It’s an off-the-cuff interview on Day 5 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge and linking to Blog Chatter. I opened my mailbox interview to read UBC’s mail for participants and the tip is doing an interview on the spur of the moment. I choose to depart from writing short stories for 31 days and bring to you the interview of the very amazing, Sumana Khan, author of The Revenge of Kalvaiya and Encounters. It’s totally worth it. We had a brief chat on Facebook and exchanged notes. The interview was done in a prompt fashion.
Sumana is no stranger to the world of writing. The author of ‘The Revenge of Kalvaiya and Encounters is an IT Consultant who one day decided to pursue academic and literary interests. In her own words, she terms the transition as a ‘quirk of fate.’ Based in UK and currently doing her Ph.D, Sumana Khan holds two masters’ degrees and is perpetually stone-broke which is no excuse to make her pen a very much acclaimed short story, Redemption for ‘Just Write Short Story Competition’ which is among the top most retained. She lives in UK with her husband and several books as companions. You can check out and buy her books, The Revenge of Kalvaiya and Encounters. She blogs at Kaapizone.
- What’s happening in your world of adventure post The Revenge of Kalvaiya and Encounters? Is there any new book in the offing?
I am working on a psychological thriller (for ages, I must add). I hope to get it out of the way by end of this year. With any luck, it should be out at least by end of 2017, assuming it is picked up by a publisher.
2. How did your Book ‘The Revenge of Kalvaiya’ considered to be of ancient mythical tale about destruction set in modern times took shape and the learning during the time of writing?
My book, Kaivalya at its core is a horror novel, despite its historical timelines. It is a fairly large canvas, so it did not come into shape all at once. Some of the sub-plots evolved as stand-alone pieces, and integrating them seamlessly drove me up the wall.
As far as the learning goes – I understood how poor I was at writing from a technical perspective. This made me opt for higher studies in creative writing.
3. You are also a short story writer and Redemption is one such short story that you wrote for the ‘Just Write Short Story Competition’ which was among the top 6 entries. How did the idea for Redemption cropped up and do tell us your foray with this short story and its portrayal of your characters?
The idea for Redemption came from multiple sources. I was interested in cults which was from an academic perspective only J and did a paper on the cult leader, Charles Manson, for one of my psychology modules. I’m also a qualitative researcher – I’m very curious and interested in lived experiences. To that extent, I like to explore themes of how we relate and respond to our environment, and how much of our appearance dictates our experiences. But really, I love writing and reading story genres such as gothic, horror and psychological; I love to examine narratives of good vs evil, and how this is represented in different religions. I suppose that I managed to pressure cook all this in Redemption 😀
4. What are the things that kick you to write and is the inspiration something like opening you window gazing at the world’s inhabitants to sketch characters?
It can be anything – an interesting person, a startling thought, an eerie place, a strange experience – everything is scribbled in my notebook.
5. Blogger, novel and short story writer. Which one is easier to write a short story or novels? How often do you write and how regular blogging helps you to hone your craft for fiction writing?
Oh, a novel is definitely easier because you have a lot of elbow room. Short stories are very difficult (when written in the correct way) – they test your writing skills to a large extent – you have to sweat on every word.
My blogging has taken a back seat with my academic schedule, and I miss it terribly. But I do write almost every day – have to get that darned manuscript out of my way and I’ve been entering some interesting short story competitions.