Exploring “I Seek You” with Author Soumya Doralli: A Conversation with Unnati Shahi
Interview by Unnati Shahi, Founder of ‘The Bookish Gossips’
In the realm of fiction, Soumya Doralli stands as the creative force behind two captivating books, “Hues of the Sky” (self-published, 2020) and the recently released “I Seek You” (Half Baked Beans Publishing, 2023). Transitioning from a career in software engineering and banking in India, Soumya discovered her passion for writing, where the solitary act of penning down stories transformed her world into a cosmic tapestry of drama and sagas.
The Genesis of “I Seek You”
When asked about the inspiration behind “I Seek You,” Soumya shared that after self-publishing her debut book, she took a break to immerse herself in classics, setting the stage for her next literary venture. The ideas for the coming-of-age story gradually took shape, with Soumya attributing the themes to the thrill of her own childhood experiences in the Western Ghats.
Personal Reflections on Themes and Characters
Soumya candidly revealed that characters in “I Seek You” drew inspiration from her personal life, citing instances such as the self-appointed watchman Dakappa, mirroring the watchman in her childhood colony. Her love for pets found expression in the character of Pepper, the dog in the story, while her childhood stubbornness and emotional nature seeped into the protagonist’s personality.
The Heart of “I Seek You”
Expressing the gratification and liberation she finds in writing, Soumya hopes her readers glean a message of defending the weak, becoming the voice of the unspoken, and appreciating the significance of childhood in shaping one’s character. The story, she asserts, underscores the connection between sincere yearning and the subtle responses of the universe, leaving readers with a sense of readiness to face life’s challenges.
Crafting the Narrative
Detailing her writing process, Soumya mentioned her spontaneous approach, with ideas flowing during evening walks and translated onto paper promptly. After outlining the story’s structure in a notebook, she drafted the narration using Microsoft Word, a process that preceded smooth sailing during the publishing phase.
Literary Influences and Real-Life Inspirations
Soumya’s literary journey began with classics, particularly Victorian Literature, with “Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Bronte standing out as a profound inspiration. Real-life experiences, such as childhood spooky story sessions with a family friend and interactions with her maid’s daughter, influenced the events and characters in “I Seek You.”
Challenges and Unexpected Hurdles
Reflecting on challenges, Soumya emphasized the common struggle of translating thoughts onto paper. However, she recounted a smoother writing process without unexpected hurdles, with the real challenge emerging during the pitching phase.
The Significance of the Title “I Seek You”
Choosing the right title proved challenging initially, but Soumya found that “I Seek You” perfectly encapsulated the story’s essence, emphasizing the unconscious nature of wishes and the mysterious ways in which the universe responds.
Advice for Aspiring Authors
To aspiring authors, especially those delving into coming-of-age stories, Soumya advocates reliving one’s childhood for authenticity. Her general advice includes dreaming big, starting small, embracing patience, and persisting through rejections. She emphasizes the importance of honing one’s craft, staying patient, and maintaining a supportive network of family and friends.
In closing, Soumya encourages aspiring authors to follow their intuition, read voraciously, and persistently work towards their dreams.