Friday, September 30, 2011

Damyanti Interview!!!

Hi, everyone!!!

 Two things: 1, I've contacted the winner of Glittering Ashes from The Book Rat giveaway. (Huge thanks to Misty for having me!) So hopefully I'll hear from her soon so that I can get the book to her :)

2: Today, I'm lucky enough to have Damyanti on my blog. I interviewed her some great writing questions, and she gave me some great answers! I know you guys will like it, and Damyanti said she'd be around to answer any questions you might have. So comment away! (Her answers are in purple :) )

1. When did you first get bit by the writing bug? Was there a particular work that inspired you to want to write?

For as long as I remember, I've always made up stories in my head. I never had the courage to write them down...I battled low self-esteem for the longest time in my life, and it took me decades before I could give myself permission to write. I started writing seriously about three years ago.

Every writer I've read till date has inspired me to write, it is just that I did not have the courage to work on that inspiration.

2. What made you choose to write short stories? (I know you mentioned doing it for a challenge last April, but I thought it'd be nice to explain it briefly for people unfamiliar with your book)

Again, I would say lack of courage. I was, and still am, afraid of the amount of time and sustained effort needed to write a novel. I'm convinced I don't have it in me, I'm not good enough. (I don't know if it is wise to admit that, but it is the truth.)

It has sometimes taken me an year to write a short story, so I've been terrified of attempting a novel. Other than that, I find that in short stories I can create an entire universe in a few thousand words, and get my point across: the moment of epiphany, or the ironies in our everyday existence, whatever. I'm now working on a novel (two, actually, but the other is dormant right now). But I'm still more comfortable writing short shorts, like in  A to Z stories of Life and Death, or longer short stories, some of which have found publication in print anthologies.

A to Z Stories was born during the A to Z Challenge created by Arlee Bird and supported by a few other awesome writer-bloggers. I wrote 26 short shorts in the 26 days of April 2011, and on the suggestion of a few of the regular readers, I decided to edit/ rewrite them into a book.

3. How do you get down the words? Pen and paper? Word? Specific writing programs?
I'm a big pen-and-paper fan. I start most first drafts that way, then move to Word on my Mac, then back to pen and paper to write through any knots. I'm thinking of getting Scrivener for my novel(s) because I have a feeling it would help me keep track of different things.

4. Do you try to write during a certain time of day? If so, what time? When do you feel the most inspired?

I write in the mornings---I call it my daily practice. But other than that I write pretty much any time of the day I can wrestle my monkey mind into submission long enough for me to write a scene, or a piece of flash fiction.

5. Do you have another project in the works? Is it a short story collection? A novel? What genre does it fit in?
I'm right now working on a literary short story collection for which I plan to seek traditional publication. My novel WIP is a sort of literary mystery thriller. Of course I keep writing pieces of flash fiction, here and there, hoping they will be part of the next A to Z e-book.

6. What is the best writing advice you've ever received?
It was given to me long ago, by my father. He said: write something everyday, even if it is a grocery list. I've never regretted following it.

7. How would you encourage a would-be writer who's scared to get started?
I would say what someone said to me:
1. A first draft does not need to be perfect.
2. You wouldn't know if you can be a writer if you don't write, so go ahead and give it a try.
3. You'll write crap in the beginning, but that's fine because the crap needs to clear out before the good stuff begins.

8. What has been the best part of deciding to self-publish?
Meeting other writers and book-lovers (like you, Kelley!), and becoming friends with them. This book has brought me more love and friendship than all my three years of blogging, and I feel blessed. 

Another aspect has been the learning curve...and considering I decided to e-publish in order to learn what it is all about, I can declare my experiment successful.

9. What has been the hardest part of deciding to self-publish?
The hardest part would have been the formatting. But it wasn't, because my tech-whiz husband stepped in and formatted the book well enough to get it on the Premium list on Smashwords at the first go, and also on Amazon without a hitch.

10. Are you planning to continue to self-publish in the future or try the traditional publishing route? Or both? And why?

I'll try both.

I've been traditionally published before, and see no reason not to try and get publication that way.

Self-publishing would always be e-books for me, because that is a great way to get to know more people, and get my work out there.

I don't understand the obsession writers have with getting published, first and foremost, regardless of their quality of writing.

To me, the most important thing is to keep writing, improve my craft,  and keep submitting for publication. A writer writes, and then hopes for publication: each rejection is a spur to write more and write better. After all, an established writer is no different from an unpublished one (at least in one aspect) : both aspire to write better and reach a bigger audience every day.

Just want to take a minute to thank you, Kelley. It means a lot that you stepped in to interview me, and spent so much time in drafting such detailed questions. I've tried to be as honest and helpful in my answers as I can. Thanks also to each and every reader of this post. If you have comments or questions, I'm here to answer them.

Her Bio:

Writer Bio: Damyanti lives more in her head than in this world, adores her husband, and loves her pet fish and plants. She is an established writer for magazines and journals. Her short fiction has been published in the Quarterly Literary Review Singapore, Muse India and in print anthologies by Marshall Cavendish, Monsoon Books, and MPH publications. Her book, A to Z Stories of Life and Death, is available for download Kindle Smashwords Nook and Diesel.

Her GORGEOUS cover :)

Where to find her:

Twitter: damyantig

 HUGE thanks to Damyanti for taking the time to stop by my blog! I really appreciate it! You guys should definitely check out her book, if only because I love her cover :)

Now, I feel like I haven't gotten a chance to talk to everyone in forever (because it's kind of true), so let me know below how you're doing and what you've been blogging about WHILE you say hi to Damyanti, that is. :)

Now to leave you with a song to write by, "Work Out" by J. Cole, because I get excited when this comes on the radio these days. Do you?

Happy reading and writing, and have an awesome possum weekend!!!


  1. Damyanti, you're a new writer, just like me. I only started writing a few years ago.

    Do you know what, writing short stories scare me more than writing novels. I don't know why...

    How neat to write a book based on a blogging challenge. Maybe I'll do that next year.

    I love Scrivener! I don't think I'd go back to using WORD. I love your advice too, writing everyday is so important.

    Oh, I love mystery thrillers...if you ever need a beta reader... just saying.

    I check out your book.
    Thanks for the interview!

  2. I bought your book, can't wait to read it. For $1.99, who can pass that up!?

  3. Enjoyed the interview. I love short fiction. A to Z sounds like a great book!

  4. Hi Damyanti, I wonder if all writers lack confidence in themselves and their writing. It's certainly something that I've had trouble with too. Your father's advice was brilliant. I also try to write each day.

    I love that the A to Z challenge gave you such a rich collection of writing. Good luck with your short story collection and novel.

  5. Yes, A to Z is a brilliant book! Can't recommend it highly enough!

    Great writing advice in this interview, especially the one about clearing out the crap before the good stuff can come.

    Thank you Kelley for hosting Damyanti.

  6. Outstanding interview. There's some great information here. I especially like the "write everyday" advice. I think it also counts if you "write" inside your head. I can recall when I used to spend a lot of time traveling in my work I used to concoct stories and ideas in my head while I was driving.

    Damyanti is a true inspiration and one of the stars of the A to Z Challenge.

    Tossing It Out

  7. Great interview! I can't write short stories. They're either too short or I have to much to say. And I love it that you started writing in your head and finally decided to take on the challenge. :)

  8. Damyanti, as always it's a pleasure to read your interviews. I understand somewhat a writer's need to be published. For me, I looked at it as a kind of major affirmation. Something that said my writing was good enough that a publisher would buy it.

    Kelley, thanks for hosting. I learned a bit more about Damyanti. Have a great weekend!

  9. Clarissa, thanks for the wonderful comment, and buying my book! Will definitely buzz you for beta-readership once the WIP is ready :)

    Thanks, Kirsten!

    Rosalind, thanks for your wishes. My dad's advice is worth following.

    J.C, Arlee,'re just the kindest friends! Thank you for the votes of confidence :)

    Laila, Glad to know that short stories scare some people ;)

    Kelley, thanks for hosting me and sorry for the delay in replies, haven't been very well. Will mail you :)

  10. Great comments, everyone. I loved reading Damyanti's answers, and it seems y'all did too :)

  11. Wonderful interview, Kelley. Damyanti, good for you for overcoming your fears and doing what you always wanted to do. Writing takes courage and you have plenty of that. :) And I'm like you in that I like writing on paper first. I've always been like that since I was a kid! :)

  12. Great interview, ladies!

    I enjoyed reading about Damyanti. Thanks Kelley!

  13. Thanks Laura. I guess courage begins with being afraid!

    Nas, Thanks, and hope to drop by your blog soon!

  14. "Write something everyday, even if it is a grocery list."

    I like that. Excellent Advice :-)