March 3, 2024

News Saphire

Beyond The Headlines

In Conversation with Hemasri: Navigating the Realm of Creativity

Truth or Dare by Hemasri
Truth or Dare by Hemasri

Welcome, dear readers, to another captivating dialogue that delves into the world of creativity, imagination, and the power of words. Today, we have the privilege of sitting down with the brilliant wordsmith, Hemasri Sai Mandava, an author who weaves stories that resonate deeply with the human experience.

Q: Would you like to introduce to our audience?

Hello! Myself, Hemasri. A 26-year-old women working in the Indian Software Industry. Writing is a passionate and fun filled journey to me, but it is equally challenging. To write interesting stories, you must be an artist! To give your books a bigger set of readers, you need to be a businesswoman. Pride moments are when I get heartful reviews about ‘Truth Or Dare’. People who pick up my book for a read are few, but most of the readers have said me they have enjoyed the story.

Q: “Truth or Dare” is a unique title for a book. Could you share the inspiration behind the title and how it relates to the themes in your self-published work?

Truth or Dare is one common game played. I have used the same game to bring out an super interesting love story between Yashas and Yuktha. The questions demanding the truths in the game set right the ego issues and differences between them.

Q: Every writer has their own creative process. What are some rituals or habits you engage in to get into the writing mindset?

Before speaking of writing rituals, I should first mention how my writing journey initiated. I walk to keep myself fit and healthy, my body is engaged in walking. While walking, in spite of the earphones that hang down my ears to play music to keep me entertained, my brain is daydreaming. Or, if I am making Chapatis, my hands are busy, but my brain again falls into daydreaming. Forming storylines does not have certain rituals. But writing them into books does!

Manuscript, this is the first version of a story. It can be as raw and as unreadable as it can be. In this phase of book, author gives life to characters, and the author himself/herself lives in those characters.

If I am writing any emotional pain of a character, I write for 10 minutes, and take a break for 30 minutes. Because felling sadness in my stories makes me feel heavy. If I am writing happiness, I can write for longer than two hours.

Q: Your book likely features intriguing characters. Is there a character you feel particularly connected to, and why? How did you develop their personality and journey?

This is a though question. But to choose one, I would go with Kiran. I am a single child to my parents who has always dreamed of having a elder brother. Inspite of being a cousin to Yuktha, Kiran is as good as Yuktha’s own brother. He is good with reading Yuktha’s heart and dealing with her crankiness efficiently. A fun loving and smart man, good at dealing situations and people, be it as a brother or as a husband. One would feel safe and assured to have such a man putting in efforts to protect you or keep you happy!

Q: “Truth or Dare” might explore various themes. Can you highlight a theme that’s close to your heart and explain why you chose to include it in your book?

‘A person should be rewarded or acknowledged for the internal beauty he carries or possesses’ is the primary theme of Truth or Dare.

Q: Self-publishing is a remarkable accomplishment. Could you share some insights into your journey of bringing “Truth or Dare” to life as a self-published author?

Truth or Dare is now traditionally published by RedGrab. But before that, it was a normal online story published on Wattpad available for readers for free read. But, let me narrate the friendship with a nice stranger that made this happen.

It was the Dasara- Diwali season of 2021 when I received a message from a person named ‘Anand Krishna Panicker.’ The messages summary is as: ‘I read Truth or Dare and enjoyed it. It’s a quick and lucid read. Your book reminded me of my school days- all those logics that rush through our minds.’

Our friendship went till we considered ourselves ‘Elder brother and younger sister,’ and he advised that I get the story edited professionally and publish it traditionally.

Over time, by putting in constant efforts into reading and writing, I have been improving my English skills. But the fear of making mistakes constantly haunts me. I get my stories professionally edited.

Q: How do you hope readers will be affected after reading your book? What emotions or thoughts do you wish to evoke?

As a school going kid, I had been through the odds for being the fat and dark-skinned girl. This got me stubbornly believe that external beauty defines nothing about a person, and I wish the society too agrees with me. I want no one to be the reason for anyone to go through those kinds of odds. I don’t want anyone to go through those kinds of odds. And, even if anyone does, I want them to stand confident and strong for whoever they are!

For your information, Truth or Dare is a fictional story. It is does have a real-life inspiration, but it isn’t my autobiography.

Q: Writing can be a challenging process. Were there any specific hurdles you faced while crafting “Truth or Dare,” and how did you overcome them?

Once I decided to publish Truth or Dare traditionally, having a publishing firm pick up my book was the only challenge I faced. But now, convincing passionate readers that ‘Truth Or Dare’ is worth a try is the challenge. This is a never-ending challenge, it’s more like a journey.

Q: Do you have a favorite passage or quote from your book that you’d like to share? What makes it special to you?

This is a though question. I can pick many, but the lucky one among them would be:

Yuktha continues, “And you know what, I have problems with my beautiful looks and attractive smile. I so wish I was never observed or acknowledged for having good looks. Ignorance is better than being rejected for being fat or ugly. Ignorance is better than being fought for, for being too good of a choice!”

Q: Being an author likely comes with its own demands. How do you manage to balance your writing pursuits with other aspects of your life?

Honestly, I can’t write for more than an hour per day. Writing makes me feel emotionally heavy. During weekdays, usually I don’t have the bandwidth to give writing even an hour. During weekends, even if I have the bandwidth, I wouldn’t write the whole day. So, for the time I dedicate for writing, managing other roles isn’t very challenging!

Like the quote says, ‘Practice make man perfect,’ reading makes writes confident. And to mention, I am not satisfied with the time I get to give to read books that would help me improve my writing.

Do you have a favorite place or environment where you find your writing flow is at its best?

I am a nature lover. I would like such places to write. But going to such places on regular basis isn’t practically not feasible. I usually write in my personal space, when I am alone, at my home, in my room.

Q: Are you planning to write more books in the future? Could you give us a sneak peek into any upcoming projects?

I have two Ready for Publishing books. They are waiting for someone to pick them up for publishing, and I prefer to publish them traditionally.

I am working on rewriting two other stories that I have self-published on Wattpad (a free platform) even before writing Truth or Dare. They are my writings during the very initial days when I was only passionate but not professional, I judge them as writings that are not qualified in the quality perspective to reach the readers.

Writing can be a deeply personal endeavor. Has the process of writing “Truth or Dare” changed you or your perspective in any way?

I want to believe that people can change to become a better person overtime. We must be able to watch it and appreciate. Though, I’ve not had such person experiences, I would like to witness a lot of those!

Q: Are there any cultural or personal influences that found their way into the book’s narrative or themes? Are there any cultural or personal influences that found their way into the book’s narrative or themes?

Might be, the Indian culture and the Indian dressing styles have found some space in the story.

Q: Could you recommend a book that has left a lasting impact on you, either as a writer or as an individual?

After I met Anada Anna (Anna means elder brother) who guided me through the journey because he was in the book industry for a long time and knew how it works, I read all of his books. Among them, ‘Day and Night On a Milestone,’ touched my heart!

Other books that had me enjoy reading them were, ‘You are the best Wife by Ajay K Pandey’ and ‘400 Days by Chetan Bhagat.’

Q: Many writers experience writer’s block. How do you tackle this challenge when it arises, and what advice would you give to fellow writers facing the same?

Building a market to my books is the biggest block I am facing. Publishing a book isn’t any near to a book’s success, reaching many hearts is a books success. But all I dream of is to earn respect for delivering value oriented books to the society.

I am facing other blocks too, but they aren’t worth a mention. Little challenges are just accepted and enjoyed. At the end, when I look back, these blocks and challenges are the ones that drove me stubborn and passionate about pursuing my passion as an Author!

Please find the buy link here: https://amzn.to/3if869H

Instagram Handle of Hemasri: http://www.instagram.com/author_hemasri

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