Today we welcome Pratibha R DH to The Contents Page. Pratibha is going to tell us about her experience as a writer and about her most recent book, Child of Paradise: Listen to Your Dreams (http://amzn.to/2r8rDwL).
Pratibha lives in India with her husband and two young sons. She is also the author of Magical Ventures of Loli and Lenny, a series for children, and Redemption, a suspense romance novelette. Besides being able to manifest her love for writing through her career as an IT content specialist, she also blogs on topics such as mindfulness, spirituality, personal growth, writing and intentional living. Her mantra for living an empowered life comprises a one-hour daily pack of yoga, meditation and morning pages. As well as spending time with her family and generally being outdoors, taking a walk or simply spending time with nature, Pratibha’s other passions are music, swimming, dance and reading.
Synopsis of Child of Paradise: Listen to Your Dreams:
Life takes an unexpected turn when Tia meets the boy whom she secretly had a crush on all through her school years. Not only does Ron steal her heart but he seems equally besotted in a true blue sense of the word. Tia’s friends who had always known about her infatuation are more than thrilled as Ron is absolutely a girl’s dream come true – a stunner with a heart of gold.
Everything seemed just so perfect and it looked like the universe finally heard her wishes…if not for one person who didn’t want her to be with Ron. And it was none other than the person Tia loved most in the world – Rianna, her sister. The bizarre part of it all was that Rianna was no longer alive! Tia was continuously haunted by dreams of her sister who kept warning her off Ron.
Her sister’s case being closed off by the police as suicide was something that had left Tia deeply perturbed even years after her passing away. As Tia follows her instincts and tries to solve the mystery surrounding her sister’s death she comes up with evidence that might just open up a can of worms and shatter her whole family.
Will she be able to fulfil her sister’s last wish? Will she make the right choice between love and justice? This story is a journey of corporate ambition, greed, lust and betrayal. A paranormal crime novel that will take you on a roller coaster ride of emotions and family drama while at the same time leave you twitching to unearth the mystery of a death, unresolved.
Welcome Pratibha, please tell us a little about yourself.
I am very emotional as a person and always been advised by family and friends to be more practical. But with time I have realised it has helped me in my writing as I can get into the depth of my characters. It makes me sensitive about people and situations. Hence this provides me more insight to understand the people around me better. I have realised there is always a reason to the way we are and a purpose; and once we find out, it turns out to be more of a gift by the universe. I love spending time with nature and am a complete family person. My children have taken precedence over my career. I love swimming as it keeps me happy. Dancing, yoga and taking walks are other physical activities I enjoy. Music is something I can’t do without and most of my ideas and inspiration has set in while listening to music. I am also a very romantic person and see some form of beauty and romance in everything that I see or in every experience that I live through.
What made you want to become a writer, Pratibha?
I should say the desire to write; it comes naturally for the writer inside me as I enjoy it so much. I think for most of us writers it starts from childhood without anyone nudging us or telling us, or maybe even leading us to it. Right from childhood, I loved writing whether be it something as simple as scribbling in my diary or later on, it getting deeper as I dabbled with poetry. Writing makes me happy not to mention the therapeutic effect it brings, which I think anyone who loves writing is aware of. Simply love the feeling of satisfaction as well as achievement after I have created a written piece.
What inspires you to write?
Inspiration can be anything from writing about real life situations or exploring my inner conflicts or emotions through writing. Sometimes it is like a series of ideas or images that form in my mind, and I’d like to give them more shape and depth through the medium of a story.
What are your writing rituals?
If I am not disciplined about writing, I don’t end up writing at all. So whenever I work on a novel, I take it up as a job or a project with a deadline so that I fix up a time every day and stick to it no matter what. I love to write early mornings and in the weekends. Before writing, sometimes I do meditate as it helps to calm the mind and it also helps in the free flowing of ideas and thoughts. I love to light up a lamp at the altar which lies near my writing desk and also use incense sticks to usher in a happy mood while writing.
Is there anything you find challenging when writing?
The research and the way to go about is a little daunting initially. Especially when one writes about stuff like crime or police investigations or the corporate laws and methodologies, you need to be well versed and precise in your research. Finding the right resources for my research and also finding the right people to talk to can be quite challenging.
Have you ever struggled to write and how did you resolve it?
When there is a writer’s block, I start reading a lot of stuff on the idea I am toying with. With time as lots of material sets in my subconscious, it becomes my mental encyclopaedia to derive my ideas from. I think anytime we have a writer’s block we must read and watch a lot of stuff via resources like YouTube and other informative websites.
What is your advice to other writers/authors?
Not to leave your day time job as struggle for bills can kill your creativity. Also to be emotionally resilient as writing being a subjective domain is an open portal for critics and naysayers.
If you could pick a writer as a mentor, who would it be and why?
Although I admire a lot of writers, I wouldn’t want my own natural style to be influenced or mixed up with any other style. I am jealous of my own style, and would like to keep it that way.
Who/what influences your writing?
All my life situations and storms I have weathered in my life are reflected through my writing. I try to keep it as real as possible especially the feelings of my characters.
What book(s) most influenced your life or your writing?
Not my writing, but self help books have gone a long way in influencing my life. I have relied a lot on them right through my teen years. I have also derived a lot of courage and motivation in my life from Barbara Taylor Bradford and Danielle Steele’s novels.
What is your book, Child of Paradise, about?
The book is about the protagonist, Tia Arya, trying to solve the mystery surrounding her sister’s death, which according to her was not resolved by the police in a proper manner. She also meets her high school crush, Ron, again in her life. For Tia, Ron feels like her true soul mate and a dream come true. But Rianna, her deceased sister, haunts Tia in her dreams and warns her against having a relationship with Ron. Here Tia is trying to cope with her psychic dreams as well as her hidden psychic abilities where she can connect with the dead. It also focuses closely on the subject of after-life and touches on the grief of people who have lost their loved ones. It kind of brings validation that there is more to the realm of death than what we have read or known so far. The story also borders around the plethora of ruthless ambition and the rat race of the corporate world.
What genre is your book? Have you ever considered writing in another genre?
The genre of my new book is a paranormal crime thriller. I am really enjoying myself in this genre and plan to do it for some more time. Besides this, I have also written a middle grade series and a fantasy romance novelette. I certainly plan to keep writing for children and middle grade in parallel. I also have a blog where I write on mindfulness, spirituality, personal growth, writing and intentional living.
What brought you to write this book?
To be honest, I didn’t need much inspiration to write this book and in reality I stalled off writing this book for a while. Instead of me searching for ideas, the story kind of chased me for some time. In the beginning since I have been working on my middle grade series, I did not take it seriously, as I thought I didn’t have it in me to write in the genre of a crime novel. I thought it was some fancy inspiration, in a fit, to add more glamour to my writing. Where fantasy and paranormal is concerned, you get to have a lot of creative freedom as you create your own rules and your own world. But the crime genre needs a lot of research and you can’t just play with the stuff. So I was not sure I could write something like this.
What was the hardest part about writing this book?
My research on crime as well as the corporate laws and methodologies was something I had to really work on. I also had to find the right connections who could help me find the right people to talk to – meaning those who were well versed in crime and police investigations to help me with my research.
Where/when is your book set and how did that come about?
It is set around the beautiful city of Bengaluru in India. This is the city where I faced major challenges in my own life as well as in the vast corporate world. This was also the city that was very kind to me during the crucial time in my life when I had lost my parents and was trying very hard to establish myself in my career.
Did your characters hijack the story or were you in charge?
Actually I have never experienced this feeling of characters hijacking my story. It’s just something I have heard from other writers or read in magazines. Maybe they are already doing it and I am not aware of it, ha ha ha.
From the first word to the last, how long did it take to create your book?
For the first two years the story haunted me in the form of images and ideas. I saw some scenes without any logic which blended very well into the story when I added them later on. Then it took me three more years to write it and get it published.
What is your favourite part of the book?
The climax of the protagonist’s relationship with her sister (not the deceased one) – especially the family angle.
Is there a message about this book that you want readers to grasp?
Yes, there is also a message for people who still grieve for their loved ones that even if the body is no more, there is no end to the soul. The presence of one’s loved ones may not exist in the physical world but spiritually they are always around. And we can reach for them through the dimensions of our thoughts, feelings and meditation. Hence once we are aware of this we can find peace and validation from that knowledge.
Tell us about your protagonist(s). Was there a real-life inspiration behind him or her?
My protagonist is a strong female character dealing with her challenges in the corporate world as well as her relationships with the people around her. She is independent and focused, and once she makes up her mind, no one or situation can deter her from her purpose. She has her own ammunition for dealing with the villains of the story as her sharp intelligence and strength of mind aids her through the highs and lows of her life situations. Also I’d like to inspire my readers with strong female characters as they have in turn been an inspiration to me through books by Sydney Sheldon, Agatha Christie, Barbara Taylor Bradford etc.
If you could spend the day with one of your characters, who would it be and what would you do?
I would like to spend some time with Tia’s yoga guru, who is a worldly wise lady in her sixties. She brings a lot of peace and guidance in Tia’s life.
Of all your characters who is your favourite and why?
Of course the hero, Ron Garg, is my favourite as he is every woman’s dream (wink).
What’s next? What are you working on now?
I am working on the sequel to Child of Paradise: Listen to your Dreams. Although the storyline will be independent of the first book and have different characters, it will again be a crime thriller.
What is your favourite all time novel and why?
There are so many at different ages, so can’t pinpoint a particular one exactly. When I was young it was the Famous Five series, then the classics like Little Woman and Pride and Prejudice came in. Later there were those in the mystery/thriller genre like Agatha Christie, Sydney Sheldon etc. I loved the strong female characters in Barbara Taylor Bradford’s novels a lot in my girlhood years.
What book are you reading now?
I am Malala – a memoir on Malala Yousafzai’s life.
What book do you read again and again and why?
Unfortunately, I no longer have the luxury of doing that. In fact finding the time to read a new book itself is a huge challenge considering my work and family demands.
When you are not writing, what do you like to do?
I love to go for movies, dine out or simply chill out with my friends, cousins and family.
Thank you so much for your interview, Pratibha. It has been wonderful to hear all about your writing and your new book, Child of Paradise. We look forward to seeing you again soon with your next book.
You can find Pratibha’s Child of Paradise: Listen to Your Dreams here:
Book trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQBjtnli_4I
To purchase: http://amzn.to/2r8rDwL
You can find Pratibha’s other books here:
Magical Ventures of Loli and Lenny: Trumpets in the Wild (Volume 1): http://amzn.to/2q2cWeJ
Magical Ventures of Loli and Lenny: Fury of the Primates (Volume 2): http://amzn.to/2q2jARW
Magical Ventures of Loli and Lenny: Secret Code of Magicians (Volume 3): http://amzn.to/2q2kvlp
Magical Ventures of Loli and Lenny: The Princess, the Witch Queen and the Sorcerer (Volume 4): http://amzn.to/2rHvy0F
Magical Ventures of Loli and Lenny, Four Book Series: http://amzn.to/2q2qTcz
You can contact and connect with Pratibha here: