I enjoyed doing this interview with Dr Vera Tobin about her recent non-fiction book, Elements of Surprise, which I had reviewed earlier. We discussed the cognitive, linguistic, and narrative aspects of the "well-made surprise" in fiction (books and movies). We also talked about fake news, "dumb-smart" stories, unreliable narrators, and a lot more. PS If you enjoy the posts I share here, please do share them on via social media. Every bit helps us writers get a bit of visibility and it's a quick little step that costs nothing except a few seconds of time. Thank you.
I had reviewed Anjali Sachdeva's debut short story collection, All the Names They Used for God, earlier this year. Then, I got the chance to do an interview with her. We discussed how she approached the themes of the stories in this collection and the choices she makes regarding style and structure. We also talked, particularly, about her love for the short story form and what she is working on next.
As regulars here will know, since 2015, I have used this day to highlight one woman who has been inspiring to me and others. Like many other women, I also had to get past my annoyance with the Hallmark-ey and consumerist mindsets that this day has generally proliferated. What I decided, though, is that women, overall, have had to struggle a lot to get here — from voting rights to patriarchal societal rules to sexism and misogyny, and a lot more. So if we take one day a year just to celebrate how far we have come and how much further we intend to go, that's definitely worthwhile. Beware of settling for the awful social media forwards/shares that celebrate women for doing so well per patriarchal norms and expectations. These faux feminism stances do a whole lot more to harm than bolster the position of women in our cultures.