Blogchatter Author Interview Series-Suchita Agarwal

Suchita Agarwal

Suchita Agarwal has a Masters in International Business and is Head of Operations at Blogchatter. She writes fiction and essays regularly on her blog

She has self-published 3 ebooks: 23 Letters of Love (a poem collection), The Gunslinger (a western novella) and Happy Endings (an anthology). Reading and desserts are her one true love.

1. Hi Suchita, congrats for being a part of the Blogchatter Thriller anthology. How you felt after writing this story?

Thank you so much! I mostly felt relieved because when I had started writing it, it wasn’t making a whole lot of sense. I didn’t know where it was going and I discovered that as I wrote it. When I read it back after I had edited it, I was happy with how it had turned out.

2.Hartoli’s Duty–  How did this plot come to your mind?  Any real life experience encouraged you to write this story or you are influenced by mythology?

Names and imagery are important to me. Unless I can feel the texture of what my story will be like I don’t start writing it. For Hartoli’s Duty, the imagery came first: a grey backdrop, a person on a boat, rowing from one shore to the other. Since I was writing a thriller, I added the angle that Hartoli was ferrying dead people. The story grew from there. No real-life experience inspired this story. But I am fascinated with death and how it is viewed in different cultures.

3. How many days did it take you to write this story? I felt the vibes of being scary while reading this story…. Hartoli or Brahaspath…. who is your favorite and why?

It took me a few hours to write it. I was motivated by a deadline so it was easy to focus. I am so glad that you found it scary.

I think I’m partial towards Hartoli because I understand where he’s coming from. How he is trapped and doesn’t even know he is trapped. Perhaps he’s even stopped listening to himself.

4. What are the elements of thriller you consider a must for every thriller story?

I’m thinking of all the thriller books and movies that I have read/seen and what all of them have done well is kept that sense of unease very tight. Even when your character is fine and safe, that lingering unease that any moment something could take that safety away from them is what makes a great thriller as per me. I also like messy endings where not everything is tied together in a neat bow. They keep alive that sense of unease even after the story has played out.

5.  Where you love to sit and write when a plot is knitting in your mind? A special surrounding is needed to bring out the plot from mind to paper?

Very interesting question. I allow the story to churn in my head for as long as I can. I have conversations with myself and keep throwing “what ifs” in it. Once I feel a clear story has emerged, I type out the plot. While typing, it changes of course, but that’s the nature of writing. Once I am happy with the plot, then the actual writing begins. 

I don’t have a special space where I write. My desk and laptop are where it all happens. The first line of my story is important for me to get into the groove of writing so I spend some time crafting that. Other than that it’s a simple process of a blank Word Doc, that first line and the rest of the plot.

6. How did writing come into your life?

I have always been an oral storyteller but I wasn’t a writer. Language wasn’t something that was my forte and since I didn’t have the effective words, I didn’t write. I was only able to start thinking because my English teacher taught me tools of the language. Reading and listening to people talk helped me to understand the rhythm of language and storytelling and how to tell an effective story.  

7. Who is your favorite thriller author?

Blake Crouch and Stephen King. 

8. What are your other passions in life?

Reading and collecting lipsticks and nail-polishes. 

9. Is thriller your first love in writing or is it different? What genre of writing do you love the most and why?

I would love to write a full-length thriller but that’s not my first love. My favourite genre to write is fantasy. I love how I can create my own rules and boundaries and then force myself to write something within those confines. I had heard this term – structured freedom – when I was learning about classroom techniques (I was a teacher once upon a time) to get students to work on projects and I love that term. Writing fantasy gives me that.

10. How do you rate yourself as a writer?

Oooof what a question! On good days I’d rate myself 11 on 10 and on bad days probably 2 on 10. There are rare occasions when I’ll forget I’m reading my own writing. Those are magic days.

“This post is part of the Bookish League blog hop hosted by Bohemian Bibliophile