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Interview with Hema Myer Sood


Q.1 Tell us a little about yourself? Perhaps something not many people know?
A. I always had plans of working in an organization and pursuing a business career. Though I loved Literature; I had never imagined that I would be an author. Business always fascinated me, and thus I studied Commerce.

Q.2 Are we going to read more from you in the near future? Any new project you’re working on?
A. I have just completed a manuscript The Crown of Tijara in September 2018. I signed with a literary agent, Suhail Mathur of Book Bakers Literary agency a fortnight later. It is in the genre of Historical fiction.

Q.3 Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre? If you write more than one, how do you balance them?
A. I feel that the topics to be written are pre-destined, and the topic chooses us and flows into our minds. When those thoughts predominantly linger, and we contemplate upon those thoughts, they gain an enhanced clarity of thought, and finally, we put the pen to paper.
Q.4 What advice do you have for writers?
A. Always write from your heart, and inculcate a deep connection with the work that you are writing upon. It is essential to enjoy the fulfilling experience of writing. Doing research via the Internet is helpful as it opens new avenues, and it is essential to keep an open mind. Read other books for assistance if in doubt, and be careful not to misrepresent true facts.

Q.5 How does your book relate to your spiritual practice or other life paths?
A. Writing has given me an immense wealth of spiritual knowledge and enriched my thought-flow. My first few books were inspired by the wisdom of the Bhagavad Geetha. I read and re-read the slokas of the Bhagavad Geetha and pondered upon the spiritual connotations. As I imbibed its hoary wisdom it enhanced my comprehension of the scriptures. Writing has significantly enhanced my spiritual thought flow. When I write spiritual literature this unerring clarity of thought greatly assists me.

Q.6 If you could tell your younger writing self-anything, what would it be?
A. Read diverse books and enhance your repertoire of knowledge. Spend time in meditation seeking to unfold the knowledge within. Books are born from these reservoirs of knowledge, unconsciously assimilated over lifetimes.

Q.7 What are the most important magazines or websites for writers to subscribe to?
A. No idea.

Q.8 What did you find useful in learning to write? What was the least useful or most destructive?
A. I sit in contemplation and within minutes the words would flow. At that time, I am often unaware of the thoughts that may flow and what I would write about. That experience of the unknown and receiving words to write is truly inexplicable. I often wondered whether it would have helped if I had studied literature and journalism.

The most destructive is an agitated mind and confused thought flow. Then it is advisable to take a break and not to write till calmness pervades.

Q.9 How do you select the names of your characters?
A. I usually choose the first alphabet, and select from the names available online, and always check their meaning. A few names have been among my favorite names for years. 

Q.10 Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
A. Yes, I read all with a positive attitude and specifically ponder upon the critical reviews. I always thank the reviewer if possible and feel that good and bad are sides of a coin. Everyone’s opinion and ideas vary according to their personal ideologies and mental outlook.

Q.11 Does your family support your career as a writer?
A. Yes, my husband Sandeep has unconditionally supported my books. My parents have financed all the books that I have self-published.

My elder son - Anish has given me dynamic ideas that were relevant in today’s social networking. He also assisted me with the cover design and computer-related technical issues. He has always encouraged me with innumerable suggestions.

Q.12 What do you think is the future of reading/writing?
A. Reading is one of the important assets to enhance your repertoire of knowledge. Reading invigorates your imagination as you vividly imagine what you are reading. While watching TV/ Movies etc. you are passively watching the same story, without mentally creating it. Your creative powers enhance when you visualize a scene instead of watching it. There is a great future for writing as readers are multiplying across the globe.

Q.13 How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
A. Six books have been published and the seventh manuscript will be published in 2019. There are two books that are ready to publish. Every book has a special place in my heart and has been an integral part of my growth and learning experience.

Q.14 Do you have any unique and quirky writing habits?
A. I feel the need to write every day even if it is for half an hour. Else I consider it as a day wasted in my life. However, when I have familial responsibilities or traveling I do take breaks accordingly.

Q.15 What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
A. I put my best into each book, and have tremendously benefited by the diverse experiences of writing each book. The manuscript that I am currently writing about the Atlantis and Dwarka civilizations has completed inner inexplicable yearnings of my soul.

Q.16 What is the most unethical practice in the publishing industry?
A.  An unethical practice is plagiarism that adversely affects the morale of writers.

Q.17 Who edited your book and how did you select him/her?
A. The first three books were edited by the publisher’s in-house editor. The fourth, fifth, and sixth book were edited by Mr. Manohar Shetty, and he was selected by a publisher from Panjim who was initially going to publish these books. Eventually, I chose to self-publish the fourth, fifth, and sixth books.

The seventh book The Crown of Tijara was edited by Ms. Vrinda Balliga. I read a book on Kindle – Abhaya and it was in a similar genre of mythology interwoven with historical fiction. I connected to her and was very happy with her editing and guidance.

Later I signed up with a literary agency The Book Bakers for The Crown of Tijara. They have edited it and submitted it to the publishers.

Q.18 Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
A. Edgar Cayce – a famous psychic who lived in the US (1877 -1945). I would like to receive a hearing from him about our past lives that are intricately interwoven by past karma and form the blueprint of our present life.

Q.19 What is your favorite book and why?
A. The Prophet by Khalil Gibran. He has written about the lifestyles to be followed by society about a century ago, and it is relevant to modern society even today. The words are not only valid today, but also touch a chord in your heart.

Q.20 Share the experience of your journey so far?
A. Writing has helped me unravel hidden aspects of my personality and invariably whenever I write about it, I attain a higher clarity. I have experienced that many thoughts emerge from past life experiences. Sometimes a small link on the Internet can lead to a vast arena of information that enlightens you as you discover hidden aspects of yourself.

2 comments:

  1. Fantastic Hema. So very delighted to read this interview! Looking forward to buying a copy of your book

    ReplyDelete
  2. Super interview and the book seems really interesting. Looking forward to reading it.

    ReplyDelete

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