Presentation at Rowers Reading Series: So Much Love!
Wonderful June evening spent amongst lovers of art who never fail to show up. Stories, poetry, and prose never sounded so good. The Rowers have been reading for 13 grand seasons.
There were so many to thank- The Canada Council for the Arts, The Ontario Arts Council, The Toronto Arts Council, The League of Canadian Poets’ Canada Poetry Tours or The Writers’ Union of Canada’s National Public Readings Program, and Glad Day Bookshop.
Rowers Reading (RR) Blog Questions to Anubha Mehta (AM)
RR: What’s your best piece of advice for aspiring writers?
AM: Whether you have a small flame or a raging fire in your belly to write – just write. Dig deep and indulge fearlessly in your imagination. Let it appear flawed, random, disjointed, imperfect, for that gives us opportunity to learn, grown and envision some more. Never underestimate the power of your interpretation of the world. In front of the integrity and primacy of your story or your idea, the written word is just one medium of expression. We are all born out of stories and stories are all around us. Don’t give up, try to live life daily and let the magic unfold around you. It will.
RR: What part of the day is your best time for writing?
AM: Day or night, when inspiration strikes. Sometimes in the middle of the night I wake up to write, sometimes I wake up early when my body is rested but my mind is bursting with ideas or with a sheen of clarity that I had been waiting for. Sometimes I cannot sleep till I write. Sometimes I cannot write till the ‘to do’ mundane chores are completed. Many times, while dealing with real life issues of my day job, my imagination suddenly hijacks my mind to spaces and places on the dark side of the moon. And I jot down points that are to be written out that night after work. Often, I percolate or flirt with an idea till I am ready to write. And other times I randomly write without pre-thinking, planning, editing or trying to make sense- whenever I can snatch time from my day or night. If we could invent a 25th hour of our day, that would really help.
RR: Describe your new book or your work in general in two sentences or less.
AM: Peacock in the Snow is a genre-bending thriller about the seamless, adventurous journey of girl across continents, generations and cultures to find a love that is so improbable and discover a secret that sets her free. My writing builds comparators of issues, characters and situations by drawing on life lived in both the East and West.
RR: What’s your favourite drink at the bar (so people can buy it for you after)?
AM: Ants in Your Pants. Have you heard of this cocktail? A smashingly popular drink from the far East which I discovered thirty years ago when I was marooned on a small island of Phuket in Thailand (another story) . On this island the ant population had exploded, and the natives started using them as a crunchy ingredient full of vitamin C in their cuisine and drinks. Ants in Your Pants since then has spread in its popularity in Latin America and France without the ants of course.