About The Author
Reetwika Banerjee, 29 years, is professionally a Data Security Consultant, currently associated with Accenture. She has completed her Bachelors in Electrical Engineering. Working for a brief period as lecturer she moved ahead to accomplish her Master’s in Business Administration from a prestigious International University.
She loves to present her ideas and have participated in more than 25 Corporate and International conferences and business contests across the globe, crowning Laurels from most of them. With roots in Kolkata, she is now settled in Bangalore. She had previously worked with Tata Consultancy Services and Wipro serving across various geographies and culture.
Apart from writing, Reetwika is also a trained voice artist who has received the ‘Visharad‘ (meaning expert) title in the recital domain from Sarva Bharatiya Charu Kala Mandir. She has delivered multiple live performances on stage and television in her recital career. One of her finest childhood memories is when she performed her first live concert on television.
Reetwika’s hobbies include creative thinking and international travels and she dreams to be the Indian “Agatha Christie”. “Fantastic 40” is her first published book and she is currently working on her second book.
1) Can you tell us a bit about your background? How did your background influence the genre you write in?
My parents love to travel a lot and that had infused a nomadic spree in me. Since my childhood I have been to many places across geographies which help me in setting scenes for many of my stories.
2) Where and when did your writing journey begin?
Writing started as a child’s play for me. During my childhood days, my mom inspired me to think, imagine fantasies and write whatever came to my mind. As I grew up, I started sharing my creative outputs with various literary magazines across the globe. Even I engaged myself as one of the Editors of my school and college magazines and soon after my graduation I went on to venture my own magazine named “Culture Flash”. Shortly my works happened to receive varied accolades at different platforms. With time, it was my husband who motivated me to write a book.
3) Who are your favorite authors and how have they influenced your writing?
I am a diehard fan of Anton Chekov’s short stories and Agatha Christie’s mystery novels. Apart from them, I also draw inspiration from the Indian legends Rabindranath Tagore and Satyajit Ray. I have as such no similarity with their writing styles, but I am highly driven by their flair of capturing emotions, choice of apt words, bizarre scene-setting and climactic twists.
4) What does a typical day in your life look like? And how does your writing routine fit into your day?
I work for a U.S. based federal client in a full time consulting role and hence my major half of the week goes in accomplishing official assignments. But the immense workload I need to handle helps me to be assertive.
Both, my husband and I, are very fond of long drives and often we go for planned or unplanned getaways here and there. I somehow feel, vacation brings the best creativity out of me. Writing is not a routine work like my office. It’s something which I enjoy mostly during my leisure. No fixed schedule as such.
5) How did you come up with the idea for your book, “Fantastic 40?”
I write what I love to read. I liked to read novels in childhood. With time, I started feeling tired of waiting so much to know what finally happens at the end. So started reading short stories and soon became an avid reader of the genre. Be it in any language I kept reading them. I enjoy quickly getting into the climax. Soon short stories too seemed too long to hold my curiosity back and I was slowly growing impatience to read them as well. Started looking for even shorter stories in the racks.
Well, before starting with my micro story concept, one question frequently came to my mind, – In today’s speedy world, do we really have enough time to relax and enjoy a full length novel? Keeping the fast pace of our promising nations, is it not high time to make a paradigm shift of the contemporary literary styles? Such thoughts ran behind me for months till the time I came up with the concept of MICRO STORY.
6) What do you think sets your book apart from others current on the shelves?
The genre of the book. The very concept of Micro Stories is very rare in the modern literary world. Most of my stories are even shorter than a typical short story, ideally to let my readers complete a full story in a single breath. Hence I coined the name “MICRO STORY” to tag my innovative creations. I respect my reader’s time and would like them to start talking about this new concept of micro stories.
7) Which character in your book is your favorite and how much of yourself is reflected in that character?
Tamay is my favourite character. As an author, I feel ‘observation power’ is very essential for any person. Even in a public or social gathering, at times I tend to slightly seclude myself from the crowd to study the people around me – their behaviour, habit, customs, way they speak, gestures, choice of food etc. This really gives me food for thoughts. Tamay’s observation power and quick wits outwits me at times as well and that’s what makes him my most fond character.
8) What are some of the difficulties when it comes to writing a book with a male protagonist as a female author?
I am a damn admirer of Agatha Christie and learn new things every time I read her works. I believe she had mastered this art to the fullest. I agree, it’s really challenging to come out of the feminine lens and see the world through masculine specs, but again as an author that’s what your creativity is! Imagination, flexibility and liberality are the most powerful artilleries of any author – male or female.
9) Which scenes in your book did you have the most fun writing?
To be honest, I love to read plots with periodic backdrops, and no doubt also enjoy carving such plots tin my narratives as well. Some of my favourite stories include: ‘The Cursed Well’, ‘Tsimasham’, ‘With M. K. Gandhi on 15th August, 1947’ and ‘Come Back Soon’.
10) What do you hope for your readers to take away after reading your book?
- The concept of Micro Stories
- Simplicity of the verbiage – anyone with an elementary knowledge of English can enjoy the whole of it.
- The depth of the storylines and the emotions captured. Weak characters can build up fantastic stories if depicted well. But even with strongest of characters a poor storyline can destroy the entire effort.
11) What are your hopes for this book?
“Fantastic 40” has been receiving some wonderfully encouraging feedbacks from its readers and critics. My readers may help me promoting the book through any of the below ways:-
- Word of mouth – spreading the concept of MICRO STORY
- Book reviews and feedback on public forums
- Gifting to friends and acquaintances
- Invite me as a guest speaker
- Arranging book reading sessions
12) What do you have in store next for your readers?
I am currently working on my second story book. I will not say it’s a sequel of “Fantastic 40” but it’s of the same genre.
“Fantastic 40” is arguably one of India’s first assortment of English micro stories (shorter than a short story) which is an amalgamation of author’s figments of imagination based on fiction works depicted in the form of crispy narrations. It contains 40 stories encircling various moods of life including love, humour, trust, revenge, happiness, anguish, sarcasm, mystery, affection, sportsmanship, friendship, thrill, romance and forgiveness. Though all the events/characters depicted in the book are purely imaginary, yet readers can easily identify oneself with most of them. Target readers will mostly include the young adults – agewise or mindwise who enjoy reaching climaxes in a single breath. The language used being extremely crunchy, it will also attract anyone who enjoys witty puns and sweet love stories. More details about the book can be found in the below links:-
- Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23479285-fantastic-40—a-collection-of-40-micro-stories
- Booklife: http://booklife.com/my/project/fantastic-40-a-collection-of-micro-stories-8070
** Amazon Buy page URL: http://www.amazon.in/Fantastic-40-Reetwika-Banerjee/dp/819256908X
** Flipkart Buy page URL: http://www.flipkart.com/fantastic-40-english/p/itme69fnj4djuzbx