In conversation with Dr Priyanka Naik, author of 'Twists of Fate'

Dr Roshan Radhakrishnan

It is always nice to see someone you like succeed in life and watch a long cherished dream come true. Dr Priyanka Naik and I go quite a way back. We have never met in real life but we have been friends on the blogosphere for close to a decade now. In addition to being a healer residing in the 'Pearl of the Orient', she has now one more wonderful suffix to add after her name now - Author.
So what does it take to move up the literary ladder from writing in school to national magazines, blogs and finally having your own full length novel? Without further adieu, I will let the doc answer these and more.

1.      Tell us a bit about yourself. Where/What/Why/How?

Umm…Interesting question! ;)
diabetologist, Goa
Dr Priyanka Naik
You might not even notice me. I am just another face in the crowd. My name is Priyanka Naik. I am a doctor by profession. I live in Goa, where I practice as a general physician and diabetologist.

As far as my journey in writing is concerned, words have always been my first love. I remember penning my first poem at the age of ten. It was published in an all India magazine called ‘Target’. Elocution and debates were a regular in school. Then, there was blogging, which I started in the year 2001. I remember writing on Rediffblogs first. After blogging there for roughly around four years, I eventually hopped onto Blogspot. I didn’t know how long the interest would last (My moods were very volatile back then, and this blog too was at risk.) But luckily ‘Nostalgic Moments’ (Yes, that’s the blog!) survived. It’s nine years old now
Thinking back, I believe my writing has definitely improved over the years. Fortunately for me, so have my mood swings! ;)

Although I am a perfectionist by nature, I have a gypsy heart. I love traveling to different places and observing human nature at its best and worst.  I don’t always understand logic. I am an emotional fool like that. But I am forever learning, taking notes from the world around me and trying to figure my role in the grand scheme of things.

2.      “Twists of Fate” is your first novel. Can you tell us more about it?

‘Twists Of Fate’ ( Mahaveer Publishers ) is a story that I hold very close, mainly because it contains bits of my life and lives of those dear to me. No matter how many better books I write in the future, this will always remain my favorite, exactly in the way the first child is always the parent’s pet. (You can’t imagine how much it pains me to say this, me being the younger of two siblings...sigh! Maybe you can feel my pain, Rosh! Aren’t you the younger… oops… child as well?) But let’s not digress. 

Like the dust jacket tells you, this is a story of three friends, Sharvari Joshi, Parizaad Sethna and Nandini Mazumdar. A major part of the story is set in Mumbai…the city of dreams, and travels reminiscently between the past and the present.

Giving out more details (than what is already included in the dust jacket and video) would be giving out spoilers, and I’d like you to figure the rest out yourself, the book being already out and waiting to be picked up.

3.      How long did the entire process of writing the first draft take? As a doctor, how did you make time in between your busy schedule for it?

Well, the idea behind TOF had been playing on my mind long before I actually put it down in black & white. It conceptualized in a way I wasn’t even aware of. So when I actually decided to start writing my first draft, the words flowed rather smoothly surprising even me by their fluidity. It took me around three months to complete my first draft. Having my own private set up helped. Besides, writing has always been a passionate priority. I believe it’s just one life and you got to try and fit as much as possible in your routine. I am not a workaholic. My clinic timings permit me the liberty to pursue my passion. The three months that I took to write my first draft, I hardly had a social life. My laptop became my sole companion. Every free minute would be spent typing furiously, snapping at anyone who asked me to stop. Of course there were places I did get stuck up on, and those speed breakers did delay the journey. But my first draft continued uninterrupted. Later it took me around eight months fine polishing and ironing out the creases.

4.      Who are the people in your life who supported you the most during this phase?

My family was very supportive. Dinner invites and get-together’s were being declined by me all of a sudden. I turned into pretty much a recluse. My family had to bear the brunt of my eccentricities and make up for my absence with the most atrocious excuses. But they played along.
My best friends were also very considerate. They gave my space, yet had my back. I hope they will be as supportive in the future. I promise not to try their patience this much, the next time around.

5.      I know that you are a seasoned blogger too. Where do you blog and what do you usually blog about?

Thanks Rosh. Coming from a prolific blogger like you, this is indeed a big compliment.
I blog here at Nostalgic Moments
It’s named so because I think every moment lived becomes a nostalgic memory at some point in life. I blog about everything under the sun. There is no rhythm to my madness. I write about things that affect me, things I learn from, mundane day to day incidents and special circumstances. I write about nature, fashion, food, people, movies and everything that you can possibly think of. The blog is an encompassment of the past, present and future…a collage of fact and fiction. It’s a small little world that I can proudly call my own.

6.      Do you feel being a blogger helped you hone your writing skills?

Yes, of course it did. I remember when I had started blogging, I would write pretty much in sms lingo (that was considered a cool style by most teens my age.)  In fact, a fond memory includes a fellow blogger telling me that I should hire a typist to write out my thoughts, because they ought to be written more seriously than in shorthand. Then there was a phase, where in I was ridiculed for lack of punctuation. While blog posts were typed from cell phones and in between college lectures, it was tough to maintain all the rules. But one thing kept me going, people connected with my thoughts, irrespective of the details. And so I owed them an improvement.

I strongly believe one should never stop learning. I seek every opportunity, no matter how small, to learn. Today, my posts are well punctuated and formatted. But I am always seeking perfection. Blogging helped me notice my flaws. Bloggers made me want to rectify them. Also, participating in various blogging contests, made my creativity bloom much quicker than it otherwise would. I developed a keen sense of interest in observing the mundane, understanding different views, and connecting the dots. I became more sensitive. It would often start as a blog post, and end as a lesson to treasure in hindsight. In that way, it did help bring out the writer in me.

7.      An old favourite “tag” question from the blogosphere – tell our readers 7 things about you that we did not know earlier.

1)      I am terrified of dogs. The moment I see any dog (be it mongrel, puppy, whelp or hound), I freeze! Maybe it’s some past life thing…
2)      I can never get enough of dairy creamer. I am totally addicted. If you ever want to see the kid in me, leave me alone with a tin of dairy creamer. Even milk powder will do. We are crass like that.
3)      I totally detest ‘Black Forest’ cake.
4)      One thing I cannot stand is being taken for granted. I am a staunch follower of the ‘leave before you are left’ policy.
5)      I still love popping bubble wrap.
6)      They call me ‘Bilbo Baggins’ at home…because I tend to develop social phobia and disappear  on the most important occasions.
7)      Eating is my weak point. Unfortunately, cooking is my hamartia!

 8.  One dream is coming true with the upcoming launch of your first novel. What can we expect next from Dr Priyanka Naik? Is there a second book in the works?

I don’t plan to write a sequel to TOF.
However, there is a second book, yes! Why, there is a third, fourth and fifth book too. But right now, they are all only in my mind! I am hoping they will insist on coming onto printed paper soon.

Thank you very much, Priyanka. I wish you all the best for the success of this book. I am sure that people are going to love your book. 

 Thanks Roshan. It’s an honor to be featured on ‘Godyears’ 
‘Twists Of Fate’is now available on Flipkart and Amazon
Please also do visit the exclusive Facebook page for the book where you can interact with me and tell me what you thought of the book. You can also find me on Twitter here

Happy reading :)


Post a Comment


Let me know what you think.

  1. Such an inspiring interview Roshan. First draft in three months is so good. I can just imagine how hard it would be to write, along with a full time profession. Oh and blogging for over a decade! Wow and wow again.

    1. Thanks for the kind words, Tulika. :)
      Yes, I did spend a whole deal of time on my manuscript in those three months. Did not want to disrupt the continuity of thought. Polishing the rough edges was kept for later.

    2. I agree, Tulika. Three months is amazing... and yes, not losing the continuity is a major part of that...

  2. It takes so much hard work...Inspiring...Thanks for sharing this Roshan...

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Thanks Nahanita. An author's efforts are well paid off when his/her book connects with readers. 'Twists Of Fate' is a story that is very close to me, and I believe words written straight from the heart always reach out to another! :)
      Keeping my fingers crossed...

  3. Thanks, Roshan, for introducing Priyanka. I enjoyed reading about her so much. I had not heard of her, but totally love and can relate to her philosophy... So have to check out that book for sure, and her blog.

    1. Thank you Eli Z. It feels great when someone you hardly know (yet) connects with your ideas. Do let me know what you think about the book. Will be only too happy to receive your honest feedback :)

  4. Hi,
    dr roshan,just finished reading one f the anthologies for which yu had stories that touched....had written a short review too at a lot of pages

    1. Thanks :) Have had quite a few releases since then, by the grace of God :)

  5. Wonderful interview Roshan - I have this inclination to call you Dr. Rosh! (do people call you that? may I? if not, no worries!). I think it's incredible that you've had this long-term blogging relationship and never met in person, though I hope you do get to one day. Dr Priyanka Naik sounds like a wonderful person and I will definitely check out her blog as I too love to write about a variety of things so it would be great to connect and be inspired. I wish her all the best with her continued writings of her novels. :) <3

    1. Rosh sounds fine :)
      Do check out Priyanka's blog (link is there on this page)... I'm sure you will find some wonderful posts in there :)

    2. Thanks Elly. That's really sweet of you. You seem like a wonderful person yourself :)

      Thanks Rosh...for directing Elly to my blog! :)

  6. Awesome interview, Roshan and Priyanka. It's so true that one needs to be dedicated to see the end product. Great job by two prolific bloggers:)

    1. Thanks Vishal. I'd be happy to know what you think of 'Twists Of Fate'. Do give it a read! :)

  7. Interesting book...
    Nice post!

    1. Thanks Locomente. Looking forward to you reading it! :)

Post a Comment