Book Title: WOMEN & THEIR WORLD
Publisher: Evincepub Publishing (2022)
Interview by : Bobby George (Evincepub Publishing)
Today we are here in conversation with Varunika Rajput to talk about her fresh new release—Women & Their World. A heartwarming collection of seven short stories for you.
Writing about women once a fad has long since become passé. Hence, writing anything spotlighting ‘Woman’ and still being able to hold readers’ interest is nearly impossible. But all kudos to Varunika for handling such a clichéd subject so deftly. So without much ado, let’s delve into their world.
Bobby George: Hello Varunika, Congratulations! Your latest book, Women & Their World, is out on stands. I know it is gathering raving reviews. How do you feel about it as an author?
Varunika : I am blissed out! I am just happy I was able to publish the book. It’s wonderful to know that a part of me shall continue to live in this world even after I am long gone.
Bobby George: Okay, as an author myself, I am a little curious to know—given your flair, why you chose the Short Story format and not its long format cousins like Novella or a full-length Novel. Or is it on your My Wish List?
Varunika : Well, I just started writing two years back. The progression from blogging to short stories was quite natural. By the time I decided that I am ready to write a book a lot of stories had already found home in my head. I couldn’t ignore the calling. It was an organic sort of decision. And I am glad I wrote them. But a novella is definitely on my to do list!
Bobby George: Now, this is a collection of seven stories, all unique in their own way. So what do you think makes a good story?
Varunika : I think if a story can evoke emotions, move you to tears, or crack you up or stir your soul, it’s a good one. Irrespective of the genre and who wrote it. From whatever little I know, a believable and memorable character, a distinct voice of your narrative and a clear conflict/ tension in the plot, are few of the points that make for an interesting read.
Bobby George: When you develop characters, do you already know who they are before you begin writing or do you let them develop as you go?
Varunika : I think both. Although I know what I am going to write about, who the main character is and how the character arc looks like, yet a lot of times the character just behaves a bit different to how I had originally conceived it to be. I think the layers unravel themselves as we write sometimes. And I have no control over it when that happens. I let the character grow.
Bobby George: How has your environment and upbringing coloured your writing?
Varunika : I have written about the women I saw, met, interacted with; the ones I unconsciously observed throughout this journey of life. So it wouldn’t be wrong to say that my writing reflects a lot of what I observed, experienced ,and understood. Its quite simple and real in that sense.
Bobby George: There are seven different women, reflecting various attributes of their individuality; which one do you feel you relate to the most?
Varunika : I think Swadha from the story Cutting Chai. She is a lot like me.
Bobby George: Alright! let us get things blithe here. Give us an interesting, fun fact about your book.
Varunika: I initially wrote the book in three months. And then I trashed it. I thought I must be crazy to actually dream of becoming an author. I took up a writing course after that. And within 10 days I knew that the book is definitely happening. I rewrote it after that. And here we are!
Bobby George: What would you say is your interesting writing quirk? We all have one, don’t you think?
Varunika : I don’t know if it’s a quirk or not, but when I sit down to write, the first thing I ensure is that a huge cup of tea is infront of me. Whether it’s late night or in the wee hours of the morning, I just run to prepare tea before I sit down to write. That’s like a ritual I religiously follow.
Bobby George: What do you like to do when not writing? Are there any current projects that we’ll get to read from your pen?
Varunika : I spend time with my children. I colour with them or watch a movie with them. I am a movie buff by the way. I read everyday. That’s a given in my life. And I enjoy baking. It’s therapeutic. Apart from this book, there is an anthology which will probably be released before the end of September. I have co-authored the book along with few others. My story was a winning entry in a contest and has now found a place in the book. I cannot give the name as the publisher hasn’t made an official announcement. But it’s ready. You will get to read it soon.
Bobby George: What are you reading right now? Any authors that you would name as influences?
Varunika : Currently I am glued to THE BASTARD OF ISTANBUL by ELif Shafak. I am quite enjoying it. Ruskin Bond, Charles Dickens, Khaled Hosseini, Asha Iyer Kumar, are some of my favourites.
Bobby George: Just this, the last one. With the kind of response you are getting, we know you are here to stay. Do you have any suggestions to help aspiring authors become better writers?
Varunika : Thank you! I think you are too generous with words! I am not sure if I have reached a position where I can advise. But if I had to, then it would be this. First build a foundation. Read a lot. Make writing everyday a habit. Even if it’s a few hundred words. And in the words of the legendary Ruskin Bond Aspire to be a better writer. Always. Good luck!
Thank you, Varunika, for your time and answering all the questions interestingly and honestly. I am sure your readers would be delighted to read about their favourite author in this ‘Sneak-Peek’ session. I wish you all the luck you need and deserve for a long inspiring literary career. See you soon with the next!
All the Best!