Interview With the Writer: Damyanti Biswas of Daily (W)rite

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In April 2011, most of you who have been reading BornStoryteller and Tale Spinning know I was involved in two blogfest challenges. That is what got the writing bug back into me big time. It also introduced me to some amazing people and some amazing writers (the two are not exclusive).

Damyanti Biswas of Daily (W)rite is one of those who is both of the above, and more. Not only have we gotten to know each other through our writing, but we have exchanged many comments, emails, REAL LIVE LETTER WRITING LETTERS, Skype conversation, and now…drum roll, please…we have joined (with Li of Flash Fiction and JC of Fighter Writer) to produce our own blog fest: The Rule of Three Fiction Writers Blog Fest, rules and such will go up by Wednesday August 31st, 2011. YES>>>Tomorrow!! Check out a little bit of a tease after the interview.

Interview 3 of the Rule of Three Co-Hosts

Can you tell us a little bit about Damyanti the Writer?

First off, Stuart, I’d like to thank you for this awesome opportunity to answer questions on your blog!

To answer your question: before I started writing, there was too much of Damyanti. Now, every once in a while, Damyanti disappears, and there is just the Writer. My aspiration now is to make Damyanti disappear as much as possible, and let only the Writer remain.

How would you describe your writing style? Are you a blogger who writes, or a writer who blogs? Is there a difference?

I don’t know if I have a defined writing style. I try to experiment with my writing as much as possible–if I reduce it to a recipe or a method, it won’t remain exciting for me. I became a blogger before I was a ‘writer’. But slowly, as I began to struggle through my writing, I realized that my blogs had become about writing. Today, I’m essentially a writer who blogs. Of course, there’s a difference…writers who blog tend to focus a lot more on writing and reading, and their writing voice shines through in their blogs.

What writer(s) have inspired you, and why?

Too many to name. I’ve talked about this in detail recently in this post, and wouldn’t clog up your post with it. I’ve read almost all my life, and my writer-heroes have changed with the seasons. I’m a voracious reader, and there are few genres that I avoid— I love and feel inspired by different writers for different reasons.

You just self-published your own ebook. Can you tell us about it?

My debut ebook is called A to Z stories of Life and Death. It was born during the A to Z challenge created by Arlee Bird and supported by a few other awesome writer-bloggers. I wrote 26 short shorts in the 26 days of April 2011, and on the suggestion of a few of the regular readers, I decided to edit those into a book. The book is also available via Smashwords.

To tell you more of what the book is about, here’s the blurb:

How do you judge a teacher toying with the sexuality of her teenaged student? A boy who decides to murder his mother? What thoughts rage inside a pedophile serial killer before he shoots himself? These are some of the premises of 26 stories of life and death, based on the 26 letters of the alphabet. They question the concepts of beauty, truth, and morality, by revealing the face of the other side.

Why self publish?

I think there is a big difference between self-publishing today and ten years back. Earlier, writers used to self-publish because they could not make it past the gatekeepers of traditional publishing. Today, a lot of traditionally published and successful writers are also going the (electronic) self-publishing route. The publishing world is in state of flux, and writers need to keep up with the technology that is bringing about this change. I published the e-book as an experiment, to teach myself the steps involved in getting a book out there on Kindle and Smashwords, and I have to say I have learned a lot. I’ll continue to seek both traditional and electronic publishing.

What other work have you had published that you are most proud of?

My stories have been published in various print publications by Monsoon Press, Marshall Cavendish and MPH. I think I was proud of each work as I sent it off, and I still love them, in a way. I know I can write better stories today than an year ago, but I imagine that is not a bad thing.

I know you like Blogfests. Can you tell us what excites you about them? What was your favorite one?

Blogfests encourage a tremendous sense of community, and I love that. The ones I like best are those that involve a writing challenge: the harder, the better. I have had a lot of favorite blogfests down the years, most of them involving the writing of short fiction, and it is hard to mention just one. Of course, I’ll take this opportunity to plug our month-long fiction blogfest, The Rule of Three: all information available on  Wednesday August 31st.    I’ll urge readers to head over to one of our blogs for the guidelines and sign-up! (links will be edited in/provided for all four blog pages as of Wednesday; until then, use the links above to go to individual blogs…Stu)

Now that you’ve published your A to Z book, what is your next “big” project?

I’m working on a novel, and a collection of short stories. I’m looking towards getting them traditionally published. I’m also planning another A to Z collection to publish as an e-book, and am writing several stories that will be published as e-books as well.

If you could have a summit with world leaders, and they HAD to answer your questions, what two or three questions would you want answered most?

I don’t know that there is any use asking our world leaders any questions, because they would only answer in platitudes. But some of the questions would be:

What are you doing today for our environment, so we can pass on a better world to our children?

Can you take the some of the same pay- cuts and suffer the same hardships that you expect your country-people to suffer?

Is there anything else you’d like us to know, or a question/challenge you’d like to give our readers?

Like any writer who has recently published a book of fiction, I’m dying to know what readers think of A to Z Stories of Life and Death…so if the blurb makes them head over to the book and they read it, I would like to ask what they think is good about it, and also point out the parts they think could be better.

Damyanti Asks Three questions for the readers:

  1. What makes you pick up a book?
  2. Do you only buy books from one genre?
  3. What would persuade you to spend your money on a book that does not belong to your favorite genre?

————-

Bio:

About Damyanti:

Damyanti lives more in her head than in this world, adores her husband, and loves her pet fish and plants. She is an established writer for magazines and journals. Her short fiction has been published in the Quarterly Literary Review Singapore, Muse India and in print anthologies by Marshall Cavendish, Monsoon Books, and MPH publications. You can find her at www.amloki.com.

Connect with her online:

Twitter: damyantig

My Blog: http://damyantiwrites.wordpress.com

Email: atozstories at gmail dot com

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And, here is that teaser hint I promised you above. Enjoy!

31 responses »

  1. Pingback: J.C. Martin, Fighter Writer » Meeting the Bloggers Behind the Blogfest

  2. good interview – sorry I missed you on the a-z just never did get around everyone although I tried!!! have downloaded the a-z stories will report back when I have time to read them! WIP is on iys last stages so time limited this week anyway – cheers

  3. What makes you pick up a book?
    It could be the author, the title, the cover or simple nosiness: What’s THIS book?

    Do you only buy books from one genre?
    No. I was in on a used-bookstore-crawl last weekend and I bought a Kinky Friedman comic mystery, a book on castle life in the middle ages, a Puzzle Lady mystery and a book on how to track people down.

    What would persuade you to spend your money on a book that does not belong to your favorite genre?
    If I have the price and the book looks good, that’s all it takes!

    So glad you published the book, Damyanti! I love your writing SO MUCH.

  4. Thanks, Lisa..the feeling is mutual! I agree with you about blogging and reading recommendations…I trust them a fair bit.

    And Stuart, love you for doing these interviews.

    And to Lisa, JC, and Stuart, in case I haven’t said it before, YOU GUYS ROCK!

    If the Rule of Three Blogfest becomes a success, it would be because of all of you.

  5. Glad to get to know you, Damyanti. Would love to know more about your WIP!
    I choose a lot of books simply by word of mouth, which is another thing I like about blogging – you get to know the person, how they view things, their likes and dislikes, and so when they recommend a book I get a good feel for whether it would appeal to me. In a book store, a cover or title will attract me, and then I’ll read the first page and decide.

    Thanks for doing these interviews, Stu.

  6. Nice to visit your blog, Stuart. Damyanti, I’ve had the page open all morning and only now got the opportunity to re-read and comment. I think you’d write an outstanding novel, just based on what I’ve read of your short fiction.

    As to books, I like a striking cover and since I read all over the place, an intriguing storyline would make me buy something out of my normal genre.

    • Thanks for the vote of confidence, Joy….it helps me go back to my WIP with renewed confidence!

      I find it interesting that a striking cover would seal the deal for you…for me, it is the blurb, and the random page I read while browsing :)

  7. What an interesting interview, Damyanti. Your book was excellent.

    What makes me pick up a book at a store? {An intriquing title, a beautiful cover.}

    Do I buy from only one genre? {No, I buy from most of them, fiction and non-fiction. I’m a curious fellow.}

    What would persuade you to spend your money on a book that does not belong to your favorite genre? {A novel twist on an old problem or danger, a beautiful cover that promises mystery or a title that does the same thing.}

    • Ronald, thanks for picking up my book…your books are in my reading pile, and I hope to get to them soon…life has been crazy lately :)

      I like your answer to the third question…and considering I’ve been only reading e-books by folks I know or books from a library for the past few months, it is heartening to know that other readers pick up a book on the same premises that I do !

  8. Pingback: J.C. Martin, Fighter Writer » The Badge: Big Reveal! Plus, Meet Damyanti

  9. I recently connected with Damyanti through her letter-writing challenge . We have since exchanged a few letters and I’ve gotten to know a little about this warm & spontaneous woman . Thanks to Stuart for this great interview – it’s given me the opportunity to get to know Damyanti even better … you are a super-talented writer … and such a modest lady ! :)
    And I can’t wait to read the A-Z stories …
    Stuart , you are also an amazing writer … awesome stuff !

  10. Awesome interview, and so cool to learn more about Damyanti! My answers to her questions:

    1. The author’s name, a compelling book cover, or an intriguing title.
    2. Although I do tend to read mainly within the crime and thriller genre, I also enjoy horror, YA paranormal, fantasy, and the odd literary fiction. Like Damyanti, there are few genres I wouldn’t touch.
    3. A compelling plotline. If I think I’ll like the story, I’ll buy it. The blurb down the back would sell it for me.

  11. Pingback: Stuart Nager Interviews Me at Talespinning | Daily (w)rite

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