Musing Mic: An Interview with Shilpi Chaklanobis!

Here we have today, Shilpi Chaklanobis, the author of Panorama

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Let’s start with a traditional question – As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
I am a voracious reader and a book lover since my childhood days. When I was a kid, I wanted to work in a library or a publishing house. The idea was to be surrounded by a galore of books.

Did you have any goals for this book when you wrote it — to get published, or just to finish, or bring up some new topic, etc.?
It is a combination of two options. I wanted to bring up some new ideas and at the same time wanted to get published to bring it in front of the readers.

How did you begin writing? Did you intend to become an author, or do you have a specific reason or reasons for writing each book?
It all started with a blog. Initially I wrote only for my blog and shared my views on various topics. Eventually, the idea of writing a book cropped because there was so much that I wanted to share with the world and it was possible only through a book.

What authors do you like to read? What book or books have had a strong influence on you?
I have always enjoyed reading classics. The list of my favourite authors is very long but to name a few Jane Austen, O Henry, Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay, Rabindranath Tagore and Shivani are my all time favourites. I can name three books that had the strongest influence on me. First is Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier. I just love the settings, characters and the suspense of the book. Second is Dutta by Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay. It’s a sweet love story with very lovable characters and utterly strong depiction of emotions. And the third one is Krishnakali by Shivani. It’s an absolute masterpiece and one of the best Hindi novels I have read. It travails through an emancipated woman’s life, her inner turmoil, thoughts, dreams and continuous quest to find her roots.

If you were to describe your book “Panorama” to someone who has yet to read it, then how would you do it?
I would say PANORAMA is a collection of short stories that takes you through the bittersweet journey of life. The stories explore the spectrum that is part of any human emotions & relationship and are woven around small, unnoticed moments of life. Anyone who is alive will definitely resonate with the stories in the book.

Being successfully published on a self publishing platform, what hurdles did you face in the journey?
When you are self publishing, the whole responsibility is on you at every step. I would not say it is a hurdle, but yes it is a highly tedious job to give the book its final shape. If we talk about the stories, the toughest part was to mould the simple incidents inspired by life into tales that are interesting as well as relatable.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I love reading. So when I am not writing, I am either reading something or spending time with my family.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned while writing your book?
I learnt not one but three things: Patience, patience and patience.

What was your family’s reaction to find their gem engrossed in writing? Any incidents you would like to share with us?
It is my family that inspired me to write this book and get published. I still remember the day when I received the author copies and after a couple of moments found everyone around me holding a copy of PANORAMA and totally engrossed in it. Loved the moment. Very heart warming.

What message would you like to give to the young generation and aspiring writers?
After gaining whatever little experience from my first book, I would like to say to aspiring writers that write from your heart. 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.


Aniruddha B.Pathak

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