#VVConversation with Sukanya Basu Mallik – Author of ‘Shades of Life’

Sukanya Basu Mallik is a  young author,  just completed her schooling from Auxilium Convent School and is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. She loves to write poems and short stories. Her creative pieces have been published in many popular journals and magazines, like Indian Sahitya Academy bimonthly, Reader’s Digest, The Teenager Today and Liquidity Int poetry Journal. She is a co-author of 8 anthologies till date, including an anthology of “30 best stories” by Future Publishers, and distributors, Kolkata and ‘Divérsé-city youth anthology (Austin International Poetry Festival ). She also won “The best manuscript awards ” at the Mumbai Literature Festival for Nonfiction and short-stories collection categories among many others. ‘Shades of Life’ is her solo debut.  With  such a young mind, she has carved out a way of helping others through her literature by offering the royalties of all her books(including ‘Shades of Life’ for the humanitarian and charitable purpose

Q1) Poetry is a hard genre for a debut author, why did you choose it?

Ans. – Because that’s what I started with. I wrote a poem for a chart work in middle school and realized that I could write. My poems got published in “The Telegraph in schools” when I was in class 8, and then in the Austin Int poetry festival youth anthology, Sahitya Akademi journal etc. So I felt like I should debut with poems.

Q2) “Shades of Life” embarks on the various facets of understanding life through poetic dialogues. What are the key elements that readers will connect to it?

Ans. – I think it’ll differ for every reader, but they’ll surely relate to the poems. So let them find out for themselves 🙂

Q3) Your writing style is free verse encompassed with certain upbeat literary elements. How did you practice/prepare yourself for poetry?

Ans. – Well, I .. I always thought that poetry had to be a certain way… but my editor, beta readers, and critique partners made me realize that it wasn’t the case anymore and that I could experiment. I was really uncomfortable though, but it seems that the entire thing is more appealing in this form. People are loving modern style poetry.

Q4) What was going through your head while drafting down Shades of life?

Ans.- Grandpa’s sudden death

Q5) Why the title -“Shades of Life”?

Ans. – Well, my editor James and I had come up with a few options and then it all summed up to become “Shades of life”. Some keyword marketing research was involved too…

Q6) You are a school student and very young to write your own book? How do you feel this has shaped out to be?

Ans. – Well, I most definitely was a school student while writing it, but it was the second semester of my college when it released after the long wait of about a year.

I am immensely proud of who I am. Writing and getting my debut published was just a part of it. It was just like dipping my toes into the waters before making up my mind to actually swim. I always knew that I wanted to write ever since I was in middle school, backed up by my earlier publications in the Sahitya Akademi Bimonthly Journal, Reader’s Digest, Austin International poetry anthology etc. The only other thing that this book meant to me was a solo body of work, that I wanted to produce for the reader’s to read, judge and critique as complete mine. Just to analyze the pros and cons.

Q7) How does it feel to see your book #1 bestseller stands of Amazon Kindle?

Ans. – I was expecting it, with the kind of promotion that Scribbling Venus had been doing since the past year and team Voice Verso too left no stones unturned since when we were in talks. It definitely felt great, James, Mohak and I were all in touch on the release day. I was in my room for the entire day. I was dancing about as the ranks kept increasing and when it finally hit the #1 mark I was completely on cloud 9. My parents and relatives are all elated and it surely calls for a celebration.

Q8) What advice or tips do you wish to provide to young novelists authors out there, who are embarking upon the journey of their first books, respectively?

Ans. – Well, I can’t really say much because I’m just trying to learn this art myself. What I can say, however, is that writing is a very lonely activity, unlike most other extra-curricular activities. Especially when you’re a student and you know that you’re to earn your own living sometime soon, there’s a lot of pressure externally. So please do not add on to that by lowering your self-image. Internal motivation is the key in this particular field. Your 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 30th and the nth piece might just turn out cranky. But it is not you. You are a good writer. Keep the faith and keep writing. It’ll keep developing. And do not forget to take the medication of reading. It is important for all writers. Especially current bestsellers in your genre(s).

Q9) Poetry community across the globe has very well received your book. What do you think are the key elements that have attracted them most through your writing?

Ans. – Simplicity and the truth that it contains.

Q10) You were able to cover every “shade of life” in a very subtle form. How you approach the succinct elements of your poetry? How did you come about it?

Ans. – Well, there are two types of writer, emotional and technical. I am an emotional writer and I just write when I feel overwhelmed or anxious. then I simply put it aside for a few weeks and then self-edit it. After sometime when I find that I’ve edited it to the best of my possibilities, I just send it across to my critique partners and beta readers. In the case of this book, I had the privilege of getting it edited by James through scribbling Venus, when they took up my manuscript.

Q11) How did you like the overall experience of using Voice Verso?

Ans.- It was nice. Especially because after about a year of being on talks with Scribbling Venus, there was a massive natural calamity that hit Nigeria. As a result, a lot of things went wrong. That’s when Voice Verso came to our rescue. Both James and I adore the team and we’re grateful for your help. Also, I’d like to encourage aspiring writers to not wait but go try it and make your dreams come true today!

We wish to thank Sukanya Basu Mallik for taking out the time for the interview. And, joining the VoiceVerso Author’s family. Here’s to many more books & conversations together.

You can get  Sukanya’s book – ‘Shades of Life’ on Amazon Kindle & you can review the book on Goodreads too.

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