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 everyone. I’m Pearline Priscilla and I’m 28 years old as of Jan 1st 2020.
Fiona: Where are you from?
I’m from Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, southern India.
Fiona: A little about yourself (i.e., your education, family life, etc.).
I live with my parents and a younger sister who is in her 11th grade. I’m currently pursuing my Ph.D. in English as a research scholar. I am a holder of four degrees: BA and MA in English Language and Literature, M.Sc. Applied Psychology, and M.Phil. in English. I love to make friends and socialize.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
I love poetry and writing stories. I’m planning to write more after completion of my Ph.D. and my goal is to become a writer, a speaker and a professor by God’s grace.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I used to write since I was in the 8th grade. My school life was not so good. I had very few friends and I was emotionally hurt often by teachers and family. Reading books and writing became a medium for me to express myself and my inner thoughts. Writing helped me find relief by expressing everything I felt through language.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
It was when I was able to publish one of short stories “Story of Her, To Her” in an anthology called Story of Her through a competition for women’s day in 2018, that I truly realized I have become a writer. I have published many of my works in school and college magazines and have also got prizes for writing poetry and short stories before. But through proper publishing of my works gave me recognition as a writer known to the public.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I consider my first book to be my individual poetry collection titled, In Bosom, It Rhymes (2018). It is a full length poetry comprising of 90 plus poems written from 8th grade. It is almost 10 years of my poetry in there. My inspiration is always my mom and Jesus. And it includes my younger sister who passed away in 2017. She was only 20 then. And it includes my grandma who passed away in 2016. All of my losses and pain are my inspirations to move forward in my life. It makes you realise how important happiness and joy are in your life.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
I was asked to send a title as soon as possible by the publisher, Christopher Clawson Rule for the new book and I was brain storming in the college as to what I can name my work as. All my poems come from my heart. They are not just spontaneous but well thought out meaningful verses I wanted to convey to my readers or friends I would like to call them as. I always have this in my mind, that I am conveying my heart honestly to my friend out there. So I went with the title, In Bosom, In Rhymes. And Clawson did make changes to the title. And it came out really well as In Bosom, It Rhymes.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
My short stories are conversational in style. I would like to read the thoughts of my friends and spell that out for them in my writing. It’s like when I am talking friends would join in and talk to you about what they would like to share with you too. I think this makes my work engaging and more interesting to read. My poetry is about myself. It can be broken chunks of thoughts of my broken self. It can be about parts I do not want anyone else to know. They are purely for my sake that I write poetry. Poetry and short stories work with very different purposes for me. This makes writing more challenging for me as they convey different sides of me as I am in reality and in the surreality.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
They are purely autobiographical. Almost 90 percent of my works are reality based. They comprise of my own experiences or the experiences of someone close to me. So far I have written only about what I have gone through or I have heard from the reality. I personally think every writer starts with themselves first and then move on with others experiences with experience. I think that’s what makes you a good writer. It can make understanding easier.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
No. I don’t have to travel solely for the purpose of writing. I usually write at home or in the college.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
In Bosom, It Rhymes has the cover picture, a photograph taken by me. It is a butterfly which has broken wings. It depicts how life can still go on even if you are broken or damaged. And no one is a product to be condemned. The book contains the verses of a broken heart at various periods of time. Word Warriors (2018) has the cover picture designed by David Rule. It is simple yet gives the outlook of an artistic style. Since, the book is about conversational poetic verses, which were sent as messages through WhatsApp, a simple rustic cover was a brilliant idea.
Fiona: Is there a message in your works that you want readers to grasp?
Yes. I speak about the difficulties and sufferings, and also, about the success stories of South Indian women. Respect, protection and understanding are very much needed in our society. And I just wanted to voice out this message to our today’s generation. I would like to include that, improvement of our own self is very much needed amidst chaos, broken hearts, pain, worries of the future and disappointments. And, that one day Youth can take over the world.
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 believe that every individual is a writer today. I witness many are into writing especially with the growth of apps on writing quotes, and haiku poetries. Many competitions are being held for poetry, short stories and more on various online platforms. So I take every good and innovative writings by talented writers as my inspiration. There are just too many to mention, and many more to explore.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
In one word, it has been my FRIENDS. They have been a huge support and I give special thanks to Giftsy Dorcas and Samadhanam Emmimal for giving their honest opinions and sharing their words of wisdom whenever needed. I am so grateful to them for staying always on my side.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I wish I do. I wish I can be optimistic about it. I can only expect and work towards the goal of writing to be my career as I am new to the field.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your works?
Not much. Except for some typographical mistakes I would not wish to change anything in my works.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your works?
Yes, I have learned a lot and I am still in the process of learning. Honestly, knowledge and wisdom are not only a process but also infinite. I always have a craving to learn a lot, and would like to share the experiences with all of you.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
I would like to keep it open. Anyone who can represent the exact feelings which I have portrayed in my writing and could do justice to the character, I would consider as the lead.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
I feel that I do not have any rights to give any advices to anyone but only suggestions. If you have chosen to be a writer, I ask you to be honest with your feelings and be respectful about the way you convey it. As writing is always a learning process, I consider you to take in criticism optimistically and work towards innovation and in developing your micro skills.
And most importantly, you might feel down and come across writer’s blog now and then. At those times, I suggest you take a trip outside of home, have some fun with friends and family, and talk your heart out. Even though happiness comes from within, I believe creating bondage and maintaining healthy relationships always helps in having a positive attitude and in building resilience.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Yes, definitely. I really see my readers as friends as I have mentioned before. So, all the sharing I do, through my writing, and work, are meant to not hurt anyone, or point out the mistakes you do. It is solely to make you understand about yourself more, and to keep moving forward even at times of trouble. Failures are meant to teach you the most precious lessons of life and I ask you to embrace all of it; because only by being beaten in fire, and going through the constant process of shaping and sharpening does silver reflect your perfect image like you are in front of a mirror. It’s an example from Bible and I hope it helped prove my point here. So, I just ask you to stay strong, stay blessed and keep the smiles on.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I’m reading works written by Edwidge Danticat. She is a source of my inspiration and I have so much to learn from her. I’ve read five works of hers, both from fiction and non-fiction. I’m currently reading her non-fiction, Art of Death which speaks about the intricacies of death. Danticat’s personal experiences with families experiencing death and her observations during this period of moaning give deep philosophical meanings to the whole text. She is the pacifier and the friend who suggests the ways of coping with the loss and how to live a promising life.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
The first full-fledged novel I remember reading is The Count of Monte Critso (1844) by the most prominent French novelist Alexandre Dumas. I found the adventurous and historical novel to be very interesting and fell in love with English literature. It made me to cultivate the habit of reading in me. I still could not forget the experience of reading the text when I was in the 8th grade. I simply loved it.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
That’s hard. I laugh at all silly things around me. I love to smile and keep myself happy. I really love to laugh a lot. I spend time with friends and family. And also, I often have the habit of watching funny videos on social media. This really keeps me laughing to the fullest. I do cry sometimes but I would always love to speak it out with my mom, sister or friends and laugh it off. I pray, I forget and I gain strength from all the blessings in and around me. I would suggest for you to do the same. Just say ‘so what? what’s next!’ and move on. This is our life and the only one after all.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Yes. I would really love to meet all of my favorite writers. One of them is Edwidge Danticat. I would definitely love to meet her and have a long chat with her over homemade food cooked by me. I get really excited just to mention her name.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Yes, I do. I love to read and write in English. Nowadays, I am into writing quotes or short poems and I post them on social media. And, everyone loves YouTube and I am no exception.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I love to watch Asian and Hollywood movies and dramas. I do not really watch much of TV shows. But, I do like The Ellen Show and Talent shows around the globe. Though not a regular, I watch few episodes now and then.
Fiona: Favorite food, colors, music?
I love my veggies. I love everything healthy. Just give me nuts, millets, meat, sea food, seeds, and fruits, I would eat them all. And, I am an ardent lover of colors. I love everything around me and every creation of God. I love colors and love to be colorful. Yet, yellow is my favorite. I do not know why but I do have a magnetic connection towards yellow. When it comes to music, I enjoy Christian music and everything motivational. I love to enjoy music in every language especially Tamil songs (I am a Tamilian). And recently, K-Pop does blow my mind off. Their music is catchy and allows you to highly enjoy the rhythm and the culture which comes with it.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
First and foremost, I have never thought about it. While contemplating on it, a future where I could never write would be devastating. But, I could learn other ways of expressing myself and try to cope up with the loss. I believe that there is always a way, and there, will always be a way out from our problems. We just have to try and find out the solutions, than brooding over the spilt milk. I believe that God always has better plans for us. We must be matured enough to accept the changes in our lives, and try to learn from them, rather than to underestimate our abilities, by failing to see the solutions right in front of us.
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
I have actually thought of the scenario many at times. Every time, I have thought about it, I have always wanted to spend it more productive. I wanted to help people and all living beings in distress, those who need care and support. I wanted to do it with my family and friends by spreading the Word of God. This is my wish.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
Wow! I have never imagined such a question. Well, it should be my family, friends and those who love me to decide that. It depends on the connection I have created with them. I really do not think I have any right to think highly of myself. It is totally up to my loved ones to write about me on the headstone of how I have lived my life and what they really feel/felt about me in my lifetime.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
No. I do not have one. But, I wish to create one soon.