Hey guys, I am starting the blog tour with this well spoken interview with Neena H Brar, author of Died to Deceit
Digital Reads Blog Tours presents Neena H Brar
• Neena, welcome to my blog. Tell me something about yourself.
Thanks for having me. I was born and brought up in a small town in Punjab and moved to Canada after marrying a second generation Canadian Punjabi. I have a Masters in Business Administration. I live in Edmonton, Alberta with my husband, two children and a German Shepherd pup who is full of mischief and boundless energy.
• Did you always want to write? Who was your inspiration?
I grew up among books. Ours was a readers’ family thanks to my mom who loved books and encouraged us to read. I was as much drawn to reading stories as writing them; as a young girl, I used to write short stories for my younger brother. Becoming a writer was something of a dream that always stayed at the back of my mind during my academic years, but I never thought I would become one. I knew it would require a lot of patience and patience was something I mostly lacked; I’m I-want-things-immediately kind of person. My husband who had read some of my book reviews urged me to write a book. He thought I was good at putting my ideas on paper. After my daughter started school full time, I had a few hours to myself during day, so I begin working on my book.
• How did Tied to Deceit come by?
My mom is a die-hard book lover. We always had plenty of books at home; Russian literature translated in Punjabi and Hindi which was very popular in 70’s and afterwards in India, English classics, and of course, Indian literature. But there were never enough books for a reader inside me. In my small town, there was no public, private library or a bookstore. I was beyond happy when I got my very first library card in Canada. It was in Canada that I got introduced to British detective fiction and fell in love with mysteries. I realized no Indian writer has written a good character-driven mystery. I decided to write one myself.
• Did you have to do a lot of research for it?
Quite a bit. I wanted to get everything right about 70s’ decade: clothes, influences, movies, radio and other entertaining sources, houses in Himachal, people’s daily lives. I was fortunate to meet some wonderful people who helped me with my research.
• How long till the journey of thoughts to words to publishing take?
Two and a half years from the time I etched the very first paragraph on paper; it took 18 months for me to finish my first draft and then another year to do full edits and get the final copy in my hands.
• What would be your advice to budding authors?
Keep writing, stay at it. And read. Reading will help you to grow as a writer.
• What are your other interests?
Any free time I get, I read. I’m a hard-core reader and carry a book with me everywhere. Reading is constant for me, but my other interests keep changing; sometimes it’s baking and cooking that I get engrossed in; at other times, quilting or hand-crafts take over; shopping spree is something that swallows me whole at times and stays for months until my husband starts to notice credit card bills and brings me back to reality. I love browsing books in our local Chapters/Indigo and thrift books stores as well.
• Do you write with music on or do you prefer the silence? Any preferred time of writing?
With two elementary school going children, it is difficult to dream of a preferred time. My children dictate my writing time. I usually write while they are at school. But I’m not a person who follows a disciplined routine. There were times when I didn’t write a single word for months and at other times, I wrote like a maniac while working on first draft of Tied to Deceit. I can write anywhere if I’m in mood and have my laptop at hand. I’ve written while waiting in car to pick kids from school, at their swimming lessons, dance classes and other activities, and sitting in front of TV and talking to my husband. If alone at home, I usually put an old movie on TV and write. I love music but hardly ever get time to listen to it. The only time I listen to music is while I drive.
• Would you write other genres? Have you started work on your next book?
I love writing poetry. Currently I’m working on a poetry book ‘My Honor killing and Other Poems of Love and Life’. But I wouldn’t say it is final on my part. I might come up with something else before that; general fiction, woman’s fiction or a fast-paced thriller. I’m go-with-the-flow kind of person, it depends on my mood.
• Bestseller or critical acclaim? What would you prefer?
Hard question as every writer has this dream of becoming a best-seller author. But if I have to choose between the two, I would go with critical acclaim. The best sellers make money, but literary giants stay at the mind of people forever.
• What is that fun thing about you that is a secret or hardly anyone knows?
I’m a compulsive multi-tasker. I cannot do one thing at a time. It makes me awfully restless. For example, I cannot watch TV without a book in my hand; I must read if I’m watching TV. Similarly, I clean the house while talking to my sister or mom on phone; if they aren’t available, I just cannot clean. I have also written quite a few pages of ‘Tied to Deceit’ while talking to my sister on phone.
• Any last words at the end of this blog tour?
Thanks for having me on your wonderful blog. I hope I will get to witness plenty of love from readers.
This was Neena H Brar, candid and honest.
So grab a copy of her book, it gets released today, read it, show her some love.
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