Here today, I interview Shilpi Chaklanobis, the author of Panorama
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
It all started with the love of reading. I am an avid reader since my childhood and reading takes me to an entirely new world of imagination. Slowly I started imagining and creating stories of my own. I very strongly believe that everyone has at least one story to tell, and when mine reached to over a dozen, I started writing.
How long does it take you to write a book?
After a full day at work, writing can be really challenging. But I try to write at least a few hundred words which may get increased on weekends. PANORAMA took about 10 months from the conceptualizing phase to final release of the book.
What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
I try to devote at least two hours daily to writing. I usually write in night after getting back home from work. On weekends it may get extended upto 6 to 7 hours.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Hmm well, I always ensure to write in a particular font style and size. If somehow it gets altered, I make it a point to set it to my preferred style.
Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
Life. As Mr. Ruskin Bond has said – observe, recollect and reflect. And that is what I try to do.
What do you think makes a good story?
I think a story that dwells into the hearts of the readers and compels them to think for a moment is a good story. There is no set formula for that. You simply need to touch a chord with the readers with your story.
What real-life inspirations did you draw from for the world building within your book?
Many of the stories in the book are actually inspired by real life incidents. “Peanut”, “Wait”, “Destiny”, are all real stories.
What was the hardest part of writing this book?
The hardest part of writing this book was making the stories interesting as well as relatable. As I have mentioned earlier, many of my stories are inspired by real life incidents & characters and it was a big challenge for me to mould them into a tale that can hold the interest of the reader and at the same time do not lose connection with reality.
What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
Though all the stories and characters are very dear to me as all of them are my creation. I love them all but if you ask me for only one story and character then I would say “Peanut”. It is a little closer to my heart as it is a real story and I have seen him and experienced his love for me and my family.
Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?
The most important thing that I have learnt after writing this book is “write from your heart”. Just follow your passion and write things that you truly believe in. Do not pick up a concept that is not YOU and do not try to embellish you writing forcefully with fancy style, flowery language and famous quotes. If it is coming naturally with the flow, go ahead, else do not try too hard to make you work look something that isn’t you.
An interview with and by Banaja Prakashini