As part of the featured author Q&A sessions, I am very pleased to announce that the featured author for the current session is Renita D’Silva.
Hi Renita, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background? Hi, Laura. Thank you SO much for hosting me on your wonderful blog. Such a pleasure to be here. I am Renita D’Silva and I write women’s fiction set partly in India and partly in the UK.
What are your ambitions for your writing career? I fell in love with stories when I read my first story book as a child. Growing up, I nursed a secret wish to one day see my name in print. I feel lucky and privileged that this wish of mine has come true. My ambition is to keep on writing as long as my imagination keeps supplying me with stories.
So, what have you written? I have published five women’s fiction books with the fabulous Bookouture, and have also written and published several short stories.
What is your most recent novel? My latest novel is A Mother’s Secret.
Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special? All my books have multiple protagonists, but I would say A Mother’s Secret revolves around Kali, a mad old woman living in a ruined mansion on top of a hill. It is her story of how she got there that is revealed in the course of the book.
What genre are your books? Multicultural women’s fiction – family drama/saga/ historical.
What draws you to this genre? I am fascinated by family relationships, the secrets we keep from those we love, the deep and convoluted bonds of love that can so quickly turn into hate and the desire for revenge and retribution. The tangled web of lies we weave in the course of our lives and relationships, nursing secrets that nestle coiled tight within.
When did you decide to become a writer? I have always composed stories in my head but it was only when my youngest child started nursery that I had time to do something about my dream. I enrolled in an adult education creative writing course and thus began my first tentative foray into writing.
Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured? I write whenever I get a spare minute in the day, but I am constantly mulling over the characters and story in my head as I go about my other chores.
Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day? I do try and set myself a target when I am on deadline. Some days are more productive than others.
Where do your ideas come from? A spark overheard from somewhere, a snippet of a news item on TV, something I read, a comment someone made – anything that makes me think, what if? It will take root in my mind and over time germinate and grow into a story that wants to be told.
Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer to just see where an idea takes you? With ‘Monsoon Memories’, my debut, I didn’t plan. It started off as a story about two sisters and then Reena, an inquisitive eleven year old, clamoured for attention and space to tell her story and it just sort of went on from there. I have written all my other books to deadline, so there is a certain amount of planning involved, although I don’t plan in too much detail and I don’t structure the novel until the end when I have a clear idea of where it is going.
How long on average does it take you to write a book? Roughly a year from conception to completion.
How do you think you’ve evolved creatively? When I wrote the first draft of my first book, my characters were very stiff and rigid: my heroine was perfect with almost no flaws and my baddie had no redeeming characteristics. What I have learned since is to craft characters with shades of grey: they do bad things sometimes but are not necessarily bad. With every book, I learn something new. With every book, I grow a little more as a writer.
Do you read much and if so which writers inspire you? I read widely and variedly. I learn something from every book I read and have a long list of authors I look up to and admire; Harper Lee, Arundhati Roy, Markus Zusak to name a few …
What is your favourite book and why? To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I love the way the author gets inside the child’s head and tells an amazing tale, getting across a powerful message, but never losing sight of the story.
If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why? To Kill A Mockingbird for the same reasons above.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers? Don’t give up. Remember that you only need one person to say yes and it might be the next person you send it to.
How can readers discover more about you and your work?
Facebook: click here
LinkedIn: click here
Pinterest: click here
Amazon Author Page: click here
Goodreads: click here
Thank you very much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to take part in this interview. Thank you so much for hosting me on your wonderful blog.