A Special Interview with Manaswita Ghosh…


I had the pleasure of connecting with Manaswita back in August 2013 when I was hosting author/writer interviews on this blog. At that time she had a couple of publishing credits and was busy writing new books. Today I am sharing with you her progress as an author but also to introduce her newest book, Solitude Revisited.

solitude revisited 1

About The Book: Solitude Revisited is a collection of short stories. It is a confession, a realization and the musings of a pensive young heart. There are a million stories around us, but few are told. This book is about those invisible souls you encounter everyday, but never care to observe. Sometimes, the eyes need to look further than just what they can fathom, the heart needs to seek an anecdote and the mind needs to frame a memoir for the soul — to survive the vastness reality throws at it. That’s where fiction steps in, presenting an alternative universe for the mind to thrive in, so it may preserve its individuality and brood over its reflections. Thoughts demand to be contemplated and preserved just like history, for they tell infinite stories no sane mind can perceive. Solitude Revisited is all but real; it’s a confidante and a confession, an artist and his muse, a whisper and a madman. Listen to it and you may find yourself, listen to yourself and you may find it.

01

What inspired you to write this book?

It had been my dream to write a good book that people could relate to. I had started writing the stories without thinking of closure. Every time I had an idea or I came across an interesting person, I would start writing a story with them in mind. But I never knew how the stories ended simply because I hadn’t witnessed the end. So it was just a bunch of unfinished stories.

Last year, however, I decided to do something about these projects of mine. I took six months and completed them, all the while looking for a publisher with my proposal. It was seer luck that the manuscript was taken in by StoryMirror (based in India) right after I completed writing it.

02

How did you come up with the title?

Most of my ideas stem from the dreams and nightmares that I have, and some of my thoughts come to me as I am in bed at night, thinking about a million things. I felt Solitude Revisited was apt, because although I am inspired by real people for my characters, the actual story is born when I am alone and lost in my thoughts.

manaswita

About The Author: Manaswita Ghosh is a journalist with The Telegraph Calcutta. She is an optimist who believes each day has beauty in store for those who seek it, no matter how bad a day it is. She loves to observe and pen her thoughts as they occur to her; penning stories has been more of an obsession to her than a casual pastime. Penguin Books India, The British Council, First Step Corp., and Talent Flush Creations have published her in the past. Of every amazing experience this world has to offer her, she is crazy about traveling, reading and fine dining.

03

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? 

Solitude Revisited is all about finding peace in the end, whether in life or death. Peace has been a recurring theme for the book. When I was writing the book, all I could think of was giving closure to every single one of the characters. There’s just one story, Trisha, that doesn’t have closure, but then, it had to be that way.

The underlying message in the book is to find make peace with your heart, mind, others, the situations, or simply, with life. Serenity is the key.

How much of the book is realistic? 

Six out of the ten stories are based on real people, although I have altered the names, places and a few facts here and there. Real stories are always inspired by real people.

Are your characters based on someone you know, or events in your own life? 

Afreen, Joy and Arundhati are based on real people in my life. Their lives made me wonder about the futility of my own, and their courage gave me strength. Those were the kind of stories I wanted to tell, and so I did.

Trisha is a nightmare that I had, the one that still makes me shudder. If there’s anything called Hell, it’s definitely the world I saw in that nightmare.

06

Of the characters you have created or envisioned, which is your favorite & why?

Arundhati and Zora are my favourites. While Zora represents the will to excel and live her dreams, Arundhati successfully fights her inner demons and makes peace with her past.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

I would perhaps add the new stories I wrote after I had submitted the manuscript.

04

What struggles did you have in getting the book published?

Finding a good publisher who will find the book good enough to publish it traditionally. I received a few offers to self-publish the book, but I didn’t like the idea. If the publisher doesn’t believe in the story enough to invest in it, how could me investing in it possibly help? The manuscript was rejected by nine publishers before it finally hit the stores with the tenth. Every rejection only made me more persistent about the next proposal I was sending out.

When designing the cover what image/emotion/feel were you hoping to capture?

The good folks at StoryMirror had been extremely patient with my whims. I rejected more than twenty cover images before my designer sent this to me, and I just loved it! I opened the mail and I just knew this was going on the cover. I loved it how the woman and the sea gave me a sense of bliss, it felt like I was alone on a beach, splashing the waves and lost in my thoughts. It defined Solitude Revisited quite literally.

05

What do you enjoy most about writing?
Writing doesn’t seek for pretense. I can portray my feelings without worrying about anything or anyone. Writing gives me a purpose that is stronger than anything I have felt in my life.

What is your favorite part/chapter of your book/project?
I had to research certain aspects for Sumi with a friend’s help. I like the way I have written the story. Of all the stories, this story required serious effort.

But the best parts of my book, according to me, are the poems I have incorporated as very short tales.

Do you see writing as a career?

Definitely. But I know it’s going to take some time, possibly a few years.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

Everyone dreams a future where their dreams come true, and I am no different. I can tell you that I aspire to be counted among the writers I look up to today, someone known for her strong voice and writing skills.

I do not aim to create extraordinary characters that are beyond conceivable. I want to write about ordinary people living extraordinary stories. That would suffice for a lifetime.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? 

Finding my voice. It always appears to me that I, somehow, speak the voices of the writers I admire. It has been a challenge to write something that would be my style exclusively. Finding a good plot and planning a story isn’t as much a challenge as finding one’s voice is.

How has your writing life changed since we last interviewed you in 2013?

I have worked hard on my writing since then. If anything, I am certain you will find some maturity and depth in what I write now.

After the publication of Solitude Revisited, I find myself much more ambitious about my writing projects in a way I have never felt before. The goals seem attainable now, and I am willing to put any effort they might require.

Here is my review of Solitude Revisited :

A book of short stories that immerses the reader in emotions – love, loss, life, death, bliss and despair. Manaswita has written deep, thoughtful and enlightening stories that capture the emotions of each character, and gives a glimpse of a culture and its beliefs. My personal favorites are ‘Kevin’ and ‘Trisha’ and when you read them you will understand why (my interest in a certain subject).

Reading about a character’s inner thought processes is intriguing, surprising and emotive – I thoroughly recommend this book for anyone who has loved or lost, in short lived!

How has your writing life changed since we last interviewed you in 2013?

I have worked hard on my writing since then. If anything, I am certain you will find some maturity and depth in what I write now.

After the publication of Solitude Revisited, I find myself much more ambitious about my writing projects in a way I have never felt before. The goals seem attainable now, and I am willing to put any effort they might require.

How do we find your books, blog and bio?

Amazon: http://www.amazon.in/Solitude-Revisited-Manaswita-Ghosh/dp/938630547X?tag=googinhydr18418-21&tag=googinkenshoo-21&ascsubtag=d9e51568-a850-41bd-8989-b1f663fbf841

Blog: https://manaswitaghoshwrites.wordpress.com/

If you would like to read Manaswita’s previous interview it is here: https://mandyevebarnett.com/2013/08/22/manaswita-ghosh-interview/

 

2 thoughts on “A Special Interview with Manaswita Ghosh…

  1. Hey Mandy,

    There seems to be something wrong with the link.. can’t see anything

    On 17-Jun-2017 7:59 PM, “Mandy Eve-Barnett’s Official Blog” wrote:

    > [image: Boxbe] This message is eligible > for Automatic Cleanup! (comment-reply@wordpress.com) Add cleanup rule > > | More info > > > mandyevebarnett posted: “I had the pleasure of connecting with Manaswita > back in August 2013 when I was hosting author/writer interviews on this > blog. At that time she had a couple of publishing credits and was busy > writing new books. Today I am sharing with you her progress as a” >

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