Hello Writer Friends!
A couple of weeks ago, I discovered Sukanya Basu Mallik on Instagram. She is releasing her debut poetry collection on December 13th, and I wanted to interview her to learn more about her journey.
Sukanya Basu Mallik, who recently graduated high school, loves to write poems and short stories. She is a creative writer for many popular journals and magazines in India. She is also a coauthor of seven anthologies. Shades of Life, a poetry collection, is her solo debut.
I asked Sukanya how old she was when she started writing and if she always wanted to be a writer. She explained that she always loved the subject of English Literature and remembers singing nursery rhymes at home when she was five. Sukanya also admits that as long as she can remember writing came naturally to her, but it wasn't until middle school that she realized her potential as a writer. When asked about making writing her full-time career she replied, "I am a student, bookstagrammer, blogger and book reviewer. I also love content writing. I wish to become a full-time writer someday soon."
I asked Sukanya to give us a brief synopsis of her latest book Shades of Life, which is a collection of poems. She replied, "Let us delve into a deeper understanding of ourselves. Let us get uncovered. Let us take a trip to the depth of our inner self. Afterall, how much do you think we know ourselves? Reading Shades of Life will help you discover it all."
I asked Sukanya if she had always written poetry. She said, "Yes, ever since I developed my passion for writing. I later started writing short stories, and I am presently working on a fiction novel. I simply write whatever flows out of my hand naturally." She continues, stating that her favorite part of the writing process is "when things come so naturally that I doubt whether it is ‘me’ who is writing or if it is some miracle. At times, it just naturally flows out of my hands, or rather it directly comes from within, especially when I’m writing nature poems. The ease and the beauty of words simply startle me."
When asked what she considered the hardest part of the writing process she replied, "With poetry and short stories, it is editing, whereas, with novels, it is the first draft."
I asked Sukanya if she had any writing quirks or used a specific writing tool or program. She said, "Nothing materialistic. Something eventful should evoke a creative piece out of me; That’s the only stimuli I need to write. But when I am in the lap of nature, I truly do not need anything but a pen and paper. I joined Camp NaNoWriMo (July 2017) for novel writing. However, I am a little traditional in this case, and I prefer writing my first drafts in a diary or a hardbound notebook."
When asked if any other authors had inspired her she said, "Not really an inspiration, but I have many favorites that I read vigorously. They're kind of a writer-ly schooling for me. In India, we do not really have writing schools as such, and though there are a few options, not many parents are as outgoing and liberal. So, that is one of the many ways in which I teach myself. More importantly, it doesn’t feel like a drudgery, reading books, reviewing them, listening to other writer’s podcasts, following authors on various social media sites, reading newsletters from various literary academies … that sums up my daily dose of entertainment. As far as inspiration is concerned, I have always been self-inspired. I know that I write well, and I shamelessly admit that I’m working hard on my art to keep getting better and better every day."
Sukanya also has advice for writers just starting out on their writing journey stating, "I want them to ask themselves a question. “Why write at all?” Is it purely out of love or passion? If so, stop writing. Switch over to journaling instead."
Sukanya states that she is currently working on a fiction novel and she is halfway done with the first draft. When asked how long it usually takes her to write a book, she replied, "For the initial draft, a poetry collection takes about two months, and a novel takes about half a year. Then there’s self-editing, beta reading, critiques and all that good stuff which takes a month for the poetry collection and about three months for novels."
To wrap up our interview, I asked Sukanya what she was currently reading, and as a fun random question, I asked her who she would like to live like for a day. For the first question, Sukanya replied, "Alchemist." To the latter question, she replied, "Ruskin Bon, he’s an internationally acclaimed author, who genuinely doesn’t care about anything apart from his art."
If you're interested in purchasing Sukanya's book or would like to find out more information about her, you can visit her website at http://sukanyabasumallik.com