere but the data about the cases and deaths is almost up-to-date. The author ponders about the idea of death and grief and presents a notion of her own. With deaths increasing and grief decreasing, she thinks that she’s becoming numb and insensitive to her own theory. She talks about how she feels that the virus doesn’t scare her anymore, and that she doesn’t want that to happen. She talks about her fear of isolation now and then. This book talks about the pandemic on an individual level, it talks about the pandemic apart from the graphs and stats.


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

It wasn’t an out of the blue idea. My father wanted me to write a book, it wasn’t necessary for me to write, though, but I wished to write something, too. I did not know what I was going to write about. Then one day, a case was reported in my immediate neighborhood and I saw my parents sitting on the sofa nervously. I thought that I can at least try writing about this pandemic, so I got started. 


What got you writing in the first place? 

I wasn’t interested in writing at all. But after observing the people around me I thought let’s give it a shot. The case that was reported in my neighborhood had everyone glued to their chairs, their heads spinning out of terror. After that, it all just happened, and I don’t know how. I started writing. 


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

The first draft was boring, I almost loathed it. It was full of academic language, which couldn’t have the reader connected to the story. It seemed as though it were a textbook they teach from in school. I was hopeless at one point, then I read a novel and then came to know about how a story should be made more heart-felt and relatable. Then I started pouring my emotions. 


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

The part where I narrate an incident that happened with my brother has a vivid connection to me. I listened to him talk and I could see what he was feeling. I didn’t write about what I felt, but what he felt. So it felt really very good to write about it. And so, it’s my favorite part of the book, and a part about which I’ll never forget. It’s the chapter where I got to know that fear is nothing but a false theory you create in your head, with no rationality. 


What makes your book the one to read?

This book won’t talk about the graphs or records. It’ll talk about what a teenager feels about this pandemic and how she finds herself in an internal uproar at times. It talks about how she fears death and how she can’t help but grieve about the dead. There’s a contradiction. The author writes about what she loathes. Moreover, I think the reader will relate to it, because it’s not just me who went through all of this, we were all together in this. 


What was the best advice you got while writing?

The best advice I got while writing the book is this; dramatize your ideas. Though, there was no scope for exaggeration in this book, because there was a lot going on already that did not need exaggeration, I didn’t get much to dramatize, and so everything written in the book is a truth. But what makes this advice helpful is that I got to write everything that I felt with minute detail. If it weren’t for this advice, this book would have been a vague piece of writing, which would’ve made it monotonous. 


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

My favorite author is Haruki Murakami. At first I read his novel called ‘Hear the Wind Sing’ and then its sequel called ‘Pinball’. These books did not draw me into his writing much. Then I read Norwegian Wood and after that there was no turning back. I read it twice, simultaneously and each of those reads introduced me to something new. The prose is ardent and the story has its own essence. It’s a beautiful, but heart-clenching story at the same time. Norwegian Wood made me fall in love with Murakami’s world of magic. I read Kafka on the Shore recently and it blew me. You can’t expect what’s coming next while reading a Murakami novel.


What is your evergreen tip to the writers out there?

Don’t let your reader recognize what’s bubbling in your head. I let all my guards down while writing this book, so this advice didn’t work here because this isn’t fiction. But if I write in future I’d like to stick to this tip. And I want you to write that way too. Opinions differ, though. In any case, if I were to be asked I would prefer an unguided and skeptical narrative. Unhinged novels create a great interest among readers, I think. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a plot ready, it’s just that it should be full of frenzy and unpredictable events. 


Do you have another plot brewing?

Yes, I have a “plot” brewing. Again, it has its contradictions and problems but that’s what a novel is all about. I will stop writing for a while, because it’s the time I catch up on studying again. If I get the opportunity I’ll get started with the first draft as soon as possible. But, not now. 


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