Happy Labor Day Weekend. We welcome A.R. Sara, children's writer, to the internet wilds. Links to connect with A.R. Sara are peppered throughout the feature. Please explore.
A.R. Sara, Author of story books for children of all ages!
Name: RajaRajeshwari Nagasigamani
Pen Name: A.R. Sara
Most recent title published: Morban from Garalond (#3 in the Pachaihara Forest series)
Where do you write?
On my iPad , my computer or sometimes even a scrap of paper will do. Location is my room or my car but I tend to lose track of the surroundings once I get into flow of writing.
What are your rituals with regards to writing (ex: Must have tea, a cat on the lap, etc)
Listening to some music, closing my eyes and trying to still my thoughts to unwind is slowly growing to be a regular ritual before my writing sessions. Recently, munching on a bar of chocolate is threatening to take over as a writing ritual.
Describe your writing process:
I let myself get transported into the fictional forest of fantasy, Pachaihara. I allow my imagination to take over and let my thoughts flow free. Then I just start to pen down the story as if it were unfolding right before my eyes. I feel like an invisible observer and narrator who is allowed into this surreal world of fantasy and it is exhilarating experience.
What do you when you begin to revise? What's the first thing you do during that process?
The very first thing I do is to ensure I make copies and backup of the original or the most current version. I follow the same procedure for every revision.
When revising, how many drafts do you go through before you feel comfortable with the final product?
I go through an iterative process of reading it aloud and making changes that feel necessary. I just rely on my inner voice to guide me, on when to stop.
As a writer, whose music, or voice, sometimes do you hear as you write or revise?
I hear voices of my loved ones. Sometimes I could almost hear the fictional characters from my stories carry on the conversations in real time as and when I am writing them down.
How would you classify your poetry? Are you a lyric poet? A Romantic? A Surrealist?
I don't consciously try to be one or the other. As I go back and take a look at the poems I have written over the years I guess I am a bit of all three.
What poets are you currently reading?
Currently reading poems by Lord Tennyson, Robert Frost and Nissim Ezekiel all over again
What poets/poems do you strongly recommend a reader to discover?
Recently I am finding out that there is a whole new exciting world of undiscovered poetry by poets both known and known. Thanks to all the different poetry forums, blogs, online sites, readers have the privilege to have a glimpse and browse through some of the amazing poetry out there that was previously inaccessible. I would recommend readers to carry out an exploration of these poetry sites.
The contemporary American poetic tradition is elegy, do you discover elegiac qualities among your own writing as a whole? Are you a poet of loss?
There tends be a melancholic edgy feel to some of my poems. But as a whole I feel my poems tend to range from light hearted, uplifting, romantic to intense and inspirational.
Where does your inspiration come from (music, film, other books)?
I draw my inspiration from multiple sources, my kids being the catalyst who got me started on this path of writing and publishing. I have been an avid reader of fiction since the time I began to read and music has been a constant companion too. But the seed was planted early on by my parents, thanks to all the bed time stories I listened to as a child.
The initial idea for the Pachaihara forest was sparked off during a lively story telling session with my kids about a fictional forest of fantasy.
Explain how your local and regional environment influences your writing, your process, and your product (in other words, how does your reality intersect with the worlds that you create?):
All the different cultures I have been exposed to in my life as well as my immediate surroundings influence my writing style as well as the characterization.
The characters and the premise of the story are fictional based on fantasy, but rooted in reality when it comes to the emotions expressed.
You have to invite four authors to dinner, who are they? Why?
Irrespective of their different writing styles and other unique features I appreciate, I feel their books are timeless. Stories with elements of reality interwoven so very finely, stories that have the ability to transport you to another world. It would be an honour to invite them for dinner. I would invite four or more rather than three, more the merrier, ie., if they decide to accept my dinner invite.
I would love to find out if all four of them would be interested in doing a joint book project.
Favorite title (you wish you had come up with):
Too many titles I love, but difficult to pick a favorite. Can't think of a title I wish I had come up with, as the potential for coming up with unique titles feels limitless.
Line you wish you wrote:
Can't think of one that I wish I had written, though I have several favorite lines from various books I have read several times over.
Book you did not read in high school but now have read and have an appreciation for: And why:
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a book I got to read only recently and I am so glad I did.
It is a book that made me appreciate and thoroughly enjoy the story both through the eyes of my inner child as well as a parent.
Delightful, smile, happy
Least favorite words:
Most of the curse words.
Advice you would like to pass on to other writers:
Post writing and publishing, do not stop with marketing and promoting, but parallelly work out a strategy for branding your work and yourself as an author. If you are self editing, it really helps to read aloud the story, to spot anything amiss.
What you would discuss with your pet if your pet could talk:
I did not get another pet after my first pet, a Labrador passed away. I wish I had spoken to him more when he was around. He makes a guest appearance in the third book of the Pachaihara forest series and this gave me an opportunity to revisit my memories of him.
Find A.R. Sara and her fantasy novels though Amazon.
A.R Sara is a pen name the author RajaRajeshwari Nagasigamani coined for herself to explore her passion for writing. She considers herself a breezy & intense eternal teen with a zest for the here and the now. She resides in India with her super supportive handsome husband who is her childhood sweetheart and soul mate and her two kids. She has been considering writing for a long long time. On an impulse she went ahead and published her musings from the eighties and the first half of the nineties. Then a nudge and a push from her kids. So the "Tales From The Pachaihara Forest" took shape! Since the idea of the Tales from the Pachaihara forest took root, she feels strongly compelled to take it further. To tell the tales of the various beings that dwell this fantastic forest as well as the neighbouring Droom forest.
Learn more about her and her other books at: http://www.arsarafables.com