AUTHOR INTERVIEW #7
SWETA SRIVASTAVA VIKRAM
I was really touched when I read Sweta’s poetry collection. It’s every easy to feel every inch of loss, sadness and love in her poetry. She truly masters the word, so I was happy that she agreed to do this interview with me.
READ THE REVIEW OF “Saris and a Single Malt”
1. Mention three fun facts that your fans maybe don’t know about you.
– I can shimmy to any music, literally anywhere.
– I have an irresistible urge to do headstands in airplane aisles.
– My company, NimmiLife, which helps people attains their goals using creativity, productivity, and wellness tips. The idea for it came to me in one of my meditation sessions.
2. When did you know that you wanted to become an author?
I started to write when I was a kid. Because I was young and unsure about what becoming an author meant, I didn’t talk about it much. But I would practice my “future author signature” on the back of all of my homework notebooks 🙂
3. How long have you been writing? And what started it?
I have written for as long as I can remember. My father is a poet by night. So, the idea of writing/putting words on paper and sharing it with an audience seemed like a natural process to me. But when I joined my boarding school in the foothills of the Himalayas, something about being close to nature and the quietude, it brought out the poet in me on a whole different scale. I was appointed as the chief editor of my school’s publications.
4. Who discovered you? (Did you contact publishing houses? How was the process?)
It started with me submitting my poems, personal essays, and fiction pieces, relentlessly, to journals, magazines, and publishing houses. For every rejection that I received, I sent out to five different outlets. Slowly, one personal essay selection happened. Then a poem. And that’s how the journey began.
5. How many books have you published (so far)? And which genre?
Saris and a Single Malt is my 11th book. I am humbled and honored by the love my work has received. Aside from several books of poetry, I also have a novel, Perfectly Untraditional, and a hybrid nonfiction book: Mouth Full.
6. Why this story? What made you choose this specific theme?
Saris and a Single Malt is a collection of poems about my mom, my journey through grieving, and my own healing. My mother passed away unexpectedly a couple of years ago. And that one phone call — when my Dad called to inform me that she was in the hospital — became the main trigger for the poems in this collection. I wrote the book inside of a week even though the book had a mind of its own. What I wrote about … the emotions … everything was organic and representative of my feelings in the moment.
7. What inspires you to write? Which authors have inspired you? (Music, art, things in life?)
Writing is how I make sense of the world. And I am very grateful for it. Stories and storytelling sustain me. I find inspiration in oddest of places. I also think inspiration is all around us. If we mindfully pay attention to our surroundings and connect with our inner voice, we find it when we are least expecting it.
8. What is the message of your book? How should the reader interpret it?
Saris and a Single Malt might be a personal collection of poems but it has a universal appeal. It touches upon different stages of grieving and healing. Truth is, we have all lost someone we love. And we have all taken different paths to cope with that loss. The reader, depending on their own experiences, will develop a unique relationship with the poems. That’s my hope.
9. What are you currently reading?
As a mindfulness writing coach, I use holistic wellness (a combination of yoga, meditation, and Ayurveda) to help aspiring and experienced writers write better and fight writer’s block. I do read, write, and teach about incorporating holistic wellness to elevate one’s productivity. I am currently reading Body Thrive by Cate Stillman.
10. Mention 3 book titles that you wish to recommend
- Still Writing: The Perils and Pleasures of a Creative Life by Dani Shapiro
- A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
- Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
11. When is your next book going to be published?
I cannot disclose that information at this time, unfortunately, because some talks are happening. But, fingers crossed, I will have more information to share soon.