It was a pleasure interviewing another doctor and an author. Priyanka Naik is a doctor by profession. She runs her private clinic where she practices as general practitioner and consultant diabetologist.
Here is a wonderful note for us:
Hi. Thank you for inviting me over at writerstory.com. I am happy to get a chance to express my thoughts through this wonderful platform.
Our platform is becoming stronger and stronger by such thank you notes by various authors. 🙂
So we let her introduce herself in her own words as she has mentioned great points about her schooling and her life:
I did my schooling in Presentation Convent High school. It was an all girls school run by missionaries, and though it might sound very rigid in terms of discipline and conduct (as is expected from all Convents), I must say that it was from here that we learned how to have ball of a time (by bending the rules and yet not breaking them). Thereafter my higher secondary years proved to be the icing on the cake. Life in SPCC (Smt ParvatiBai Chowgule College) was a breeze…a breath of fresh air. It was here that we learned to combine work and play. We intended to break the stereotype.
And then, just when I started believing that getting by with decent grades wasn’t all that killing, along came Medical School and the sheer terror of it all.
Well, I eventually got the hang of that too. Studying medicine at Goa Medical College was like an acquired taste. You start off by hating the system, having all your utopian ‘Doogie Howser’ expectations crashed, hitting lows you had never dreamt of hitting, and eventually growing stronger. Slowly but surely (you never even realize when) the routine, discipline, and responsibility starts growing on you. Today, I look back fondly at all my alma maters for they are responsible for the person I am today. Education did not ruin me after all. (winks)
‘Twists Of Fate’ is my debut novel. So I guess I have a long way to go as far as my literary journey is concerned. It’s been a good start though. My book has won me the ‘Literary Diva (Best writer-female) Award 2015’ organized by Authors Ink and Inside Stories. As for the future, I am keeping my fingers crossed for the future. (smiles)
What inspired you to start writing?
Well, I’d say life turned out to be the biggest inspiration. I was introduced to books at a very early age. What started as a companionship soon turned into a fascination. Reading sensitized me to the outside world. It not just shaped my own opinions but also made me respect other people’s perspectives. Besides, I was one big chatterbox. So when no one had the time to listen to my incessant yapping, the blank pages of my notebook always did. Then blogging came along, and I realized that there were lots of people all over the world who were actually reading me. They would comment, compliment, criticize, offer feedback, and at times even ignore (if I took my readership for granted). I started receiving encouraging emails from fellow bloggers I did not know, random readers I had never seen nor met. Those who connected with me when present would miss me when absent. The attention and love of so many nameless and faceless entities who knew and loved me only for the words I wrote, motivated me into writing more and better every day.
What did you like to read when you were a girl?
As a child, I would read almost anything I could lay my hands on. I experimented with all kinds of books that kids my age were supposed to read (both Indian and western), classics, poetry, encyclopedias etc. In hindsight, this habit did allow me to filter my preferences. That way I could have a much wider variety to choose from.
I recall reading a lot of Blyton. Gradually, Jane Austen, Lewis Caroll, Emily Bronte became favorites. I have a lot of respect for their work even now. On the flipside, I have enjoyed my share of comics too—Archie, Tintin, Tinkle, Amar Chitra Katha, Asterix, Target, Quest. I read whatever made me happy…sometimes even the back of milk cartons and juice boxes. Yes, I know, I was a curious child. (laughs)
What is the greatest challenge in writing a book?
The biggest challenge I faced was editing my draft until I was one hundred percent satisfied with what I had written. I believe it’s only when you are completely convinced that you have given it your best that you can expect your reader to take you seriously.
How much research do you do before writing the book?
‘Twists Of Fate’ is not that kind of a complicated story that needs extensive research. It is more of an emotional read. However, there were certain points in the story that needed me to visit a few institutes, look up the internet, speak with the right people etc, and all this only made the journey even more interesting.
I have been blogging for twelve odd years now. My readers, friends and family have always been kind with their comments. It is thanks to their constant love and support that I came out with ‘Twists Of Fate’.
As soon as I started on my first draft, I felt the words automatically flowing. That was when I realized that I had a story within me, and it was waiting to be told. I guess that was it…that was motivation enough. Also, I wish to leave behind a legacy that the world will remember me by…a legacy of stories. ‘Twists Of Fate’ is a start in that direction.
Can you tell us more about your latest book “Twists Of Fate”?
‘Twists Of Fate’ is a story of three best friends and their journey from childhood to adulthood. Coming from different cultural and financial backgrounds, they deal with the delights as well as disasters of their teenage years. Then life happens, and the three are forced to part ways without as little as a final goodbye.
Ten years later, a chance meeting, and the three are brought together once again.
What was the reason of the decade long silence?
Each has a lesson to learn from the other…
a story to tell…
a reason to say ‘Sorry’…
and a reason to say ‘Thank you’
Has destiny brought them together to complete the picture?
Will they succeed in finding the missing pieces?
While nostalgia forms the crux of this wonderful reunion, there is someone else who is grappling with memories…or whatever remains of them.
How did you came up with the idea of writing Fiction genre book?
I love reading a good story. As a matter of fact, who doesn’t? Fiction has the ability to mock reality without the need of being too discreet about it. Besides, this genre has always fascinated me with its potential. I love to tread on the fine line between what could or could not be. Fiction gives you a chance to do some tight rope walking—flirt with a rich amalgamation of wild imaginings and contorted realities, and perhaps tie up some loose ends in the best way you can.
A story teller’s job is a very satisfying one. (smiles)
Who are your favourite authors?
This remains the toughest question asked to me till date. I adore the works of Hosseini. I am also a big fan of Gillian Flynn, Jojo Moyes, Vikram Seth. I also admire Neil Gaiman’s style of writing. Each of them have a peculiar style that makes me fall in love with them every time I read their work.
How much time do you dedicate for writing on a daily basis?
Writing can never be a forced activity. There are days when I find myself writing more than five hours at a stretch and still feel I haven’t written enough, and then there are days when I don’t get about writing a single page. It all depends on my frame of mind. Creativity, I have come to realize, is pretty much like madness. It hardly has a pattern to it. Let it run wild and free. That is when it’s usually at its best. (smiles)
What words of wisdom would you like to give to aspiring writers?
When you are writing, don’t worry about reader’s reaction, commercial success, publisher’s approval, word count and other such technicalities. Don’t fret because someone you think you are far better than is churning books nineteen to a dozen. Take every rejection letter as a stepping stone, and try again. Do not compare. Do not compete. Focus on what you believe in. Do what you are meant to do…just write. Write because it makes you happy. The rest will follow on its own.
You can buy her book now: