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.
My name is Priya Shiva and age is just a number 🙂 .. I’m from Chennai, India.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I’m a commerce graduate and dabbled in various forms of art and creative pursuits. I’m an accomplished bharatanatyam dancer, a self-taught painter and love cooking. My love for food started my personal blog – Priya Kitchenette. What started as a hobby became a full-fledged career and I even blogged recipes non-stop for 365 days. This feat has been recognized by India books of records and won me many more accolades.
I’m a happily married woman and a mother of seven year old boy. I have seen failures and bad days too in life and thankful to God that those days are gone.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
I have recently published my first poetry book – Ballad of Love and Longing
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I have been blogging for five years now but I started writing way back in college. In those days, I used to write verses or short stories just for fun.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I only considered myself as a true writer when I finished writing my first book. I had this madness in me and lost sleep, appetite and finished writing my first book in three days.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
- My first fairy tale book – I was only five year old when my father got this book which had a collection of stories with beautiful illustrations. All were fairy tales starting from snow white, Cinderella, thumbelina and it just stuck in my head for so long. So, when I wrote this ballad, I wanted to bring back those childhood memories and bring out a book with illustrations and it took me four months to get the book ready with victorian style illustrations where pictures itself tell the tale..
- My love of my life “Shiva” .. He has been the real hero of my life .. The knight in shining armour coming for rescue.. The king who has given me every joy in my life. I love you Shiva and words are not enough to tell you what I feel for you…
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
I never imagined myself writing a ballad. I wrote the first poem and by the time I finished writing the third one, I knew that I’m writing a story in poetry form. As the story talks about innocent love and yearnings of a girl, I chose this tite.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I’m a poet and poetry books are not that popular in market like any fiction or romantic novel. It is even more challenging for me as my first book is a ballad. Ballads used to be more popular in medivial times but I do hope to bring back those times and hope that one day my ballad will reach the mass through theatrical work.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
It is a fantasy though some verses in the book are inspired by events of my life too.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
Not really. I love to travel and it definitely matures you as a person and a writer but my writing doesn’t depend on it. My poetry is more on life instances and romance.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
My publisher and their team designed the cover.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Yes. Believe in love and love will find you one day.
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 not read many new author work. My favorite Indian author is Ruskin Bond and I love Robert M. Drake quotes and verses.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
My close friends. They have motivated me as much as my family did.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I would love to take it up as a career but I’m still a budding author. I have loads to learn and share.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No. I will not want to change anything in this book as it was a dream which I have seen for a long time and became a reality in words.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
Yes. The book talks about language of flowers. The main character understands it and I had to do a lot of reseach on it. I also reseached on medival European times as the characters in illustrations had to match it.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
I would love to though I will stick to the role of being a writer and a narrator.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
I will share a random poem which I wrote recently to answer this question:
Have you felt that madness?
A madness with your own thoughts
and felt that your head will break into million pieces.
Did you lose sleep?
Sleepless night lost in your own thoughts.
Has anyone given you a puzzled look?
As if whatever you are saying is absolutely crazy!
Did you have an orgasm?
Released your thoughts and felt ecstasy.
Were you in a confused state?
So lost in that character that you become one.
Nothing wrong with you. You are a writer…
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Enjoy reading my book and let me take you into a fantasy, a fairy tale land.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I’m currently reading Nora Robert’s “of blood and bone”. She is one of my favorite author too.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
I have already mentioned it above.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I love to laugh and giggle and its easy. You can crack up a good joke or pull a prank on me 🙂 .. I feel that a smile is a woman’s best asset. I’m an emotional person and I think I cry like a baby sometimes 🙂 .. I cry watching movies (even those which I have watched before 😛 )
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
I would love to meet Richard Gere. I watched in Pretty woman for the first when I was in college and had a major crush on him 🙂 ..
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
I love dancing, listening to music and free hand acrylic canvas painting.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I love watching romantic and old classic movies. I will usually watch movies on Romedy Now on TV when I have time.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Favorite food – Rajma Chawal and Gobi Paratha. Color – red , Music – dpends on my mood. I love listening to Perry Como, Frank Sinatra, Kenny Rogers, Barbra Streisand, Celine Dion in English. In Hindi – Kishore Kumar, Sonu Nigam, Jagjit Singh, Arjit Singh
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
I would love to travel and see the world.
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
I will spend that time with my husband and my kid. They are my life.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
I have never thought of it. Maybe this one:
She was a poet
as her thoughts
found a life there…
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Yes I do. I blog at www.priyakitchenette.com
Amazon India (paperback and kindle) – https://www.amazon.in/Ballad-Love-Longing-Priya-Shiva/dp/1684661358/
Amazon (paperback and Kindle) – https://www.amazon.com/Ballad-Love-Longing-Priya-Shiva/dp/1684661358/
Amazon UK (paperback and Kindle) – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ballad-Love-Longing-Priya-Shiva/dp/1684661358/
My social media links:
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/priyashivapoet/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/PriyaShiva_poet
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/priyashivapoet/