Who is Radhika Tabrez?
I am, on the most elemental level, a dreamer. A person who is constantly toying with a ‘what if’. A lot of the decisions I have taken in my life stemmed out of my urge to answer that question.
I love engaging with people, interacting with them, observing them and learning from them. But then there are days when I need to shut the world out, and just process all that I have assimilated. On those days you’d find me lazing around in my PJs all day, drinking gallons of coffee, maybe binge watching my favorite movies and shows; but all the while my mind would be trying to plot all that I have collected, into a story.
I cannot live without music. There is no woe, an overdose of Miles Davis and Chet Baker cannot fix, for me. And cake! There must always be cake!
Why do you write?
I write because I know of no other way to dig deeper into my thought process. Writing helps me meditate, philosophize, theorize and more often than not get to an answer I otherwise wouldn’t have.
It helps me then, to communicate all that I understand, with others; it becomes a medium for me to reach out to like-minded individuals. Or perhaps to connect with people who do not think like I do, so as to either influence them or get influenced.
What made you write this book?
Ironically, my motherhood job which seems to be at odds with my writing was the very raison d’etre for this book. When my son was born, for the very first time in my life, I felt so phenomenally overwhelmed with the job it entailed. I knew I wanted to do my best, as does every parent I know, and yet I felt so ill-equipped and under-qualified. I would constantly be second guessing myself, reading up, discussing with other parents and still be freaking out about it. With time, the freaking out passed. But it did leave me with a lingering thought. That, even with the best of one’s intentions and efforts, ‘what if’ a parent takes some decisions about their child which doesn’t exactly pan out the way they’d expect? ‘What if’ a parent unwittingly ends up pushing their child’s life on a trajectory they find very hard to correct? That was a ‘what if’ I just had to explore, and my debut novel In The Light Of Darkness is a result of that.
About the book
This book is a story of a mother and son, estranged due to circumstances which neither of them could foresee nor control. A story of how they find their way back to each other in a rather unique and unexpected way. In a day and age, when either romance or thrillers dominate the bookshelf, I am glad that readers have taken well to this experimental theme and liked it as much as they have.
What do you think the readers will love about this book?
In most of the feedback/reviews that I have been receiving from the readers so far, they seem to like the characters the most. I do not have one main character in this story. If one really pushes me for an answer, I’d have to say there are three main characters. And even the other characters are strong and significant enough in their own way. Readers have also loved how a parent-child relationship has been explored with great depth and honesty.
Do you balance writing with another day job?
I am a mother. Of a four year old boy! Who talks and thinks like a fourteen year old! And I do not believe there is a more challenging job out there. So yes, I try and balance my writing with that. Although writing barely ever wins. So every now and then overdose on coffee and pull a few all-nighters when I really need to finish a story. Most of my debut novel was written like that.
Is there a writing schedule you follow? How do you deal with writer’s block?
As a mother of a kid who always has me on my toes, it is impossible to set or follow a schedule. So I write whenever the opportunity presents itself, no matter what the hours on the clock say. Writer’s block isn’t much of a problem with me because I rarely ever write regularly enough to get one. My work gets interrupted often and for long enough, and a welcome side effect of that is that I get a lot of time to think through on my stories. Hence when I finally sit down on my laptop, I go tappity-tap!
Tell us more about your body of work
My short stories have been published in print in Sankaarak-A Literary Fusion, Defiant Dreams, When They Spoke and Mock,Stock and Quarrel. Apart from these, some have featured in a few online magazines and publications. I have also written a few columns and articles for ThnkMkt Magazine. ‘In The Light Of Darkness’ is my debut novel.
My stories are almost always inspired from things I notice around me and want to explore a particular dimension of.
Radhika’s favourite authors and books
I will be hard-pressed to name a single book which hadn’t had an impact on me and my work. All of them either taught me what to do or what not to do. My favourite authors (just to name a few) are Ayn Rand, Virginia Woolf, Oscar Wilde, Ruskin Bond, Saadat Hasan Manto, Khaled Hosseini.
Author: Radhika Tabrez
Release: August 2016
Genre: Fiction / Contemporary
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