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My Mother’s Roses and a Short Story Book: Blog Runner, With Five Tagged Writers!

Chain mails might sometime seem too compelling in their appeal. But writing about writing is quite fun, especially when a writer tags me. Taking cue from co-Sangam House fellow Francie Greenslade’s blog, I’m embarking on writing this post. It is tough to write about one’s own writing, but fun as well. And somewhere along this exercise, things become clearer to you, about your writing goals, aspirations and small pleasures.

We each tag five more writers, who you’ll meet at the bottom of this blog, and they tell five more and so on. I broke the rule slightly to tag six…

Now, this post won’t bring you instant recognition or snazzy awards. Also, no guarantee one would score brownie points in heaven by passing on this post. I answer questions here regarding my short story collection due this year. So, pick up your chain mail hat and throw it in the ring!

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What is your working title of your book?

It’s a short story collection called “The House of Twining Roses: Stories of the Mapped and Unmapped”. Mostly women’s accounts, the stories happen to come from across places and times in India and elsewhere.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

I’ve been writing these short stories from 2005 onwards. The title story was the 3rd or 4th to take shape and it harks back to our parental house in Guwahati, Assam. My mother, who was an avid gardener, had planted a white climber rose in front of the house. We saw it through a few crucial years that Assam experienced since the 1980s. So this story has a mild political hue. The other pieces in this collection talk of periods as diverse as Partition of Bengal to present-day campus life in the United States.

What genre does your book fall under?

Literary Fiction.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Until recently, I was a George Clooney fan and imagined him fit for any kind of roles. But my stories happen mostly in India. Being short stories, they have diverse characters. The “House” trilogy in this book however, works like a vignette. I can see an easy-going Konkona Sen Sharma, a graceful Nafisa Ali and an evergreen Nasiruddin Shah as players in a “House” movie!

Young hero? Not sure who fits the bill yet! 

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

The House of Twining Roses is a collection that spans the lives of women and girls caught in the snare of history and society.

 Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

LiFi Publications, a well-known publisher with a new fiction imprint, would be bringing out my book.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

It has been an ongoing work. I did mention that the stories started taking shape from 2005. Several of them have been written as I became a flaneur across continents. A few of them have been published in lit mags. The “final” draft, or if there is such a thing, emerged only recently. The book is slated for March 2013 if all goes well.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

A direct comparison is tough. I feel my writing has a lot of influence from Marquez and Llosa. There is politics, re-telling of folklores, as well as bits of that thing called magic realism. At the same time, Nadine Gordimer’s “Jump and Other Stories” and Alice Munro’s “The Beggar Maid: Stories of Flo and Rose” appeal to me as solid templates for my own work. These are not my words, but my friends who’ve helped with the drafts have said so. It’s for readers to decide though.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Well, as a writer from Assam in the Northeast of India, my stories particularly evoke multicultural complexities pertaining to the region. Moreover, I feel bold to tell stories from other parts of India. Spatio-temporality for me is all about connectedness. As Nam Le had once indicated – just because he’s an Australian-born Vietnamese-American writer, he doesn’t have to have his image of that of a person standing in a knee-deep paddy or wrestling with a crocodile; he’s perfectly capable of writing about Columbian druglords, et al!

Below are links to some of my talented writer friends you can visit (I’m in the process of adding their website links to the names…):

 Anuradha Vijayakrishnan (no website/blog available)

Amandeep Sandhu

Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar

Rumjhum Biswas

Ted Wheeler

Kunal Sen

Message for tagged authors:

Rules of the Next Big Thing

***Use this format for your post
***Answer the ten questions about your current WIP (work in progress)
***Tag five other writers/bloggers and add their links so we can hop over and meet them.

Ten Interview Questions for the Next Big Thing:
What is your working title of your book?
Where did the idea come from for the book?
What genre does your book fall under?
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Include the link of who tagged you and this explanation for the people you have tagged.
Be sure to line up your five people in advance.

***

Spring is officially here. Delhi has had rains and the temps crawled down a bit. Mostly, the sogginess is uninviting. But why not evoke a sunnier picture to expect one soon? This pic is from my time in Ithaca, Upstate NY. A kite-flying festival organized by Pakistani students, buffered with fresh samosas and hot tea! I want!

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6 comments on “My Mother’s Roses and a Short Story Book: Blog Runner, With Five Tagged Writers!

  1. albert geiser
    February 18, 2013

    I went for a walk in the wind this morning in the state park nearby. Quite chilly. Too chilly for kite flying. . I’m reminded of May up north and longing for it..

    • Do You See
      February 19, 2013

      This kite flying picture was taken a little into the spring, closer to May. This slope is snow covered and thaws through Feb and April 🙂

      I’ve seen folks fly kite on a frozen lake though. Not paper kites, but fiber ones.

  2. albert geiser
    February 18, 2013

    I’m looking forward to the magic realism. Those have long been some of my favorite writers you mention.

    • Do You See
      February 19, 2013

      Magic Realism has been a term used pretty liberally I guess. Any folkloric element is branded thus! My book should be ready soon. Once the tedious proofing is over. Thanks for the visit, Albert.

  3. Pingback: Blog Runner, With Five Tagged Writers! | Writers & Writerisms

  4. Pingback: Rajat Chaudhuri’s Interview for my Blog Runner 5 Tagged Writers | Writers & Writerisms

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This entry was posted on February 17, 2013 by in Amandeep sandhu, Anuradha Vijayakrishnan, fiction, india, Nabina Das, Rumjhum Biswas, Ted Wheeler, Uncategorized.
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