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Interview with Samah Visaria



Q.1 Tell us a little about yourself? Perhaps something not many people know?
A. I wanted to become a lawyer when I was in school.

Q.2 Do you hide any secrets in your book that only a few people will find?
A. No, but that’s a cool idea. There are references to incidents that may have happened in real life (not necessarily in mine) which some people may detect if they have witnessed them with me.

Q.3 If you could invite one person to dinner, who would it be and what would you cook?
A. Kareena Kapoor and pizza. Haha!

Q.4 What advice do you have for writers?
A. Read.

Q.5 What did you do with your first advance?
A. I didn’t do anything special with it. But with my first salary, I bought gifts for my family members (and was broke again). I’m nice like that.

Q.6 If you could tell your younger writing self-anything, what would it be?
A. Take a course in writing. Read more books, read better books.

Q.7 What are the most important magazines or websites for writers to subscribe to?
A. Ah! Someone should advise me on this. I think writers should spend time on grammar websites like Grammarly. Our grammar is becoming worse day-by-day, and there is a lot of interesting stuff out there to learn.

Q.8 What is the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?
A. Representing how they think about the opposite sex.

Q.9 How do you select the names of your characters?
A. I don’t spend too much time on this. I use names I have heard growing up. Sometimes I take names of friends. For last names, I take more time to see what is popular in a given area, if it seems authentic. 

I have this pet peeve for ‘trendy’ names. These days there are too many Kiaras and Tiaras and Viaans and Riaans. I find it a bit pretentious, but maybe I’m overthinking it.

Q.10 Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
A. I read whatever comes my way. I may make an effort to check out what is being said immediately after the release of a book, but once that phase is over, I don’t go crazy Googleing reviews. And as far as dealing with good/bad reviews is concerned, I don’t. 

Q.11 What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?
A. I grew up watching movies, rather than reading books. Dialogue really impressed me sometimes and proverbs. Proverbs were my first clue that language had power. I also love quotes. My current favorite is Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can by Arthur Ashe. Reading a good quote can really charge me up.

Q.12 What do your fans mean to you?
A. I have fans? Really, Haha! Well, anybody who likes my work motivates me to do more, and do it better.

Q.13 How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
A. I have written three novels, and two short stories that have been published in anthologies. I can’t pick between my babies, but I feel Familiar Strangers was my better work as an author.

Q.14 Do you have any unique and quirky writing habits?
A. I have noticed that whenever I have an interesting thought while writing I automatically get off my seat and start walking. Only when I have captured the idea completely; I sit down again and write it. Walking jogs my creativity.

Q.15 What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
A. Landing a job as a screenwriter.

Q.16 What is the most unethical practice in the publishing industry?
A. One-sided contracts.

Q.17 Who edited your book and how did you select him/her?
A. All my books have different editors, selected and provided by the publishing house, while keeping in mind the genre, language, and audience.

Q.18 Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
A. Arundhati Roy. I want to discuss The God of Small Things with her. It’s such a unique book.

Q.19 What is your favorite book and why?
A. I haven’t read my favorite book yet.

Q.20 Share the experience of your journey so far?
A. It’s been fulfilling so far, and yet I’m very hungry.

Share your social account links -
Facebook - @samahwrites
LinkedIn - Samah Visaria
Instagram - @samahnotshama
Twitter - @SamahV

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