But here it is finally.
My author interview with Latha Viswanathan. You can read my review of her book here.
- What do you do when you are not writing?
I love to read and dream. I also enjoy walking and cooking which help me unwind and work through the tensions of the day. I love to surf the net and find all kinds of information endlessly fascinating. Another favorite activity is spending time talking to my friends and family.
- Which authors have inspired you?
There have been so many—right from my childhood through to my adult years—from A.A. Milne to Leslie Silko and Saul Bellow among others. There were times in my life when I read voraciously from diverse sources in terms of international writers. I love Japanese, Chinese, Southeast Asian and South American writers. I also love to read non-fiction as the stories there sometimes became stepping stones for my .fictional world.
- What were your favorite books as a child?
I loved mysteries, comics and serious literary books as a child. I had a greedy appetite for the written word and I read in English and Tamil as child and teenager. I never cared for the scary stuff—that kept me awake and disrupted my dreams so I picked my favorite street character from Dickens and wondered what they would do if such and such happened, created puzzles in my head. I also had a nasty habit of eavesdropping on adult conversations and was very observant and a great collector of gossip as a child. All this was done secretly of course while I went about looking clueless and nerdy, appearing to be lost in my own world.
- Do you have any advice to aspiring writers?
Read and live a little before you begin to write. Read only the best. The Classics are important. Watch human behavior closely especially when it comes to conflict and observe every little detail. Look at the situation from several points of view. Try to look at it objectively. Observe even yourself as you would another—at arm’s length. You should be able to exploit your own foibles, emotions, anger-- everything honestly so you are credible to the reader.
- Which of your characters would you love to have as a friend?
That’s easy. All of them! Because there’s a little of me in all of them. My characters are composites of people I have known, a little of myself and a little of my imagination thrown in for color. I may have made a young female friend into an old man in my book but he has her frown, the same smirk etc. And he will think in a disjointed fashion like me! Characters are collage, if you know what I mean.