Hello Writer Friends!
A couple of weeks ago, Ferishta Ganga and I connected on Twitter. Ferishta recently published her first book, and I wanted to interview her to learn more about her journey.
Ferishta Ganga is a stay at home mom, currently living in France with her husband and two children. The Rebels is her debut novel and she is currently working on the sequel. In her free time, she loves reading and getting lost in stories.
I asked Ferishta how old she was when she began writing and if she always wanted to be a writer. She explained that from her teenage years, she was always good at inventing stories and then telling them to her older sister during their late night talks when they shared a bedroom. It never occurred to her then to sit down and start writing, but because she liked building her ideas so much, she finally took the time about ten years back to put her words and those scenes down on paper - despite still not believing she could finish the story. Ever since then, her passion for writing grew and she didn't want to forget her stories - so she turned it all into her first novel. Ferishta goes on to admit that until 2007, she didn't know she could become a writer because she never thought she had the skills for it. However, today, she still can't believe she's published a novel. Ferishta also says she thinks getting her first book out has pushed her to believe she can be a writer, but she also knows she has so much more to learn. When asked what inspired her to consider making writing her full-time career she replied, "The inspiration came to me when I made it a point to make my little bit of writing become a routine, because I realized how much I was enjoying myself and how much I loved creating stories. I tend to criticize my writing a lot because I want it to be perfect, and that's why it took me all these years to let go and work towards publishing The Rebels."
I asked Ferishta to give us a brief synopsis of her latest book The Rebels. She replied, "My book is called The Rebels and it's about 19 years old Alima who lives with her grandfather. Several months after she has started working as a kindergarten teacher, her Grandfather tells her she's not safe, and that she needs to watch her back because people are spying on her. And so Alima gets to witness that on one of the days when she's heading to work. After noticing the spies around her school, she forces her Grandfather to tell her everything including the story about her missing parents. She listens to her Grandfather tell her why they'll never be free of the spies because they are the Governor's men. But as strong headed as she is, Alima doesn't give in to the fear of their cruel Governor and decides to fight for justice even when he sends his handsome, yet arrogant son in the mission of keeping an eye on the family."
I asked Ferishta if she had always written romance/thriller books. She said, "For this first novel, I was aiming for the romance/thriller genre, yes. Apart from sci-fi, which I don't think I'll ever be able to write, I have no idea which genre my other stories will fall into. I think being a writer we are like nomads discovering different genres, worlds, and stories, and so for this first book of mine, I let the story guide me until I found the ending." She continues, stating that her favorite part of the writing process is "the very beginning of the writing process because I get to plot and create the characters and their world. The starting point of a story is a thrill for me because it's the most fun when my characters come to life, and I get to put them in any situation."
When asked what she considered the hardest part of the writing process Ferishta replied, "I'm terrible at describing a scenery. Although I feel I can just about manage to get through it with very little description, it is still a part of the writing process I know I need to learn a lot more about. I feel it's always hard work to explain and show every picture we as writers want the readers to see and feel something. Then after that comes the editing where I feel I have to clear all the good scenes I don't want to get rid of. But, if I had to choose one, I would say the description is the hardest point of the writing process."
I asked Ferishta if she had any writing quirks or used a specific writing tool or program. She said, "The only habit I think I'd say I have is music. To feel certain scenes I listen to music so I could put myself in the mood, but most of my writing gets done with some quiet time. I'm also very lazy when it comes to using new tools or programs because I'm always scared of not being able to find my work after that. I prefer to stick only to Word as of now, but maybe someday I'll get the courage to test other tools."
When asked if any other authors had inspired her she said, "I love any writer and I believe every book I've read has inspired me with my writing, but I do have three favorite authors today. I recently finished a book by one of them and that author is Karen Lynch. Then, of course, I love Jennifer L. Armentrout books as well. Her books are so good that I can never get enough of her stories. My third favorite author or authors should I say (because they are co-authors) are Abi Ketner and Missy Kalicicki. I loved their debut novel Branded and read the second book in the trilogy Hunted as well. I went through a major book hangover when I finished Branded and could not pick up any other books."
Ferishta also has advice for writers just starting out on their writing journey stating, "My advice would be to keep writing no matter what other people say about writers. If you have a dream, you should realize it, and not let anything stop you from reaching your goals."
I asked Ferishta if she had any other books in the works and she said, "I am currently writing the sequel to The Rebels because I left it on a cliffhanger - so I'm really excited to get it out there. Along with that, I'm thinking of writing a historical fiction, but I haven't planned anything for it as of now apart from the title (Promised - A Sultan's world). As for the genre, I think it could turn towards another romance/thriller. When asked how long it usually takes her to write a book, she replied, "I took a lot of time writing/editing/revising The Rebels because I became obsessive when my sentences were not well written for my readers to understand. Hopefully, it will not take me too long to my future books."
To wrap up our interview, I asked Ferishta what she was currently reading. She replied, "I have just started reading Delirium by Lauren Oliver and Shadows from the Lux series by Jennifer L. Armentrout. Both of which I'm really enjoying."