Following is the transcript of my converstaion with Mridula (Author of the book Still Loved.. Still Missed). A very honest interview, she gave Direct and quite clear answers to all my questions.
SAHIL : Please tell my readers about yourself?
MRIDULA : I am just another brick on the wall. I hail from Kerala and working with the government.
SAHIL : What is your profession or what do you do besides writing books?
MRIDULA : I am a scientist by profession.
SAHIL : When did you realize that you have an inclination towards book writing?
MRIDULA : I think, right from the school days, I used to take part in writing competitions.
SAHIL : I am sure you have read lot of books. I always get this question from readers that how many books authors read. So I will put this question straight to you. And do you put target that these many books you will read?
MRIDULA : I don’t read books with a target, as that becomes a work that’s mechanical, I used to read a lot, books of all genres, now due to the busy schedule it (reading) has been suffering.
SAHIL : Which are your favorite books in fiction & non fiction category?
MRIDULA : Fiction- Malgudy Days (One of the favorites)
Non-ficton-Autobiography of a Yogi (One of the favorites)
SAHIL : What inspired( situation or condition) you to write this book ?
MRIDULA : Whatever I witnessed around, whatever that made me think about life. Nothing to mention in particular.
SAHIL : How much time you took to write it?
MRIDULA : Not more than 30 minutes for each story.
SAHIL : What were the challenges you faced while writing this particular book?
MRIDULA : I needed a perfect editor who was nowhere to find.
SAHIL : Who chose the title and cover of your book? What other title you could have given to the book if not this one?
MRIDULA : The cover page was done by the publishers, I had only one title in mind, which I wanted to give the book, which I did.
SAHIL : You played very well with the words especially animating the inanimate objects and linking emotions.for eg bamboo coracle. How you came up with this idea?
MRIDULA : There is no clear answer to this. It was a sudden idea about the coracle. The idea comes without a specific stimulus, which others may find difficult to believe, but it is so with all my writings. Maybe I am being too creative at some moments.
SAHIL : I am quite sure that some of the emotions or scenes that you wrote are well experienced by you. Could you tell 1 story that relates with you the most?
MRIDULA : I can empathize very well, maybe that’s why I could write in a way that made the readers feel like I have experienced it. None of the stories are related to me, I have no experiences similar to any of those stories.
SAHIL : I remember a phrase “our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought.” Were you inspired by this phrase when you were writing these stories. Because majority of your stories have sad endings especially fly flew flown, the fall, my little child etc.Any specific reason?
MRIDULA : You may be right. I find myself engulfed in all that we witness in this world….my writings are based on the world around us, sometimes things may appear very gloomy, but I can also see the light.
SAHIL : You wrote a poem love under lavender tree. Was it like a short story that got converted into poem or was it intended as poem only?
MRIDULA : No, it was meant to be a poem.
SAHIL : Why only 14 stories. I mean was there a specific reason or demand of publisher or any other reason?
MRIDULA : Nothing like that. I had written nearly 50 stories, just selected a few. Most others were micro-fictions.
SAHIL : Though your book is very lighter on number of pages front but very heavy on emotional front. Did you try to capture every emotion , feeling, belief from everyday life?
MRIDULA : As already said, I am affected by the things and people which most of us ignore, so when I wrote about it, the emotions were too heavy. It was not intentional, but that’s how things are.
SAHIL : When can we expect another book from you and on what subject it would be?
MRIDULA : I haven’t made up my mind on that, lately, I was doing a lot of micro-fictions.
SAHIL : What are your hobbies?
MRIDULA : Reading, Music, Sitting alone or chatting with like-minded people.
SAHIL : This question I always ask to an author just to ignite young minds. How do you think reading habits can be inculcated among young minds since they trust internet more than books( original source).
MRIDULA : That (Reading) should be done right from childhood. Today, every parent brings up the child with gadgets, even to make them eat food. So they are showing the kids more about the internet /gadgets than reading books, singing to them or telling them stories. Cultivating the reading habit from childhood will definitely play an important in shaping the imagination and personality of the children, that has to be done rather than making them gadget freaks or internet /game addicts.