Fantasy author Pratibha R DH believes that she has had this connection with the fairies right from the tender age of seven. The fairies in her world loved telling her stories about the fairy cosmos and their acquaintances – the dragons, unicorns, witches and the wizards. Her parents and siblings refused to believe her, so she promised the fairies that she would publish their stories one day and the world would know about them.
In course of time, to get respite from the endless goading from her parents and her teachers about how she must stop day dreaming, she enclosed all her stories in a sealed file. And then studied with a vengeance to pursue a master’s degree in Economics, a diploma in Computer Networking coupled with certifications from Cisco and Microsoft (MCSE, CCNA). Life became busy what with her job as a Content Specialist, when the bond with the fairies was revived again and she was reminded of her promise. From then onwards, her life was one balancing act with the major part of her work in the day consisting of content writing for websites, SEO copywriting, article writing, blogging and web designing, whereas by night she recommenced her childhood promise of writing about the fairy realm.
She has also released a paranormal romance novelette “Redemption” and is now working on the third volume of Magical Ventures of Loli and Lenny. The “Secret Code of Magicians” is her next novel to be released in August.
Some say that her novel “Magical Ventures of Loli and Lenny,” is roughly inspired by the real life accounts of the fairies. Rumour also has it that except for her two little boys, no one from her kin knows about this secret pact with the fairies. Not even her husband!
What inspires you to write?
Writing has been my passion right from childhood. I would always be scribbling something or the other in my huge collection of diaries. Writing poetry was my first love although I have published them only in school magazines and local newspapers.
Even during my IT career as a content specialist I have always loved the writing part where the major part of it involved content writing for websites, SEO copywriting, article writing and blogging. The process of writing itself is exhilarating to me as I have the perfect opportunity to give free reign to my imagination – creating and giving life to it, joining the missing pieces, adding the logic and infusing it with mystery. It excites me to see a story unfold as I go on adding words to paper, building up my imaginary world and visualize the magic happening. That is the reason I love writing fantasy as I get to add drama, emotions, romance, adventure and mystery – in short I have the additional perk of touching other genres too.
Another inspiration to write my particular genre is my attraction towards anything supernatural be it paranormal science, mythology, Wicca, witchcraft, occult, fairy folk lore, NDE, OBE, psychometry, clairvoyance, angels, necromancy etc. I love to read and research about them. And they provide me enough fodder for my fantasy novels.
Tell us about your writing process
I use a mixture of almost three methods depending on how the inspiration or idea sets in.
First method is more methodical where once the image or the idea takes a hold I play around it for a while. I read and research a lot on the subjects close to that idea. Then I start brainstorming, making pointers and notes in my diary. I continue to form a backbone of the story in longhand. I plan the characters surrounding the protagonist, jot different points and sub-plots as the ideas flow in. Each subplot would be composed mostly of five or six lines roughly of the scenes that might take place. I make a lot of diagrams too, to get a feel of a scene. After that I elaborate a little more on each of the subplots. I also use a software called spacejock which helps me to add some structure to the story. It helps to segregate the story into different sections like say the outline, the characters, plots, subplots, locations, word count etc. From here the adventure begins as I go on building the story. Sometimes if I am stuck on a particular chapter or a subplot I just proceed to the next scene and then I go back later to work on where I left off.
Second method I use during the times when I fail to plan ahead or fall short of an idea. From the beginning I start working on it by the seat of my pants. As I keep progressing new ideas sets in, the dialogues of the protagonists play in my mind of what or how they might be talking in the story. Sometimes it leads me to give a completely different angle to the story which I might have never perceived at all if I had planned ahead.
The last method is totally magical where I just see an image and inspiration sets in. I go on writing as the ideas flows in like a torrent and the story pours in very fast like a quick download. And then onwards I go on editing, polishing and perfecting the story.
How do you think writing for children and young adults is different from writing for an adult audience?
The language has to be made as easy and lucid as possible for younger children to understand. So however tempting it is, one has to do away with the bigger words although that might be naturally easier. In short we have to keep the content simple.
We have to be great deal more expressive so as to excite and thrill the youngsters. Plus see that we avoid too many details or descriptions about the characters or places as that would make them lose interest. Focus should be more on action than descriptions. Hence we must be quick to jump to the action scenes and go subtle with the background details.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Once I start pouring in the story the characters develop their own persona. They may change on the way or develop additional traits. Mostly they would start talking and direct me to write a particular dialogue which they might say in a particular intonation or a certain mood. So mostly they would do the talking, directing and well, pulling the shots mostly.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
A UK based publisher made an offer.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
It will be a mixture of sorts of both traditional as well as self publishing. But both ways it will grow exponentially.
What do you use?
Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer
What genres do you write?
Children, Middle Grade Fantasy, YA Fantasy
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print
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