1. Hello Shravya. A warm welcome to you.
Thank you very much. I’m honored.
2. Tell us something about yourself.
I am a CA and CS. I am very passionate about any form of art, but mainly that of writing. I have always loved activities, be it sports, debates, painting, drama, essays, anything excepting for dancing (I have two left feet!). So, it was a pleasant surprise for me when I topped my college in my intermediate exams, given that I was never in class.
One thing that nobody knows about me is that I love to study and hope to be learning something new every single day.
3. How did 'writing' happen to you?
I have always said that I didn’t choose writing, it chose me. Ever since I was six years old, I found it more comforting to pour my heart out on paper than with another human being. I won my very first writing contest at the age of eight.
4. I learnt that your stories have been published in 17 anthologies. Could you share some details about the same with us?
My first anthology was Persona, a collection by IIM-C in 2014. Now, two years later, I have 19 stories published in 17 anthologies and am looking forward to taking part in three more to round it off to 20!
5. An anthology - Yours Lovingly contains three love stories penned by you. What are these stories about?
This anthology, by yourstoryclub, is very close to my heart, because this was the same website that titled me as the ‘Best Writer, 2013’. The concept behind ‘Yours Lovingly’ is to pen down love letters in the form of stories. Usually, I am averse to ‘love’ as a genre but in this case, I found a unique opportunity to combine romance with other deep emotions. The story titled ‘A Bond beyond Love’ is about the past being relived through an emotional letter. ‘The Four Letter Word’ is based on a man who stumbles upon hate letters to his girlfriend from her exes and how they change his perception of her. My favourite, ‘One Name, Two Hearts’, is a tale surrounding blunders based on misconceptions and interchanged love letters.
6. I have also heard that you have written a crime story revolving around a murder. We want to know more about it.
I usually don’t venture into crime stories. This was my first attempt, and it won me a place in the notionpress anthology ’21 tales to tell’ out of over 500 authors who competed for this spot. It is about an officer, Robert, who is supposed to investigate a gruesome murder committed by a man that he sent to jail years ago. Throughout the story, Robert meets weird people and unexplainable circumstances, until the very end, where everything finally seems to make sense… with a shocking twist.
7. You have edited an anthology- Book of Dreams published by Numerique Publications. How was your experience?
That was such a wonderful experience. Ever since my school days, I have had a crazy passion over ‘English’, both as a language and as a subject. So, for me, it was a joyride, being able to explore this vast language through the minds of other authors. I loved doing it.
8. What is your opinion about getting published in anthologies?
When you want to start your writing journey, anthologies will give you the ability to view your writing through another person’s perspective. I firmly believe that never being rejected in an anthology was what gave me the confidence to go ahead with my debut novel.
9. Your novel - 'Turning Back Time' - What is it all about?
In an era surrounded by romance, my novel is anything but that. It is about the lives of four lonely people and how they drastically change a young caretaker’s view of her own existence. Turning Back Time is about loss, it is about exploration, it is about nostalgia, but mostly, it is about finding the path to realization of your own mistakes. The central theme is regret.
10. When did you decide/ What made you realise that it was high time you penned your novel?
I actually wrote it two years ago, but never really found the right space for it. Sadly, over 6 of the publishers I approached during that time wanted something ‘less serious’ and ‘more romantic’. I gave up. It was then that I saw Gargi Publishers post an update on Facebook about wanting novel submissions that were NOT of the romance genre. I knew then that the opportunity was tailor-made for me.
11. What inspired you to write Turning Back Time?
Inspiration can stem from the most unexpected places. One day, I was scrolling through my facebook feed when I saw an article titled ‘Top ten regrets people have before they die’. I didn’t even open the article. I just knew I had to make something out of it. That was how Turning Back Time was born. TBT’s essence stems from that one line I read in 2013.
12. Now that your novel will be out soon. How do you feel?
Anxious. Excited. Terrified.
I don’t know! There are a mixture of emotions running through my mind and heart. The pressure is intense, to be honest. I hope that my readers will be able to accept a theme that is different from the usual run of the mill genres.
13. Where can we buy your book?
At the moment, it is at the pre-order stage and is available on Pustakmandi. (www.pustakmandi.com/Turning-Back-Time-Shravya-Gunipudi)
14. I want you to say something to your readers.
What more can I say, other than, thank you for giving this debut author a chance to express herself through words. It means the world to me. I hope you all enjoy reading the book as much as I did writing it. This is just the beginning and I have a lot more in store for you.
15. It was nice talking to you, Shravya. Good luck for your novel.
It was a pleasure talking to you too, Divya. Thank you.