Exclusive Interview with

Tanishq Sheikh

Let’s start with your Career as a writer!

When did you start writing?

I started writing in school at the age of 12. By the time I was 18, I had written my first complete manuscript.

What makes writing your passion?

I have a vivid imagination and love to express my thoughts in writing. The thing I like about writing the most is creating worlds that don’t exist and worlds that do but not the way we know it.

How long have you been writing?

Almost 29 years but professionally 8 years. I self-published a couple of books under a pseudonym a few years ago.

What was the feeling when you published your first book?

Unreal! It’s something only a writer can relate to. But I had people from across the world reach out to me saying how much they enjoyed my stories and that did wonders for my confidence.

What’s the story behind your choice of characters?

My latest book, True Rising, is close to my heart. I’ve based some characters on people who have inspired me with their remarkable personalities. I make it a point to give additional traits to these characters so that they never truly represent a real person but garner a life of their own.

What annoys you the most in pursuing a writing career?

Hands down the marketing part. I’m a writer and sales isn’t my strong point.

How do you get over the “writer’s block”?

I take a break. I’m part of several writer’s groups on social media and they inspire me with their inputs. I also jot down small bits like quotes or poems to keep me going.

We all know the writer’s path is never easy, what makes you keep going? What advice would you give to new authors?

Do what you love and believe in yourself. Take criticism in your stride, cry it out if you want to but don’t hold it inside.

If you could go back in time and talk to your younger self, what would you say?

Why didn’t you write more? You’re so good!

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with the bad ones?

I do read them. The bad ones do have me second guessing but the primary reason I write is because I love my stories. I try not to let bad reviews bother me much. I believe every person’s spectrum of imagination is subjective.

What is the feeling when you get a good review?

Over the moon! The thought that someone appreciates my writing makes me happy.

Have you ever incorporated something that happened to you in real life into your novels?

Yes I have. In True Rising I have a scene where the main character dreams about her father getting hurt. That has happened to me when I was younger. It wasn’t a dream it was a premonition that actually happened. I just knew someday I’d use it!

Which of your characters you can compare yourself with? Did you base that character on you?

I do relate a lot to my main character from True Rising, Prisha. But I didn’t base her on me.

What do you think, the book cover is as important as the story?

Absolutely. A cover can tell a hundred thousand worded story at a glance. That’s a super power!

Do you connect with your readers? Do you mind having a chat with them or you prefer to express yourself through your writing?

Yes, I do connect with my readers via various networking sites. I do love a meaningful chat with anyone who reaches out to me for my books or my insights.

How do you feel when people appreciate your work or recognize you in public?

I feel honored and grateful.

Who is your favorite author? Why?

I love F. Scott Fitzgerald. I’m in awe of his treatment of romance as an eternal bond and yet out of reach illusion. I love the symbolism he uses in his writing. The Great Gatsby is my all-time favourite book.

What’s the dream? Whom would you like to be as big as?

The dream is to top national and international bestselling lists. J.K.Rowling is a phenomena. I’d love to be as big as her.

Would you rewrite any of your books? Why?

One of them. It was written before the age of smart phones. I’d love to incorporate their usage into the scenes to make them more relatable to a younger audience.

If you could switch places with any author – who would that be?

R.L.Stine so that I could get written into the Goosebumps movies.

What would you say to the “trolls” on the internet? We all know them – people who like to write awful reviews to books they’ve never read or didn’t like that much, just to annoy the author.

Ssshhh, I love you too!

What would you say to your readers?

Appreciate all the stories you read. While leaving a review do remember, it was written by a real person not a robot so be gentle.

Thank you for sharing! Let’s talk about your Personal Life!

Share a bit about yourself – where do you live, are you married, do you have kids?

I’m based in Mumbai, India. I’m married and have two children; girl who’s 17 and boy who’s 10.

What is your day job if you have one?

I’m a preschool educator. I mentor a preschool on a regular basis and design curriculum on freelance basis.

What are your hobbies? What do you do in your free time?

I like writing my thoughts, watching movies, reading and listening to music.

Did you have a happy childhood?

I had a wonderful childhood. The best part was the physical play time I had with my friends. We made our own games with our rules that were totally gadget free.

Is there a particular experience that made you start writing?

I had written a short story in high school that was well received by my teacher. It was a much needed boost for me to start structuring my writing.

Do you have unpublished books? What are they about?

I have Books 2 and 3 of the Defender series that will be published in the coming year, 2020. They are a step on from Book 1, True Rising – Mark of the Defenders which is a romantic/thriller/fantasy.

What do you think should be improved in the education of our children? What do we lack?

Being an educator I can confidently state, it’s a lack of reading opportunities. Children are being given gadgets at an age they should be gifted books. Smartphones are the latest babysitters but they aren’t great storytellers. They’re giving rise to a generation of children who lack conversational skills which are essential for two way communication. It’s imperative schools encourage reading activities for children via libraries, drama and debate clubs along with physical play opportunities.

If you were allowed 3 wishes – what would they be?

This is such a tough one. I’d probably allow myself endless wishes with the first one and then the list would be very long. But on top would be rolling back Earth to its pristine state.

What is your favorite music?

I like contemporary pop/rock music as well as a bit of trance.

Share a secret with us 🙂

I have a muse, she’s real, she’s watching you. (Please re-read carefully, I wrote ‘muse’ not ‘mule’ )

Thank you! We wish you the best of luck for you and your art!