NAW interview with Supriya Parulekar

Supriya ParulekarSupriya Parulekar’s first book was ‘A Soulful of Lie,’ published by Leadstart. She has worked as a columnist for ‘Yuva,’ a magazine meant for youth. Do read her book, ‘BFF: Best Friends Forever.’

NAW- When did your literary journey begin? At what age did you discover that you wanted to write?

First they were mere thoughts. They came and went on their whim. Later thoughts turned into ideas. I started jotting down ideas randomly. When in school I composed poems but did not pursue it. Then one fine day my four year old daughter demanded a bedtime story and thus began my journey as a writer. We had a pact; a new story every night! I made up stories of birds and animals, fairies and witches, enchanted kingdoms and magical lands. The world of story-telling was so fascinating that I decided to write a full-length novel titled ‘Adventures of Enchanted Kingdom’. I was not able to complete it, though I keep coming back to it. During the same time I met Mr. Vijay Tendulkar, the famous playwright and award winning literature laureate. Mr. Tendulkar went through the first few chapters of the above mentioned novel and said ‘keep writing’. Those two words of encouragement from such a great personality was enough for me to embark on a literary journey.

NAW- Tell us about your book ‘The gangster’s muse’, how did you get the idea for the book? Did you carry out any research?

‘The Gangster’s Muse’ revolves around a newly married girl who gives up her career and chooses to be a full time house-wife. Slowly boredom creeps in and she decides to take up a part-time job that will keep her busy till her husband gets back home. During the course of her work she connects with an underworld thug who is on run. He takes advantage of her weakness and forces her to finish a job for him. It’s a fun story with thrill and adventure. My stories always have to have a dark side to them with a twist.

It’s a very simple story and hence did not require research as such. I tremendously enjoyed sketching Meghna’s character who is the protagonist. I am a house-wife and so are most of my friends. There is an essence of each one of them in Meghna.

NAW- What drew you to writing?

An urge to tell a story drew me to writing. I realised I derived tremendous creative satisfaction from my writings and slowly writing became a therapy to deal with day-to-say stress. The thought that I am achieving something pushed me harder towards writing. I started observing things and people around me, analysing situations and moulding them into stories. My wandering mind had finally found something to do and the thoughts took shape of words and ideas. A new idea excites me and my fingers itch to weave a story. I dream, breathe and live my creative world!

NAW- Tell us about your first book, ‘A Soulful of Lie,’ did you face any difficulties in finding a publisher? How did your book get published?

Here I would like to quote my near-death experience as a child. In midst of a surgery, I went into cardiac arrest. During those moments when the doctors were trying to revive me I saw myself passing through a dark tunnel, towards a light at the end of it. I desperately tried to crawl towards the light but the next moment felt myself being pulled back. These memories remained with me only to surface later when I grew up. ‘A Soulful of Lie’ is drawn from this personal experience. This book was rejected by three publishers until I came across Leadstart publishers. The then editor, late Sunil Poolani approved my manuscript for publishing.

In India it is very difficult to get a book published. If you are well-known or well- connected it is easy but for a first time author self-publishing remains the only option.

NAW- Tell us about your other works? How do you write your books, in one sitting or chapter wise, randomly?

I am working on collection of poems titled ‘Malhar’. The poems are about ‘love’, heartbreak’, ‘wonders of nature’ and essence of ‘life’. Also I am exploring the short- story genre which initially I thought was very difficult and intentionally stayed away from. Now I find it fun working on short-stories; romance and horror both.

I was a columnist for ‘Yuva’. It was a magazine meant for youth and my column touched upon prevalent social issues. I have written story, screenplay and dialogues for two movies which are yet to be produced. There is no fixed time to write. I need to have a strong urge to convert an idea into a story and then nothing can stop me. At times I complete four to five chapters and at times I keep staring at my laptop not writing a single word. It has happened many a times that I have suffered a mental block. A quick stroll, light, peppy music is what pulls me out of it.

NAW- Tell us about yourself. What do you do apart from writing?

I have lots of friends and I enjoy spending time with them. I am not much of a vocal person but I love to observe people, their mannerisms, listen to their stories and travel to exotic places. I also love self-conversing and do that a lot. It gives me a new perspective about myself. I go for walks as it refreshes my mind. In between I had taken up editorial job for History TV. My belief is simple; enjoy doing all the little things in life and do it with passion. The world might not believe in you for now but have faith in yourself. At times I have written because it gave me joy and opinions did not matter.

NAW- How difficult is it to juggle with fulltime household duties and write? When do you write? Do you follow a strict writing schedule?

I finish off my household chores in first half of morning and then sit down with my laptop. I have to be in relaxed mind frame without any housework looming over my head. A favourite corner in my room serves as my workplace. I strongly believe in positive thinking. My workplace carries my positive vibes.

I write at a stretch. Words and thoughts come pouring out. What I like about being a creative person and pursuing writing is there is no fixed time and schedule. Our mood and mind controls our work hours and end result is immense creative satisfaction. Writing a few lines or penning a stanza of poem brings cheer to my heart. After all happiness does matter!

NAW- Please name your favourite authors.

I always was a voracious reader and still I am. In school I read fairy tales, Classics, adventure novels and so much wanted to believe that Noddy and his Toyland did exist in real. I was spellbound by the tiny yellow car Noddy drove around and the elves and their houses in hollow of the trees. Then came Nancy drew and Hardy Boys, Archie and Famous Five. I grew up with Enid Blyton, Sydney Sheldon, Ruskin Bond and Robin Cook. I borrowed Marathi books from local library as Marathi is my mother tongue. P.L Deshpande, V.P Kale and Vijay Tendulkar are my favourite authors.

Orhan Pamuk’s work intrigues me. ‘Red Sorrow’ by Nanchu and ‘Wild Swans’ by Jung Chang are my favourites. History fascinates me and you can catch me sometimes with Amar Chitra Katha reading about Shivaji Maharaj, Rani laxmibai, Maharana Pratap and other such legends.

I read up on lot of fiction too. Just laze around with a book; a light read.

NAW- What are your upcoming projects?

I am very much excited about my recently published novel ‘BFF: Best Friends Forever’. I got a great feedback from few of my readers. As I said before, I am working on short stories and collection of poems.

I haven’t written a romance genre after ‘Dreamcatcher’ so might write one.

Thanks for this interview. It was great chatting with you!

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