A doctor by profession, trained in dermatology, but a poet at heart, Alpna always looks into giving words to many an unspoken sentiments and unexpressed thoughts. Intuitive and a deep thinker, she wants the characters she conjures to speak to the readers and is immensely grateful for the appreciation she got for her stories on online platforms, and in published anthologies like ‘Shattered’ by Penmancy and ‘ Love’ by The Hive.
You can find her short stories and flash fiction narratives on www.penmancy.com, a platform she regularly writes on.
She has completed a mytho- fiction novel based on a contemporary take on the Mahabharata which is yet to be published
1. Hi Alpna, congrats for being a part of the Blogchatter Thriller anthology. While reading your story I got the reflection of a Rudali movie… the protagonist finally ended up being a Rudali… I guessed it right or not?
A- Hi Samata,thank you! Feel privileged to be part of this wonderful Blogchatter anthology.
I didn’t intentionally think of a Rudali.Now, that you have pointed it out, I see the similarity.I just wanted to paint the picture of a woman who rebels and finds solace in her loneliness after being a victim of abuse , discrimination and social apathy.
2. Black– How did this plot come to your mind? Any real-life experience encouraged you to write this story?
A- As a genre, I do not usually write thrillers.My writings and stories are mostly based on social issues.When I decided to write for this anthology,I wanted to pen down a thriller but also be true to myself.
No real life experiences, but inspired by so many incidents of gender discrimination and child abuse that we come across even today.
3. How many days did it take you to write this story? What type of emotional feeling your experienced while penning this story?
A- From the first thought, till the final edit, I would say ten days with long breaks in between.Whenever I couldn’t put to words what I wanted to, I let it pause.
A heaviness in the heart persisted throughout ,but also an element of thrill, because I knew how I wanted it to end.
4. What are the elements of thriller you consider a must for every thriller story?
A- An undercurrent of dread/ suspense/ fear/ mystery that prods the reader to go on .
5. Why Black …. is there any particular reason to pick this color as it can also be white or Ash color to depict the pain and journey of the protagonist?
A- I used the colour Black for foreshadowing.To symbolise something ominous, or dark.And I made the protagonist find solace in that colour because all the other colours of life were not true to her.
White symbolises purity and even though she had reasons to do what she did, we cant call her intentions pure.Similarly grey / ash could symbolise monotony, dullness , confusion but not have the desired mysterious effect of black.
6. How did writing come into your life?
A- I used to love penning down poems and essays as a kid.It is a creative process that I always loved.
But serious writing came into my life a few years back when I chanced upon online writing platforms like Penmancy which gave the opportunity to write short stories and get feedback from other authors.
Writing is therapy for me.It is now my lifeline.
7. Who is your favorite thriller author?
A- To be honest, I have not been too much into thrillers and just read then at random.So it would be unfair to have a favourite.
I enjoyed the Sherlock Holmes mystery series as a kid.
Amongst the recent ones, Gone Girl kept me on the edge.Kudos to the author Gillian Flynn for maintaining the ominosity, darkness and mystery throughout the narration.
8. What are your other passions in life?
A- I am a doctor, a skin specialist believing in the power of healing with counselling and lifestyle modifications and minimal medications.
I am also passionate about storytelling for kids, painting and travelling .
9. Is thriller your first love in writing or is it different? What genre of writing do you love the most and why?
A- As I mentioned before, thriller is definitely not my first love. Favourite genres which I grapple with the most are 1)Drama inspired from real life and real people , delving into social issues 2) Mythological fiction
10. How do you rate yourself as a writer?
A- I believe in the power of the pen and it is that belief that makes me think of myself as an above average writer.
That said, I learn and grow everytime I write and everytime I go through the work of other authors.