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Interview with Partha Sarathy


Silk Threads: Fear of the Heart


He is an Indian LGBTQ+ author who just began his journey. He’s more of a writer than a reader, though he’s now realizing his inner reader. As a recent graduate from a school, he would be the last person to produce a book, but he didn’t like that. He is more focused on the creative side of things, especially trying to do something vastly different.


Q.1 Tell us something about yourself not many people know?

A. I’m an INFJ. It means that I’m part of the 1.5% population that has this personality trait. A quirk that I possess is that I can read people’s emotions and anticipate their emotional response - which doesn’t mean I can do that to myself that well.


Q.2 Do you have any upcoming books?

A. Yes, I’m writing a book called Sounds of Water which focuses on a similar theme. Except, this time it is more personal and focused on one storyline and takes time to build the characters from the inside-out.


Q.3 What spurred you to write this book? Is there a personal story behind it?

A. My main objective was CAS points or something I needed to graduate. However, with the mammoth’s task I brought upon myself, it escalated to a personal project rather than an 'I work for benefits'. I discussed with my friend and we both started to work on the book. I wanted to write a boy-boy romance because it was a sense of escapism that can’t be shown outside.


Q.4 What role does sexuality play in the story?

A. Sexuality in the intimate sense is prevalent in the book. Though there is no sexual tension, the book focuses on the bonds of boys who realize their feelings for each other. It is the building block for the romance in the book.


Q.5 What do you want readers to take away from your book?

A. I wanted the book to be a visual experience. Hence, there is an immense emphasis on the world. But I did get too carried away with the macro-environmental and micro-environmental descriptions of the characters, rather than the usual style of writing. The book tells the readers a story where the place is the story - the environment melts into the character’s actions. Basically, the environment becomes the audience’s visual-perception tools to guide them through the character’s turmoil. This is best seen in the scene after Aaron confesses his feelings to Han - which is the part that I’m the proudest of writing.


Q.6 How do you think LGBTQ representation has improved or expanded in recent years?

A. It has in various ways. First, it started to be acknowledged; then, it starts to become commonplace in discussions and the world around us - especially for straight people; finally, it starts to normalize and loses its speciality as a ‘different’ or ‘unordinary’ trait and will just be seen as a birthmark.


Q.7 What are the most challenging aspects of writing this book?

A. The proper editing, publishing, and marketing. Creativity is good, but practical knowledge about the market and the business-based logical side of book production is also important. It is also the most lacking of all the aspects of the book.


Q.8 How do you select the name of your characters?

A. I have a discussion with many people before I select the name of my characters, especially with my editor. I wanted it to be very generic as these characters could be anyone.


Q.9 If you could change one thing about your novel, what would it be and why?

A. I would actually like to split the novel into a series of three. The first book, the Noah-Liam arc, and the Han-Aiden arc, in order to maximize the symbolic representation in the book.


Q.10 What was one of the most surprising things you learned while writing your book?

A. I wasn’t good in the beginning, but if you read the book, you can see that the language becomes much better at the end. It is because I learned as I wrote the book. I was surprised as to how intuitive this whole process becomes- even with a plan, there are elements that you just have to make up on the spot.


Q.11 Who would you most like to thank for their involvement in your writing career?

A. I would like to thank my editor. He was the one who made me finish the project.


Q.12 Do you believe in writer’s block? If yes, how do you deal with it?

A. No, I believe it is just laziness. Creativity is endless, so there isn’t a reason for it to disappear unless the writer is just not in the mood to write- usually because of distraction or boredom with a seemingly mundane task.


Q.13 Does writing energize you or exhaust you?

A. It doesn’t feel like anything, but the results are satisfying. I feel pride and a sense of achievement after writing.


Q.14 Do you have any unique and quirky writing habits?

A. I used to be bad at descriptive writing. But not anymore, hence, I overuse the world-building and description aspect. I love to set the stage for the next action to perfection. In fact, I’m asking my next editor to add his or her elements into the book in the form of non-world-building aspects.


Q.15 What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?

A. My best accomplishment isn’t making the book itself. But it is in the idea that I did something that is seemingly uncommon. I would say that in the future, I’ll make a comic on this book.


Q.16 How long does it take you to write the first draft?

A. It took me 1.5 years to finish the first draft. But I can finish it in 3 months if I’m not being lazy.


Q.17 What’s your greatest weakness as a writer?

A. Establishing a sense of flow. My English teachers always complain about this. I tend to meander into so many directions I answer the question at hand because I accidentally meandered back into the topic. I believe this is because of my thinking style which loves to make connections and over-think tiny details.


Q.18 Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?

A. I would like to meet Tchaikovsky because I love his music and would love to compose a new album with him - this time with cannons and missiles.


Q.19 What is your favourite book and why?

A. My favourite book is Crazy Rich Asians. It is a phenomenal book, according to me. I think, by far, of all the stories - it establishes a world with not only the physical and social aspects but also the cultural and historical aspects adding a fourth dimension to an already cemented world. It is not the romance that I like - as it is a central theme, but the sheer realism and criticism of the rich-society.


Q.20 Share the experience of your journey so far?

A. My journey has been rough and smooth so far. It may be confusing as I juxtaposed both terms in the same sentence. But it means life has many ups and downs, a simple cliched concept. The same thing applied to this book. I have just graduated from school so I have not even lived a quarter of my life. I have much more to look towards. This is just the beginning. My life has many downturns such as with my academics initially and hobbies. I’m much better now than before in these aspects, but I can still improve. It is something that I always strive for - continual improvement.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 comment:

  1. To be honest very few LGBTQ authors are recognised and celebrated. I had a fresh perspective from his end. Kudos to the interview

    ReplyDelete

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