Shuchi Singh Kalra is a writer, editor and blogger who runs a writing firm called Pixie Dust Writing Studio. I Am Big. So What!? is her second novel.
Q Why do you write?
I write to because there’s nothing else I’d rather do. I write to vent, to express, to show, to tell, to inspire, to heal, to connect, to leave something behind. More importantly, I write to earn a living.
Q Do you have a writing schedule?
I do, but it is not rigid. I mostly write when my daughter is in school or at night when everyone's asleep. Sometimes, when inspiration strikes, I leave everything, grab my laptop and type it all out before it fades away.
Q Coffee/tea/cigarettes — numbers please — while you are writing…
Fortunately or unfortunately, none of the above.
Q. Ever struggled with writer’s block?
Oh yes, more often than I’d like. In fact, I am in the middle of one right now.
Q Best piece of advice you’ve ever got?
This too shall pass.
Q Do you keep a diary?
I used to, back then when there were no computers and Internet. I still have some of them lying around, although most entries are too embarrassing to read now.
Q Describe your favourite writing space.
Ideally, it would be a log cabin somewhere up in the hills, by a quiet lake, with a comfortable garden swing right outside. Inside there would be a library/writing studio with wall-to-wall bookshelves, a beanbag and the usual office stuff. And very speedy wi-fi.
Q Which book/author should be banned on grounds of bad taste?
I am not for bans of any kind. And tastes are relative — what may be a trashy read for me might work for someone else.
Q Which is the most under-rated book?
The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan.
Q Which are your favourite children’s books?
All of Enid Blyton, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain and Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book.
Q Which classics do you want to read?
Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter.
Q Your favourite literary character.
I have been in an imaginary romantic relationship with Heathcliff (from Wuthering Heights) for the longest time.
Q Which is the funniest book you have read?
The Shopaholic series by Sophie Kinsella and Aunts Aren’t Gentlemen by P.G. Wodehouse.
Q Which is the most erotic book you have read?
The Kama Sutra and Delta of Venus by Anaïs Nin.
Q Which book do you wish you had written?
Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. I wish that was my journey too.
Q Your favourite word?
These days, it is “cafuné”. A Brazilian word, means running your fingers fondly through the hair of someone you love. It’s such a beautifully sensual word — just hearing it makes me want to do it!