Author Interview – Sprith Shrivastava & Shashikant Singh

Sprith Shrivastava and Shashikant Singh are the co-author of book “Lantern”. 

Q 1 – Hello Sprith and Shashi, Glad to have you for discussion. Please tell us something about yourself.

[Sprith]: The pleasure is all mine! I am from Mumbai, where I have done my education and graduated in electronics and telecom engineering. I have worked as a telecom engineer for two years and now I am currently into content writing and aspiring for post-graduation in business management.

[Shashi]: Thank you. I too am engineering graduate. Coincidentally, we both are from the same college. I have stayed in most of India, all thanks to my military background. I have been writing since school days and have lost many compositions since then ;). The ones that are with me have been published in this book. I am shy at the same time a lazy person. For me it takes a lot to do or initiate something, let alone finishing it… 😊I like travelling and photography, apart from creating my own compositions or write-ups. Presently, I am working for a bank.

Q 2 -Congratulation, that your book “Lantern” was placed in World Book Fair of Delhi and Chennai

[S&S]: Yes, it was an exhilarating experience. World Book Fair, as the name suggests, is the largest fair that attracts a lot of book enthusiasts from all over the world. So, having our book share space with some of the renowned authors was in fact a privilege. We also got in touch with other authors and took a few tips from them. It was enriching there.

Q 3 -Why did you choose a name “Lantern” is it about a dark poetry or short stories?

[S&S]: As the tagline of the book suggests, ‘One day is enough to turn the world upside down.’ The protagonists in the stories come across moments that change the course of their lives. The poems are related with all the facets of life, and cover the entire spectrum of human emotions and experiences. The readers will get a lot of insight on the same about the unpredictability of life’s circumstances, to illuminate the readers. We have tried to cover and encircle every aspect of life, and that’s why “Lantern”.

Q 4 – Please tell us something about your journey as a writer. Please tell us something about your book “Lantern”

[Sprith]: I started writing since engineering college. However, it was mostly dormant during that time. It was only while working that I started writing again full-fledged and began developing plots for short stories and writing poems based on almost anything that I would come across. Finally after a year of scribbling, we finally had ‘Lantern’ ready! It consists of 5 fictional short stories related to sci-fi, time machine, drama, horror and poems cover a gamut of subjects.

[Shashi]: Adding to the first question of yours. I think a lot… Framing lines, rhymes, thinking of subjects to write on. At times I think in rhymes… create a stanza on the go… if not lost to my laziness, would mostly convert in to poems. As of now, I have not written any story or big write-up (yes, of course, my lethargy! ;)). I attribute my writing to my schooling and the teachers I have been with. I can actually name specifically three teachers (Mrs. Anitha, Mr. Arjun, and Mr. Vijay) who encouraged and appreciated me during my school days to write poems. If you allow me a minute, here is a small anecdote from my life, as to how I came to writing:

“In the year 2001, while I was in the eighth grade, on a Friday afternoon, my English teacher caught me looking out of the window. The Nature was gearing up for a heavy shower. Pulling my attention towards the class, she grinned, “how about Shashi bringing a new poem on Monday describing the rains outside.” However, I could not achieve writing a poem then and for my good, nobody had remembered the declaration of the teacher by Monday! But, I always had that I write one.

Recently, I have found Mrs. Anitha, the English teacher, on Facebook, but my request is still awaiting an acceptance or a refusal. Oh, God! Sometimes life is so beautiful. That’s it. Interestingly, you can also find answers in the poem ‘What is to be a Poet?’ included in this book…!

About the book: The book is actually serendipity. To be frank to you, we both didn’t know each other during the college days. It was years later that we both met in an M. Tech Competitive exam class where we discovered that we were from the same college and became friends. While in the classes we shared our compositions, however, we had not thought of a book then… it was just sort of a liking (hobby). Later, the classes were over in 2014 and we went our ways. However, two years later, in 2016, we jokingly talked about putting up a book… and now it’s here! Sometimes, sayings turn out to be true.

Our book is collection of poems and stories, for people of every age! Parents and teachers can read out or gift to their wards, for recreational reading.

Q 5 -Would you like to share the experience of being two people an author of single book? How does it help you?

[S&S]: Having two authors proved helpful for us in a number of ways. In fact, we share quite a history, we met in a coaching class and it turned out that we were from the same college! We interacted and found that we both had a knack for writing. Years later, we independently had a thought of publishing book, but neither of us really felt much serious about it. It was only when we discussed with each other that we thought of taking our writing to the next level. So, we got that push from each other to collaborate and write a book. We then met and talked about ideas for stories and poems, which helped a lot while writing. Indeed, having a co-author helps bring out the best out of each other!

Q 6 -What kind of readers should read your book? What are your target readers?

[S&S]: Actually, anyone! Anyone who knows how to read should read it. There is something in it for every reader. Poets and people who love poetry will of course like it. Apart from the stories, this book is work of thoughts in the form of poems which encompass reality, feelings, emotions… So, people c’mon, grab a copy… you can always gift it to someone else!

Q 7 – How did you get an idea to publish English poetry along with short stories? How does it help you?

[S&S]: As authors, we wanted to expand our horizons to not only poetry, which was natural to us, but also to prose, which was much more challenging and required a lot of patience. ‘Lantern’ gives a lot of variety to the readers who love to read poems as well as fiction short stories with a twist!

Q 8 – Can you please share your editing and compiling experience about your published book? 

[S&S]: Once the manuscript was ready, it was time for editing and sorting all the poems of Shashi and myself in a pattern. At the same time, we had to intertwine the short-stories as well, which is equally spaced between each other. It took some time, but the end result was fantastic and Publisher was also quick to support and everything was done within few weeks.

Q 9 -What was your reaction when you saw the first copy of your debut book “Lantern” which was placed in World Book Fair.

[S&S]: It was amazing. Initially, the world book fair seemed very overwhelming because of the huge crowd and big halls. We found our way to the hall having Publisher podium and when we saw our book in the shelf, it was surreal! We often used to go to book-stores and find our books of great authors in the shelf, and now seeing our own book in the same light was a proud moment!

Q 10 -Are you both planning to publish your next book together? When can we expect that book?

[S&S]:  For now we are basking the moments of our current book. There is still a long way to go before we decide our next book. But, of course that will be one hell of an experience once again. There is a possibility!!

Q 11 -Would you like to share any specific pattern or style of writing with our readers?

[S&S]: For the short-stories, we wanted to keep a twist at the end and keep Easter eggs in all the stories to make it more interesting for the readers. The poems are written in a lucid way for anyone to understand, and give them a rich and a thought-provoking experience!

Q 12 -Who is your source of Inspiration?

[Sprith]: My source of inspiration has been the acclaimed lyricist and poet Gulzar. His keen observation skills, depth of writing on almost every emotion and circumstances makes him inspirational. It really helps to broaden a writer’s horizons when one reads his work.

[Shashi]: For me, actually, I have never thought it that way. It’s just been a quest to write and compose – put my thoughts out.

Q 13 -How do you write? Do you write together as a team? Or you follow any specific pattern?

[S&S]: We had our own distinct write-ups that we used to share with each other. However, there is one story named ‘The Master of Time’ that we have co-written together. So, basically Shashi wrote the entire plot, after which I added more fillers, sub-plots, twists and Easter eggs in it!

Q 14 -Can you please share some memorable experience while interacting with readers in book fair?

[S&S]: We visited the Delhi Book Fair on the very last day of the event. So, we had limited time, but the time spent there with all the readers was amazing, to talk to readers, understand their preferences and tell them about our book ‘Lantern’ was an unforgettable and enriching experience.

Q 15 -What advice you want to give to aspiring authors? If your readers want to connect with you, how can they do that? Tell readers about your socials to connect.

[S&S]: To all the aspiring authors, we would say to start writing straightaway, without waiting for the perfect plot, the perfect moment or weather! Just pick a topic or genre, start researching, introspect with your own experiences and give words to your expression, and surely you will have a great story to tell!

Readers may contact us at:

Twitter: @yesshashi; @sprithauthor

Facebook: fb.com/imshashi; fb.com/sprithauthor

Instagram: instagram.com/iskant; Instagram.com/classroom.of.poetry

Email: lanternauthor@gmail.com

You can grab a copy of “Lantern” at Amazon –   Click here

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