Author Interview with Aindrila Roy
I love the process of creating the story. Everything right from inception to penning 'The End', I love it all. I was born to be an author and I revel in it. What do I like the least as an author? Everything that doesn't involve writing and/or editing. So yes, I do not enjoy marketing. It goes against my basic shy nature. But what can I say? It is needed. So I grit my teeth and persevere.
2) Do you prefer a specific genre for reading and writing?
I don't restrict myself to a genre when it comes to reading. Where one day I may pick up a Mills & Boons, and I will pick up Illiad the very next day. I read whatever catches my fancy, irrespective of genre or authors. But broadly, I prefer fiction over non-fiction. I find the latter very dry.
When it comes to writing, I like to write Fantasy, Horror and Romance. Horror is omnipresent in my books, sneaking in when I least expect it to. So I sort of blend genres and present a tale that mixes two or all of the above genres.
3) In your opinion, is there something that characterizes Indian writing / literature?
To be honest, I haven't read some of the bigger names in Indian writing, like Amish Tripathi or Durjoy Dutta. The ones I have read and liked are people like Jhumpa Lahiri, Ruskin Bond, Ashok Banker, Neil D'Silva, Varun Prabhu, Shiv Ramdas, Kirtida Gautam and Debashish Irengbam to name a few. And while Ruskin Bond or Jhumpa Lahiri don't really classify as a new authors, I think I can safely say that with people like these, Indian literature is in safe hands.
4) Any favourite books and authors?
Too many. I am going to name just a few.
Wizard of Oz, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Tale of Two Cities, Wuthering Heights, Kite Runner, Complete works of Edgar Allan Poe, Shining, Pet Sematary.
5) Use these 5 words to write a "mini-story": woman, love, past, future, knowledge
The woman sat on the chair, her fingers slowly running over the object in her hand. Everything she held dear once had shattered. Her past was a dream that had died and her future non-existent. The knowledge that her love was the one who had pushed her down the precipice was too much to bear. Two drops of tears fell on the gleaming surface of the knife. Her mind made up, she lifted the knife and drew it sharply across her wrist. Blood squirted out, spraying her face. But she smiled. She was now free.
6) What was the easiest and the hardest thing about writing a horror novel?
That is a tough question to answer. To me, emotion comes easy. Writing about what the character is feeling and describing the pain is almost effortless for me. But when I think about what was the toughest thing to write, I am at a loss. How do I explain it?
Horror in itself is a very difficult genre to write. Mainly because unlike movies, the author has no camera angles, light settings or background music to do the work. All the author has to his/her disposal are words. And merely using words, the author has to scare the reader. That's a difficult job to do. You see, the author has to transfer their imagination on to paper such that the picture the writer is visualizing can be seen by the reader. But at the same time, the author has to show restraint because over describing a scary scene can ruin the effect it creates.
Nothing scares a person more than their own imagination and so, as a horror writer, my task is to write just enough that the reader can see what is happening, but hold back just enough so that the reader's imagination can fill in the gaps with the scariest possibilities that their imagination can conjure up. That balance, in my opinion, is the toughest to strike.
7) Is there a question you have always hoped somebody would ask you? (Feel free to answer it, too.)
Look at answer #6. That is exactly the kind of question I hoped I would be asked. My verbose answer should be a hint. :-)
8) Your book "I See You" is about nightmares. Would you share your worst nightmare with us? Or tell us what would be a horrible nightmare to you?
I used to have this recurring nightmare as a kid which was just an amalgamation of random, nonsensical images but for some reason, it scared me quite a bit and has seared itself in my memory. It started with me walking on a path made of glass marbles. Then I would see a baby crying, while sitting atop a table that would spin slowly. The word "Mashoosh" would keep showing up, but to date I have no idea what it means (if it means anything at all). There would also be an old building somewhere. It was at this point that I would wake up. I think I was six or seven at the time. I guess that was just my mind telling me that I am meant to be an author, but I was too young to comprehend.
9) Your author bio states that you are a fan of Indian and Greek mythology. Who’s your favourite mythological character?
I think Krishna, Bheeshma and Draupadi would be my favorite mythological characters. Krishna for his astute mind and sharp intellect. Bheeshma because he is Bheeshma; unparalleled in every sense of the word. And Draupadi because I think she is the first true feminist in the Indian context.
10) Please tell us more about your latest stories, book(s) and plans for the future.
I See You is my debut book. It is the story of twenty-four-year-old Liam Redmond, who despite his family riches, wants to live life in his own terms. In order to do so, he moves in with a friend. Life seems perfect for Liam, till one day he spots a girl at a parking lot and falls in love at first sight. Soon after he breaks up with his current girlfriend and decides to pursue the woman he fell for. But things go downhill pretty fast and what was supposed to be a new, romantic start for Liam pretty soon turns into a horror show.
Other than that I have several books lined up. Next in line is Moonlight Sonata, which is a supernatural romance with elements from fantasy and horror imbued in it. I'm also working on a horror-fantasy novel titled 'Dreamscape', which is going to be my NaNoWriMo project. Besides that I am co-authoring a fantasy retelling of Cinderella with Varun Prabhu, titled "The Girl in Cinders". Added to the list is a high-fantasy trilogy (which is threatening to become a 4 book series), named "Blackened Mirrors". So that is one long list.
About the Author
But over the years, her imagination kept tormenting her with story ideas, until she decided that it was time to finally let them out.
She now writes full time, mostly horror-fantasies, filled with complex and anguished souls, fighting monsters within and without.
She is fascinated by Indian and Greek mythology, animes, high fantasy novels, and paleontology, all of which have found their way into her stories as subtle tweaks to the backdrop.
'I See You' is her first published story.
About the Book
Pothi (paperback): https://pothi.com/pothi/book/aindrila-roy-i-see-you