Reema is one of the authors whose work helps her form a bond with her readers. Her stories take you on an emotional journey. Her book is a treasure for logophiles. Even if you don’t love words in general, who won’t fall in love in love with ‘Ikigai’? 😉 She chose 26 rare words and wove intense stories around them in her book ‘Peiskos’. If you ask her though, it is rhymed poetry that takes her to a different world. She is an engineer by day but writing poetry and fiction give her the much-needed escape from reality. When she’s not writing (code or creative), she prefers to read. Give her a good book, some fresh air and some food and she promises not to disturb you until she finishes the book. She is a person of extreme personalities. She is a lover of nature and natural surroundings give her a high. At the same time she can’t sit idle and gets irritated if she has nothing to for too long!
She is also the author of two more books, ‘Life’ and ‘Times of a Twenty Something’.
Aren’t you excited to meet Reema D’Souza? I am sure you would love to know her favorite word from her book and the one word would she like to invent? Read on to find out… 🙂
1.You have woven heart-felt stories around 26 rare words – some of which belong to the Japanese, Latin or French lexicons. Which is your favourite word and story (could be different) from the book?
A: Most of my favourite words have been included in the list of 26 that I included in the book. It is very hard to pick a single word. But one word and story that’s close to my heart is “Nepenthe” which means something that causes you to forget grief or suffering.
2.Are you able to remain objective about your stories or do they remain very close to your heart?
A: It is a mixed bag! A few stories are few close to my heart, some drawn from real life and then there are a few which I’ve written based solely on my imagination.
3. In Tomichan’s review of the book, he wonders whether you ‘carry a lot of secrets, if not subdued pain, in your mellow heart’. What do you have to say to that? (In case you feel this question is too personal, you could answer this instead – Which book do you always pick up as your ‘guilty pleasure’?)
A: He is got the voice of the book right! There’s both joy and pain in every person’s life. I try to write about both. I’ve written poetry that is positive and has a happy tone to it and have urged others to do write more positive poetry. But this time, for this book what I wanted to focus on is the different kind of pain that people carry, some known to the world and a lot of secret burdens. I’ve had a few painful moments that have given some sort of inspiration for the stories. But there is one thing that I have tried to do with my stories – most of them, if not all have a sense of a positive ending or a feeling of hope.
4.You wrote these stories in a matter of a few hours after work. Tell us your process for story-telling – do you follow a structure or go with the flow? What are the shortest and longest times you have taken to complete a story from ideation to publishing?
A: I always go with the flow. Usually there is a certain thought that lingers in my mind, sometimes inspired by daily life and when I feel that it can be woven into a story, I just sit down and write. Once I finish writing the first draft I do some editing – move around a few sentences as and how I feel necessary. Shortest has been 20 minutes and the longest for a single story has been around 2-3 hours.
5. If you could choose a ‘pen name’ for yourself, which one would it be and why?
A: When I first started writing I used to go with “ReeDs”. Nothing fancy – I know it sounds juvenile but it was just the combination of the first few letters of my name and surname. Also, in the present scenario I wouldn’t like to choose a pen name because I want to and I choose to write under my real name because I want that to be my identity.
6. If you could invent a word, what would it be and what would it mean?
A: ‘Smilachos’ – cause someone to smile/ to bring a smile on someone’s face.
7. You are an engineer and a writer. Does your analytical mind seep into your creativity and vice versa?
A: I was a writer first and then studied to be an engineer. The creative mind does have an impact in my daily work. But, I try to keep my analytical mind out of my writing most of the times because with too many rules and calculations, the emotions die down.
8. How do you overcome Writer’s Block?
A: The only way to overcome Writer’s Block is to write! I try writing something for myself when I feel I have a writer’s block. It could be just a recollection of my day or a note of something that I want to do. But I try to write something. This way I try to put myself into the writing mode and eventually something good does come up. There are also times when I pick up a book to read when I feel I have a writer’s block. After reading a few pages, most of the times I am tempted to write something myself.
9. Describe your process for research while writing.
A: My research for writing is driven by an idea. I try reading up on different things associated with the idea – people, places, things and then put it altogether.
10. Share some valuable tips for publishing and marketing an eBook.
A: The first step to getting a book published is writing it. I usually write with the thought of narrating a story to myself. If I am satisfied, I proceed further. So my suggestion would be write for yourself and then edit, edit, edit. Ask someone else to edit and then edit some more.
For marketing an ebook don’t leave any opportunity. Social Media is actually a blessing when it comes to marketing a book. Use whatever platforms possible to spread the word.
Peiskos is the feeling one gets when sitting in front of a fireplace enjoying its warmth. We remember pieces of life that seem ordinary but often bring along a sense of warmth. Here are 26 such pieces woven into stories around rare and beautiful words.
Wish you lots of luck, Reema, for your eBook and all your future endeavours!! 🙂
Did you enjoy this interview, @ReemaMichelle? How was it for you, the readers? Do comment and let me know thoughts.
On Anshu’s blog today you get to meet Balaka who has published ‘Golden Rainbow’, a book about the people who she met in her life and left a long-lasting impression on her. Priya interviews Sayan on her blog. He has published a non-fiction book, ‘Ancient Cities of India’.
This interview is a part of a series conducted jointly by @anshuwrites, @priyreflects and me. I had a lot of fun interacting with Arjun Gupta, Rashi Roy, Tomichan Matheikal, Varad , Saba, Kanika G, Neha Tambe and Monika Davessar as well. In case you haven’t caught those interviews, please do so and share your thoughts! Our aim is that each one of you finds something to take away from the honest and heartfelt experiences shared by the authors. 🙂