Roshani Sinha is a scientist by profession with her main focus area being leukemia research for which she recently completed her doctorate degree from Spain. She is the author of her debut book ‘Snippets: Short Stories’. She goes by her author pen surname of ‘Gash’ which is a fusion of her parents first names Gaurav and Shashi. Let us know more about her writing.
What inspired you to start writing?
Believing I have a voice worth something, I think that ultimately is what it stems from. But, it was only after my sister, Pavitra, first and then my family, my Mom Shashi and my partner Amit, urged me to write that I even considered writing something down and not discarding it. I remember this one weekend with my family, where we decided to do a fun impromptu poetry writing challenge, we each came up with a random word, like a crow or sight or reflection, and formed a poem using that word as a reference. I remember vividly just being able to pour out words onto my book and then stringing them together into verses. The pure joy of creating something and being able to surprise myself by what I have created is unmatched. Soon, I found myself wanting to chase that feeling and so I began writing. I wrote a lot of poetry to begin with and then I slowly delved into stories, and I never want to stop.
What did you like to read when you were a girl?
That’s a tough one because I really was spoilt for choices. Both of my parents are avid readers and we have a mini library at home filled with their collection of books. I liked to pick up pretty much any book that came my way and soak it up. I liked to mix it up, I loved reading sci-fi, adventures, thrillers, drama and even philosophy. I loved getting lost in the worlds authors so craftily created. Never did I think I’d ever be someone to write a book myself, let alone be brave enough to put my content out there into the world for someone else to read. But somethings have a way of working out in a strange way.
What is the greatest challenge in writing a book?
I suppose some challenges that I face, other authors face too. Wondering whether my work is any good or if it is publishable. Then there is the writer’s block, periods where I struggle to find inspiration.
So, there are evident challenges that I think we all face at some point of time or another like these bouts of self-doubt.
But, for me personally, the biggest challenge has been proving to myself that I can finish a book. Setting deadlines and sticking to them. It can get so challenging to do that in creative writing where you rely so much on your mindset and imagination.
How much research do you do before writing the book?
It’s an ongoing process, I do research as and when the need for it arrives. Most times I’m aware of what I want to get across without having to do much research on it. So, the core of the story or book comes from me and then as and when I find myself lacking in information about a detail, I dig deeper. So, it largely depends on what kind of book one is writing. My book Snippets is a collection of short stories that deals with the nuances of relationships, so that is something that I am bringing to the table from my understanding of it. So, for this book, I really did not need to do much research. But, for my novel that I’m currently writing, I do need to keep doing research every now and again when I find myself in unchartered waters. Because, I am playing with a fictional concept that I came up with whilst trying to make it seem plausible with scientific backing, and that really needs a good amount of research to go into it to breathe life into the idea.
What motivated you to write the book “Snippets: Short Stories”?
This book of mine just came together in a matter of months. I only recently started writing these short stories to challenge myself.
I like to work on multiple writing projects in a period, because I then reduce the risk of lacking inspiration or hitting a wall with a project, I can move from one project to the other without really losing much time and I always end up having a new idea when I come back to a story.
As one of my issues was concluding a book, my partner urged me to try writing short stories. At first, it seemed like an impossible feat. I have to say, the idea of it was very daunting but when I did give it a try, I quite enjoyed jumping right into a story and figuring out where I want to leave it.
I chose the title of my published book to be ‘Snippets’ because that is exactly how I wrote them, I wanted each story to be a peek into a character’s life, it could be about one day or a really short period of time of significance.
And, this way the readers could run their imagination wild after reading about a character’s story as well, by pondering over all the possibilities.
Also, I liked that all my short stories had a running theme so I decided to put them altogether into a book of short stories that revolve around relationships because each one is so unique.
I wanted to publish the book to put across some of my interpretations of emotional insights in hopes that it helps people see each other in a new light. Being able to change our perceptions and often our negative characteristics is a challenging but entirely doable thing for us. And, I have tried to highlight the downfalls as well as glories of these characters I’ve written, to ultimately showcase the beauty that exists in mankind, something that should never be forgotten.
Can you tell us more about your latest book “Snippets: Short Stories”?
Moments fused together make a life. Amongst these, some moments define and refine you.
Every individual’s journey is significant and I’ve captured some of these through the emotional evolutions of different characters in my book ‘Snippets’.
In these stories, I have put a spotlight on some of life’s beautiful as well as difficult times, ones of significance.
We all face difficulties in different ways and the way we deal with them alters us, be it in accepting ourselves and sometimes people we love; in finding our way or changing the direction of our journey.
Some of us get lucky in love while the rest of us have a tougher road to tread through to find a lasting one; sometimes this is only possible by breaking out of toxic emotional patterns.
Some things are inevitable like loss, it shatters us in ways that are difficult to comprehend and I really wanted to write about the strength, grace and grandeur of human spirit. Like that moment, when one decides that quitting is not an option, and finds the strength to pick up the broken pieces to keep moving forward, stronger than before.
These are a few of the things I’ve captured in my debut book.
There is so much beauty in mankind that is easily forgotten in cynicism, and I want to give a piece of that glory back to the world by simply shining a light on it through my words.
How did you came up with the idea of writing anthology fiction genre book?
When I started writing, I did a lot of poetry which I still believe is my truest form of expression. I then started writing a fictional novel when my sister encouraged me to try writing a book. But as a debut writer, I wanted to see how my writing is perceived by readers so I challenged myself by writing compact and intense emotional journeys in fewer words through short stories.
Who are your favourite authors?
So growing up, right from my teens I loved exploring all kinds of genres and some of my favourite authors include Jeffrey Archer, Sidney Sheldon, Richard Bach, Kazuo Ishiguro, Mitch Albom, Khalil Gibran, Ayn Rand, Guy de Maupassant, Paulo Coelho, J.K.Rowling, John Grisham, Dan Brown and Agatha Christie. The list is endless because every author has a unique voice and gift of storytelling. Because, they each are a sum of their life experiences which is a treasure in itself. My list of favourite authors is by no means exclusive to seasoned authors, I thoroughly enjoy reading first time authors works too, because of their fresh and intensified take on subjects they choose.
How much time do you dedicate for writing on a daily basis?
Since I am not a full time writer yet, the time I am able to give to my writing varies. I like working on multiple writing projects simultaneously and depending on the work I choose on a given day, I dedicate the respective hours. For instance, when I am working on my novel, it’s hard to keep track of how many hours I spend on it, which also depends on how inspired I am feeling that day. If there is a scene or plot that I already have in mind that I want to pen down then I give it the due time to do it justice.
So there’s no definite schedule that I have as of yet. But, the more time I can find to dedicate to my writing, the more consistent I become.
What words of wisdom would you like to give to aspiring writers?
I don’t know if I am in a position to do that yet, but one thing I can say is that if your passion is writing then give yourself a shot, you owe it to yourself. Finish that book and see your dreams through. You just never know where you reach, the possibilities are always endless in the world of words.
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