Thursday, February 11, 2016

A Page-Hungry Bookworm In The Country House

Since my last interview post was received so well, I decided to invite another literary colleague to the Country House for a chat.

My guest for a cup of tea today is Saradia Chatterjee (better known as Sara): blogger, poet, author, reviewer, and student of literature.  She is the owner of the Page-Hungry Bookworm blog and an ardent activist for human and animal rights. 

Sara, welcome to my Country House and thanks for stopping by for a chat.

Thank you so much for the opportunity!

Let’s start out with a question about your blog.  How did the Page-Hungry Bookworm come into being?

I must confess I didn’t start blogging solely due to the fact that I’m an avid reader who wants to share her thoughts on books. I was a clueless Indie writer trying to explore different websites that offered promotional services. That is when I was referred to several review blogs. I realized there are many authors in a similar situation and wanted to do my bit to help them. I also wanted to read the works of contemporary authors who don’t appear in popular media because of their decision to self-publish. I’m very glad I chose to be a book blogger. It’s been a wonderful experience so far.

One of your major passions is social issues, particularly animal rights.  I’ve seen the videos on your YouTube channel, and they are difficult to watch.  How did you come to be so deeply involved in this issue?

I have always been an animal lover but I wasn’t an active participant in any welfare project or something of that kind. My initial interest was wildlife conservation and protection of animals in the wild. While doing some research in that field, I had the chance to interact with some animal activists. I was shocked to learn about the numerous cases of animal cruelty around the world and thought that I should join others in spreading awareness. Many people don’t have much idea about the unthinkable plight of thousands of animals. I believe it is necessary to speak up about this issue as it is often ignored by those in power.

You mentioned that you prefer writing romantic stories rather than reading them.  Why is that?

I haven’t been able to explain that to myself either. Frankly, I used to read very few romances before I started my blog. But I wrote a romance novel and a couple of short stories which have romantic elements in them. I don’t enjoy reading romances because most of them are rather farcical. As I have mentioned in my blog, maybe I just didn’t happen to read that one romance novel that can change my viewpoint about the genre. As to why I like writing romances, I have only one theory. The first story I ever wrote was a romance and I suppose that is why I have some kind of attachment to it.

Please give us some examples of your “other-worldly" philosophy.

My other worldly philosophy consists of ideas such as poetic justice which are far removed from the reality of this planet. But I believe that faith in goodness and justice is absolutely necessary in the struggle for peace.

You’re writing a collection of short stories in which all the protagonists are animals.  Where did the inspiration come from?  How is the writing progressing?

The inspiration obviously came from my love for animals. I wanted to write about animal heroes and so I thought of this book. The writing isn’t really progressing well because I’ve been very busy. I really hope I can make time for this soon.

You have two works currently for sale on Amazon: “Beyond Tragedies” and “In The End.”  Tell us something about them.

Beyond Tragedies is the first book I published. It is general fiction bordering on romance. The main theme of this book is restoring faith in the power of hope.

In the End is a psychological short story. It’s just a few pages long and has a surprise ending. This story was inspired by a real life incident I learned about in a news article. The focus here is on a woman who is battling disease and depression and what happens after she chooses to give up on life.

When you’re comfortably curled up on your sofa and reading for fun, which authors are you most likely to read?

It changes from time to time. Right now, I mostly read Indie books. But if I’m reading for fun, I like to read non-fiction. A lot of people will find this odd but since I’m a student of literature I’m always dealing with fiction, and in this case, non-fiction books are like a breath of fresh air.

As a prolific reviewer on Goodreads, how do you handle the grind of reading an endless parade of books without losing your sanity?

I have grown so accustomed to reading that not reading will drive me to the edge of sanity. But yes, too much of it can become a chore. I don’t overburden myself with more books than I think I’m capable of reading. I read till the experience remains a pleasure. The moment I realize it is becoming a grind, I quit reading for a while. I do accept 90% of review requests if they are for genres I prefer. But that doesn’t mean I rush things. I take my time so that I can properly assess the books. Since you mentioned Goodreads, I would like to confess that I don’t admire it a great deal. This is a little unrelated to your question but I thought I might as well talk about it. Goodreads has too many rules and complications which I found very problematic both as a writer and a reviewer. It’s largely dominated by moderators which is not the case with other social media. I’m aware that many authors love Goodreads but I personally didn’t like my experience there. Now I visit Goodreads just to post my reviews.

Some closing thoughts of your choosing?

I look forward to reading plenty more Indie books and interacting with talented authors. Thanks to all the authors and readers who have made my blog possible! Thanks again, Ross, for this interview and good luck for your future projects!

Sara, it was a pleasure to chat with you.  Thanks so much for stopping by, and I wish you great success in all of your endeavors.

Some places where Sara can be found in cyberspace:

Works available on Amazon:


No comments :

Post a Comment

Your comment here