In Conversation with Keerthana Venkatesh

Interview with the Author of “Storm beneath the Grey”

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Keerthana Venkatesh has curated the Book “Storm Beneath the Grey”. She has received several awards including the prestigious NE8X Literary Award 2022, India Top 100 Authors 2022 by Foxclues and others. Let us know more about her in this interview.

Q1) How did you understand your calling as an author? What was your first writing experience?

Expression via writing is something that has always come naturally to me for as long as I remember. I enjoyed reading books even as a child and started writing poems, short stories and even small plays when I was probably about 10 or 11 years old. I was also active in theatre and also penned quite a few plays in English and Hindi through high school and college. Over the last few years, I’ve edited multiple books and have also co-authored, as well as guest-authored, several books, before I published my first solo authorship titled Storm Beneath The Grey in 2021.

Many of my writings were published in leading newspapers of the time. If I remember well, some of them were published in The Hindustan Times, Times of India and even Asia Age. But my first big recognition came from the International Society of Poets (Maryland, USA) and from the Poetry Society of India where my poetry was not only awarded, but was also published in their anthologies.

 

Q2) How did you decide the plot for “STORM BENEATH THE GREY”. Give us a short brief about the book . Also attach the link of the book so that the readers can get a  grasp

Storm Beneath The Grey is a collection of five stories where I’ve brought into play five important socio-psychological issues and several other minor ones. These range from the need for acceptance of homosexuality by the family of the person rather than just social acceptance, war of guilt with one’s own self, male infertility, impact of decisions made when ego comes into play in a relationship, choice of food habits and more. These are all topics that everyone is aware of, but do not want to speak about it in the open. And I believe storytelling is one of the most powerful ways to get the message across.

All these stories have limited characters which helped me showcase their emotions and feelings poignantly.

 

Q3) Nowadays a majority of the youth is much more focused on social media rather than reading books. What is your view on this topic ?

I think that’s a misconception. Readers today prefer short and sharp books, and mostly do enjoy reading digital versions because the devices to read them on are handy and also do not require physical storage. As an author myself, I have my preferences for books that I prefer reading in their physical form vis-à-vis those that I prefer reading in the digital form.

 

Q4) You have received so many awards . What kept you inspired ?

Awards are feel-good factors. My true inspiration is the feedback that I receive from my readers. Many of them have reached out to me on social media or during the writing and communication workshops that I conduct, sharing their journey with the book, which is testament to the fact that somewhere what I’ve shared resonates with people at the emotional and intellectual level.

Q5) We know that there is a lot of hardwork that goes behind the launching of books . From preparing the final manuscript to writing the first draft till publishing. Tell us how your experience was and to whom would you dedicate your success in this entire process?

Writing a book requires discipline. I begin by creating an outline to concretise the idea. This is a heavily creative process so I let the thoughts flow as and when they like. Once this is completed, I get down to the core task of writing the book, where I earmark a specific time period to complete it. It is similar to a project schedule. During this period, I have specific work hours that I ensure are free from any disturbance or distraction, including checking emails or answering phone calls.

I also have a core team of people who are my best critics. They read the first draft of the manuscript and provide critical feedback that I take into consideration when fleshing out the final manuscript.

Writing is like any other at form that is nurtured from within. But if one does not have the right support system, then we are practically hitting a dead-end at all turns. If I am to dedicate my success as an author, I would first like to thank my parents for allowing me to be true to myself and giving me the freedom to nurture my talent, my daughters and husband for being a great support during my periods of writing where I go into a hibernation of sorts, my publisher Spark Igniting Minds and especially Capt. Sahana Sundar who runs the publishing house, reviewers of my books and my readers, without whose feedback I wouldn’t be where I am today as an author.

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