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Interview with Smita Das Jain – Author of the book A Slice of Life: Every Person Has A Story’….

Releasing on 16th September 2021, Smita Das Jain’s Slice of Life: Every Person Has A Story’…explores relationships and emotions. A fictional potpourri of extraordinary narratives of ordinary people who have more to their everyday lives beneath the surface, these stories reflect myriad hues of human behaviour.

I got an opportunity to interview Smita and here is what she has to say about her writing and publishing journey.

Interview:

Tell us about the idea behind the book?

If I were to sum the premise of ‘ A Slice Of Life: Every Person Has A Story’ in one sentence, it is ‘Don’t Judge A Book by its Cover.’ Every person is unique, and the common everyday people have extraordinary narratives going on in their lives. Human behaviour is most fascinating, and the short stories in my book capture various facets of human behaviour.

Your favourite part from the book?

Very difficult to pick one particular favourite, as you can understand. The book is broadly divided into three sections, and it is the six stories in the third section, ‘What A Relationship’ holds a special place in my writing corner. I am proud to have written some of those stories there.

How much time did it take in the process of writing?

It took me about five months to write, edit and bring the book for publication. But then, I write something every day, every week, a story, article, or blog post of mine comes out. So I was able to finish the book relatively fast.

What did the process of writing this book teach you?

That editing takes more time than writing, and never really finishes, and marketing entails more efforts than both writing and editing combined 😊.

On a serious note, since ‘A Slice Of Life: Every Person Has A Story’ is a short story collection, I also had to think harder about the structure and the types of stories to include that will appeal to readers with a short attention span.

What inspired you to write this book?

I take inspiration from real life. Truth is stranger than fiction, and the more you observe people and things around you, the more stories you will get to narrate. The characters in all my stories are real people in a fictional setting, and that is why they are relatable. To give you an example, the inspiration for ‘Parched’- one of the stories in my book, came from the dried-up Tulsi plant on my terrace. I have written a blog post, ‘6 Techniques For Building a Fictional Character That Your Readers Won’t Forget,’ on the subject, which readers can read here.

5 books one must read in a lifetime

5 is too little for me as a reader. Since you have asked for this, I would suggest:

  1. The Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel
    • Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
    • Twist in The Tale by Jeffrey Archer
    • The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie
    • Five Point Someone by Chetan Bhagat

A book that had an impact on you, which helped you in writing this one?

Twist in The Tale by Jeffrey Archer. I am an unabashed Jeffrey Archer fan and can’t wait to read his next book releasing in October. In this particular book that comprises twelve short stories, the expected never happens. I loved how each story had a twist, as implied in the title, leaving the reader either laughing out loud or thinking for long. The guessing game throughout the book keeps the reader engaged throughout. The writing style of ‘A Slice of Life- Every Person Has A Story’ is partly inspired by Jeffrey Archer’s style, as I have mentioned in the Acknowledgement section in the book.

Tell us about your publishing journey in 5 words.

‘ A Lot Of Hard Work.’ It entails persistence, perseverance and discipline, as I have mentioned in my blog post ‘From an Aspiring Writer to a Published Author’ in 5 steps here.

Tell us about your plans? Planning a new book?

I am currently editing the nth draft of my yet untitled novel. I finished writing the first draft of the novel before writing the first story of ‘A Slice Of Life: Every Person Has A Story.’ I plan to bring it out next year.

What is a literary success for you?

Strangers coming up to me and saying how much they loved and enjoyed reading my stories and books. Plain and simple.

A message for all the readers.

Keep reading something every day. And do add my fiction ‘A Slice Of Life: Every Person Has A Story’ to your reading list. You will see something of you somewhere on the book pages. I promise you that it will be worth your time.

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