T. S. Ghosh

GHOSH - Photo*

Zharmae Bibliography:

Awakening Kali  (S&E): Available Spring 2015

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T.S. Ghosh was born of immigrant parents in Western New York and raised on curry, chai, and vacations in the sweltering heat of Kolkata, India.  She grew up immersed in cultural and creative activities—dance, music, theater, and creative writing.  But somehow she ended up being a doctor—a physician with a background in public and international health.  At this point in her life, she’s a wife, mother of two small children, a physician, and a writer—in other words, she’s sleep deprived.  But writing brings her energy, and balances the scientific and creative sides of her brain.  She’s written for everything from scientific journals to textbooks to literary anthologies.  And now she’s completed Awakening Kali, her first novel, with hopefully others to follow in the future.  But she’ll have to get back to you on that once she catches up on some sleep…

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Author Exposed!

- You, the Author -

Why do you write?

I grew up immersed in a lot of creative activities—dance, music, theater, and writing. And now I mainly work in a scientific field. So writing provides me with a much-need outlet for my imagination.

What do you write?

I’ve written everything from short stories and poems to scientific articles. I’ve even drafted some children’s books, though I haven’t published anything in that arena yet. Awakening Kali is my first novel.

Who inspires you?

My family is my biggest inspiration – not just the family I came from, but the people who became family to me as I grew up, and the family that I’ve since created.

Who are your influences?

I love character-driven literary fiction. I really enjoy authors like Arundhuti Roy or Arthur Golden that write about interesting places and rich characters.

What are your three most favorite books and why?

That’s a hard one. Honestly, I can’t even pick a top three. I really love books—many different kinds. I often have to keep myself from reading because I tend to get totally and completely absorbed in books to the point where I can barely do anything else! So I don’t think I can limit myself to a top three.

- The Mechanics -

How do you write?

I typically start a chapter by imagining myself as the main character in the scene. Where am I?   What am I doing? What does everything look, taste, smell, and feel like? I have found the more I can imagine a scene clearly beforehand, the easier it to write about. Sometimes, if the scene is based on a memory, I’ll look up photographs and study them before I start to write.

 

 

 

Where do you like to write?

Coffee shops

 

Do you set a goal of so many pages per day, or something else?

Instead of page goals, I set goals of completing a scene or chapter during every writing session. Then I go back and edit later. I have very limited time to write, so when I do get time, I focus on getting major sections finished, to keep myself motivated.

 

What program(s) or tool(s) do you use to write?

 

I don’t have a particular program or tool.

 

What do you do when you get stuck on a problem which blocks the writing process?

 

Sometimes when I’m feeling stuck, I find it easier to write by hand. I feel like ideas flow more quickly and I don’t get distracted by the internet.

 

Do you envision the entire story at once and just fill in as you go, or do you just see where the writing takes you and troubleshoot as necessary?

 

I try to envision the whole story, and then break it down into chunks—scenes or chapter.

 

What do you have the most fun with during the creative process?

I love imagining new places and new things. I love putting my characters in different situations and guessing how they’d react, before settling on what to write.

 

Do you have any special rituals or superstitious behaviors you must follow while writing?

Nope—though a cup of coffee and chocolate never hurts.

 

- Human You -

 

What is a cherished memory from your life you’d like to share?

I have so many great memories in my life—of friends, family, and travel. But a recent memory that makes me smile is of me, my husband, and my two children lying on a trampoline and staring at the blue sky together on a quiet summer day. It was one of those mundane moments that you typically don’t notice. But for some reason it felt special to me: a moment of togetherness and quiet contentment.

 

Do you prefer coffee, tea, or something else entirely?

Coffee.

 

What comes first, the chicken or the alien egg?

I’ll pick the alien egg.

 

What is your favorite {movie}? (Author’s Choice)

I’ve definitely got to go with the Princess Bride.

 

 

- This Particular Story -

 

Who do you most identify with in this work?

Wow, tough one. I’d say I identify a bit with both main characters, Chhaya and Arun.

 

Why this story?

While this story is fiction, it is loosely based on a true story that is near and dear to my heart. I also think it helps raise awareness of mental illness.

 

Who do you think would be most affected by or touched by this work?

I hope anyone who reads it will be touched. So far, anyone I know who has read it has finished a bit misty-eyed.

 

What is a profound memory from this title’s writing process?

 

 

This writing process began with a dream—literally. I woke up one night after an intense dream. It was a dream of a women shattering an image of a goddess. And I started writing the very next day.

 

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