Criticspace Journals: Welcome to Criticspace Journals, Sabarna and congratulations for having so many books in your account. First of all, I would like to know what responses are you getting from your readers?
Sabarna Roy: The responses primarily are a mix of delightful appreciation and also, a few comments about my penchance for darkness and swarthiness of life. That I do not write happy endings or romantic comedies. There is a bunch of readers who think my writing falls into the category of literary fiction.
Criticspace Journals: If you had the opportunity to live anywhere in the world for a year while writing a book that took place in that same setting, where would you choose?
Sabarna Roy: I do not know. Possibly, I will choose Mumbai.
Criticspace Journals: The book “Pentacles” has both Story and Poems. I loved ‘New Life’, how did this idea come to your mind about combining stories and poems in a single book?
Sabarna Roy: I am not a reflective poet. I am a narrative poet. I write in free verse. Sometimes my poems, especially, the ones in Pentacles are prosaic, verbose and very descriptive, done on purpose; although they carry the flavor of poetic idiom. There was no planning to the selection of material for Pentacles, although somewhere I thought the melancholic mood of the five pieces gel with each other although the genres are different.
Criticspace Journals: I am really impressed with the overall writing skills and books. Have any real-life events inspired you to write books? What is the most surprising thing you discovered while writing your books?
Sabarna Roy: There are no specific real-life events that I can mention. But my writings are a mixture of realism and imagination. Writing definitely gives you a scope to live an alternative life in another world.
Criticspace Journals: Your books are performing very well on Amazon. How important the content of the book is when it comes to reaching the target readers? Any good marketing strategy you will suggest to aspiring authors?
Sabarna Roy: Content is king and queen. Networking and marketing comes later although they are equally significant. I think reading at intimate book-reading sessions among compulsive readers help the word spread by mouth, very effectively. And also helps you to evaluate your self-worth.
Criticspace Journals: What was one of the most surprising thing you learned in creating your books?
Sabarna Roy: Post-production. Quality of page, cover, letter font, size, blurb, binding and most importantly, book cover. That is, how you are presenting the book in terms of a product.
Criticspace Journals: Abyss, a psychological crime thriller has a great plot. How you planned for it? How much time did it take to complete the book?
Sabarna Roy: The planning for this book started in 2008 and was finally written in 2011. This has to do with the changing political scenario in West Bengal during that period.
Criticspace Journals: Another book, ‘Winter Poems’ is entirely different. I have seen authors specified and bound with their genres. How you manage to write such strong contents even in different genres?
Sabarna Roy: I am a natural author. Whatever strain of thought passes through my mind and in any form, I capture it in my writing. I am not a great planner. I write instinctively. I do less of post-editing and modifications from my first draft.
Criticspace Journals: Are the stories from ‘Frosted Glass’ inspired by true events? It seemed realistic to me while reading. Did any real-life incident influenced to write these stories or these are 100% fiction?
Sabarna Roy: Frosted Glass is mostly real lives of other people.
Criticspace Journals: What one thing would you give up to become a better writer?
Sabarna Roy: Possibly my job as a Senior Engeering Professional.
Criticspace Journals: What are the most important magazines for writers to subscribe to? And tell us your favourite magazines, as you have participated on many magazines and newspapers?
Sabarna Roy: My very favorite newspapers are The New York Times, The Guardian, The Telegraph and The Hindu. Among magazines, I will say, Caravan and EPW.
Criticspace Journals: What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?
Sabarna Roy: When I first read Rabi Thakur’s Dakghar at the age of seven.
Criticspace Journals: Tell us something about your upcoming projects. If you could tell your younger writing self-anything, what would it be?
Sabarna Roy: I am presently working on a novel of ideas that deals with the certainty of uncertainty in life. I keep telling myself: Read and travel more than you can write; that is how you can get more intense and dense.