We caught up with author Saskya Jain who has recently had her first novel entitled Fire Under Ash published through Random House India. Saskya told us about her background and experience, how she got into telling stories, about her debut novel and her second book, which she is currently working on. Read on to find out more.
You have an interesting background that spans India, Europe and the United States. Could you please tell us some more about this?
I was born in Ahmedabad and grew up in the central Delhi government colony of Kaka Nagar. My mother is German and both my parents are scholars of Indian art, so my brother and I grew up travelling all over western and central India while they were doing research. After finishing school I went to Berlin, Germany, for my studies, followed by graduate studies in New York City and Boston, after which I returned to Delhi, though lately I’ve been splitting my time between Delhi and Berlin, two very different cities that complement each other very well.
How did you get into storytelling?
When you grow up with a sense that you are lacking something, whether it’s stability or adventure or money or love or beauty or companionship or a combination of these, storytelling become one way of dealing with these wants as a child. Today I greatly benefit from the fact that I had an eccentric childhood but children don’t always appreciate eccentricity. Most of my youth I desperately wanted to fit in with the neighbourhood kids and my school friends but somehow I never did. It’s a classic story: I felt isolated and apart as a teenager, so I escaped into reading and eventually writing.
You’ve published your first novel this year entitled Fire Under Ash. Could you please tell us a bit about this book and how the idea for it came about?
Fire Under Ash is about three Delhi people today – Ashwin, Lallan and Meera – who, each in their own manner, want to break away from the paths set out for them. Ashwin is from a wealthy Delhi family but sees himself as an artist at heart. Lallan is thoughtful and sensitive but his ambitions exceed his means. Meera, Ashwin’s older sister, is torn between living the high achieving expatriate life in New York and being true to herself. I liked the idea of bringing three very different people together and exploring how they would affect each other’s lives, sometimes unwillingly or even unknowingly. It’s a story about how power and ‘good intentions’, the latter born out of ignorance and a largely selfish impulse, make a dangerous cocktail for another whose only weapon is his intellect and ambition or her altruism. I know this to be a very Delhi story on the one hand, but I also suspect that many people in cities all over the world are familiar with it.
Could you please tell us about any other novels you’re working on, give any insights into what these are about, and when they might become available?
I’ve started writing my second novel, which is set in the above-mentioned government colony of Kaka Nagar in Delhi and tells the story of two neighbouring families. Badminton plays an important role in the novel. I can’t say when it will be published, that depends on how long I take to finish it.
Could you please share 3 top tips for authors who want to write fiction?
Write every day, read a lot, and don’t take yourself too seriously!
How can people find out more about you?
Through my website, www.saskyajain.com, or by ‘liking’ my Facebook author page, which is where I post updates regularly, including about upcoming events and publications: https://www.facebook.com/saskyajain?ref=hl. You can also follow me on Twitter: @SaskyaJain.
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://writingtipsoasis.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/hv1.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Hiten Vyas is the Founder and Managing Editor of eBooks India. He is also a prolific eBook writer with over 25 titles to his name.[/author_info] [/author]