Book: Friends with Summer
Biographical Info: Jyoti Singh has been a student of Mechanical Engineering and she has been around. In search of her calling, she has had short-lived flings with first, real estate then, journalism and now, she is merrily committed to literature.
"There's something inside of you that knows everything. It knows the way. When your mind fails to grasp reality,
listen to your heart. It knows." - Jyoti Singh
Interviewer: Many congratulations on your wonderful book "Friends with Summer", Jyoti! How do you feel about it? Tell us something about your book?
Jyoti Singh: That's very kind of you, thank you so much. I feel pretty normal. Normal because everything else that I tried before writing felt like, you know, out of alignment and this one thing finally makes me feel more like myself. Friends with Summer is a book that I didn't actually plan on publishing but here we are. Summer, here, is a metaphor. It means, you know, to chill, to be out there, to open up to the possibilities of the world. Bright, bubbly and blossoming things are summer. So how does it feel to be Friends with Summer? You tell me.
Interviewer: "Friends with Summer" is your debut book, how exactly you thought of writing this book?
Jyoti Singh: Somewhere, in the back of my mind, is this desire to outlive myself. One life is simply not enough. So how do you get to outlive yourself? By creating something that will exist years after or hopefully, even centuries after you're gone. And I didn't really plan to write anything until the lockdown happened and I then had no choice but to attend to my own yearnings. And to be honest, it was as if the book wrote itself. That's crazy to me.
Interviewer: What period of your life do you find you write about most often? (child, teenager, young adult)
Jyoti Singh: Friends with Summer is basically a young adult fiction crossover. Being an entitled youngster myself and a bit spoilt - ask my parents, my protagonist is a twenty year old. However, in this book and the upcoming books also, you'll find characters from different walks of life. And I'm every character that I wrote. That's the thing about writing you know, you get to play God when you write.
Interviewer: What books or authors have most influenced your own writing? Who is the author you most admire in your genre?
Jyoti Singh: I don't let any author influence my writing but yes, there are authors who have had an immense influence on my life. Namely, Stephen Harrod Buhner, he's capable of opening new dimensions to his readers. Douglas Adams, I found him the most charming and entertaining personally. And I'm a huge fan of J.K. Rowling's personality and of course, of the OG, Williams Shakespeare.
Interviewer: What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book? How many hours a day do you write?
Jyoti Singh: I write what's on my heart. Once it's done and I've put in every ounce of my soul into it, the research begins. I go through the manuscript several times and then I apply the research. It's a finishing touch. And how many hours a day do I write? I'd rather not comment. Embarrassingly, it's not that much.
Interviewer: What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?
Jyoti Singh: Well, I'm too much of a beginner to comment on that but I can answer this question as a reader. The most moving pieces of writing are the ones that are brutally honest, original and have a sense of personality. It must touch a part of you that's been waiting to be heard. It must transform you. It must give you a sense of freedom. That's what true writing is, it's supposed to be free and limitless. It must open new dimensions to the reader. But in the end, a story is just a story; neither good nor bad. We all have our individual stories.
Interviewer: Where do you want to see yourself five years from now, in your professional as well as writing career?
Jyoti Singh: Well, five years from now, I'd love to have become a better writer for sure. I have a very long road to go. And I'd love to have opened a publication house very much like yours, that's supposed to be helping budding authors. And God willing, I'd love to have published more books that readers find, you know, freeing as I mentioned earlier.
Interviewer: What is your message to the young writers who are willing to explore the new dimensions of creative writing?
Jyoti Singh: Well, I'm new to this myself but yes, I'd say that write what's on your heart. Don't judge yourself. Just write even if it's the weirdest piece of writing in the world. Be brave. Break barriers, bring a revolution. You can do that. And don't let anyone tell you that writing is impractical. You're allowed to make mistakes.
Interviewer: Any message for readers regarding the book?
Jyoti Singh: Well, read it. It's not perfect but you don't want to miss it. It will occupy a permanent place in your heart when you're finished reading. This book transformed me, it came to me and it was the biggest honour to have my name associated with it. And share it with your friends. Tag me @queen__of__swords. Let me know what you think about it. Good and bad. I'd love to interact with you. You can also reach out to me via email : [email protected] I will wait to hear from you guys.
Interviewer: Thanks for your time! It was a pleasure talking to you. I wish you best of luck for the future!
Jyoti Singh: Thank you for having me for this lovely interview. It was great talking to you.
Order on Amazon: 'Friends with Summer'
"Leave this planet a little more beautiful and livable for the future generations." - Jyoti Singh