Let’s welcome author Sunanda J. Chatterjee today. She’s a doctor and a prolific writer who has published many memorable stories. Here’s more about her.
Sue: From doctor to author. How did that happen?
Sunanda: I like to call myself the Accidental Doctor. All my life I’ve loved creative writing. I’ve been writing poems and stories since elementary school. But it went nowhere until after medical school, PhD, and residency. Only after I was in a proper job, did I decide to indulge in my hobbies. I took up painting and writing and haven’t looked back since.
Sue: Tell us about your latest release. What inspired it?
Sunanda: Untethered is a series of short stories. They are all flash fiction, so all the stories are under a thousand words, some just around two hundred words, or less than a page. I usually write upbeat romance or uplifting women’s fiction. But after I became an empty nester, I was in a funk and stopped work on my novels, a series of romantic sagas set in the exclusive estates of California . During my funk I just wrote ultra-short stories and had some accepted to online magazines and anthologies. It became a release phenomenon of sorts, which allowed me to go deeply into the emotional state of different characters, showing a glimpse into their lives without getting involved with them throughout a long novel. Some of the stories are light-hearted, but others are heavy, some sad, reflecting my state of mind when I wrote them. When I had a big enough collection I decided to put the stories together in a book for kindle short reads.
Sue: Do you have any writing rituals?
Sunanda: Most of my brainstorming happens while driving back from work. When I get home, I jot down the ideas in my phone. Then when I have free time, I start typing. I like to write in the mornings and self-edit in the afternoons. I like to be alone while writing, without music, without any kind of noise. But it’s hard to find time to write, with a full time job as a doctor. I know many authors who put out several books a year. I can barely manage one or two.
Sue: What do you think are the pros of being an author? And the cons?
Sunanda: Being an author is being free. You can let your imagination run wild, put yourself in other people’s shoes, and figure out what you would or would not do in the situation. Writing helps me deal with issues in my own life. It allows me to experience emotions in their complete, raw state. I enjoy that.
The cons are few, but worth mentioning. When you’re at work and an idea hits, you cannot wait to get home to start writing. I have ignored my family while a plot thickens in my mind. I become selfish with my time and attention. Sometimes I ignore my own fitness, but now I have developed a routine. No writing until workout and chores are done. Writing a sad scene can affect your mood too, which is why I generally write uplifting stories. Except for my current collection.
Sue: Time for a quick fire round
Your favourite authors…
Sunanda: Nora Roberts, Dan Brown, John Grisham, Renita D’Silva, Kerry Fisher
Sue: Your favourite genre to read…
Sunanda: Womens’ fiction, thrillers, and some romance.
Sue: Your favourite fictional hero…
Sunanda: Jack Reecher or Aragorn
Sue: Your favourite fictional heroine…
Sunanda: Embarrassed to say: Hermione
Sue: tea or coffee?
Sunanda: Both. Coffee in the morning, tea in the evening.
Sue: Mountains, beaches or city?
Sue: What can your readers expect from you next?
Sunanda: My stand-alone romantic saga, The Wish to Belong, book 4 of the Wellington Series (which I had abandoned when my daughter went to college), is finally complete and is coming out later this year. It is with my editor right now. The cover is all ready to go. I am really excited about it. All the stories in the series are about a different couple, how their past affects their current lives, what they must deal with to overcome their issues to find love, acceptance, and fulfillment. The stories are set in California, India and Europe.
Sue: Wow. That does sound exciting! Good luck 🙂
Get your copy of Sunanda’s latest book here: https://www.amazon.com/Untethered-Other-Stories-Fiction-Collection-ebook/dp/B07Y44NCM8