Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.
Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?
Hello Fiona. Hello World. I am Anoucheka Gangabissoon. You can call me Anoucheka simply 😊 I am 34.
Fiona: Where are you from?
I am from a little island in the Indian Ocean, called Mauritius.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I was born in Mauritius itself. I live with my mother and my two brothers. I have a Hons Degree in English and I am currently a Primary School Educator. My mother is the one to have inculcated this love for writing and reading in me since I was a young child. Today, still, she encourages me in my writing career.
I am single and childless. I guess I have simply not found love yet though I do write a lot about it in my poetry.
Actually I write poetry and short stories as hobby. I consider writing to be the meaning of my life as I have always been influenced by all the great writers and wish to be, like them, immortalized in her words. My works can be read on poetrysoup.com and she had also appeared in various literary magazines like SETU, Different Truths, Dissident Voice, In Between Hangovers Press, WISH Press, Tuck’s Magazine, Blue Mountain Review, among others. I have also been published in Duane’s Poetree and also in two anthologies for the Immagine and Poesia group. My poems are often placed in free online contests
The mother tongue of my country is Creole language known locally as the KreolMorisien. French is the second language while English is its official language. However, I find it easier to write in English. I can’t write in Creole or in French as it is. Since I was a child, I always opted for English books and when I started writing, the natural flow was in English itself.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
Other than having been published in various online blogs and literary magazines, I have three collections of poems to my name.
The first is “ Awakened Fancies,” available on Amazon. My first collection of poems, that which I spewed out when the storm raged and that which made me a poet.
My second collection is called “Scattered Dandelions” was published this year in Mauritius. The poems therein are more philosophical and spiritual and it is available only in Mauritius.
My third collection is called “A Poet’s Secrets” and has been published by Scarlet Leaf Publishing. It is also available on both Amazon Kindle and paperback ordering.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I started writing in 2011, quite late actually because I always wanted to be a writer. Ever since I was a child actually.
It all started when a friend of mine, with whom I was acquainted for a short while, started posting her poems in French on Facebook. I appreciated these much and I told her about it. She encouraged me to write, since I was going through a storm, and I started doing so. Since then, writing has been a part me, it accompanies me and frees me.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I published my first poem on Poetrysoup, a social network site for poets, and I got positive feedback about it.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I get so much pleasure from reading books. My first collection of poems has, as theme, the concept of eternal love, two souls, meant to be with each other, who always end up together in each of their lives. In Awakened Fancies, the woman soul has not yet met her counterpart and seeks him out with passion and intensity.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
I told myself at that time, that I was going through an awakening, and the poems written therein are fanciful thoughts in that state of awakening, hence, Awakened Fancies.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I write with a flow, and fluidly, propelled by my emotions. I do not have a specific writing style, it all comes out naturally and impulsively. Though I do have to re-write and check the grammar and spelling and verb tenses. The most challenging thing for me is the verb tenses. I may start with the past tense but I may switch to the present tense in the middle and this is not coherent.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
The book is half realistic and half imaginary. I did imagine the contents of the poems based on the theme of eternal love and two souls meeting each other. So I tried to imagine what the woman soul would feel like. But some are based on my own emotions when I was suffering and agonizing as I told myself this is exactly what ‘she’ would feel too.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
No, I don’t travel for writing. Though I do watch raging waves on the south coast of Mauritius or I listen to instrumental music.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Graphic designers attached to the publishing houses.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Not really. Each poetry book is unique in its own way and has its own originality. Basically, they all celebrate love; in a mystical and philosophical way. Deep as well and eternal.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?
I really like the works of Paulo Coelho. The language is simple and the contents are uplifting.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
In my country, the Ministry of Arts and Culture, more specially its writing cell, that is the President’s Fund for Creative Writing, supported me constantly by giving me sponsoring.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Unfortunately, in Mauritius, no. Writing cannot be a career. The amount of money which is invested in making a book is not returned to you.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No, my poems are what emanated from me. They are a representation of my difference and uniqueness and they make me who I am.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
I learnt to let go of that which is not meant for you. However you try to fight for these to stay in your life, they shall go away. Best it is to celebrate of life as it as and accept with open palms that which it bestows upon you.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Poetry books cannot be made into films unfortunately 😊
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Write, write and write. Write everyday and re-write if need be. Do not be ashamed of your writings. Write and be proud of it. Your writings are your soul revealed.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
I thank you for reading and appreciating. It means a lot to me.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Robin Sharma, ‘The Secret Letters of the Monk who Sold his Ferrari.”
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
I don’t remember the title, it was a story about two birds fleeing their famine ridden country and helping a tortoise by having him clamp his mouth onto a piece of stick. The tortoise was warned against talking as the bird would fly with him. Unfortunately, he opened his mouth and talked. And died.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Spending time with my loved ones and my friends, and living hilarious moments make me laugh. Talking about the ‘me’ I was as a teenager also makes me laugh. I can cry when I see suffering and injustice.
I often cry when I think of Death’s rule over all of us.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
I would like to meet Stephen King.
I am a great fan of his😊
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Taking care of my dog, Fluffy and making sure my roses bloom.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I don’t really watch TV as I am handling work and studies part time. Plus I have to leave time for reading and writing.
But if I have to choose, I would opt for films like Hunger Games, Hansel and Gretel, Sci Fi movies.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
I like Chinese food.
I like royal blue and dark red.
I like contemporary singers, Taylor Swift, Adele, Zayn, Sia and many others.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Most probably be married and engaged in social activism.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
Do cry not.
I have left for that land
Which I have always
Written about in my poetry.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Ah, that is refreshing to find a poetry author. I find the way Anoucheka Gangabissoon talks about her poems as a part of her soul pretty inspiring. You can tell she loves what she does.
I also find her life as a teacher and living in a small island to be quite interesting. IUT is sad there can’t be a proper return to what goes into publishing in Mauritius like to even consider any possibility of having this as a career, yet being so prolific at it really reflects the passion. Even the tombstone got a poem ready.
Another thing that got my attention was the half-half between imaginary and real, with true feelings and then the challenge of building up a character that is going through things one hasn’t experimented yet and being able to capture them so people can relate.
Oh, and that story from the first book you read, it scrambled something in my brain, I am pretty sure I have read a story like that before, probably from a compilation of fables. I don’t remember it as gruesome but if I can recall, the tortoise was either trying to brag or talk back.