A Conversation With Dr. Manisha Saxena

A Conversation With Dr. Manisha Saxena

About Author:

Dr. Manisha Saxena is an Author, Paediatrician, YouTube Travel Blogger, Citizen Journalist.

Dr. Manisha Saxena is a pediatrician cum novelist, practicing at her own Shaurya Children Clinic, Bharuch, Gujarat.
She has a multifaceted personality. She was a brilliant student and recipient of the prestigious National Talent Search scholarship. Although in the field of medicine she loved arts and literature right from her childhood.

She penned her first short story at the age of thirteen for her school magazine and thus pursued her literary talents later on.

Her penchant for writing showed when she contributed popular blogs to the IBN citizen journalist, CNN IBN news, channel 18 during the years 2013-14.

Several of her blogs were published by Ibncj. Around the same time, her YouTube channel became a popular travel video blog and many of them were again appreciated by CNN IBN news.

In November 2016, Leadstart Publishing, Mumbai published her debut fiction novel NATAL FAULT.

Natal Fault is a bold and beautiful novel, an irresistible socio-political saga, which scales seventy years of Indian panorama both contemporary and classic and has a poignant love story cocooned within it. It explores love, war, and the social turmoil. It would appeal to a wide range of readers from adolescents to the elderly both men and women.

Dr. Manisha, is also a trained classical vocalist and has a keen interest in reading, writing, traveling, public speaking, photography and painting. Manisha is married to surgeon Dr. Anupam Saxena and has two children Shaurya and Shikhar.

Today we will talk about her Book, her interests and so many questions.

Q. Tell us some more about your book ?

Natal FaultNatal Fault is a fiction which explores love, war and the social turmoil in India. It scales seventy years and is a new and experimental novel as it starts in 2012, when the protagonist Dr. Suchitra, is all set to open her dream venture the Rajshree Memorial Foundation for the geriatrics.

She then encounters several irregularities plaguing the medical and social scene in the country. At the same time she is intrigued when a ninety year old stranger from Singapore persistently emails her claiming an ardent love-affair with Rajshree, seventy years back, which was withered by the deadly World War 2 and thus the story swivels retro to India of the 1940s. As the novel progresses the mystery gradually unravels. So Natal Fault can be summed up as a contemporary tale with a classic bend.

Q. When did you first realize that you should write a book ?

Almost a decade ago. I loved writing even in school and college when it was mostly for the school magazine or the writing remained trapped in the leaves and folds of a personal diary. It was a passion. Then I contributed blogs to the citizen journalist CNN IBN in 2013-14.This was much appreciated and that was when I firmly decided to write my own book.

Q. What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before a book?

I was highly struck by the struggles of soldiers who fought the World Wars, especially prisoners of war, the Chindits, the Indians, who were a part of British Indian army etc. So I extensively researched the subject before penning down Natal Fault.

Q. How many hours a day do you write? 

When writing Natal Fault, I devoted two hours a day, soaked in solitude, to write.

Q. How did you select this title for your book? 

Being a doctor, I chose this word Natal from the medical terminology. Natal means pertaining to birth. Basically, Natal Fault can be deemed to be a phenomenon i. e. Fault related to your birth.

That is your birth decides your destiny manifolds, the kind of family, society, country you are born. It shapes your upbringing, thoughts, values, behavior etc. Man is against the man because they owe their births to different warring countries or sects or religion.

So the birth becomes a fault. For people who are from hybrid parentage, sometimes the society labels it the Natal Fault. So this Natal Fault is a germinal idea behind the book and the book has several layers of fiction revolving around it in a span of seventy years.

Q. How long it took to finish your book?

I started writing in December 2014 and finished by October 2015. So it was eleven months.

Q. What books have most influenced your life?

As a teenager, I loved mystery and romance and at that time Agatha Christie, Barbara Cartland influenced. Later on I was influenced by Robin Cook, Sharat Chandra, Premchand, Rushdie, Dan Brown and Khalid Hosseini books.

Q. Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

Yeah, I do read my book reviews and consider each one critically because finally, it’s the reader whose verdict matters. So book reviews are welcome.

Q. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I have many roles to play in the family, with friends and serve the patients of course.

Q. Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

Yeah, there are secrets like maybe some of my characters resemble some real persons I encountered sometime.

Q. As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up? 

As a child, I did not give much thought… but can say the writing was a dream.

Q. Which book inspires you a lot? 

There are many books which have inspired. Not only fiction but also non-fiction, autobiographies etc. It would be difficult to name only a few here.

Q. Are you writing any new book? 

Shall soon begin.

Q. What was one of the most surprising things you learned in writing your book?

The most surprising thing was that a writer has to master the art of marketing as well as writing.

Q. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Read a lot before writing and know the trends of the publishing industry.

Q. Is there a message in your novel that you hope readers will grasp?

My novel dreams of a faultless nation where there is no divide among people on basis of their birth. It has different messages against exploitation of women, social divide, unstressful education, uncorrupted health sector and compassion towards elderly. It upholds the honor and struggles of soldiers and celebrates pristine love.

Q. What book or books have had a strong influence on you or your writing?

Before writing Natal Fault, I read Jhumpa Lahiri’s Interpreter of Maladies’ and Arvind Adiga’s ‘White Tiger’. I must say I was influenced by their writing.

Q. As a writer, what would you expect from your readers? 

I would love if more and more readers pick up Natal Fault, read it, rate it and also recommend it to other readers.

Thank you so much for giving an insightful view on your book and on writing. I hope this would be a source of a great deal of inspiration for our readers. It was a pleasure interviewing you !

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