Tell us something about yourself and your book
I am a Corporate Communications & a PR Professional and work in the member company of a Japanese MNC in India. While my profession has certainly served an inspiration to work on writing the book, I think it’s the individual view of every author that ably tweaks the real life to create a story.
While the first character has glimpses and shades of parts of my life, I have placed the readers on an edge between fiction and reality.
Northern Spring is a celebration of womanhood in its truest sense.
Evangeline McCarthy aka Eva is exactly like your next-door simple woman who has a hard time trusting people due to her past experiences. While the core of these issues is a failed relationship, the optimism and ability of a woman to make choices even in challenging times is shown through Eva. Every female reader will relate to the circumstances mentioned therewith at some point of time in life or the other.
Eva is incidentally the first protagonist of ‘At the Crossroads’ series. The trend in women’s writing for a series with a strong female protagonist is reversed as Eva binds the series together, and while her individual life story is in Northern Spring, she’ll continue to be a driving force in the remainder of the series.
Why did you decide to write this book?
I hit the hardest patch in my life in 2011- that of a broken relationship. While I was always content with my life, I was never really happy. So I wondered if it was only me or did this nagging thought process also penetrate minds of others? Thus, I embarked on the quest of finding the truth, more on the origin of happiness. The nosy writer in me awakened with each passing day.
Originally I had planned just one book; however, the insight given by more than three hundred folks across the globe made me realize that the storyline would be too complex if too many ideas crop up in one. Thus, I began to sketch an overview of characters in the series and ended up with having a massive character sketch. The plotting of the series itself took a span of three years.
What was your thought process behind writing this story?
I have always loved philosophy and been inspired by objectivity. Many books have been written about self-motivation and law of attraction and so on focussing on how to achieve what one wants in his/her life. In reality. however, human wants can never be completely satiated. Each person faces roadblocks in their life in various areas, personal, professional etc.
I have believed that we forget the most essential things running behind our endless aspirations. While the voice of the fair sex has always been ignored in the real world, very few realize that actually she is the one running the world. This wisdom, when utilised in the right direction, can transform the world and can also create a havoc otherwise.
While a lot of us speak about women empowerment, not many have the courage to actually act in that direction.
Northern spring celebrates the attributes of Balance, Patience and Courage. It’s about a woman who makes her Choices and accepts failure and successes gracefully. It’s about accepting changes and adapting to them.
– Northern Spring is part one of the series. How many more books are in this series? Do you have a specific plan for each of the books, or would you plan each one independently?
There are three more in the series. Yes, there is a specific plan for each of the books. They are interconnected and yet can be read independently as well. Each book will have its own set of female and male protagonists as well as side characters.
– We hardly see a romance novel with an independent female protagonist, with other interests as well. How did the inspiration for writing about Evangeline come to you?
That’s a great question. I see a shade of Evangeline in every other woman I meet in my daily course of life. I have met women of eclectic interests personally and have seen some struggling, while some triumphing as they deal with their own demons.
Evangeline is a unique character. More of an introverted- extrovert. Her thoughts are more intrinsic in nature, while her actions are unpredictable as they are driven by her conscious. Being an artist, her soul is that of a thinker and in the multitude of tasks that she accomplishes she is always herself.
– Any words of advice for other authors who are thinking of penning down a book?
Do it. Don’t think of what if’s or what will happen. The most important fact is to begin somewhere, start collecting facts if it is fact-based, research if you need additional information, start tapping sources that’ll feed your writing. I would, of course, recommend you all to read more on the subject you want to write on.
– Are you a reader? Which are your favourite books?
Yes I am. I have a collection of about three to four hundred books on diverse topics ranging from music to philosophy, science to literature in English as well as some of the native Indian languages.
My all time favourite authors include Ayn Rand, Shakespeare, Kalidas, Ernest Hemingway, Paulo Coelho, Barbara Taylor Bradford, Rabindranath Tagore, Ruskin Bond, Jane Austen and Bronte Sisters. Book names Atlas Shrugged, Fountainhead, Shakuntalam, King Lear and Sonnets, A Farewell to Arms, The Old man and the Sea, Pride and Prejudice, Geetanjali… phew this list is endless.
– How can the readers connect with you?
Here are the coordinates
(This interview was first published here)
Published by Dhwani Swadia