Interview with Sasha Singh!

I am extremely excited and proud to be interviewing Sasha Singh today! I have seen Sasha grow from a talented dancer to an inspiring choreographer and now an actress in the Indian film industry! Her Telugu movie titled Appatlo Okadundevadu has released recently. Lets chat with her about her creative endeavors.

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Sasha Singh

 

  • Welcome Sasha! Please tell us what inspired you to act in movies?

I was lucky enough to have many motivators in my life. Firstly, my experiences have given me the inspiration to dream and live those dreams. I would go to the movies with my family on a weekly basis and watch all kinds of actors and actresses paint their stories on the screen. Watching Bollywood movies regularly really opened up my eyes to the world of cinema and formed my views towards acting. Furthermore, there were many influential people in my life who encouraged me to pursue my passion of acting. My family especially has been my biggest rock. They stood by me and supported me throughout the whole process. They were there for me at all times and their belief in my capabilities inspired me everyday. If they could sacrifice so much to see my dreams come true, why couldn’t I do everything in my power to achieve them?

Other people who inspired me were my Gurus and mentors. Meenakshi Sheshadri was someone who guided me when I first realized I was serious about doing movies. She offered her knowledge and time to help me. Anyone who ever taught me acting also taught me many useful life skills. My theater teacher Rene Harris pushed me to do my best in school and really sparked a flame in me. A flame of love for acting. Neeraj Kabi also trained me when I lived in India and gave me a lot of gyan for lack of a better word. In conclusion, the people and activities around me as I was growing up were my biggest inspirations.

  • Its really wonderful to see that you had such amazing supportive people as your inspiration. Please tell us a little bit about your character in Appatlo Okadundevadu and how you prepared for this role?

Appatlo Okadudevadu is a complex and engaging film which is set mostly in the 90’s and is based on a true story. It has a little bit of all flavors of genres; action, romance, comedy, drama, and suspense. My character is guiding the story along and she (Riya) is searching for the main character (Railway Raju) in present time. My character links everything together and is sort of putting all the puzzle pieces together. I am a cricketer in the film so that was definitely what I had to prepare for the most. I would practice in a casual and fun way with my family and tried watching some famous cricket games/techniques. I also prepared for the role by watching and listening to Telugu films/songs in order to get used to the language that was so new for me.

  • That’s wonderful. Cricket and movies are the two biggest passions for all Indians and you got to combine the two in your very first role! Besides acting, what is your favorite hobby that helps you relax?

Besides acting, my passion for dance is what keeps me going. I love to use my body as a tool to portray a story or message through song and movement. Even when I was a kid, if I ever felt upset, or had any strong emotion, I would close my room door, put on my favorite music, and just dance my heart out. It didn’t matter if I was angry, hurt, excited, etc. All that mattered was that dance gave me the ability to express my self and let out my feelings. It has always been my way of keeping myself happy and calm. I continue to dance even now. I am a choreographer for Masti Dance Academy which also allows me to explore another one of my hobbies i.e. working with kids. Each time I am in charge of or need to teach kids dance or something, I feel as though I am the one that is actually learning. I have always found that being around kids is not only a stress relive, but also it brings out my inner child. I believe that being with kids constantly gives me different perspectives on things, and it always brings a smile to my face.

  • Having achieved your dream, what advice do you have for an aspiring actor?

For any aspiring actors, I would say to have your own little mantra. That is definitely what has gotten me this far and what I think will help me in the future. It may seem silly, but every day, I say a little chant to myself about what my goals are, and what I will do when I achieve them. This is a constant reminder to keep my aspirations in mind in every little thing that I do. This puts out those thoughts into the universe and before you know it those thoughts become a reality. Of course, acting is a complex and unique art form. There are so many techniques and practices out there. Finding what does or doesn’t work for you, and constantly exploring and practicing those techniques will prepare you for any role that comes your way. I try to make time in my schedule on a daily basis to learn something new about acting, the history of cinema, cinematic techniques, or something which will expand my knowledge in acting. Being proactive and checking for casting calls is another must.

  • Thank you for the inspiring advice, I’m sure that aspiring actors will find it very helpful. Tell us, what was the most challenging aspect for you while performing in front of the camera?

I have had experience in theater and I always knew that acting for the camera is different, but it wasn’t until now that I realized just how different it really is. A camera will catch your every detail, a wrinkle when you smile, a tooth which is slightly crooked, or anything else you wouldn’t normally notice. Once I realized this, the most challenging part of acting in front of a camera for me was fully immersing myself into my character, so that every little detail about me, reflected what my character was feeling. Because the camera picks up every minute detail, the challenge for me was making sure every little eyebrow raise or lip twitch would work and enhance my character at that moment.

  • Do you want to share some information on your other acting projects?

I have a couple of projects coming up which I can’t release information about yet. I will be posting about these and other future projects once they are finalized on my Facebook page.

Thanks Sasha for stopping by. It was a pleasure and I wish you great success in all your creative endeavors!

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Sasha’s Movie Poster (Appatlo Okadundevadu)

Interview with author Daniela Silva

Today, I have the pleasure of welcoming author Daniela Silva to my blog. Lets talk to her about her recently published book titled “Unraveling Reading”.

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  • Welcome Daniela, Please tell us briefly about your book and what inspired you to write it?

Unraveling Reading is basically about education and literacy, focusing on how to help students with difficulties in reading and writing. In this book, I discuss activities and teaching strategies that can be applied in the classroom or at home for home-schoolers. These activities respect the individual needs of the students, with regard to different learning styles such as visually, auditory or kinesthetically, depending on how the brain learns and processes information. In addition, the book presents Brain Gym exercises, a pedagogical technique that improves reading and writing skills through the movement.

What inspired me to write this book was the aim to disseminate quality information about how a student can develop reading and writing skills in a  dynamic way, through exercises that take into account students’ capabilities and learning styles. This is important to consider because each of us learns in a unique way, and knowing this, can help educators and instructors to develop better teaching strategies.

  • That’s an awesome goal. How much research did you do for your book?

It took 3 years. The research was based on the reading and selection of educational resources, such as academic exercises, lessons, practices, dynamics and theories that fit and takes into account multiple personalities and different styles of learning.

  • What is that one thing you want readers to take away from your book?

The process of teaching and learning is the main theme of my book. Each of us is different in experiences, knowledge and abilities, and hence the way an educator teaches and presents academic content, must be different from student to student. That´s why we have so many different learning styles and multiple personalities in a classroom. For example, a student can learn better through the movement, while another student can have a better comprehension of content when rhythms and sounds are used. It´ll depend on how your brain captures and assimilates new information.

  • Your book is part of a series, which other books have you planned to write in this series?

The idea is to expand this literature project, writing more books that are part of the educational needs of teachers and students, such as History and Science subjects.

  • According to you, what is the most rewarding thing about being an author?

Transform the world using your words. The words, when used with love, empathy, and attention can lead to hope and inspire change, and my book is a great tool for change because it has the power to penetrate people’s hearts and minds. An author must write for a cause or a purpose, and must ask himself or herself why they are writing and for whom? These are two very simple questions, but they make all the difference!

Thanks Daniela for stopping by. Good luck with your writing projects!

Interview with author P. G. Van

Author P.G. Van lives in San Francisco. Ever since she published her first novel, Destiny Decides in October 2015, she just cannot stop writing. Let’s chat with her today about her book and writing in general.

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  • Welcome P.G. Van! Please tell us what inspired you to write Destiny Decides?

Destiny Decides happened as a result of pure destiny. I thought about the initial version of the story while I was on my way to work. It was driven by my thoughts around how hard would it be to get in touch with a long lost friend as I had lost touch with a few of my friends after school. I thought about the emotions a character goes through when they realize they have strong feelings for someone and they don’t even know where they were.

My thoughts were flowing endlessly and I had to write them down on a sheet of paper and within an hour I had decided I wanted to write about it. Up until that day my focus was entirely on how to go up the corporate ladder and once I got thinking about writing it gave me a new perspective in life and that not everything is driven by deliverables and deadlines and that you need to enjoy life loving the people in your life.

This particular story will always hold a special place in my heart as it let me explore a lot of things I feel very passionate about. I lived vicariously through Nick’s cool cars and it fueled my love for cars and motorcycles. I love Indian classical music and dance and most of all being able to write about how the Indian culture is preserved outside India. It allowed me to explore the concept of a family living under one roof while enjoying the privacy and independence.

The common theme with all of my stories is Indians or people of Indian origin in the San Francisco bay area. It allows me to add an Indian touch to my stories to build the story and make the experiences unique and allowed me to use the culture as a basis for my stories.

  • That’s quite interesting. Tell us, how do you go about developing characters of your book?

My favorite part of the initial stages of the book is to define my characters and outline who they are as a person. I usually start with their name, age and what they do.

The name is very critical to me and I pick a name that is simple yet says something about the character. Nikhil means perfect and I wanted that name because I knew I was going to create the ideal guy and Nick as a short version if his name that gives his character an edge. He is a successful businessman at the age of twenty seven.

When it comes to heroines in my books, I like my women characters to be strong without being snobbish. They are not perfect but they are perfect for the hero of the book. Their characteristics are complimentary to the male character thereby making the match up perfect.

I still have notes from my initial days of writing with the list of characteristics down to what kind of food do they eat and how do they react to an unfavorable situation. A lot of times I write down a few incidents that I don’t include in the book but leave them as part of the ‘deleted scenes’ but they serve as a foundation for my character building.

Here is an excerpt from my deleted scenes that shows how Sameera as a teenager was affected by the tragedy in her life. I read these incidents to be able to pen down the pent up pain that only Nick is able to soothe because of their relationship as young adults.

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I took a deep breath remembering everything that happened in the last two years. I just had not figured out a way to deal with my pain. I took another deep breath refusing to shed a tear, as I reached for the picture of my dad from the nightstand next to my bed. I smiled looking at the loving and lively image of my dad sitting on his Royal Enfield motorcycle that he loved to ride and take me on rides.

“Daddy, I know you will be there for me anytime I need you.” I murmured looking at the picture of my dad and added in a soft voice, “I am leaving my stuff here and moving to a new country. I will soon become a part of a new family but you know I will be yours forever.” I hugged the picture and said, “and I promise to get back to dancing soon”.

  • Quite often authors have a favorite scene or two. Which scene in your book is your favorite? Why?

I am so glad you asked. It it most definitely the first time Sameera sees Nick on his bike. She has no idea who the person is but something tells her the person is important. My twist on the ‘love at first sight’ where Sameera could not forget the eyes. She keeps thinking about that episode every time she sees a biker because the chemistry that happened when their eyes met branded something in her brain.

This particular scene takes the reader to the dreamy world that we all fantasize at some level. The fact that some random guy blew her a kiss did not stop Sameera from thinking about him or talking about him. The fact that she did not wave back and blow a kiss back gives the reader a hint that she knows when to be amused and when not to be.

I absolutely love this particular scene because the build up to the scene gave me the opportunity to describe the beautiful highway that I drive on to work everyday, paint a picture of a sexy looking bike from Sameera’s perspective so the readers know about her love for motorbikes and how she fell in love with bikes when her dad took her out for a ride when she was five.

This scene also gave me the opportunity to add a mysterious touch to the first chapter in hopes of keeping the readers wondering who the guy was and what his story was and how he would be part of Sameera’s story.

  • Is there any particular author who has inspired you to write? Why?

The author that inspired me most is Katherine Gordan and she did it with her writing style. I still remember her book The Emerald Peacock and falling in love with the hero. She did an excellent job of painting the picture of the setting, the emotions of the characters as they fall in love and soon are torn apart to be separated for years. I remember closing the book so I could cry and let out the pain and then continue reading. I felt the goosebumps pepper my skin when she describes the feeling when the characters see each other after many years.

Her writing style is somewhat poetic which enhances the readers experience. While working on Destiny Decides, I attempted something similar to give the reader the depth of the emotion.

Readers enjoy a book especially a romance novel for the way the author tells the story about how two people found their happy ending. If an author is able to keep the reader wondering about what is going to happen next for an expected happy ending, that is a sign of a good author and I hope to give that to my readers with each one of my stories.

  • I am so glad that you decided to write. Please tell us, what has been your most rewarding experience as an author?

When I started writing I had no idea what it meant to be a writer and how writers felt when you write a review or leave a comment for them.

I will tell you it is very rewarding and every piece of feedback fuels my enthusiasm to keep writing. When someone told me I had very good imagination and was very creative, I thought that’s true with everyone but I do realize that writers have a bit more imagination that makes them build the stories.

One of my most rewarding experience was when one of my readers reached out to me to give me personal feedback about how much she liked my books. She reached out to me via Facebook messenger after she finished my first book and sent multiple message which I unfortunately missed. She liked the first book so much she bought my second book and at the end of my second book I had added my email address. She reached out to me via email to tell me how much she enjoyed both books and asked me if I was working on more books. I could not believe my eyes when I saw the email where she was very cautious and clarified that she was reaching out to me only to compliment me and that if I didn’t respond to her she would not send me further communication. What else do I need as a writer? A reader who loved my books so much that she found a way to reach me to tell me about everything that was good and things that I needed to fix with my books.

Another reason I keep writing is because of my own lovely fan base that started reading, yes started reading for the first time ever with my book and promise to read every book I write. I am blessed to have been able to write and to have stories form in front of my eyes as I am about to wrap up one book.

P.G. Van’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pg.van.7

P.G. Van’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/authpgvan

Interview with author Mukta Singh Zocchi!

Today, I have the pleasure of welcoming author Mukta Singh Zocchi to my blog. Lets talk to her about her endeavors in writing..

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  • Welcome Mukta! Please tell us about how did you discover your passion for writing?

Thanks Aditi for giving me this opportunity. It’s true each one of us has that passion sitting somewhere inside. Some display it at birth. In me, it burst out only after a series of processes like “controlled fusion”.  A habit of reading, learning to research, interactions … without these kinds of things I don’t think I am capable of writing. So in that sense I am not a born writer.

I had a perfect childhood to pick up the good habit of reading.  We lived in IIT campus in New Delhi, my father was a professor there, so I had access to the wonderful library there. I think I must have checked out all the fiction books they kept on their shelves over those years. Back then I did write, but it was all quite childish. Then through the college years and grad school there was relatively less of this reading business, writing certainly did not rise above the zero-mark. When I started to work,  I traveled a lot, had many unusual, amazing experiences – interesting enough that in a decade they started to find place in my stories. Now to answer your question,

I discovered my passion for writing when once after a longish rail trip across India with my family I sat down to write … really in a journal-like manner. I couldn’t stop writing. It felt wonderful to just write about our experiences. This was a phenomenal moment for me. I have been writing non-stop since then.

  • It’s incredible that you publish a magazine in Hindi, especially for the progression of the language. How did you conceive it and what made you decide to publish in Hindi language?

I grew up speaking Hindi and even though my active vocabulary in English is vaster, writing in Hindi feels closer to the creative center of my brain. I get a bigger high. I have no problems overcoming any shortcomings I might have writing in Hindi. I think this must be more or less true with most people vis-a-vis their native languages.

Then, growing up, there  were ample Hindi reading lying around at home… magazines, upanyasa. So, for me, publishing a Hindi literary magazine is not an altogether unnatural endeavor. I have certain impressions about the Hindi reading culture, perhaps those played some role in wanting to do this.

Readers of Hindi tend not to buy books – no one in my family bought them, most of my relatives did not either.  I remember once one of my aunts caught me reading a novel by Gulshan Nanda, I think it was Naya Zamana (someone had left it behind). She scolded me,  perhaps she thought I was too young to read it and in a matter of a few seconds that half-read book was in her purse … So, its pretty obvious, Hindi readership in severely undercounted. This behavior of ours results in a non-robust Hindi publishing scene.

Among other things, I had always had a problem with the quality of the font, the lack of a minimum gloss – very cumbersome for me as a reader of Hindi works. All these are the reasons I am publishing ekalpana. I want people to carry stories, not worries, in their heads. The more people read, the more they’d want to write. There is a lot of sub-standard stuff on the internet. It is important that more people publish work of good quality, set the standard and make it accessible to a large number of people.

  • Tell us a little bit more about your magazine and its content and how readers can access it?

At the beginning of this year (2016) I launched ekalpana.net – an online literary magazine. This September, the 8th issue will be published. Every issue carries 5 short stories in Hindi. We encourage stories from anyone who enjoys writing. What we are looking for is a good literary style and interesting story-telling. The level of the language is also important. I don’t think pidgin-Hindi can be considered literary.

  • What are your long term goals for your magazine?

The only time I do poetry is when I “think” goals. My long term goal for the magazine is to be able to see people sing stories and dream songs. With so many people in the world and so much happening and going on, it is hard to tell how anything would turn out. One makes efforts. With some luck, good things also happen.

  • Have you published anything else, books, short stories, etc.?

I write all the time. My short-stories have appeared in several literary magazines in the US and in India. In 2014, my first novel, The Thugs and a Courtesan hit the bookshelves. That was a very satisfying experience. At some point a few years back I started to write on NRI issues for the Hindi magazine group Delhi Press. Many of my short stories in Hindi have also appeared in Sarita magazine (Delhi Press). You can access all my work at www.muktasinghzocchi.com

  • It’s incredible to hear about all your work! What has been your most rewarding experience as an author?

When I can say the work I have been writing has reached completion I feel most rewarded. You know, its that “coming to fruition of the high, excited levels of mental energies” moment … all writers must be feeling it. Doesn’t matter if the completed work is a short editorial piece or an entire novel.

Of course, one still needs to place their work, etc., but in terms of personal satisfaction all that is not as important. The route to publishing and becoming a talked-about author is tortuous and messy and can I say wicked. When I first started to write, I went through many highs and lows. There were times when I thought perhaps the writer inside me is  a phony character. But the truth is, one keeps writing, and reading, and over the course of time one improves.  I got an award for one of my short-stories in 2007, I was incredulous at first, then as I let that news set in, I felt validated as an author. In that sense, getting that first award was also a rewarding experience.

Mukta, it was a pleasure talking to you. I wish you all the best for your magazine!

Mukta’s magazinehttp://ekalpana.net

Author interview with MV Kasi

Let’s welcome author MV Kasi to my blog today!

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  • Hello & welcome to my blog! Please tell us, what inspired you to become a writer?

I’m an avid reader who loves reading all genres of books with romance being the main one. During my childhood, I used to write short stories or even make up stories to narrate to my friends during our free time. Lately after reading through thousands of romance books over the past twenty plus years, I have started noticing certain things. Instead of simply enjoying a good book and moving onto the next one, I started thinking about how I would have written it differently instead. About how I would change the plot or change the characters to be able to enjoy it even more. And so, I have recently re-discovered my passion for writing.

I wish I could write a heavy literary masterpiece that would appeal to the book critics. But as the saying goes—if you don’t read it or don’t like it, then don’t write it. I had a story to tell that I was extremely passionate about. I began to write, hoping that my readers could experience the same range of feelings and emotions I felt while narrating it.

  • That’s great. Tell us, how did you come up with the concept of your book? What was the inspiration behind it?

Topics like verbal abuse within marriage or male child preference in a family are not discussed that openly. We know they exist, we even see them happening around us, sometimes  too close for comfort.  But we often look the other way, since they do not usually leave behind any physical pain or scars on the victim.

I wanted to write a story about a woman who has gone through those issues. I had obsessively researched various articles on these topics.  My phone is filled with notes and bookmarks on consequences of verbal abuse and how victims usually cope. Some of the statistics around the world were unbelievable. It also gave me a new found understanding towards victims who have stayed through years of abusive marriage.

I drafted a story to address some of the social issues without being too obtrusive to the core romance story line.

  • That’s remarkable! Which scene in your book is your favorite? Why?

I’m pretty attached to all the scenes and they are all my favorites.

One scene that moved me the most and made me cry while writing it (also each time I re-read it)—was when Mahi recalls one of the last interactions with her son in the hospital. I had put off writing that scene until the end because each time I attempted, I would choke up and run to my son and hug him. He probably thought mommy was weird (or weirder than usual). Finally, when I wrote that scene, it was emotionally very draining but it felt cathartic too.

I think everyone can relate to the feeling of helplessness one feels when their loved one is very sick or hurt. And the range of feelings one feel when a loved one passes away is even more intense. The stages of grief and how one copes is different for everyone.  Some people grow stronger due to it and move on, some people let those moments define their future relationships or interactions and maybe some people block it out completely to live in denial. I have learnt a lot about how people cope with grief both from personal experiences and lots of research.

  • Who is your favorite character in your book? Why?

I love Mahi. In real life I would definitely want someone like her to be my close friend.

To most outsiders, the young Mahi comes off as a bully with attitude issues. She is the product of being a neglected girl-child who seeks attention from her parents by being rebellious and obnoxious. That idea is so far ingrained into her that during her late teens, she turns into a bully. She bullies another character from the book mercilessly due to jealousy and also causes havoc to the hero. It is very easy to hate someone like that and also judge them by their behavior. But sometimes, there is a lot more happening in people’s lives that are not obvious. It doesn’t excuse their behavior, but it can explain why they behaved in a certain way.

The grown up Mahi is totally a different kettle of fish. Things that happened in her life could have easily broken her. But she rises above it and comes out as a survivor. In her new persona, she is bold, very driven and a great friend. However, she also has a lot of flaws due to her deep rooted insecurities.

A lot of us can relate to Mahi’s character in one way or the other.

  • I am so glad that you have published your story. Tell us, what has been your most rewarding experience as an author?

As a newbie author, I didn’t start off writing in an organized or an efficient fashion. I had a small idea and I started writing until I ran out of words.  Even though my characters are not based on real people, I wrote them drawing on their real emotions. It was really unbelievable and exciting to see how a story panned out within a few months of writing. It was a deeply personal experience and I loved the whole process.

When I finally released my book, I was extremely glad when some of my readers told me that my story made them laugh, cry and then fall in love with the characters, rooting for their happily ever after. After getting that kind of feedback, as an author I felt that all the hours I spent obsessively writing the story was well worth it.

That’s awesome! I wish you good luck with the book!

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MV Kasi’s Book Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29765282

 

Amit Sharma’s take on revising manuscripts!

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Welcome Amit to my blog! Could you please tell us, when you receive feedback on your manuscript, how do you go about revising/changing your story?

 I am blessed with friends who are voracious readers and could be expected to give brutal and honest feedback. I give my first draft for alpha reading and get ready for all the stones and tomatoes that my friends are going to throw at me. The real work starts after that. I keep improvising the manuscript till I am completely satisfied with it. I take a break for a few days between two start-to-end sessions to get a new perspective. Once this process is over, I give over the book to a professional beta reader. I haven’t done that for the first book but I will be doing this for all my future books.
I usually do not change my story but I might change the way it has been told based on the inputs. For example, if a character needs to be more visible, I might add a few more scenes. I might add incidents that add depth to the story, add descriptions and improve dialogues.
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About the Author

Amit Sharma is the author of fiction novel titled False Ceilings by Lifi Publications. The book launch happened on 12 Jan 2016 at the World Book Fair in Delhi. The novel is a Family Saga spanning 130 years (from 1930 to 2065) and takes us through the lives of six protagonists who are bound by a secret and live in Delhi and Dalhousie. 

Amit Sharma has been working in a Software Firm since the last ten years. He lives with his family in NCR. His wife is a teacher and they are blessed with an amazing daughter. Amit is a voracious reader and devours books. His other hobbies include watching world cinema, traveling, digging into various cuisines, cooking, listening to music, painting, blogging (he used to blog earlier at Mashed Musings), making his daughter laugh and helping his wife with her shopping.
Amit’s book Links:

Interview with Pamela Fagan Hutchins!

Let’s welcome best-selling author Pamela Fagan Hutchins and chit-chat with her about various aspects of writing! 

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  • Congratulations on your book release, Pamela! Please tell us what has been your most rewarding experience as an author?

Recently, I’ve coached other novelists who have gone on to experience joy and success from their writing. While I have loved and continue to love each and every review I get, awards that my books receive, and emails and letters and Facebook posts and blog comments and every other heart-warming contact with readers, I am shocked to find how much I enjoy helping other writers achieve their best writing in their stories, and find their own readers.

  • That’s fantastic. I agree, that giving back is highly rewarding. Please tell us, how much research do you do for your books?

I do tons of research for my books. Everything from culture, geography, food, and religion to current and historical events, legal and criminal procedure, and mythology. For Hell to Pay I researched on following topics:

  • The Native American Hopi tribe and its vision question/spirit animal tradition.
  • Lake Meredith and the Colorado river basin in West Texas.
  • Diabetic comas: types, symptoms, treatment, and recovery.
  • Religious cults.
  • The process and rules for adoption in Texas.
  • Crime scene procedure in multi-jurisdictional situations.
  • The process of arrest, charging, arraignment and bail in a first-degree murder case.
  • Snake handling as a part of religious tradition, especially in the Southern U.S.
  • The professional rodeo circuit.

I really enjoy the research aspect of writing. I want desperately to get it right, for my stories to ring with authenticity.

  • How do you go about developing characters of your book?

Most of them occur pretty organically. But it starts with storyboarding with my story partner, my husband. We discuss plot lines and character arcs for years, I write them in outlines, ultimately I draft them into novels, and then I send them right back to him and we do post-writing storyboarding. Sometimes a character is way, way off in a first draft. I’ll go back to the drawing board and ask myself what characteristics define this character, what events have shaped them, and what is in and out of character for them. Ideally, for a protagonist, you then want to put them to the test in every single scene, ratcheting up the tension and pressure on them and seeing how they react. As much as I storyboard and plan, though, sometimes the story and characters take on a life of their own. It’s a lot of fun when that happens, and some of my most authentic characterization comes from just letting them have their way!

  • Dialogues are important in fiction. Do you want to share any tip for writing dialogues?

Dialogue needs to be authentic and it needs to be concise. Authenticity means that it sounds exactly like that character would say it. Concise means that you take that, and you make it shorter.

I am writing a What Doesn’t Kill You prequel novella right now. Six different protagonists in alternative points of view tell it. I’m killing myself on voice and dialogue in this one, making sure that readers will know who said what whether I tell them who it is or not.

The way I check my dialogue by reading it aloud, in character. My husband finds this quite humorous. I walk through the scenes and do the accents and body language.

  • I agree, reading the dialogues out loud is a good practice. Thanks for all the tips on writing! Before you go, tell us which scene in your book is your favorite? Why?

In Hell to Pay, my favorite scene is where Emily reluctantly displays her snake handling skills for her fiancé Jack and his parents. I love it because it shows her conflicted relationship with her past and her parents, at the same time as she is totally tough and brave and doing something most of us would never in a million years do.

 

pamela jan

Pamela’s Book Links:

Amazon.com : https://www.amazon.com/Hell-Pay-What-Doesnt-Kill-ebook/dp/B019UHL0NY

Amazon.in: http://www.amazon.in/Hell-Pay-What-Doesnt-Kill/dp/1939889367

Pamela’s Website: http://pamelafaganhutchins.com