So today I have an author interview with Mr. Mayank Sharma the author of The Princess of a Whorehouse. A novella.
Q: Hello Mr. Mayank, thank you again for Accepting this interview request, would you mind telling us a little something about yourself?
A: Hello, gentleman! I am a creative soul and a techie, who is veiled in a professional world of Boolean logic that inhumanly confines the God’s intricate creation to true or false. Writing is my greatest passion as it allows me to unveil my creativity. I was born and brought up in New Delhi, India. Besides writing, I am passionate about sketching portraits, painting, and making sculptures since childhood.
Q: What genres do you feel comfortable writing Mr. Mayank? What draws you into those specific genres?
A: My debut novella, The Princess of a Whorehouse is a poignant tale of a young girl’s life journey through one of the most ruthless realms of society in which several naïve women and their blameless children are deprived of liberty and freedom to make life choices. The story is based on a coming-of-age genre that makes me feel comfortable. However, I needed to come out of my comfort zone to narrate the story from women’s perspective.
Q: Why did you want to tackle certain societal issues such as Sex Slavery in this book?
A: “Irrational social inequalities make economic growth an undeveloped agenda and literacy an unfinished mission.”
One’s heart sinks on hearing the heinous incidents of crimes against women. The wrongdoing of blaming women when they become victims of grim circumstances exists primarily due to gender inequality. Across various developing countries, the millions of naïve women and girls, like the protagonists in my story are agonized when they become victims of forced prostitution, especially in a nation where adultery is illegal. A million-year-old social stigma further glooms their future. That’s why I chose to pen down my views on the issue.
Q: Can you tell the viewers a little bit about your Book? Which is the Princess of a whorehouse.
A: Three-year-old naïve Aparajita is unaware of a murky spell ahead when her widowed mother, Ramya struggles to find a livelihood in a small town in Jharkhand. Ramya takes a dubious decision to relocate to a strange land, a thousand miles away, looking for greener pastures of life. Ramya’s whole world comes crashing down around her when she reaches the megacity of Delhi, and finds that a hypocrite kinfolk traded her dignity and Aparajita’s destiny for a trifling sum of money.
“The human spirit and self-esteem are compromised when you lay down your arms to the pressures of society in a rat race.”
Trapped in the merciless milieu of one of the largest red-light districts in India, Aparajita faces the repercussions of something she has least control of. A restrained society snubs Aparajita for her social class, under the influence of a centuries-old enigma that still persists in the fifth-largest economy of the world. The fiasco rips her hope and crushes her childhood dream to study as she grows up in the street of ill repute.
“Our fears would disappear when we accept the truth and confront our challenges with integrity.”
Will Aparajita shrug-off her melancholy past in order to break the stereotype? Will she ever pave her way as a bona fide citizen in a prestige-obsessed community?
Q: The story was too fast don’t you think? It ended too fast, did you intended to make it that short?
A: A long narration without any dynamic events is likely to create boredom. The occurrence of actions with vibrant turning points play an important role in gluing the attention of a reader. As this theme was very sensitive, my goal was to tell the story at a fast pace in order to keep readers at the edge of their seats. My ability to consistently maintain curiosity as the story unfolds took precedence over its length.
Q: Can you please tell us what made you want to write The Princess of a Whorehouse?
A: Ironically, there are a handful of cases in real life when the children of sex workers are able to get access to quality education and pursue a dignified career across various South Asian countries. In one such case, I came across a heart-breaking experience of the daughter of a former sex worker. When she was young, her mother was trafficked to Mumbai’s red light district. In a Facebook post, she shared her journey of becoming a theatre artist in Mumbai. She candidly talked about discrimination and hardships she faced throughout her journey. In rapidly developing nations, modernization merely remains a hype unless fundamental rights and human values are fortified largely at grass-roots level. I wrote this novella with the intent to portray a tenacious and an independent girl like my fictional character, Aparajita, who personifies a meritocratic society undoubtedly.
Q: Please give us an Insight to your Main characters. What does these characters do that makes them special?
A: As I mentioned before, writing a debut novel with female protagonists was a mammoth challenge for an amateur male writer like me. However, my willingness to empathize struggles of women in the lurch enabled me to create strong identities of my characters. The story is about out of the ordinary choices of an ordinary girl and her widowed mother, who battle against all the odds. Aparajita, the protagonist, who can be compared to a princess in an abstract sense due to the sanctity of her inner strengths and perseverance. She is as tenacious as a princess in achieving her ambitions by challenging the status quo of society despite being raised in a milieu that is looked upon as a swamp. On the other hand, Ramya is an uneducated mother, who accepts her fate when she is left with no choice. However, she emerges as a strong mother as she wants a good future for her daughter. With Raj’s support, she leaves no stone unturned to escape the swamp in order to give a better life to her daughter.
Q: I was quite impressed with Raj’s character. What was your inspiration behind his character?
A: “One avatar is not enough for a writer, who lives many avatars when his characters come alive in readers’ minds.”
By the way, I am also impressed with his character, just like you! I am often impressed by social workers, who go beyond the call of their duty by helping those who are deprived of civil liberties. I consider social workers as the heroes in real life. Not all men who visit a whorehouse have the same motive of visiting that place. Raj is one of those responsible social workers, who respects women’s dignity, beyond corporeal aspects. He is a responsible citizen, who teaches underprivileged children as he believes that education is the best weapon to battle against the inequality. He is an ideal father, who supports the fact that daughters should grow up as independent individuals by chasing their ambitions.
Q: I kinda like books that tackle societal issues. Do all of your books tackle a certain societal issue like this one?
A: Well, this is my debut novel.
Here’s the picture of the book cover of The Princess of a Whorehouse
Q: The cover is intriguing, can you tell us how it came about?
A: It is a blazing and thought provoking cover that illustrates the gist of the story. A girl confidently gazes at a bright exit from the narrow lanes of a flea market, where various commodities are on sale. From the dark covert of a timeworn fort, two faces of women in anguish stare inquisitively at the girl as she escapes to the brightness.
Q: Who designs your book covers?
A: Keeping in mind my concept, the graphics designer of Notion Press designed this cover. She flawlessly depicted my imagination in Photoshop. I am thankful to her for her diligent effort.
Q: Do you think that the cover plays an important role in the buying process?
A: The cover is the first thing that a potential reader notices. I believe that the cover should be able to depict the storyline and theme in order to set right expectation during the buying process.
Q: While writing your book, specifically The Princess of the Whorehouse did you encounter a “writer’s block”? If so, which part of the book?
A: Encountering a writer’s block is inevitable for a writer, especially when the plot is based on a rural, traditional, or bizarre setting. A writer’s ability to create a perfect blend of local tinges as viewed from a universal perspective in the narration is a major challenge. A story teller in a true sense will always write his story by unleashing imagination with countless innovative ideas. At times, some people say that this story is based on a boring plot. Storytelling is an art of skillfully transforming an imagination into a story with innovative ideas to overcome a writer’s block.
Writing a debut novel with female protagonists was a mammoth challenge for an aspiring writer like me. There were several occasions when I could not visualize feelings of a woman. I wore hats of similar individuals, who resembled closely to my characters. Subsequently, I empathized with their circumstances besides capturing their distinct characteristics, expressions of ages, dialects, and so on. When Aparajita went to Columbia International School, I struggled to imagine the conflict that a girl like her was likely to encounter in that kind of a situation. I had Ugly Betty in my mind, in a serious sense though, when I described Aparajita’s appearance and reactions of people around her.
Q: What are you working on at the moment? Can you tell us what’s it about?
A: Here is an excerpt from my upcoming novel – “I thought the depths of ocean and the outer reaches of space were only two uncharted territories until I discovered the furthest depths of my soul.”
Q: How are you publishing this book? And why? (Indie, Traditional or both)
A: When I began writing on this subject, I was aware that such a book is unlikely to be commercially successful in terms of sales volume. As an aspiring author, it was a tough decision to step into the world of creative writing with a sensitive theme like this one. I chose to self-publish my book as soon as I decided to take the bull by the horns wholeheartedly.
Q: What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?
A: Well, there are pros and cons of both. Self-publishing gives you an opportunity to maintain your originality without worrying too much about what a publisher wants. That being said, marketing remains a challenge as traditional publishers have a deep-rooted presence in the marketplace. In my opinion, reaching out to literary agents is the best option.
Q: When did you become a writer?
A: As a software professional, I have authored a number of articles on technology and processes for various journals, tech forums, and conferences. My journey as a writer expedited in 2014, when one of my articles was featured in a leading software journal published in Florida, USA. I always felt that something was missing in the excursion until I discovered the immense passion to write on matters that often make my heart sink. In due course, writing became my greatest passion when I observed how it can trigger the winds of change.
Q: Do you write everyday? 5 days a week or you just write when you feel like it?
A: After a hectic weekly calendar, I desperately look forward to a rejuvenating weekend, when I can spend time in my writing corner.
Q: while writing a book do you aim a set amount of words or pages per day?
A: I mostly wrote this book in long-haul flights during my international business trips to the US and Europe. Usually, I go with the flow while writing without any specific target.
Q: Where do your Ideas come from?
A: I believe in writing with a sound purpose in mind. Rises and falls of fortune in life can sometimes provide the best inspiration to write. That being said, a writer may not always narrate a story out of personal experiences. Sometimes, noticeable incidents around us can be the best source of ideas.
Q: How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
A: In my phrase book, creativity has no boundaries. Therefore, it is identical to infinity. Creativity no longer remains original when tied by rules and style guides. As a creative writer, empathy is an important behavior that enables me to realize agonies and emotions of my characters. While writing, I am sad when my characters are in grieve. I am glad when my characters are in good times. I succeed when the same emotions are mirrored through my words. It is my pleasure when readers finish reading my story without having stumbled upon the dilemma of putting the book down, whether they liked the story or not.
Q: What is the hardest thing about writing?
A: Choosing a balanced writing style remains a major challenge. One size doesn’t fit all. That’s why, I believe in tailoring my style guide based on situations and scenes so that they come alive in readers’ minds as the story unfolds.
Q: Why do you think other well written books Just Don’t Sell?
A: For an aspiring author, reaching out to target audience is like searching a needle in a haystack. Advertisements and promotions play a vital role in enhancing a book’s visibility amongst target audience. Marketing a major challenge for Indie authors since it is not their forte. There are some bloggers and book promoters that are doing a good job of promoting books written by aspiring authors. That being said, one cannot rule out the supremacy of traditional publishers in marketplace.
Q:What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
A: Success gives a moment to cherish, whilst non-success gives a reason to gauge. Success often follows perseverant efforts taken after non-success. Keep writing from your heart!
Here are the links of Mr. Mayank:
Mayank Sharma is a ‘left-brained’ professional with over twenty years of global experience in leading multinational companies. His interest in writing intensified …
Amazon Author Page: http://a.co/64kqpDD