An Interview with Simran Kaushik

In conversation with author Simran Kaushik, published book: Astroverse: Sci-Fi Poems.

Interviewer: Congratulations for the release of your book – Simran Kaushik! Can you tell us about the inspiration behind “Astroverse: Sci-Fi Poems” and how it differs from your previous work, “Petrichor”?

Simran Kaushik : Thank you! Sure. Astroverse book has been a result of several vague ideas, stories and concepts floating around in my head, and my plan to put it all together neatly in one coherent, fast-paced project during my semester break. As a space (and science, in general) nerd and enthusiast, I think about sub-themes related to it, a lot. Me being in the field of physics and my habit plus love for writing and drawing since early childhood had made me confident to take my ideas seriously and find a creative outlet, intertwining stories and scenarios poetically with science and futuristic phenomena. Unlike Astroverse, Petrichor book has 21 poems, divided into three broad themes, containing seven poems each, with no artwork. Astroverse contains 30 poems, with 5 sub-topics, related to the main sci-fi themes of the book.  Petrichor’s 3 themes are unrelated to each other, and they lay out a blueprint for my bibliography plans and “flavours” for upcoming projects. It was the first book I wrote, before my final exams of the previous semester. The three themes in Petrichor book can be thought of as a crash-course for my future projects.

Interviewer : Space travel, exploration, and astronomical phenomena are central themes in your book. How has your interest in astrophysics and cosmology influenced your creative writing process?

Simran Kaushik: Physics topics in general, and not justAstronomy and Cosmology, often inspired me to see some poetic beauty and an opportunity for creative writing. They are the topics that gave me comfort and not just stress, when I thought about them or studied them. I always found it fascinating, in sci-fi movies, books, pop-science videos, how deeply analytical yet imaginative these topics can be. STEM-related names, for example, the name of an unusual shape, a new celestial body, a fundamental particle, an equation’s symbol, the Greek name for a very important mathematical operator, a made-up name for a fictional chemical element in my or a machine and many such things, unlocked  my creative imagination, making me think, “Oh, this could be a cool character’s or a machine’s name”, “This could be my fictional space-colony’s or a residential planet’s name”, “This could be an evil character’s traits- based on the behaviour of so-and so- scientific thing” and so on! Then, I would elaborate the write-up further.

For a personal touch to this answer, please refer to the nineteenth poem of Astroverse book!

Interviewer: Your book combines poetry, drawings, and illustrations. How do these different forms of artistic expression interact to create a cohesive narrative within the sci-fi context?

Simran Kaushik : Excellent question! There are some poems, in which my drawings provide a central-theme to the plot, whereas in some, they are a background prop to the already engaging narrative of a particular poetry-piece. There are also poems where artwork provides an additional depth to the write-up, where the entire poem is an event happening inside the artwork!

Interviewer : Your unique art style is a prominent feature of your book. Could you elaborate on how your illustrations influenced the development of certain poems and vice versa?

Simran Kaushik : Some of the drawings in my book were made by me in 2021,back whenI had vague plots supplementing and explaining the scenarios drawn out with a blue-ball point pen. These include the artwork for “Stellarbug”, “Butterfly Nebula”, “Café Celeston”, “A.I. ‘Art’ ”, “Broken Titanium Heart” and “Cyborg Gym Song”, to name some of my favourites. I kept their stories in the back of my mind, but finally beginning to work on the Astroverse Project and re-tracing those drawings with a digital pen made me develop refined plots and give the characters, machines and all elements of the drawing a voice, a back-story or simply an event in their already dramatic life. Similarly, I had “wish-list” of scientific and mathematical names and topics that I decided to inculcate in my poetry, scribbled on my whiteboard with a blue marker. Sometimes, I’d combine one or three themes to write one poem, or split a single theme into several poems, and accordingly make artwork on a paper and re-trace it on a tablet. As I kept on completing each such theme/topic/idea, I’d strike it off on my whiteboard. Sometimes, I would spontaneously get an idea for a drawing or a poem, inspired by and during my daily life activities and events (going to gym, cherishing a meal, thinking about physics, breaking rules in an institution, reflecting on past friendships etc.) and I included it in my manuscript.

Interviewer: As both a writer and an undergraduate physics student, how do you find the balance between your academic pursuits and your creative endeavours? How do these two aspects of your life inform each other?

Simran Kaushik : As my mother always said, it’s a matter of time management. My goal has always been to function as a writer+artist and a scientist. This semester, I am making sure to not stress myself out or isolate my interests due to academic and co-curricular commitments. Along with studying and research projects, I have started valuing mental health, which requires me to find a creative outlet and practice my craft along with being a sincere student and a committed learner. I also take out time for physical activity after a long, exhausting day at university to manage stress and to take care of the mind and the body.

I am still learning to re-direct my focus, to manage time properly and sometimes re-arranging top-priority tasks based on academic, creative and personal timelines. Writing, physics, working out and art are the things that will always be an integral part of my life, no matter what!

Interviewer : The themes in your book cover a wide range of topics, from AI sentience to dystopian futures. Could you share your thought process behind selecting and weaving together these diverse themes?

Simran Kaushik : Being fascinated with futurism but also worrying about the planet and society , I had a strong drive to write about my beliefs and opinions, and not just imagination and creative expressions. I felt that through my book, I had a platform to voice my concerns, views and fears about unsafe and unethical usage of A.I. , over-utilizing the planet’s resources without restoration and what would be the demands of an A.I. be, that has all the smartness, but wants to be integrated into the human society. As a person of science, I had a certain responsibility/moral obligation to write about Earth, and not just the tales of flying afar from it.

Interviewer: Your involvement in your university’s space club and magazine team suggests a deep connection to both science and creativity. How do these extracurricular activities contribute to your growth as a writer and artist?

Simran Kaushik : They help me realize that being multi-faced compliments and enriches each part  and role of my life, of being a student/physicist to be and a writer/artist, helps me find a community of like-minded people and helps provide a platform for showcasing a shared passion towards not just space, but STEM in general.

Interviewer: “Astroverse: Sci-Fi Poems” seems to encapsulate your passion for both art and science. Can you share a specific poem or illustration that you feel best represents this fusion of interests?

Simran Kaushik : Poem number 12. Butterfly Nebula! The character enjoys her role in science, a form of art as well as her responsibilities followed by a sense of relaxation and relief for making the right choices!

Interviewer: Looking ahead, how do you envision your creative journey evolving? Are there any new themes or directions you’re excited to explore in your future projects?

Simran Kaushik: Yes. In poetry, I wish to explore some more science fiction, some cottage-core themes, nature-inspired themes and inspirations from the daily-life, Thus, encapsulating the past, present and future. Later, I plan to try out short-stories and write novels as well. As most novelists, I secretly wish my novel series become a movie and media franchise or a show!

Interviewer:  Are you on social media? How can our readers reach you?

Simran Kaushik: I primarily use LinkedIn (, and Instagram (simzcel, booksbysimz and astroversebook). Currently building a website as well.

Interviewer: Thanks for your time! It was a pleasure talking to you about your book. I wish you best of luck for the future!

Simran Kaushik: Thank you so much!

About the Author:

Simran, known as Simz in the creative realm, is a nineteen-year-old writer and physics undergraduate with a passion for both art and science. Her interests span from astrophysics and cosmology to storytelling and artistic expression. Simz is the author of Astroverse: Sci-Fi Poems, a captivating collection of poems accompanied by her original illustrations. She is also the initiator and president of her university’s space club and a fervent advocate for the intersection of art, science, and imagination.

Book Details:

Title: Astroverse: Sci-Fi Poems
Sci-Fi Poetry, Art
Availability: Amazon | Flipkart | LLP
Literatureslight Publishing

1 comment

    congratulations Simz and my heartily wishes and blessings are always with you, my dear I want a very bright future for you. Go ahead and explore the world .

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