Featured Interview With Sunanda J. Chatterjee
Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?
I was born and raised in a Bhilai, a little steel city in central India. I joined the Indian Air Force as a physician and was posted to remote and interesting parts of India. After five years, I came to the United States for a PhD in cancer research. Now I am a practicing pathologist in Southern California. I make diagnoses by day, and write novels by night.
At what age did you realize your fascination with books? When did you start writing?
I started reading at a young age. Where I grew up, everyone read Enid Blytons, Earl Stanley Gardner and James Hadley Chase, and I followed suit. I started reading hisotrical sagas by Victoria Holt and Somerset Maugahm in middle school. I love going into a different world and living the life of the protagonist facing different challenges. It helps me deal with my own problems, or at least allows me for forget them for a while.
Who are your favorite authors to read? What is your favorite genre to read. Who Inspires you in your writings?
I read all kinds of books: suspense, action, thrillers, women’s fiction and YA. My favorite authors? That’s a difficult question. I love Somerset Maugham, Jhumpa Lahiri, Jodi Picoult, JK Rowlings, and Suzanne Collins for the unique and compelling worlds they create in their books.
I am inspired by everyday people facing everyday problems. I am inspired by stories of devotion, bravery and love. Through my journey in India and abroad, I’ve realized that people come from different backgrounds, but the difficulties they face are remarkably similar. I like to create worlds where a protagonist faces a problem which is commonplace, but she (usually a woman) finds unique ways to deal with it.
Tell us a little about your latest book?
Shadowed Promise is about Moyna, an orphan girl brought up by her aunt, who grows up to believe she is bad luck, and faces every event in her life through those tainted lenses. After a terrible tragedy during riots in Bombay, she makes a promise that seems impossible to keep. Then she travels to United States, where the rest of the story unfolds. Shadowed Promise is a story of empowerment, friendship, love and redemption.
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