We offer our first and exclusive Q&A Interview with Vidya Venkataramanan, a writer whose literary works have been featured on our Spillwords pages as well as being Author of the Month of September 2023.
What does it mean to be selected as Author of The Month?
I really deem it an honour as Spillwords has given me an opportunity to showcase my work and I am grateful for that.
How have your friends and/or family influenced your writing?
My father was passionate about writing, and my mother was a Professor of English Literature, and I guess I got my love of writing from them. Without encouragement from my daughter and sister, family, and close friends and teachers, these stories and poems would just be unwritten pictures in my mind.
What inspires and motivates you to write?
It’s the little things in life, such as a sunset or a flower, animals, birds, and the day-to-day happenings around us that count as experiences in life. The everyday things I see around me are words in my head, racing to be put down, either in verse or prose, in a fun or philosophic manner.
What was your writing catalyst?
Going home from school one day, a drunken man got into the bus I was travelling in. His impeccable English slurring through broken teeth and the commotion he made in the bus, was very dramatic. When the authorities dropped him off at the police station, he shrugged his shoulders nonchalantly, and walked off, his dignity intact! I thought it was a great story to write about! And my school magazine published it! That was the beginning of my writing journey. And I experimented with children’s stories, articles, and sporadic blogs.
After a lull in my writing, my professor gave me some pictures and encouraged me to write a few lines on them. That sparked the poetry bug in me and then there was no looking back. I got to co-author and publish two books of poetry too!
Please share a glimpse into your writing process.
I don’t have any particular process. If I’m inspired by the topic or the situation, I write. If it doesn’t speak to me, I’m stuck and can’t get it right.
What do you find most fulfilling about the act of writing?
When the right words tell the story, and I know that it explains exactly what I want to convey, writing becomes fulfilling for me.
How does the use of imagery contribute to conveying your story?
I love making use of imagery. Metaphors, transferred epithets, and vivid descriptions that narrate in beautiful phrases, bring to life staid events.
What is your favorite reading genre?
Novels and short stories. Definitely poetry. But my all-time favorite is detective and crime fiction!
What human being has inspired you the most?
Poets like Keats, Shelly, Wordsworth, and Robert Frost. If I have to pick one, it would be Keats.
What message would you have for the Spillwords Press community that voted for you?
I am grateful for their vote of confidence in me. I’m happy they enjoyed my writing and gave it a standing in society. It means a lot to me. For that I thank each and every one of you who voted for me. I feel that a writer’s success comes from people’s acceptance of the way of writing.
What would you like your legacy as a writer to be?
With my writing, if I could brighten up someone’s day with a fun poem or give them some insight into a problem they face, I would consider it a bonus. Because I write to tell everyday stories, just to connect with people, and it probably is what they are going through, and which somebody else has put into words, and they are able to vibe with it.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Just that I’m happy to have my work published on your website and glad you give writers a chance to showcase their work in a space that is widely read and appreciated. It’s a feel-good space.
SEPTEMBER 2023 AUTHOR OF THE MONTH at Spillwords.com
Vidya Venkataramanan is a homemaker whose dual passions are writing and exploring the finer nuances of self-realisation through philosophy and spirituality. After finishing her post-graduation in English Literature, she opted to get married and be a stay at home mom to her only daughter. While juggling the various duties of wife and mother, her first love, writing, was never far from her mind. She indulged this passion by writing short stories and a huge treasure trove of poems. Many of her poems have been published on various online forums apart from a book of published poems, co-authored by 2 like-minded poets. Apart from her passion for writing, she also nurtures her spiritual side by practising reikii and meditation.