International Women’s Day is all about celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. Thus, we celebrated this Women’s Day with Sreemoyee Piu Kundu, a writer and a former journalist who shared her thoughts and ideas with us.
1. Tell us about being an author – what made you write? Did you always want to
become an author since childhood?
Sreemoyee: I have always loved writing and was a journalist for over a decade, but being a full time writer was a decision that I took spontaneously after a holiday in Australia, after which I came and quit my job in PR. I never knew then that this would be my path.
2. What’s the earliest memory you have of writing a story?
Sreemoyee: I was in school where my essay won the first prize, I wrote a lot of poetry as well since I was an only child and mostly voiced my aloneness.
3. Please tell our audience about your first book Faraway Music. How did you decide on the topic?
Sreemoyee: My first book, Faraway Music was mostly autobiographical and told the story of a writer coming back to her roots.
4. Your second book was titled Sita’s Curse. It is a rare topic. What was the thought process behind the book?
Sreemoyee: Sita’s Curse was a feminist erotica. And told the story of a 39 year old housewife’s sexual destiny, as she’s set free by her own physicality.
5. What kind of research you had to do for the book?
Sreemoyee: Interviewed a lot of women from conservative households who were largely used to existing as dull, asexual creatures, victims of marital rape and also sexual exploitation by Godmen.
6. Your third book is out for the readers. What do you want to say about this latest book of yours?
Sreemoyee: My third book is titled “You’ve got the wrong girl”. It’s a lad lit, a fun and racy male romance that is a contemporary retelling of Shakuntalam.
7. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Sreemoyee: No 🙂
8. How should a first time author leverage his book to a publisher? And how did you go about doing the same?
Sreemoyee: These days there are literary agents who are the middlemen. I sent my proposal to publishers and was lucky with Hachette.
9. If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor? Which one is your favourite book?
Sreemoyee: I consider Sylvia Plath as my mentor. I have too many, really, it’s hard to pick any one.
10. Would you say that anyone who has a flair for writing can write a book? Is there a large enough audience for Indian writing in English now with so many young Indian authors publishing short stories and novels?
Sreemoyee: I think writing has suddenly become inspirational but the quality has gone down, also there is a clutter and publishers hardly promote books, so a lot of good writing is lost.
11. What’s your take on women authors in the country? How can Indian women empower themselves in a better manner?
Sreemoyee: We should tell the stories we believe in, unfettered.
12. What next? Tell us about your upcoming books.
Sreemoyee: I am currently working on my nonfiction on single women, Status Single.
13. Any quote from the book that is your favourite?
Sreemoyee: ‘Everyone deserves a love story!’ You’ve Got The Wrong Girl!
14. Any message, tips for aspiring authors?
Sreemoyee: Own your voice 🙂