Updated: Feb 19, 2021
In this Episode of the Author to Author segment I am in conversation with the multi-talented Maithili Potdar. She is the Author of Umberkhed: No one is safe, Mahua, and Pehchaan. Her books are available on Amazon Kindle.
Maithili Potdar is a lawyer-turned-artist and an amazingly talented writer. She started her career in Law while living in India. Later, she moved to the United States in her early twenties and changed her career path. She developed a keen interest in fine arts and writing. Storytelling and expression was always her forte. Her creative side needed an outlet to free itself. So she started pursuing her artistic and writing skills and soon her creative career took off. Maithili is a self-taught artist and writer. She likes to venture into subjects that are unconventional and challenging. She likes to take the viewer on an adventurous ride through her ideas and doesn't believe in any limitations. The viewer/reader can experience the rush and excitement that her paintings and books evoke. She tries to imbibe all the elements that are needed for a good quality of work.
Maithili plans to write as long as she has her creative juices flowing. She says, "I write what I crave to read".
Here is the excerpt from our conversation:
1. What does writing mean to you? Why do you write? I have always been a storyteller. I have a very creative mind and am constantly churning out stories, ideas and concepts. They come naturally to me. Expression is the only way I can let it all out. I believe in the world of magic and mystery. I want the reader to have a really good time reading my stories. The goal is to take the reader on an adventurous ride. Every story that I tell should be able to move you in some way. Writing is an integral part of my creativity and it is extremely personal to me.
2. When did you start writing? Do you remember the first time you wrote something? I have been writing for many years, but it was only in 2018 that I finally found the courage and confidence to publish it. I had a good story to tell. That was the time I thought of my first fictional character, ‘Detective Tejaswini Raut’. I just knew ‘She’ had to be introduced to the world. The characters, concept, plot, everything fell in place. I remember not telling anyone about it. It was just me, my writing and the night being the soul witness. What an exhilarating experience that was! When I was finished writing, I knew I had a proper detective novel waiting to see the light of the day.
3. What was the source of your inspiration earlier? Did it change with time? I have always been a huge fan of Agatha Christie novels and the series. There is something about them that makes you question the psychology. It was not just about the murders, but the reasoning behind it. I resonated with the stories and was deeply moved. Good stories never go out of fashion. I had really good ones, but I wanted something that every Indian could relate with. A good murder mystery with an Indian detective, Indian characters and raw situations based on Indian background. I wrote ‘UMBERKHED’ and I thought I needed more Detectives for all my stories that covered all parts of India. So although, Christie's novels were my inspiration initially, my world of murder mysteries changed or say evolved into something very unique.
4. Would you like to share a few of your favourite lines of your story? There are so many, but there is one line in my second book ‘PEHCHAAN’, “This is the last of you on me". It is a turning point in the story and I still remember having goosebumps when I finally found the right words for that particular situation.
5. What is the most difficult part of your writing process? The writing is the easiest part, as I am in the creative flow. Difficult part is when I have to edit chunks of good writing to make it look concise. Hours of hard work is erased in a second. 6. What comes first for you — the plot or the characters — and why? It depends. Sometimes the character pulls the story forward and sometimes it is the plot which is the hero itself. It totally depends on what has inspired me at that point.
7. What’s your favorite and least favorite part of publishing? My favourite part is, of course, the book seeing the light of the day. The appreciation and feedback that one gets from readers. One can feel very content that all the hard work paid off. The least favourite part is the advertising. I wish there was an easier way, but there isn’t.
8. How did you come up with the title for your book? The title of my first book was very challenging. It was my first time writing; I wrote the story first, but later I was struggling to find the right title for the book. I found it eventually. But I had learnt my lesson. The books I wrote after that, I made sure the title was chosen at the onset.
9. What part of the book did you have the hardest time writing? My third book ‘MAHUA’ was a bit challenging. My second book ‘PEHCHAAN’ was liked by many and that created a bit of pressure on me for my third book. The expectations were set high, so there was a time when I found myself in a tough spot. Fortunately, I found a passage to ease out the pressure and got it all under control. ‘MAHUA’ was challenging, but equally satisfying.
10. What do you need in your writing space to help you stay focused? A good cup of coffee, silence and a motivated mindset.
11. If your book were made into a movie, which actors would play your characters? That is so exciting to even consider the possibility! Well, I have three detectives so far.. ‘Detective Tejaswini Raut’ could be played by the very talented Amruta Subhash. ‘Detective Arvind Goyal’ could be played by Sir Anupam Kher and ‘Detective Rhea Barua’ could be played by any East Indian actress with a confident and dashing personality.
12. What is the future for the characters? Will there be a sequel? The future is very promising for my characters. They all have a storyline going on for them. There are so many stories to tell. Although my stories change, my Detectives stay the same.
13. What do you like to do when you are not writing? When I am not writing, I am in my Art studio. I am also an Artist apart from being a writer. I love painting and that is like meditation to me. It also allows me to flex my creativity from time to time.
14. Which writers have inspired you? Do you feel yourself ever influenced by the writing style of a writer? There are many writers that inspire me in many ways. I like to read different genres. It is a vast ocean of literature out there. But I don’t get influenced by their writing style. I stick to my own style of writing and that makes my work original and authentic.
15. How often do you write? People say writing needs time; best words come out in leisure. How do you manage your time to write and work? I like to go with the flow. I don’t interfere with my thought process by adding deadlines and time limitations. Neither do I push myself to write when I don’t feel inspired. The right kind of words and perfect way of expression, matters to me. Being an artist, I think like an artist even when I am writing. The same laws apply. A creative mind works best when it is involved a hundred percent.
16. Please let the readers know about your projects for future? Are you working on any book? And please share any stanza you have written and you repeat it most of the times Yes, I am working on my fourth book and the readers will be seeing ‘Detective Tejaswini Raut’ again.
17. What is your message to the young & aspiring authors who are willing to explore the new dimensions of creative writing? My only advice to all the aspiring authors is: Don’t wait... Just go ahead and start writing. If you are inspired and you have the right mindset, a good concept, just go with it. Don’t let anything hold you back. This is your time.
Thank you taking time out to read my conversation with Maithali! Potdar
- Jasveer Singh Dangi
Purchase link for her books:
Disclaimer - All views & facts mentioned above are the sole responsibility of the respective author being interviewed. The Author, Maithali Potdar, is solely responsible and liable for the information including but not limited to the views, representations, descriptions, statements, information, opinions and references.
Jasveer is an Author, Behavioral trainer, award -winning Health and Safety professional & Founder of The Cog Publication LLP, India. He is currently based in Canada. His Amazon Author Central profile is - https://www.amazon.com/~/e/B07M6KS48Q