Hey guys! Welcome to my first author interview which is so exciting because I’ll be featuring the author who wrote one of my top favorite books EVER!
The Color of Our Sky by Amita Trasi is a book I always recommend on my Twitter, Instagram and even to comments on other blogs. I think that this book is important and that everyone needs to read it. If you want to more about my thoughts on this wonderful book then read my review for The Color of Our Sky.
Here is the interview!
AMITA: Hi everybody, it’s so wonderful being here today. The Color of our Sky has been my baby for four years, and I am happy to see it go out into the world and get an overwhelming response. I am happy to answer any questions about my writing journey and/or the book.
ANGEL: Hi Amita! Thank you for agreeing for an interview here at The Bookish Angel! The Color of Our Sky is on my top favorite books ever so it’s a dream come true to interview you!
AMITA: Thanks , Angelica! It’s my pleasure!
ANGEL: I’m curious—how long did it take you to finish The Color of Our Sky? What are some of the writing struggles you have encountered while writing it?
AMITA: It took me more than four years to finish the book. At the beginning, I wanted to write about the friendship between two girls. So I started writing from their birth in different caste systems in India (in a village vs. a city). I wrote detailed scenes with them growing up and retaining their friendship for three decades. The characters actually took me to where the story is now. I wrote more than 300 pages just to get to know my characters and the plot. Once I knew my characters well enough, and knew the story I wanted to tell, I got rid of more than half that writing, and reworked through many drafts to start the novel at critical points in each character’s life.
As for the writing struggles, I think the most challenging part of writing this novel was writing the difficult scenes. It was challenging stepping into the shoes of a woman who endures so much and still retains her spirit. There were moments I went days without writing those scenes because it was too painful. It was also challenging to balance the two different POV’s and the different timelines while making the story surge forward and not letting the tension sag.
Another part that proved to be difficult was the research. There were so many brutalities /horrors I discovered during my research. I don’t think I’ve covered even one fourth of those in my novel—it would be too difficult to digest. I try to be as sensitive as possible with the more difficult scenes and use language to cushion the blow because it is a topic that must be heard. So this novel has been an emotional ride. Writing about pain is one of the most difficult things to do and I hope I have done it some justice.
ANGEL: Are you working on anything right now? (Even if it’s only your grocery list, I’d still read it!)
AMITA: Oh, that’s so sweet! I appreciate the sentiment. I wonder if it’s too early to say anything about the book I am writing. I can clearly see it’s going to be a love story in a time of conflict but ideas change and the pattern of a plot often changes along the way. . I am also going to release a few short stories soon!
ANGEL: Who are your favorite authors?
AMITA: I love writing that’s poetic. I am also drawn to writing that can embrace a simple emotion and present it in a way that you can feel it in your bones. The authors who really do this for me are: Arundhati Roy, Elizabeth Strout, Khaled Hosseini, Abraham Verghese, Alice Munro— just to name a few.
ANGEL: If Mukta and Tara (the two main characters on The Color of Our Sky) can have a weeklong vacation, where in the world do you think they would go?
AMITA: I think I’d like to see them go backpacking around the world. 🙂
ANGEL: Do you have a favorite Bollywood movie? What is it?
AMITA: It is difficult to point out one favorite movie but I like many of the old Amitabh Bachchan movies (since I was brought up on a steady diet of it – my father was a huge fan!) J I love some of the new movies emerging on the Bollywood scene like ‘Wake up Sid’ and ‘Queen’ —it portrays a new India.
ANGEL: Do you have any books that are set in India that you can recommend to us?
- I love Shantaram -by Gregory David Roberts (I am from Bombay and he shows the horrid underbelly of this city very well)
- God of small things – by Arundhati Roy – I love the beauty of language in this book besides the story of course.
- A fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry
- The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga
- Sea of poppies by Amitav Ghosh
ANGEL: For aspiring authors (like me!) can you tell us some tips on how to incorporate the culture of our country in our story?
AMITA: I think describing the culture of a country lies in the smaller details of everyday life— A simple handshake, a nod of the head, the way people dress or greet each other, their eating habits, certain mannerisms etc. If a writer immerses himself/herself in the culture of a particular country by observing these small details, they can incorporate it into their writing quite easily.
ANGEL: That’s the end of the interview! Amita, thank you for agreeing in this interview and I can’t wait to read all your upcoming works! 😀
AMITA: Thanks Angelica for the wonderful interview. It was a pleasure. The following are my social media links. Feel free to message me on FB or tweet. I’d be happy to respond.
Amita Trasi was born and raised in Mumbai, India. She has an MBA in Human Resource Management, and currently lives in Houston, Texas with her husband and two cats. This is her first novel. Visit her website atwww.amitatrasi.com