Please welcome D. Biswas to the blog! She's the author of A to Z Stories of Life and Death.
How long did it take you from idea to publishing your collection?
I started writing some of the pieces in the collection in April during the A to Z challenge organized by Arlee Bird. During this challenge, participants had to post on their blogs for 26 days in April, every day excluding the 4 Sundays. Some of the readers liked my pieces of fiction enough to ask me to put them together in a book, so the idea took root there.
I finally published the book in August, after 3 months of beta-reading, editing, and re-writing.
The A to Z Challenge was awesome! I love that you wrote flash pieces during it. Are you a plotter or pantser?
I began as a total pantser, but I think I’m beginning to include bits of plotting in my writing. It is all very well to write a piece of flash fiction off the cuff, and the method works for short stories too (somewhat), but now that I am working on a novel, I have to have some sort of outline to keep track of things. So I’ve begun to do some bare-bones plotting.
I agree flash fiction and some short stories don't require much planning. Novels are quite different. Good luck with yours! What are you writing now or have forthcoming?
I’m working on a collection of longer short stories and a novel, and they should be sent out/queried early next year. In the meanwhile, I mean to write a few stories for e-publication as well, all based on the worlds I created in A to Z Stories of Life and Death. To give you an idea of what the A to Z collection is all about, here’s the blurb:
Twenty-six A to Z stories, based on the twenty-six letters of the alphabet, question our moral compass: How do you judge a teacher toying with the sexuality of her teenaged student? A boy who decides to murder his mother? What thoughts rage inside a pedophile serial killer before he shoots himself? They challenge the concepts of beauty, truth, and morality, by revealing the face of the other side.
The stories focus on a crucial juncture when a character's life changes, for the better or worse, because of a choice or decision. Some of the characters in the stories confront death, others talk about life with its quirks and whimsies. Each voice, ranging in age from a six-year-old to a centenarian, has its own riveting story to tell. Together, this collection of stories at over 12000 words attempts to prove that when it comes to stories, depth can sometimes replace length and breadth.
I always find it interesting to learn what other authors are reading. If you could recommend a book—not your own—what book would that be?
The books I would recommend could become a small library. I’m currently reading Runaway by Alice Munro, and I think that is a book worth picking up. If there is one writer who can fit in an entire novel into a short story, it is her. I think all of her work deserves to be read and admired.
It really is hard to pick one book to recommend, isn't it? Thank you for your great answers, and I loved reading your A to Z Stories of Life and Death. Congratulations and I wish you the best in your future endeavors!
D.Biswas lives more in her head than in this world, adores her husband, and loves her pet fish and plants. She is an established writer for magazines and journals. Her short fiction has been published in the Quarterly Literary Review Singapore, Muse India and in print anthologies by Marshall Cavendish, Monsoon Books, and MPH publications. Her book, A to Z Stories of Life and Death is available for download at Amazon Kindle and Smashwords.