Today I welcome author Nupur Chowdhury onto my blog, to do an author interview. Check out her answers to my questions.
Big thanks to Nupur for being today’s guest poster, please make sure to check out her links and details at the end of this post.
Q01 – When did you decide you wanted to become a writer?
When I realized I’d rather fail as a writer than not write.
I’ve dreamt of being a writer for almost as long as I can remember. There was just one thing standing between me and my dream.
Writing is hard. Finishing a novel is even harder. And there was always something more fun to do than putting my butt in the chair and typing. My teenage is littered with unfinished manuscripts for a reason.
Then, I finally managed to finish my first novel in high-school. Voilà! I’d done it! I was officially a writer now.
I was happier than I had ever been before. Until I realized that marketing was even harder than writing. It doesn’t matter who you’re marketing to – agents, publishers, readers. It’s always painfully hard. My first year as a “published writer”, I sold less than 50 copies. A rude reality-check if ever there was one! I thought I’d reached the top of the mountain, only to realize that I’d just crossed the first foothill.
After that, I graduated high school, started college and didn’t write any fiction for the next 3-4 years. Until, in 2017, I started my first “real” 9-5 job and realized…this was it.
This was the rest of my life – sitting in a cubicle and drinking unhealthy amounts of coffee. This was the much-vaunted “real world” we’d supposedly been preparing for all these years. And to tell you the truth, I was kinda disappointed.
Which turned out to be a great thing in hindsight. Because that disappointment is what made me realize that I simply had to write. There was nothing wrong with my life. I’d gotten a degree from a reputed college and had a good job in a field I enjoyed. There was no reason for this constant, simmering sense of dissatisfaction that I was feeling.
And so, in an attempt to stop being unnecessarily miserable and recapture the sense of awe and wonder I’d felt when I first watched Pokémon as a kid, I outlined my second novel, ‘A Flight of Broken Wings’.
Suffice it to say that I’ve been feeling very Ash Ketchum-y ever since! So there’s no looking back, now.
Q02 – Are there any authors who inspire you?
Oh, so many! Brandon Sanderson, V. E. Schwab, and Amitav Ghosh, to name a few.
I’ve also been a huge, life-long fan of Agatha Christie, although I don’t know much about her life other than that she was a nurse in WW1 (which I always thought was absolutely fascinating)!
Q03 – Did you get a lot of support when you told people you wanted to be a writer?
Initially, I just got blank looks. Then, I was assured that it was a phase. Now, I’ve graduated to confused nodding and awkward encouragement!
But honestly? I got as much support as I ever needed. Nobody ever told me not to write. The biggest obstacle in my path as a writer was me.
Once I got over my own destructive perfectionism and procrastination, I was doing just fine. And most importantly, the writing was fun again, which it hadn’t been in what felt like years!
Q04 – Tell us a bit about what you are currently working on?
I recently published my first sci-fi novel titled ‘The Brightest Fell‘.
I’ll start outlining the second book in the Aeriel Chronicles, my urban fantasy/thriller series, in December. I’m hoping to have it finished by mid-2020.
Q05 – How do you stay motivated to write?
By giving myself the freedom to write badly. Excessive perfectionism is the biggest killer of motivation and productivity, at least for me.
If I set out to write the perfect novel, then I’ll feel disappointed and discouraged every time I mess up (which I inevitably will ’cause I’m human). And feeling disappointed and discouraged isn’t very conducive to motivation.
So I set out to write a shitty novel, instead. Then I can feel good about the fact that I wrote anything at all. (And usually, it isn’t as bad as I was expecting it to be).
Later, I can make that shitty draft better through revision. But you can’t revise a blank page, can you?
Q06 – Do you plan your stories or just leap into the writing?
Plan them. Obsessively and with multiple flow charts (and enough caffeine to fill the Pacific Ocean).
Q07 – Do you have a writing routine, if so tell us about it?
Not really. My life at the moment is too unpredictable for a set routine. Every night, I just look at my commitments for the next day and decide if/when I’m going to write.
I try to stick to the plan, but if something comes up that prevents me from doing so, that’s fine too.
Basically, I just take it one day at a time and write whenever the opportunity presents itself.
Q08 – What is the hardest part of the writing process for you?
Revising, for sure. That’s where my perfectionism rears its ugly head again, causing me to agonize over every comma and semi-colon.
My favorite part is the outlining process, ’cause it’s basically just ideation and brainstorming. Drafting is fun too, but it can get a bit tedious sometimes (depending on which scene I’m working on).
Revising is by far the most challenging, as at that point, you’re just moving things around and second-guessing yourself rather than producing new material.
Q09 – What are your thoughts on Self Publishing vs. Traditional Publishing?
Well, traditional publishing is like starting a business with a bunch of investors, while self-publishing is essentially bootstrapping.
The extra monetary help is nice, but then you’re answerable to your investors and don’t have total control of your business.
On the other hand, total control is great until you realize how much you don’t know about this business and how profoundly in over your head you really are.
Either way, it’s hard. So one shouldn’t go into it with the mindset that either of them is the easy way out.
Q10 – What is the best piece of advice you could give to new writers?
Something I just said a minute ago – give yourself the freedom to fail. Because you will, at one stage or the other. You can’t avoid that, not if you plan to stay in this game for any length of time.
The only thing you can control is your own reaction to that failure, and to every failure after that. Do you write the next 500 shitty words, or do you stop?
There really aren’t any wrong answers here, just the answer that makes you happy. Writing has to make you happy if you’re going to do it long-term (’cause it certainly won’t make you rich).
And putting too much pressure on yourself and taking yourself too seriously as a writer is the surest way to kill that happiness you get from writing. Believe me, I learned this the hard way.
Q11 – Are there any authors you would love to meet in person?
Well, the one I’d love to meet the most is unfortunately dead. Do they have book-signing events in the afterlife?
If so, I’m totally getting my tattered copy of Pride and Prejudice autographed (though hopefully, not anytime too soon).
Q12 – Tell us why you love writing?
Because it gives me a socially acceptable excuse to spend hours daydreaming about badass people overcoming weird and angsty situations in the most epic ways possible!
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Nupur Chowdhury is the author of A Flight of Broken Wings and The Brightest Fell. Apart from novels, she enjoys writing poetry, articles, and the occasional short story.
She was four when she started writing. Now, some 20 years later, it’s more an addiction than a hobby.
Nupur likes coffee, street food, fanfiction, and sleep. She dislikes yoghurt, slow internet, unnecessary cliffhangers, and being woken up in the morning.
You can find her on Goodreads and Twitter. And if you can’t, it’s probably because she’s busy sleeping.
The Brightest Fell
When nations are on the brink of war, to be innocent is not enough…
Fifteen years ago, Jehan Fasih designed a drug that could curb the instinct for violence (and rob the taker of their free will). Fifteen minutes ago, someone blew up the metro station to get their hands on his brainchild.
Jehan must make a decision, and time is running out.
Abhijat Shian and his sister, Rito, lost their jobs, and their family’s reputation, over the course of a single week.
The reason? Their father’s trusted protégé, Jehan Fasih, betrayed him and embroiled their family in one of the biggest corruption scandals the country has ever known.
The Shian siblings’ quest for revenge soon turns into a murky web of confusing motives and divided loyalties.
Is Fasih a genius or a madman? Is their father truly innocent or is there a trail of deceit and betrayal within the hallways of their childhood home?
The Brightest Fell is a gripping tale of loyalty, treason, corruption, patriotism, and political intrigue.
This post was written by a guest writer. Please check out their details above.