Isha Singh teaches at Lucknow University and specialises in writing short stories in the genre of horror.
Q Why do you write?
For that elusive feeling that a writer gets upon writing a really good story or a poem. It is a rush but short-lived because then you have other deadlines etc. I think I am always trying to replicate that rush, trying to write something that makes me feel satisfied after writing it.
Q Do you have a writing schedule?
Not really. Even if I make one, I rarely follow it. I am not a stickler for schedules. If I love the idea, I will continue to write till I get tired otherwise I delay the process.
Q Best piece of advice you've ever got?
Someone told me to try not to control things, be it with writing or with my life. I think that’s pretty solid advice. Learning to go with the flow is a process that takes a while.
Q Do you keep a diary?
Q. Describe your favourite writing space.
I can write anywhere and mostly I use my writing desk but my favourite writing space is any space with a view of the mountains. Possibly a small desk on a balcony, at some place in Kasol, with a gorgeous view of the Parvati valley.
Q. Who are your favourite authors?
Raymond Chandler, James M. Cain, Barbara Kingsolver, Joyce Carol Oates.
Q Which book/author should be banned on grounds of bad taste?
I don’t believe in banning things but if I had to, I would definitely ban Chetan Bhagat. I don’t think the ban would deprive us of any literary genius. I would also ban his columns along with the books, as reading them in my morning paper makes my coffee taste like hemlock.
Q. Which is the most under-rated book?
I came upon a forlorn copy of The Day of the Locusts by Nathaniel West at a book fair many years ago. It merely took me half a day to finish as I found it unputdownable. It takes a scathing look at 1930s Hollywood and the many broken dreams of those who exist on its periphery.
Q. Which classics do you want to read?
I want to re-read The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. I would also like to complete reading Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy. I picked it up during college for a class but couldn’t plod through it.
Q Your favourite literary character.
My all-time favourite is Holden Caulfield from Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger but currently I am also in love with Ishan Fauzdaar from Baaz by Anuja Chauhan. I have a long list of favourites actually.
Q Which is the funniest book you have read?
The Diary of a Nobody by George and Weedon Grossmith. I find P.G. Wodehouse very funny too.
Q Which is the most erotic book you have read?
I find Written on the Body by Jeanette Winterson to be a wonderfully balanced book with beautiful imagery. The prose is almost luscious.
Q Your favourite word?
Both Sunday and Sundae these days.