It’s been some time since we had a interview. But needless to say, I have an extremely talented writer with me today.
Let’s welcome Deepika Muthusamy, Blogger, Trekker, and author of Touch of Mist
Welcome to my virtual tete-a-tete.
Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
Oh my god. Thank you so much for such a wonderful introduction. This is my interview after 2 years and I am sure it’s going to be something out of the ordinary.
Well, I am a software techie by professional but over the decades, I tried various hobbies like trekking, sports, dance, yoga, writing, gardening, photography and Short film making. I love to explore new things and spend my weekend with my lovable friends.
About your blog?
It’s a place where I can pour all my emotions, thoughts, my untold crush stories (chuckles). I started blogging with zero knowledge on blogosphere and zero experience in writing. I don’t write for the sake of keeping my blog active. I write only when I feel like writing and only when I get inspiration. My blog is more of my personal stuff, but one could easily relate too. It contains cute short stories, inspiring articles and travelling guide.
When did you recognize the writer in you?
Right from my school days, I had a habit of tracking my day in a journal.
When my friends hand over the slam book during the final days of schools, I scribble, scribble and scribble a lot in the slam book. My friends appreciated and admired my answers. I think my hidden journey for writing began in those 2 incidents, but I never realized.
Sometimes, you need someone who could highlight the hidden talent within you. With the continuous positive comments from my friends, I started believing that I can write something that makes someone to enjoy. I have a bad (or good!?) habit of picking up lot of vocations and hobbies and call off immediately when it doesn’t give me joy. But when it comes to writing, I always felt a sense of satisfaction.
Tell the readers about Touch of Mist?
It was started with just an inspiring article on “Life is to Live”. Loads of positive comments poured in and it pushed me to write a short story based on it. As you said in your Author’s note, after writing the first two chapters someone held your hands and made you to write more and more. My friends made me to write more and more chapters. That’s how a small article blossomed into a novel.
It’s a story about 2 young professional whose relationship starts well but turns sours as they move forward. It has a message that a relationship is full of challenges and a success of any relationship depends on overcoming it. A story one could easily relate to their life.
How did you relate every fights between Reena and Gautam?
(Exclaims) I never came across my romantic soul mate like Gautham whom I can fight and relate with ( Jokes apart. On serious note, when I look back at those fights now, I feel the fights Reena and Gautham are extremely childish and unrealistic. Then by evening, I stumble across my friends who fight with their boyfriend for absolutely silly reasons. Few readers even said, they could easily relate it to their girlfriend.
You had once mentioned about the problems you face as an author. Did they really ask you if you have attempted suicide?
None asked in specific to suicide. But it takes lots of effort to make them understand that Gautham and Reena are only imaginary characters. They feel those chapters of love are the chapters of my life.
You have been actively participating in blogging competitions. Tell us about your awards.
First victory is always encouraging and remembered for ever. My first work was unfortunately recognized for vlog. It was a cash award of fifty thousand rupees for the “My Role Model Video Contest” organized by Gillette in association with BlogAdda. I am damn crazy about my dad and it was a video planned and shot in a day. I strongly feel it’s the true love for my dad, made me to win the contest.
I don’t write targeting the winning prize. But I have no words to explain how encouraging to see my name on the winning list of a contest. To name a few I have won the BlueStone #SoundOfLove contest, Aerial’s is laundry only a woman’s Job Contest, Parachute’s Stress FreeMom Contest, Close up’s Cupid game contest. The story written for Bluestone contest is close to my heart and it feels excited to see the post close to my heart has won an award.
The conversation between Adam and Eve reminded me of the Hum Tum movie. Were you inspired?
Thank you. My first inspiration was from the book “Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus” by John Gray. Second, my crazy friends who act absolutely crack and tease me for my oddities.
I personally feel and have mentioned in my review that you did not utilize your full potential. What do you feel two years after publishing your book?
We human beings never get settled or satisfied. Of course, that’s a wonderful thing. I feel the flash back portion could have been much better and should have concentrated more on editing.
Why didn’t your readers get to see another book?
When its first time we are allowed to do mistakes and learn. None sets an expectation on the debut author. But for the second novel, the expectation will definitely increase. We have a responsibility of fulfilling the readers who took the second novel inspired by the previous novel. As far as it remains as responsibility it’s appreciable. But when it turns to a fear factor, it spoils the creativity.
Sometimes, I feel writing is not my cup of coffee. But whoever I met after a year, their first question is “Tell me about your second novel”
It’s a good thing to realize that people are expecting a second novel from me. But, I feel I need to gain lot of experience in writing before I start my second novel. Yes, soon you will see a second novel.
When did the gravity of suicidal tendency disturb your mind?
I lost my cousin brother to suicide when I was young. He was the only male child to my close families and his lose was unbearable. His mother even after several years could not recover from that incident.
My friends who are damn bold, wealthy, beautiful say they want to kill themselves when they face small problems in life like job loss, love failure. Anger and grief are the main thing that motivated to write an article about life.
How was your publishing experience? Like several authors, did the bitterness of rejection come to you?
I sent my manuscript to one of the popular traditional publisher and luckily it was accepted and the contract was signed. The publisher expected few changes in the story flow and wanted my script to be more commercial. When my answer was no, the contract become void and null. I did not give up hope and started searching publishers. I sent my manuscript to a minimum of 10 publishers, only to receive rejection mail from them. Then Dr. Karunesh Kumar Agrawal was impressed by the book trailer and he decided to publish my manuscript.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Writers invest a lot of time in scripting, editing and scrutinizing the right publishers. By the time, the book reaches the final stage of printing; they almost get exhausted and fail to do enough marketing.
Also, we are not confident enough to promote our own child. When we promote our own book through social media, we chunk ourselves quoting it’s a shameless self-promotion. We restrict ourselves from following up for a book reviews. So only advice would be Invest double the amount of your time and effort in marketing your child.
A major negative I felt was the lack of proofreading. Would you like to say something about it?
I agree to it. I failed to find the right proof reader. There are lot of organization and people out there, whom call themselves as proof readers even when they are not aware to correct the spelling and grammar. On the other hand, professional proofreaders are extremely expensive. Choosing the right proof reader is as important as choosing the right publisher. One of the takeaway from my publishing journey, is to spend little extra time to find a right proof reader.
Where do you see publishing going in the future?
Be it a publishing or any other field, there are hell lot of opportunities in the world than ever before. Lot of people who have good stories gets a chance to publish their script or convert their script to a short film. But it’s sad and discouraging to see that, most of their talented works do not get recognized.
How can readers discover more about you and you work?
Jacket Flap –
Amazon – http://www.amazon.in/Touch-Mist-Deepika-Muthusamy-ebook/dp/B00EI6D626/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1450871461&sr=8-1&keywords=touch+of+mist
YouTube Channel – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWVLSyJeq6p8BrVIusnmmiA