Sukhmani identifies herself as a woman of substance and change. She is pursuing her graduation in philosophy from Lady Shri Ram College for Women and has recently published her debut novel ‘The Shadow of the Dark Soul’ in 2015 which is a sincere dedication to Jyoti Singh Pandey( Nirbhaya). She was previously published in ‘We are Not Alone’, an anthology published in association with Mood Indigo in 2014. Her views on the word ‘Freedom’ were a part of Unbound e-magazine in 2015. She also secured the third position in a competition organized by Rising Literia that reflected her views on the topic ‘Freedom Mask’ and were published in e-Fiction India in 2015. She is currently doing internship as a columnist at bunk pages and is working as an assistant editor at e-Fiction India. Let us know more about her writing.
What inspired you to start writing?
‘I have the power of creation ‘This is one thing that inspires me to write. I have the power to make people believe and influence e just by words.
What did you like to read when you were a girl?
I loved reading chi9cken soul for the teenage soul when I was young and later developed an. affection for Paulo Coelho writings. Moreover, I love reading quotes by various authors,
What is the greatest challenge in writing a book?
The greatest challenge author faces while writing on a social issue is a sense of responsibility. One has to be careful while framing the story as the motive is not to bring limelight to the story but come out with a solution for the society.
Further, I guess an author is under the obligation to create characters that normal people can understand and find themselves somewhere in those fictional characters.
How much research do you do before writing the book?
I did do a lot of research before I started writing. I went through various social networking sites and read what people wrote about it. I did surf the internet for some basic facts, but most of all I concentrated on the views of the people. Every person I came across had a different outlook towards things. I was in the middle of nowhere at one point of time. Then I guess I tried to analyze their point of views. This was all before I started writing. The moment I started writing, I guess the research was helpful but my imagination played its role of stepping into the shoes of the various characters in the story and how they would deal with the situations. That’s how it went.
What motivated you to write the book “The Shadow of the Dark Soul”?
Well, there is no particular straightforward answer to it, but there was this person who was randomly chatting about the Nirbhaya case over the dinner table. I remember him saying: ‘It’s better the girl dies because even if she lives, she will never have a future.’ I guess that was the moment when I interrupted him and proved that his perception was pathetic. It was then I wanted to change this sympathetic feeling people had…this whole armchair philosophy thing where they, anyone, just sat and just ended up talking.
Honestly, when I started writing my manuscript, I did not have a title to it and didn’t know how to proceed after the first few pages. The title and the story evolved gradually.
Can you tell us more about your latest book “The Shadow of the Dark Soul”?
The Shadow Of The Dark Soul is the story of Zayesha who is a twenty something journalist working in Delhi. Sensitive and compassionate she is a league apart from her contemporaries, who believe in the mantra of manufacturing or milking news. Cornered by her boss, she fights against time to work on the Nirbhaya case in order to save her job. Synchronicity plays a crucial, life- altering role in her life when a series of events make her question herself. During this phase, Zayesha comes across The Shadow of The Dark Soul, thanks to her next door neighbor. Nothing stays the same afterwards as Zayesha is made to reassess everything. Will she manage to finish her report on the Nirbhaya case on time? How far will she go to step from armchair activism into the realities of life? Will she win in the end? The questions are many, but the answers lie within The Shadow of the Dark Soul.
How did you come up with the idea of writing inspirational fiction genre book?
These days all I come across is chick-literature it’s good to read such books as a pastime but I believe we have really important messages or issues that to be dealt in order to make our society better.
Therefore, I decided to make my debut with a book that tries to deal with an issue and comes up with a solution rather than bragging about it.
Who are your favorite authors?
Paulo Coelho and Rabindranath Tagore
How much time do you dedicate to writing on a daily basis?
Well, like most people I don’t follow a schedule but rather stat writing random stuff anytime of the day. Writing is playful activity that doesn’t deserve a time limit
What words of wisdom would you like to give to aspiring writers?
Just one small thing: do not write to gratify people. Just follow your heart. It doesn’t matter whether it’s going to be a success or a failure. What is important is the fact that you have the power of pen… so, use it for yourself. Just pen down anything…random thoughts, moments or memories. You don’t always need a rhyme scheme to write poetry. I would just say ‘write’, that’s all…no matter what it is and how it is.
You can buy her book now: