Shilpi Chaklanobis hails from Kanpur who has spent most of her adult life in Delhi. Currently heading the Digital Marketing division at an MNC, she is an avid reader and apart from writing, she spends most of her time reading. She has completed her Masters in Botany and Diploma in Software Engineering. Let us know more about her writing.
What inspired you to start writing?
My love affair with books started when I was very young. Reading takes me to an entirely new world of imagination and after wandering through hundreds of new worlds, I started imagining and creating stories of my own. I very strongly believe that everyone has at least one story to tell, and when mine reached to over a dozen, I started writing.
What did you like to read when you were a girl?
The first book that I read was an Amar Chitra Katha (gifted to me by my Grandma). Since then they have been my friends for life. Apart from those, I enjoyed reading Tintin, books/stories written by Enid Blyton, O. Henry, Saki H H Munro, Mark Twain and Premchand when I was a very young.
What is the greatest challenge in writing a book?
The greatest challenge for me to write the book was making the stories interesting as well as relatable. Many of my stories are inspired by real life incidents & characters and it was a big challenge for me to mould them into a tale that can hold the interest of the reader and at the same time do not lose connection with reality.
How much research do you do before writing the book?
Since all the stories in the book revolve around human relationships, it was more of observation and experience than research that helped me churning out the stories. However, I make sure to recheck any facts and figures before quoting them in my writing.
What motivated you to write the book “Panorama”?
There are so many things happening around us which go unnoticed. I have always been fascinated by such moments of life that can be enjoyed to live the life to fullest and this is what motivated me to pen down such moments into stories.
Can you tell us more about your latest book “Panorama”?
PANORAMA is a collection of 15 short stories that are an amalgamation of human emotions and relationships. You will find stories about everyday life that are very relatable and down to earth. Sometime they talk about the unconditional love bestowed by a pet dog on his master and sometimes about truths that shatter your life. Overall the book takes you through a roller coaster journey through life where you get to experience every kind of emotion like selfless and unconditional love, horrifying truths about life, tales about brighter tomorrow and also those that dwell into the pits of the darkest hell.
How did you come up with the idea of writing anthology genre book?
I have always been a great admirer of O. Henry and the way he depicted life with the help of short stories. I am also a keen observer of life. There were so many things that I wanted to say through my writing and it could have been possible only through a collection of short stories.
Who are your favourite authors?
I love reading Jane Austen, O. Henry, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, Julie Klassen and Alice Munro. In Hindi I love to read Gulzar Sahab, Mannu Bhandari, Premchand and Shivani and in Bengali I like Sharat Chandra Chattopadhyay, Rabindranath Tagore, Bimal Mitra, Ashapurna Devi and Satyajit Ray.
How much time do you dedicate to writing on a daily basis?
After a full day at work, writing can be really challenging but I try to devote at least two hours daily. On weekends it may get extended upto 6 to 7 hours.
What words of wisdom would you like to give to aspiring writers?
I myself am a new author and am not sure if I have enough experience to impart wisdom to aspiring authors. However, one thing that I have learnt through the entire process of writing “PANORAMA” is that like any other work, practise and consistency are the mantras to write a book. You need to read a lot to hone your writing skills and at the same time need a whole lot of patience to complete the work without getting distracted or losing hope.