The second author (actually poet) sharing the podium today is – Shalini Samuel.
BNI: Tell us something about yourself and your background.
SS: Southern tip of India, Kanyakumari is my native place. My initial schooling was at KanniMarial English School, a convent and later at St.Tresa’s Matric Higher Secondary School. My love for poetry bloomed, there. Our headmistress Ms. Audry Rodriguez teaches us English now and then. Her lectures instilled poetry in my heart. I did my U.G. and P.G. both in Noorul Islam College of Engineering, Kumaracoil. I never read or wrote poems during my college days. After college I didn’t wish to join a job or pursue something in engineering field. I wanted to choose a different path. I chose blogging and that changed everything in my life.
BNI: What inspired you to write poems?
SS: My mother was the reason for the initial spark. One fine evening she said to me that if I ever write a poem, it will be just like prose. This was a challenge to me and I wanted to prove her wrong. I scribbled a poem and posted it in my blog. This is how my poetry journey started. Thought it started from a friendly and playful tussle, I treasure that day much.
BNI: A 30 word tagline for your book
SS: Each soul visiting the planet Earth goes through unique experiences and discovers the worldly life with its myriad hues. Our thoughts, society and Mother Nature, all play varied roles in offering the glimpses of classy life and cosmic melodrama. From that dramatic platform Singing Soul exquisitely picks vivacious moments for you.
BNI: Who is your intended audience and why should they read your book?
SS: The poems in this book are mainly about Nature and Indian Life. So naturally its stage is India and for people who admire Nature.
BNI: What was the hardest and easiest thing about your latest release?
SS: Hardest thing I faced was choosing which poem to occupy the first page and in what order the poems should be arranged so that it doesn’t make the reader feel bored. Hope I succeeded in it.
Easiest thing was writing a short verse to wish the readers Happy reading. Will share it with you here:
“Let your clear thoughts,
Paint your budding future.
For God will pick and frame it,
To adorn the Walls of Time.”
BNI: Is there a message in your book/novel that you want readers to grasp?
SS: Most of my poems make the reader think. Rather than saying this is the only way I feel a book would do well if it allows the reader to think and find the solution himself. When I see a problem or something that’s wonderful I pen it down but I don’t assert my readers that it’s the end. I wish them to think beyond those words.
BNI: Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
SS: Yeah. When readers talk to me like am part of their family, I feel very happy and blessed to get so much of love and blessings from them. They feel very close when they read certain poems as they would have come across a similar situation. After reading such poems they say that it moved their heart. That makes the poet in me feel very happy and contended.
BNI: Do you write full-time or part-time?
SS: Apart from writing, I edit novels and an e-magazine – Fragrance. Just like writing editing is also my passion. Who will dislike a job which pays you for reading novels!
BNI: Which writers inspire you?
SS: Robert Frost. The Road Not Taken is my favorite poem.
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
BNI: According to you, What is the hardest thing about writing?
SS: Writers Block. A thoughtful mind is authors’ best friend and mostly his only companion. And when his companion refuses to talk to him, he feels disheartened and alone.
BNI: What are your ambitions for your writing career?
SS: I wish someday I would write an epic poem which will live in the hearts of readers for ages.
BNI: What has been the toughest criticism and best compliment to you, as an author?
SS: Toughest criticism: I write a lot about rains. I love rain and I couldn’t stop my hands from penning down a poem once it starts raining. Now I hope am better as I am trying varied themes.
Best Compliment: “You know how to present your thoughts”
Do I? You have to say that.
BNI: What will be your one favourite tip to get through the writer’s block
SS: What I do is I just try to forget about writing and start looking for inspiration from paintings, photographs, movies, reading and chit chat with friends. If nothing works just fall in mother Nature’s lap. She will take care and cure your disease.
BNI: Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?
SS: The biggest challenge was fear of failure. I feared my poems were not good and it will not be loved by my readers. So I ended up reading it again and again. During each reading I played the role of a new reader. I would ask myself how I will feel if this poem had been written by some other author.
BNI: Did you learn anything from writing your book? What was it?
SS: Yes I learnt that God directs us and we are doing nothing. We just think we control our actions.
BNI: Any amusing story about marketing this book, so far
SS: So far I have used Facebook, linked in, google plus and blogs to market my book.
The people I have never known message me to say I loved your book and they eagerly share about my book in their wall. I never expected this kind of promotion. It has helped me a lot.
BNI: How about a snippet from your book that is meant to intrigue and tantalize us?
Do you feel the pain?
When you are chiselled?
Did you become speechless?
Bearing the burdens men gave?
Dear open up your heart
Where you happy,
When I admired you as a statue?
Or you love to stand as a wall
Or sit leisurely as a floor
Dear do you want to be yourself?
A green clad monstrous mountain
Speak now, for your time is less
You are being shattered to pieces
Divide and rule is our mantra
We break you into stones
So that you may stand helpless
Wow I admire your courage
Even then you pierce man’s legs
Oh dear you are so generous
Still you fill holes in buildings
With Rock heart, am calling you Rock
BNI: Do you think book cover an important role in sales?
SS: Yes. First impression is the best impression. But it doesn’t mean you can write anything or just keep blank pages in between the cover.
BNI: According to you, what is the top most advantage / disadvantage of self publishing?
Disadvantage: You won’t know whether your work is ready to published or if it needs more grooming.
Advantage: Your worthy script will reach thousands of people.
BNI: ebook, pdf, mobi, kindle or printed hardcover book, what’s your pick?
SS: Printed hardcover book is my choice. I can read it and share it with friends whenever I wish. Moreover I can flaunt it in my home library.