Last week I reviewed the book ‘And The Roses Bled’ by Mehak Daleh and guess what? I am back this week with an interview of the author Mehak Daleh, that I had the pleasure of conducting! I’ve asked her some questions and I am extremely thankful to her for answering them!
‘And the Roses Bled’ is a psychological thriller and a horror fiction book. I loved reading it! You can check out my review of it by clicking here.
Let’s just dive into the interview!
NOTE: The texts in bold are the things I’ve asked/ said and the texts in italics are the author’s answers.
First of all, congratulations for your book! It has gained a lot of appreciation and surely, it deserves all the amazing reviews! My readers and I would feel extremely glad to know about your inspiration and how it all started!
- Let us start from the beginning. When did you realize that writing as an activity holds a special place in your heart?
Thanks for your kind words, Meher.
Reading and Writing have always been of the utmost importance in my life, all because of my family. We have plenty of notorious bookworms in this clan!
Fun Facts: I distinctly recall when I was five, writing down everything I heard on the radio. At seven, when I went to a boarding school in the Himalayas, I started writing my autobiography (believe it?!) and small stories for my friends. So it’s always been there at the top of my priority list.
- When I read ‘And The Roses Bled’, I experienced a lot of goosebumps. It’s such a dark yet meaningful book and I just can’t help feeling that it’s the best book one could pick up in October. What exactly ignited in you an interest for ‘dark’ ideas?
The ‘dark’ ideas are an amalgamation of a lot of experiences, I believe. The first of these would be my natural tendency to be drawn to the grey areas of existence. Secondly, it must have to do with me growing up in a very quiet hill station with an atmosphere most suitable for dark stories. And Finally, when we talk about the specific darkness in ‘Roses’, the horrifying real life tragedies one comes across in newspapers and on TV every day played a great part.
- Your book features many psychological elements and being a psychology-enthusiast, it acted like a cherry on the cake for me. Are you a lover of the human psyche, too? What made you decide that adding the psychological parts to the book would be a great thing?
I most certainly am a lover of the human psyche. There was no deliberate thought on adding psychological parts to the book; it was the natural flow of the story. Perception is all a person has, isn’t it? None of us know what’s really real. We just believe some things are and some are not, according to our vantage points. The individual’s psyche and perception determine it all, and these are therefore, inalienable elements of any human narrative.
- They say that in every debut author’s book, there is a pinch of real life experiences. Is there any part in the book inspired by your real life experience(s)?
I would say some of the writer’s personal experiences always filter into the story, irrespective of the number of books they’ve written. This is also true for ‘And The Roses Bled’. However, I ought to stop here, else it might take a little something out of the story if I were to tell you what was real and what was imagined. Suffice to say that the backdrops are places I have intimately known, but the specifics of the story are more or less fiction.
- Isn’t writing a book is like a roller-coaster ride? What was the best part about writing ‘And The Roses Bled’?
It most certainly is one hell of a roller coaster! You think it’s going one way and it suddenly changes direction. And there’s nothing one can do about it. Tampering with the natural flow of the story would be a definite disaster. So yes, you basically ride the roller coaster and let out a big WHOOP when you’re done.
The best part of writing ‘Roses’ was the relief I felt when it was done. My big WHOOP!
- What are things that you’d like your readers to take away from your book?
First off, I’d love for the readers to enjoy the story and its ghosts.
Having said that, I would wish for them to realize that childhood is the most fragile of states – once even the tiniest imbalance is introduced to it, it changes the psychological filter of the individual forever. These days we read so much about crimes against children. I want us all to realize that even if a child comes out of a horrifying experience alive, their childhood, and consequently their whole life maybe shattered. So, we ought not to forget these ‘news’ as easily as we do. We, as citizens should stand for a change.
That’s a lovely message to take away from the book! Also, I definitely did enjoy the ghosts!
- Let’s talk about the publishing process a bit. How did you step in the publishing world and what has your experience been like throughout the process?
I didn’t know anyone in the publishing world and I had absolutely no idea how to go about it. So, I went online and read an article about getting published in India. There wasn’t a lot of information available, but one thing was clear – the first step was to submit the manuscript to a reputed literary agent. I submitted ‘And The Roses Bled’ to the top five literary agencies in the country and then wrung my hands and chewed my lips as I waited. Finally, a couple of months later, I got an email from the Red Ink Literary Agency, telling me they would like to represent me. I was very thrilled because they are a big name in Indian Publishing.
Next, I worked with the wonderful team at Red Ink to polish the manuscript further. It was finally submitted to various publishing houses and Fingerprint! Publishers decided to publish it.
And now all of you lovely people are reading the book! It’s been a wonderful journey. One has to be patient through it, but it’s well worth the wait.
Definitely worth the wait!
- Every writer goes through a writer’s block, I believe. Did you face one, too? How did you get over it? What would be your tips to beat writer’s block?
Luckily, I haven’t been in that situation yet. I don’t know what I’d do if I were. I suppose being regular and observing the wonderfully diverse world around helps. There are stories everywhere!
- Let’s talk about your favourite horror reads and also about your favourite authors in the genre! Which ones would you recommend to us?
I am an ardent admirer of Stephen King’s work. Who isn’t, right? So anything by the man is worth reading in my opinion. Peter Straub is another amazingly talented horror writer. He has collaborated with Stephen King too. I especially loved his books ‘Ghost Story’ and ‘Koko’. Dean Koontz’s ‘Odd Thomas’ series is really good.
Other than those, there are so many excellent horror writers from the years past – Algernon Blackwood, Poe, Lovecraft, Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, Edith Nesbit, M.R. James… to name a few.
And we often associate Dickens and R.L. Stevenson with more dramatic novels but they’ve both written some amazing horror well (fingers crossed), there will be more books.
As of now, I have the second manuscript ready – it’s also a horror/ psychological thriller with a protagonist in their twenties. It explores the themes of seclusion and isolation.
Furthermore, the first draft of my third manuscript is also near completion.
So here’s hoping you will read a few more of the stories I have to tell really soon…
That’s great! I already have a feeling that we’re going to love your future works! Best of luck to you!
And that’s a wrap! I m so thankful to the author Mehak Delah for agreeing to be interviewed by me! It really was my pleasure!
‘And The Roses Bled’ is an amazing book and I recommend it to all you guys. Make sure to read my spoiler-free review of it!
This was my first author interview! Do you think I should do more author interviews? Let me know in the comments section below!
Check out my previous post here.
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