Saturday, August 1, 2020

Inside the Mind: Preeti Rajput

Welcome to Inside the Mind where we here at The Faerie Review interview authors and creators.
Our guest today is Preeti Rajput, the author behind Clean Slate.

Lily: Thank you so much for agreeing to this interview Preeti I couldn’t put ​Clean Slate​ down. What inspired you to write this collection?

Preeti:  Thanks, Lily, for liking the book. Well, these stories were not written in a day or months and not even in a single year for that matter. Being an addictive travel enthusiast, I have completed numerous journeys across the country over the time. I met many locals and listened to their experiences and tales. Some of them were intriguing enough to strike the right chord, so I picked up the ideas and wrote the excerpts. Back at home, I used to narrate them to my friends, and they all listened enthusiastically. I always felt that these tales need to be told. So recently, I developed those passages into full-fledged stories. I can say travel played a major role in inspiring me to sit down and complete this collection.

Lily: ​ That's wonderful! I think you did their stories justice. Do you have a favorite story out of the group? Mine is ​Haunted House​.

Preeti:  Naturally, I am attached to each and every story in the book, which makes picking one of them a tough task. Still, if I have to choose one, it would be–“Mr Professor”. The opening incident in the story where a rich brat insults the professor in a class full of students is inspired by a true event and a friend who witnessed it, narrated it to me. I was aghast when I visualized the scene in my mind. For several days I kept on replaying the incident in my mind with distinct ways for the brat to suffer repercussion. At last, I reached an ending which satisfied my heart and I converted it to the published version of the story.


Lily: ​ I can't imagine being so rude to one of my professors! But I really enjoyed the final twist of that story. Out of all the main characters, is there one you would want to spend a day with?

Preeti:  In short stories, you get less opportunity for character development. It is well enough to know the person but not sufficient to develop a liking or fall in love with them. I have created those characters, so I know a bit more about them as compared to readers. Based on this, I would love to spend a day with Vihaan of Haunted House.  You have mentioned that it is your favorite one from the collection, so I guess you already know the reason why I chose him.! Wink!


Lily: ​ Hehe, but I'm going to leave it to my readers to find out why on their own. Are you planning another collection of short stories?

Preeti:  I am working on my next project and this time it will not be a collection of short stories but a fiction novel. The entire plot is yet to be developed, but I am planning to keep it travel-centric.


Lily: ​ I look forward to reading it when it's published. Now we’d like to talk about you as a writer. Do you have a ritual to get you in the writing mindset?

Preeti:  Writing comes to me spontaneously and at random. It is like I am occupied with my daily chores and a delightful idea in the form of inspiration hits. Next moment, I pick up my pen and sit down to write. That’s how I develop my first draft. Of course, this doesn’t work for revisions. To revise, I have to bind myself with a schedule. For this, I plan the timing and word count and follow it rigorously.   


Lily: ​ I like the idea of writing the first draft as inspiration hits and then setting a schedule for revisions. Do you write every day?

Preeti:  It is not a routine task for me. There are days when I write every day, and then there are days when I write nothing for almost a week. I write when words come naturally to me without having to scratch my mind and think harder.


Lily: ​ Sounds like a good way to avoid writers block. Have any authors influenced your writing?

Preeti: I really aspire to write like Jeffrey Archer someday. I am a huge fan of his work whether it is short stories or fiction novels. Presently my writing is nowhere comparable to him. If I talk about myself, my writing is pretty simple. I try to keep it easy to understand for everyone.  


Lily: ​ I enjoy your writing, and I'll have to check out Jeffrey Archer. Let’s finish up with some fun questions and get inside your mind. What’s the best type of dessert?

Preeti:  I don’t know if you have heard about “Jalebi”. It is an Indian dessert which is hot, crispy and filled with sweet syrup. When you take a bite, the sweetness erupts like a fountain to fill your mouth. Aha!! That’s my best type of dessert.


Lily: ​ That sounds AMAZING! What’s the most imaginative insult you can come up with?

Preeti:   I so much want to do it to people who preach a lot.

X: Talking and preaching to me incessantly…..

ME: [Stands in the middle of one-sided conversation]

X: [Stops talking]

Me to X:  Suddenly I feel a need to see an ear specialist, should I drop you somewhere?


Lily: ​ ​That's so much nicer than me when people preach at me! I might have to try it. What is a piece of advice you often give but find yourself struggling to follow?

Preeti:  “Everything that can be planned should be planned”. If I follow this advice, my life could become much more organized. Unfortunately, I am too good at making a plan and equally bad in following it. My laptop is filled with colourful project plans waiting to be followed to completion at least once. I make a plan and when it comes to execution, I do it haphazardly.

Lily:  ​ I have to admit I'm the same way. Would you rather be stranded on an island or in the jungle?​              

Preeti:   An island for sure. Can’t say for the jungle but on an island at least I will die with a picturesque view if I die there at all.


Lily:  I think I'd prefer the island too. Have you ever seen a ghost/spirit?​    


Preeti:   Have you ever noticed that in a gathering of cousins or childhood friends at home, ghost stories hold a revered place. And the one who has actual ghost experience becomes the centre of attraction. I always want to be that person, so I cook up spooky stories. After that, I can’t sleep with lights off and the slightest moment of curtain feels like the presence of a ghost. This is the closest I ever came to a paranormal experience. I hope a ghost isn’t listening or planning to give me a genuine experience to boast about.


Lily:  Spooky stories were always the best parts of sleep overs and parties. What’s the longest you could go without technology?​              

Preeti: If you don’t count a camera as technology then I have almost spent 10 days during my bike trip to Ladhak as there was no mobile network. The only device I used was a DSLR. Anyhow, going on a trip without a camera is a stupid thing to do. So I guess this should count.


Lily:  I was thinking more phones and laptops. I don't know if I could go ten days without being able to text anyone. Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?​              

Preeti:   No. It looks fine.


Lily:  Thank you again for agreeing to this interview. How can readers discover more about you and your work?​   

Preeti:   Readers can follow me on my blogs, website, social media and can write to me

Website & Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Amazon Author Page | Goodreads | Buy the book

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