@anangsha_ has delivered a strong message in her book #whatdidtashido and in her interview you’ll be shocked to know the reason that inspired her to write this book.
1. Introduce yourself for your readers.
Hello everyone. My name is Anangsha Alammyan. I am a civil engineer, currently working as an Assistant Professor at NIT Silchar. Writing is something that I have always loved, and my first pieces of fiction and poetry were published in local newspapers when I was four years old. I love writing thrillers with a twist in the end, however, of late, I have started writing pieces that bring out the dark realism in today’s society. My first book “Stolen Reflections” was a collection of poems that received rave reviews from the readers. My second book, “What did Tashi do?” is a cybercrime thriller that takes the reader into the mind of a woman suffering from anonymous threats from a stranger on the internet. As you can guess, I like writing so much only because I love reading. I have been a bookworm for as long back as I can remember, with fantasy being my favourite genre. I read while I’m eating, working and even working out (thank the gods for audiobooks)! In fact, if you look at my reading list now, you’ll find I’m halfway through at least four books, and yet, I can’t resist the temptation of picking up a fifth.
2.What is the first book that made you cry ?
It has to be Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. There was a chapter called “The Phoenix Lament” where [SPOILERS] Dumbledore is pushed off the roof of one of the Hogwarts towers and he falls to his death. There is a scene where Harry looks at Dumbledore’s broken and bent body, and in an instant, all the instances of how Dumbledore helped him over the years flashes in front of his eyes, and how, he realizes with a sinking feeling, that no matter how great the need, Dumbledore will never be there for him again. I was 12 years old when I read it, and I had to keep the book down and cry my eyes out for at least fifteen minutes before I could pick it up and continue with the story.
3.How did you feel when your book was ready to be published ?
I was a bundle of nerves. On one hand, I was excited that something that I had worked on for so long was finally polished enough for it to see the light of the world. On the other, however, I was terrified by the fact that people out here would read my words. What if they didn’t like the book? What if they thought it was a waste of time? I couldn’t sleep for three straight nights before the first reviews started pouring in, and I remember thanking the heavens that they were positive.
4.How difficult was it to pen down such a gruesome tale ?
It was gut-wrenching. During some scenes, I had to pause, take a breath, and think carefully whether it was necessary to make my protagonist go through so much. Some scenes in the book are based on my personal experiences; I had tears rolling down my cheeks while I was penning them.
5.What inspired you to write this book ?
I was sitting in a café in Shillong when a group of young women walked in. They were beautifully dressed and started clicking pictures the instant they settled in. I overheard a group of men nearby talking about them. One of them was saying that he would search for the location of this café on Instagram and look at the latest posts that were tagged in this place. And, to my surprise, he was able to find the identities and personal profiles of three of the women who had just walked in. Within a few seconds, this stranger could stare at every picture these women had ever uploaded on Instagram. This incident made me realize just how much of our personal information we were sharing online, and how the presence of social media was hampering our right to privacy. I knew that I had to write something on it to make the world (especially women) cautious about what information they share online.
6. What was the hardest scene to write in your book ?
[Spoilers if you haven’t read the book] There is a scene when the blackmailer pushes Tashi too much and she breaks. She loses it and gives up. She walks to her balcony and looks at the concrete below, contemplating how easy it would be for her to give up and leave everything to the gods. It was difficult for me to pen down the thoughts of a person about to commit suicide without making it sound like a cliché. It was a real challenge to bring out the pathos and pain in Tashi’s heart.
7. How has been your journey as an author ?
For my first book, I was desperately looking for publishers, believing that if I had a big name backing me, my book would reach a wider audience. For my second book, however, I realized that everything is a gamble in the publishing industry and a publisher with a bigger clout doesn’t guarantee success. Now, I am more confident about publishing on Amazon KDP with the belief that if your work is good, people would read your book irrespective of who the publisher is. The downside is that KDP allows only eBooks to be published in India. That being said, I am happy to let you know that an independent publishing house contacted me for the exclusive rights to publish the paperbacks of “What did Tashi do?” and distribute them in bookstores. I am making changes and additions to the manuscript as we speak, and very soon, we will have a new and improved version of “What did Tashi do?” available in paperback format all over the world.
8. Any message that you want to share with your readers ?
Thank you for being a part of this journey, for reading my work and being with me all along the way. It is because of people like you that writers in our country are encouraged to pursue their dreams. Keep reading, and keep being awesome. Everything I have achieved is because of you. I love you!