Her book on horror short-stories has been doing the rounds for a while now and this senior author-journalist has left no stone unturned to give her readers the ultimate thrill through her mystical play of words. If watching a horror movie is scary, imagine being in one! We caught up with Sangeeta Mahapatra to talk about her latest work- Wreath & Other Stories
From spearheading a National Business magazine to penning tales of horror and suspense, how did the transformation happen?
I was always a writer inside, a story-teller by heart. Spearheading a National Business magazine is something which happened along the way. There was never really any transformation which happened as I never let go of writing, rather, writing is what kept me going!
How much are the horror instances and characters in the book related to real life experiences?
If you have the eye for it, you’ll realize there is horror all around us. There are a multitude of ways in which you can interpret a scene as simple as that of a child playing on a field. In my writings I often target the rather closeted fears inside us, the ones we wouldn’t rather explore. Come to think of it. What is scarier? The evil outside or the evil inside that you may not even know of?
Does it feel eerie while writing a horror story? What is your state of mind?
Call me strange but when I’m writing horror, I feel I’m in my natural habitat (and I hate it!). I try to get into a flow and keep on writing at a go mostly in solitude.
For me, fear is a ‘life-thing’ and I’m living the fear while I’m writing. The challenge is to maintain sanity while writing and keep the sensitivity of the readers in mind.
If you would have to pick a character among all the short stories, which would you dare to be?
It wouldn’t do justice to pick one character out of the lot as all the characters have a part of me and I hope I can give each an effective voice. The biggest challenge for me is getting away from my own character while penning the stories down
How and where do the characters in the stories come to life in your mind?
All the stories were written over a long period of time. There was never any conscious decision while writing keeping getting published in mind. For instance, back in 2009, in Columbous, Ohio I was snowed in for almost more than a week, in a situation like that, I couldn’t help but pen down my stories. There are certain stories that I had written as early as 2002, I had a treat revisiting them. Each character in the book is a labour of love.
In today’s age, how difficult is it to become an author?
It sure is very difficult to be an author in today’s times. Technology has made you your own gatekeeper and you are now your own brand.
Which book are you working on currently?
I’m working on 2 books currently. On is related to my research on terrorism and the other on horror
You can get your copy here