Blogchatter Author Interview Series- Deepti Menon

Deepti Menon

Deepti Menon has always loved the written word. She began to write at the age of ten, and was lucky enough to have travelled around the country, being an Army kid, and later an Army wife. Her experiences during those years helped hone her interest and her flair for writing. Meeting new people helped her to notice details and put them into her interesting characters. (In fact, her friends and family shy away from saying anything to her, for fear of seeing it in print the next time they open a magazine.)

Her first book, ‘Arms and the Woman’, published by Rupa Publishers in 2002, took a light-hearted look at the life of an Army wife. This book was written mainly to reveal the warmth and camaraderie within the great institution. Deepti is the Executive Director of Hari Sri Vidya Nidhi, an ICSE/ISC school in Thrissur, Kerala.

2013 and 2014 were lucky for her, as many of her short stories were chosen for anthologies. She had a number of stories in the various ‘Chicken Soups’ as well. Short stories with deft twists and tongue-in-cheek articles that tickle the funny bone are her forte. Deepti has also worked as a freelance journalist for over seven years and brought out humorous pieces, lifestyle articles and hard-hitting non-fiction in many publications.

Deepti’s latest book titled ‘The Dance and the Trance’ came out in October 2023. This book deals with the life journey of a temple oracle in Kerala. For Deepti, writing needs to sparkle with simplicity and originality. She strives to find that one word that conveys her ideas most meaningfully to her readers. She believes that Mark Twain had the right idea when he said, “The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.”

1. Congratulations dear Deepti for publishing your story in the thriller anthology of Blogchatter. You are a seasoned author but how different is your feeling for this short thriller story?

Hi Samata, such a pleasure to chat with you. I think that every piece that I write, be it a poem, a short story or a novel, has its special place within my heart. This story is no different. I am happy that I was able to place it in the Blogchatter Book of Thrillers.

2. What Tomorrow Holds – how did the plot for this story come to your mind? Is there any real-life incident that gave you the hint or gist to develop this story?

It was this phrase that first came to my mind – what tomorrow holds. We have heard stories of women waiting for their loved ones… the example that comes to mind is Penelope waiting for her husband, Ulysses, for years together. The phrase stayed on in my mind and turned into a refrain in my story.

3. What are the other genres apart from thrillers you love to write?

I just love the idea of writing… I have tried my hand at non-fiction, children’s literature, poetry, biography and fiction. The two genres I am not confident about writing are romance and erotica.

4. How did writing come into your life and who acted as an inspiration for you?

I was blessed to have many mentors in my life – my grandparents, my parents and later on, my husband, all of whom encouraged me to share my thoughts. I get inspiration from them, but I also get inspired by my daughter and my two little grandchildren. Books have always played a significant role in my life and from there, moving on to writing seemed the obvious choice.

5. What are your other passions in life?

I enjoy teaching, travelling, theatre, music and meeting people.

6. What tips do you wish to give to budding authors?

I always feel that budding writers have their own wonderful ideas about writing. All I can say is that write with passion, edit with precision and pray with fervour that your writing touches the hearts of readers.

7. Who is your favourite thriller author?

Without doubt, the Queen of Crime, Agatha Christie herself!

8. What type of books do you love to read the most?

I savour thrillers and mysteries mainly because I eagerly wait for that twist in the tale.

9. If a chance is given to expand the story of “What Tomorrow Holds” to form a novel… What other characters or incidents will you love to add in the plot?

I would add a back story of the girl’s lover and create a family for him, along with his parents and siblings, all of whom would also get involved once he disappears. There could be an investigation, Hercule Poirot style, where the mystery would be solved later in the story.  

10. How do you rate yourself as a writer?

How does one ever rate oneself as a writer? I would say that writing is my passion and being a published writer has always been my dream.