April 1, 2023


Connecting Asian writers with global readers

The Lounge Chair Interview: 10 Questions with Shweta Taneja

2 min read

by Monideepa Sahu

DSC01590Let’s get down to brass tacks. Why do you write?

Why does one breathe? I don’t think I have a choice here. Writing, as I embrace it through years, has become an essential for me. I write to get over my fears, to express them and sometimes to face them. I write to feed the monster in me, to feel happy or sad, to express my emotions and the emotions that my characters are going through.

Or maybe I just write because I don’t know what else to do really. I can’t sing or play or manage people or things, so I write to fill my heart with music, to lay to rest nightmares that hound me day and night, or to fight with my demons. I mean what would you do if you quit something as basic as breathing? It’s the only magic I know. It’s the only life I would like to lead.

Tell us about your most recent book or writing project. What were you trying to say or achieve with it?

I’m currently working on a series on Anantya Tantrist, a tantric detective who solves the most grizzly black magic crimes in Delhi, the capital city of India. It’s the first of urban fantasies that Indian writing in English has seen and I’m so glad it’s received a good response from my readers as well as the media and the industry in general. I’ve signed a three-book contract with Harper Collins on this series and the second and third books will release in 2016 and 2017 respectively.

With the series, I’m building up this whole parallel underworld in Delhi, a world where monsters, supernatural creatures, ghosts and other things from the Indian mythology lurk, interact and go about their business. For me this series (or in general speculative fiction that I plan to write in future) is not only an escape into another world or a monster/rakshasa fantasy, it’s a reflection of your own world.

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