Monday, March 10, 2014

Author Interview: Roopa Raveendran Menon: Pyar aur Poetry

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Roopa Menon has been a reporter, editor, recruitment consultant, PR writer, account executive and a media executive. And then, in 2013, she became a published e-book author. Her e-book, Pyar Aur Poetry was published by Indreads and  is available on various channels such as Amazon, Smashwords, Flipkart, Barnes and Noble among others. Currently she lives with her husband in Dubai.


Welcome Roopa!

Your real name and pen name?

Roopa Raveendran Menon. I don’t have a pen name. I write under variations of my official name: Roopa Menon; Roopa Raveendran; Roopa R. Menon etc.

Please share some of the best memories of your childhood

Among my best memories of my childhood are reading Enid Blyton’s Book of Fairies and leaving cups of cream for elves and pixies( it was suggested in the book to do so) and being around all the musty smelling and dog eared books in my grandfather’s library.

About your education

I have a Masters in English Literature from Mumbai University and a post graduate diploma in journalism from ACJ.

What career did you plan during your education days?

I wanted to be a journalist.

What languages you can speak and write?

I can speak, read and write English, Hindi and Malayalam. I understand Marathi. And, oh, I really wish I had paid more attention to my French and German courses that I took in college.

What is your biggest source of inspiration in life?

The everyday unsung heroes in our lives. There is much to learn and emulate from them.

What hurts you most in this world?

Intolerance and atrocities against the weak and powerless.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced? How did you overcome it?

My biggest challenge has been to stop sabotaging my dreams and aspirations with my doubts, fears and apprehensions. It is an ongoing battle but I am working on it.


What is your favorite genre and why?

I am drawn to Gothic fiction-Shelley’s Frankenstein; Bronte’s Wuthering Heights; Edgar Allan Poe’s works; Stoker’s Dracula; Du Maurier’s Rebecca are among my favourites, and more recently I enjoyed reading the works of Kate Morton and Carol Goodman. However, I must add that I love any kind of writing that stimulates and encourages me to think and write.

When did you start writing? What is the purpose of your writing?

I started writing fiction when I was pursuing my Bachelors in English literature from Ramnarain Ruia College. For me, my purpose of my writing is telling stories that I would love to read.

Which of your work has been published so far? Would you like to share a synopsis of your work?

Some of my short stories have been published in magazines, newspapers and magazines such as Femina, Sulekha.com, SAWF.com, Skyline Publications, and Asian Age. In 2013, Toronto-based digital publishing house Indireads published my ebook titled Pyar Aur Poetry. It is a contemporary Indian college romance set in a fictional college in Mumbai. In the words of a discerning reader, “Pyar aur Poetry is a wonderful imaginary world of the anticipation and hesitancy of young love, of tentative self-image, of loyal friends, of popular cliques, college losers, bookworms, contests, winning, losing, relationships with parents, grand parents, and above all the love for good writing. A perfect breezy bedtime read that is sure to make you nostalgic!”


I would like to share one of my favourite snippets in the book – It was great fun writing this part; moreover, I feel it captures the essence of the book.
“I thought we had talked about this? What’s wrong with Indian writing and writers? You know what—that’s the problem with all of us, especially at St Paul’s. We live in this rut of westernized classics and literature so much so that we can relate to a cookie or scone more than we can relate to a bhakarwadi or chakli. As for Indian movies, it’s so cheap, yaar, so trashy. We worship Sylvia Plath and don’t know who the heck Kamala Das is. And we love our Enid Blytons and pooh pooh our Amar Chitra Kathas and Indian folk tales. And then we live in this fake reality after reading Sylvia Plath, especially we, who have not known fear, deprivation, loss…such a ridiculous sham…I can go on and on…”

What are your forthcoming writings?

I am working on the first draft of my full length novel at the moment. It is actually an extension of a short story that I felt I was not quite done with. So, fingers crossed.


What four top most things you take care of while writing a book?

While writing a story, I try to focus on the story and how I can tell it well, creating characters that are relatable. Of course, after a million revisions one hopes that one can get there..

Your dream destination on Earth?

Too many to name one..

Your origin of birth and other countries you have visited/ stayed. What best things you liked in these countries around the globe?

I have lived in different metros of India; namely Cochin, Chennai, Pune, Delhi and Mumbai. I have been living in UAE since 2008. Each of these places is unique with an energy and rhythm of their own. But I will be always be partial to Mumbai because Mumbai simply rocks..

Your favorite time of the day?

Dusk

Your zodiac/ sunsign?

Taurus

Your favorite color and why?

I find white very soothing and calming.

Your favorite book and why?

That’s tough one. It’s hard to name one. Still I would go with The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. It is a book I re read the most and also I am a complete Sylvia Plath addict.



Your favorite food?

masala chai and chaat

Some quickies:
Sun or Moon- Moon
Laughter or Smile- Laughter
Morning or Evening-Evening
Coffee or Tea-Tea
Mountain or Sea-Sea
Long Drive or Short Drive-Long drive
Silence or Conversation-Conversation
Water or Fire-Water
Air or Earth-Air
Tulip or Rose-Rose
Red or Blue-Blue
Left or Right-Left
Glance or Stare-Glance

State your signature line/ tagline/ best quote
“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”

The last line of your autobiography would be...
She continued to do what she loved. And she was happy. (I am a sucker for happily ever after endings J )


Links:

Twitter handle: @roopamenon1

Facebook page:
http://facebook.com/roopa80

Goodreads author page:
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7153306.Roopa_Menon

Amazon link:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00H6Q2WCK


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