QUESTIONNAIRE – For Author By Aakhila at Criticspace Journals
Akhila: I would like to begin by congratulating you on the publication of “Marigold- the Golden Memories”. How has the response to the book been so far?
Manali Debroy: Thank you Akhila for having me for a candid talk. The response has so far been great. I am overwhelmed by the reviews on how the readers’ connection to the stories have been uncanny. It is a surreal feeling for me to be able to bring out that bond through my writing.
Akhila: What led to the idea of writing about multiple issues in a short story format? Were there any events that inspired the work?
Manali Debroy: The simple idea behind writing a collection of short stories was to bring out the amalgam of emotions. There is a significant realization when considering all the angles than just one part. Emotions are no different. The retrospection is much more vivid and lasting when you re-live the emotions altogether.
Every event around me, each memory and every single person that I know of have inspired this book.
Akhila : You have a poetry collection named “Twists and Turns of Life: As it Surprises You. Please share a little about it with the readers.
Manali Debroy: Well, that was my naïve effort to bring out a collection of all my poems since my teenage years when I started writing poems. The poems there reflect majorly the inner turmoil towards different aspects of life.
Akhila : What are your views about present-day writing? Do you think it does complete justice to the different classes and social groups of society?
Manali Debroy: Writing goes as back as history of Egyptian tablets – the power of words started from then – reverberates till now. I think it is one of the biggest foundations of civilization from the years of yore and continues to be the same. The only difference I feel can be felt is the idea of globalization that has infiltrated in writing. Writing is very much based on cultural ideologies, but the writers can be now from anywhere depicting these and more. Other than that, the communicative power of writing remains the same. It can influence positively, while it can even burn a kingdom to ashes. That is the effect of writing on people – then and now – the setting changes not the base.
Akhila : Are there any authors that you enjoy reading or any books which are your favorites?
Manali Debroy: I read diverse books – fiction and non-fiction – where I enjoy reading genres like history, evolution, science, strategic revolutions, then poetry, short stories, mysteries and even romantic novels. I do not have really a favorite author, per se. But amongst those whom I have loved reading are Jane Austen, Agatha Christie, Jeal Paul Sartre, Yuval Noah Harari, Rabindra Nath Tagore, Stephenie Meyer, Einstein, Stephen Hawking, Steven Kotler. Whoops! The list will go long.
Akhila: Is the short story a more comfortable genre for you or poetry?
Manali Debroy: Everything is challenging. Weaving words into stories or poetry is not everyone’s cup of tea. Three-fourth of the time it is excruciating, but the ecstasy derived after you write something is purely innate, satiable to the core and immensely powerful. There is no genre that I am generally sticking to when I write. I am writing short stories today, but tomorrow I can delve into novel. I write as I thinketh.
Akhila: Your writing has given a powerful introduction to your potential as a writer. Can the readers expect more from you in the future? Please share about your future projects.
Manali Debroy: Thank you very much for your kind words. I definitely want to keep on writing, though it may not be one book per year, but it definitely will be some books in my lifetime (if that makes sense 😊. I am working on my solo romantic novel project as well as I am working on a poetry book project with a fellow author. The poetry book might be released first. That book will be a flavor of women narratives in terms of poetry and prose. Hope the readers enjoy that.
Akhila : What is the story behind the title of your work, “Marigold- the Golden Memories”?
Manali Debroy: Marigold – The Golden Memories, is not just a random book title that was thought of at the last minute. Every story in the book reflects the vulnerability yet the strength behind human emotions. The flower Marigold is a ceremonious symbol and a cherished flower that depicts happiness, freshness, beginnings. Simply put, it soothes our soul, bringing a sense of calmness. Humans are a rare race who can remember the past, bottling them in as memories and inhaling the essence whenever they reminisce. That is what the title of the book conveys. The book is a medium for readers to reminisce their fondest or unforgettable memories.
Akhila: In the introduction, you have given an interesting analogy of a short story and novel being a class and a graduation course. How did this idea strike you?
Manali Debroy: I think that is from my own experience of reading. It is surreal to be a reader and then delve into writing books. When you read a novel, you are hooked to the few characters, and it is impossible to unhook yourself till you get to the end. And, that is a long journey, since it is one story stretched like a lifetime (essential to be a novel). In contrast, short stories are like many novels compressed in one book with different characters in each story. So, you can finish one story – in a short time than one novel – take your break and delve into another when you want. Hence the analogy of classroom lecture and a graduation course.
Akhila: Which story for you is the most relatable at a personal level in “Marigold- the Golden Memories”?
Manali Debroy: Undoubtedly, ‘Happily ever after’. It is a story inspired by the grandparents’ lives and every time I read the story; I feel their presence. That kind of love is rare to find, let experience it alone.
Akhila: If you were to describe your book in a few words without giving any spoilers, what would those words be?
Manali Debroy: Shed your inhibitions and be prepared to take a bold walk down your memory lane. You will be surprised to experience the emotions that will lead to self-retrospection!
Akhila: What advice would you give to budding writers who may be planning to write in the same genre as “Marigold- the Golden Memories”?
Manali Debroy: When you write something, it should be straight out of you – raw and innate – that is how a reader can connect with you. Born out of a diplomatic perspective is never enjoyed by any reader. Rather a reflection of you and your perspective, is what connects with the readers more. So, write from your soul and build a story telling habit. Because everyone enjoys stories, only you need to be skilled at forming one.
Akhila : Thank you very much for sparing your time. I look forward to reading more books from you in the future. All the best.
Manali Debroy: It was my absolute pleasure. Thank you so much for your wishes. All the best for your future endeavors as well.