Friends today we are glad to have with us the author of Thistle and Weeds, Dr. Prachi Priyanka.
Could we know something about you?
I am Dr Prachi Priyanka. I was born in the Silk City, Bhagalpur (Bihar); I did my schooling from De Nobili School, Chandrapura (Jharkhand), Graduated from Banaras Hindu University (Uttar Pradesh) and did my doctorate in English from Patna University (Bihar).
What do you do now?
I am into teaching. I am presently teaching English literature to graduating, and post graduate students at Sharda University. Besides, I teach English language to International students who need to develop proficiency in the language.
How did the writing bug bit you?
I think it is in the genes – my mom too writes. She has many books to her credit. I always felt that words fascinated me – the more, the better.
So how did it begin?
I think compliments can do wonders – I remember being appreciated for my writings – be it letters, poems, small articles in school magazines. And then – u decide to take it a step further – and another step…and u never realize u have walked a mile!
What do you write basically?
I write poems and short stories. I have written columns and articles for online magazines and international journals as well. And I feel comfortable expressing myself in both the languages – English and Hindi.
Let us now, know a little about your debut collection of short stories “Thistle and Weeds”
It is a collection of eleven short stories that dwell on the theme of love, lust and loyalties. They are taken from quotidian experiences, the familiarity with the characters and the plot is what makes the readers connect to the stories.
Could you describe the cover for us?
Well, the Cover is really catchy and apt – that won me at the first glance! Thanks to Aniket Kapoor, the publisher of Authors Ink and Ajitabha Bose for the cover design. The stories are about love – and the cover says it all.
Who are your audience actually?
The target audience, if you go by the cover is definitely the youth – but saying that – I must mention that there’s something for all of us – and it will be as entertaining and enriching experience for older generation as it is for college goers!
Could you please explain the title?
Thistle and Weeds is borrowed from a song by Mumford and Sons. There is a line that says, “But plant your hope with good seeds, don’t cover yourself with Thistle and Weeds.” Thistle and weeds are, according to general perception – insignificant, irrelevant, undesirable plants that grow on their own and are almost good for nothing. The stories in the book present the phrase from a different perspective. Thistle, if you know, is the national flower of Scotland. It is thorny and so is also protective by its very nature. The stories here are also gathered from seemingly irrelevant experiences which can provide better insight into our lives.
Which among these 11 stories is your favorite and why?
I think each story is very different from the other. And each one is special. Saying that, I love the twists in ‘The Paradise’ and ‘I love you’.
What is next in the pipeline?
Now – I am working on fiction – want to write longer – a novel.
Any hint on when it will be out?
Oh, I think it will take a few months! With a job and a family to look after – writing often takes a back seat – I think I need to do a crash course on time management skills.
How do you manage it writing and family?
It’s really tough – I mean writing poems when inspiration dawns on you is okay. But writing longer works like stories and novel requires more discipline. I would generally write the stories late night.
Is there anything you would like to say to young writers or aspiring authors? Because it is not easy to walk this path managing both family and passion
Definitely – I would like to tell all the young writers/ aspiring authors, don’t write because the world is writing. Write because you have something to say. Second – please polish your grammar. How much ever good the story is, errors in sentence construction is a big turn-off and can delay your prospect of becoming an author of a bestselling book.
Anything you like to say to your readers
Yes – I would like to thank all the readers who have read and shared their reviews on the stories. It was very encouraging the way readers found the stories gripping, well-constructed, original and entertaining. One should read Thistle and Weeds because the stories here can move you, mold you and make you see life from new perspectives.