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?
Hi there. Thanks so much first of all for taking your time with me. I’m Sangeeta Kathuria and I have just taken a nervous step into the great forties.
Fiona: Where are you from?
Im from London born in Isleworth and currently living in Hillindgon.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
Education has always been important to me and I thrive on learning. I did my A levels in English Literature, Economics and Accounts which as followed by a 3 year Diploma in Hotel Management in one of the most beautiful countries in the world, Switzerland. For three years I lived on campus in a breathtaking place called Bluche in Crans Montana and made some of the best memories and friends for life. I met my husband whilst studying there and we have been married now for 19 wonderful year with two sons to complete our family. I currently work for the NHS as a Business Manager in two GP surgeries in West London full time.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
Well after having published two books in the last two months (one poetry and one novel), I am now focusing on marketing them while I work on my third novel which deals with the theme of stalking and the disruption it brings to a family and workplace. It’s a dark theme that I hope to delve into and explore in more detail.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I wrote my first short picture book when I was around 10, in school, as part of a school project. We had to design and write a book for the nursery children and I can never forget the excited looks on the little children’s faces, as I read them my story, titled ‘Katie the Magic Christmas Tree.’ I then wrote two short romance books when I was 13, using an old typewriter I bought in a charity school sale. I used to share pages of this book with my friends, who used to wait daily for the next chapter to be written. I love the art of storytelling and enjoy pulling readers into my world, allowing them to see thing from my perspective. Many a night when I have found insomnia a problem, I make up little stories which help me fall asleep. But the ideas stay fresh the next morning to note down in my notebook.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I think this was when definitely when I received my first rejection letter at the age of 18 from a publisher to whom I had sent my first attempt at a children’s horror story. I was heavily influenced then by the likes of Stephen King and R L Stine, and devoured their stories. I wrote three short murder mysteries, and sent them off to the publishers hoping someone would lap them up. When I received my first rejection letter explaining that my writing was good but needed more work, I knew then that I was a writer.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
My first published book which I have seriously written and completed in the last 12 months, was inspired by a news article I was reading on the societal pressures on women in India and marriages that ended with women being victimised with domestic abuse and marital rape. I read a hard hitting article on the fact that marital rape is not against the law in India as it is in most countries around the world, and an idea developed to turn this into a story. I wanted to show that in spite of such atrocities in a woman’s life after marriage, there is hope for one to find happiness and break free to find freedom without having to feel guilty about it.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
The premise of the book is based on a very beautiful and quite passionate Chinese Proverb that goes like this:
‘An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet, regardless of time, place, or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle, but will never break.’
I was totally in love with this quote and envisioned a woman being tied to her lover with this ‘invisible red thread’ that connected her soul to his. The story of my book revolves around a promise and I combined the red thread (scarlet in colour) with the theme of the promise to come up with The Scarlet Promise. Scarlet being the colour not only of the invisible thread that links my two characters but the colour of love, passion and the heart.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I like writing with various POV’s (points of view) in order to try and get across different streams of thoughts from my characters to the reader, however I do tend to fall into the trap of head hopping and do find it hard to stick to a particular characters train of thought. I am trying hard to overcome this but it is proving to be a bit of a nemesis in my writing.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
The Scarlet Promise, I feel is very realistic and reflective of many women’s experiences and troubles at some point in their life, but at different levels and maybe not as dark as that of Esha’s, who is my main character, suffering at the hands of an arrogant and narcissistic husband.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
At the moment I don’t necessarily travel in order to obtain material for my books or stories. I do use places that I have visited or lived in to get a feeling of bringing the place alive. However I do also rely heavily on research from other books and the web.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
For both my poetry book and the novel, Amrita Chowdhury designed the amazing covers. I think she captured the essence of my novel with the scarlet thread within the grasp of Esha’s hand as she is reaching out for someone to take a hold of her hand, and pull her out of her dire situation. It has a very vulnerable and lost feel to it which is what I wanted to portray on her part.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
The main message I would love for my readers to take away is to confide in someone if and when they find themselves in a situation like Esha. To know that there is always hope and a way to come out from a negative part of your life and walk into a positive one. That society cannot and should not dictate how women are to live their lives. Second chances do happen, and we just need to embrace them with open arms.
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 have just started reading books by Amanda Prowse who I really enjoy. She really gets into my head with her ideas based on real life social issues and her writing is so fluid and deep, that gets to my soul. I have always loved the original writings of Virginia Andrews since I was a teen and love the dark gothic atmosphere in her books. I could lose myself in them and have reread them many times. A book that can swallow me up is what I really look for and especially when someone has written it from their heart and soul.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I would absolutely love to some day, walk away from my full time job and live a life of just writing daily, to my hearts content. At the moment, I just try and grab whatever time I can, to put words on paper, so to speak. I definitely aim to work toward making writing my career in years to come.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No I wouldn’t change anything. I think I have tried to pour my soul into my first book and have created characters that will make some impact to my readers. The themes, no matter how dark, are themes that I am passionate about. I don’t think I could have explored them any better than I did with The Scarlet Promise.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
I am delving into a different genre, I feel with my new book, away from women literary fiction and more toward a thriller perhaps. There is less romance and more twists and turns with an air of mystery. I’m trying a new genre and hope it will work for my readers when I complete it later this year.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
I like my readers to imagine what the characters would or could look like from my book so I let their imagination help them to enjoy this part of the reading. I always decided that my covers would never show a face of a character, as I feel that my readers should be able to envision them in their mind with some descriptive help of my writing. I feel that adds an air of mystery and allows the reader to feel a sense of personal satisfaction in putting their own face to a character and not be force fed one.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Gosh, I’m so new I feel I don’t really have a right yet to tell other writers what to do. Especially since I am finding my own way around this field of work. All I can definitely say is that no matter how tired you are or busy, find that moment for yourself to write something down. Notes, character sketches, one sentence or paragraph or anything. It keeps you in touch with your work and keeps you motivated to carry on. It’s so much easier to edit a page of bad writing than an empty page of nothing.
And definitely get an editor to go through your work no matter how good your writing is. You need that extra pair of professional eyes to pull your manuscript together.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
To please be critical of my work and tell me how I can be better. I think constructive criticism is so important for a writer, to grow and enhance their work. I want people to tell me what I have done wrong so that I can get better with my follow up work and give my readers what they want. I am so new and raw at present so it’s a good time for me to mould and improve.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I am reading a really good book by Kishan Paul called the Second Wife. I absolutely love it and cant wait to download the second part in the series.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Oh my goodness, I’m not sure how far back in years I can go for that. I think the first book I read when I was about 8 was a Nancy Drew book. I remember that summer going through the entire lot in the series by Carolyn Keene.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
A good comedy makes me laugh. I was recently watching Mr Bean with my sons and couldn’t stop laughing.
Any form of abuse be it child, animal or vulnerable adult makes me cry.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
I would love to meet Oprah Winfrey. I have always been such an admirer of her work, her upbringing and her sheer efforts to make such a powerful name for herself. She has taken so many negatives in her life and made them into positives against all odds. It would a dream to be interviewed by her or have ever been part of her talk show.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
I absolutely love traveling. I enjoy going to new places and learn about new cultures, customs, foods and be a part of their world. If there was one thing I would do besides writing, it would be travelling the world.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I binge on Netflix and have watched so many fabulous TV shows. In the last few years I have completed Vampire Diaries which I adored. The Good Wife, Grey’s Anatomy, Suits, Gossip Girl, Pretty Little Liars, Thirteen reasons why and many more.
In movies, I love the Avengers series and am a die hard fan of all their movies.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Food – I love Chinese, Thai and Indian.
Colours – Black and Maroon.
Music – Indian bollywood and music from the eighties.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
I would learn to cook different cuisines.
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
As close to my family as possible. Holding their hands for the entire 24 hours.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
She did her best with the resources she had.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Facebook author page – https://www.facebook.com/sangikathuria
Twitter – https://twitter.com/sangi1122
Amazon Author page – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mrs-Sangeeta-Kathuria/e/B07C37VFLV/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0