All authors secretly dream of inspiring millions around the world with their writing. But ask authors to speak in front of an audience and that dream quickly turns into a nightmare. Alex Kiester’s debut novel “In Her Skin” takes readers down the perilous path from written word to spoken word. The psychological thriller centres around Meggie Meyer, a debut author who can’t face her book tour and hires an actress to impersonate her.
For as long as I can remember, I have been a student of science. I always had questions. I could not shut down my brain from asking ‘when, why, where and what’ each time I learned something new. Scientists often invalidate previously known theories when a new one comes. But I can’t.
Sometimes I read what I wrote a few years ago and feel embarrassed. It’s not necessarily bad – it’s just that my priorities have changed. I look back and am relieved I didn’t publish it. You’ve studied numerous books. What is the trend that you’ve noticed between an author’s earlier works and later works?
“Giving importance to money over art may cause problems. Artists may start feeling insecure and disheartened to see their work not being appreciated after putting so much effort into it. Losing patience makes them act differently. For fame and money they may sell their souls. But those artists who know the power of patience will keep exploring and experimenting till they leave a mark of their own.”
To authors, a book is a precious baby that they’ve nurtured and brought into this world. But giving birth is almost never a solitary process. The editor is the midwife – the one that stands by the author and pushes the writer as they labour through the long hours before the baby is finally born.
“If you trace fairy tales throughout history, you can see how they directly reflect the society in which they were created. For instance, the Brothers Grimm would write multiple versions of the same tales, shifting them for various audiences. Writing these as lessons to children yielded one version for instance, and creating versions for a monarch yielded another.”
“This reminds me of the story of the grieving person who comes to the Buddha to ask for relief. Buddha tells them to go to all the houses in the village and ask for a seed from every household that has never experienced death. The person does so and finds that every single home has experienced what they are experiencing, even if the details are different.”
We writers are searching for that elusive soul who will see us. Truly see us. And no one can understand an author quite like another author. I have a chat with Sanchari Das about how her journey as a book reviewer has shaped her as an author.
Jupiter is a character that displays silent strength. We often think of strength as bravado and toughness. Yet, I believe real strength does not thump its chest to intimidate others. It is born out of compassion for all living beings. Believe me – it is far harder to exercise compassion than it is to gain power through intimidation.
This world has two types of people, one who rule it and the one who serves. It’s not necessary that the one who rules are CEOs, and the one who serves are employees, but the difference lies in the way they see life. The trap lies in never-ending desire, goal, and ambition. These are the things that are responsible for unhappiness among most of us.